3D Printed Device Wins Praise For Robotics Team

When it comes to getting kids involved with engineering at a young age, the FIRST Robotics Competition is unmatched. I attended this year’s Minnesota regional competition, where I learned that the number of high school robotics teams has now surpassed the number of high school boys’ hockey teams in this hockey-loving state. As a member of the high-tech industry, it made me proud and hopeful to see so many kids embracing science.

A Green Machine team member explains how 3D printing helped the team achieve more than they could have with stock parts alone.

A Green Machine team member explains how 3D printing helped the team achieve more than they could have with stock parts alone.

FIRST Robotics Team 1816, the Green Machine from Edina, Minnesota, is a leader in its region. Along with meeting each year’s robotics challenge, the high schoolers and their mentors are on a mission to inspire other teams, effectively recruiting a stronger base of students to the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Stratasys is a proud sponsor.

An integral part of the Green Machine’s 2013 robot, Zed, was 3D printed in tough thermoplastic using Stratasys Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology. To meet this year’s challenge of launching Frisbees towards a target, the team designed a clever screw-shaped 3D printed device that lifts the discs into a launcher. It helped the Green Machine win FIRST Robotics’ Innovative Control Devices award in March, and helped secure Zed’s place in the FIRST Championships in St. Louis.

Watch the video to meet the Green Machine and see the 3D printed part perform.

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