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We're trying to build an appropriately armored robot arena to hold our very awesome robotic battles in.
We're trying to build an appropriately armored robot arena to hold our very awesome robotic battles in.
129 backers pledged $7,012 to help bring this project to life.

Update on the arena- 3D render!

Just wanted to give you guys a quick update. Here's a render of the arena so far. Some of the support braces in the corners are not in place, and the ceiling is not placed yet but it gives you a good idea.

http://i.imgur.com/Xbuzm.jpg 

As expected, the Lexan sheeting is actually the most expensive part of this. If anyone knows the best place to pick up a fairly sizeable amount (24x - 4x8' sheets) of it at a good price please let me know. Still trying to save as much money as we can on the materials so we can funnel it into wireless networking upgrades, lighting, and possible projectors.

When this is 100% completed, I'll be making the 3D model/parts as well as a complete parts list available online.

Cheers and thanks for supporting Mech Warfare!

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    1. Terence Tam on

      Here's another idea: for the bottom section, where most of the BB rounds will hit, you can have a 1/4" MDF panel that's essentially disposable after so many games. Screw this to the inner edge of the extrusion. Now, in the middle track, capture another sheet of 1/4" MDF, and staple to this scraps of carpet and carpet padding. Repeat on the other side then cap off with something cosmetically nice looking.

      I did a bit of high speed photography projects a while ago, and I would use a strip of scrap carpet drapped over a 2x4. That was enough to stop a .22 air rifle round at 800fps (that went clean through my shop's sheet metal garage door and my pickup truck's tail light, btw...)

    2. Andrew Alter Creator on

      Terence: I was erring on the side of safety. Some of the hardcore league bots have pretty high powered CO2 rifles, so my current plan is to have a Lexan inside layer and a white ABS outer layer. It does ineed break down to 4x8 sections. Each side is made up of 4 of them.

      Paul - I was planning for 1/4" paneling. Good idea on the ceiling, we might actually have enough funds to put a fully armored top. The thing is, one of our hardcore competitors has a rack of microrockets that tend to hit something and then go flying off. I thought about a vinyl top but I'm afraid it might get messed up by rocket fire. It'd be a lot easier and cheaper than a fully structured top- that's for sure.

      Dusty - do you really think 1/4" will bow when the vertical sections are not more than 4 feet tall and supported on all sides with an 8mm depth slot?

      Thanks a ton for the input guys, I really appreciate it. I've built many of robots but this is the first larger scale structure I've designed.

    3. Dusty White on

      Problem with 1/4" is the flex and bowing. It gets worn fast and bows out--looks VERY bad. Weight is an issue but aesthetics is far more important when hosting public events. Please test and test. It will save you many problems later.

    4. Paul Gentile on

      Thanks for the update, I agree with Terence, perhaps you will be better off with 1/4 paneling - either painted white or with a white surface already. Lexan gets heavy fast. For the upper clear viewing area, why not do the netting again? You could make netting panels with magnetic strips in the edges so it just attaches real easy. If not netting then how about a heavy clear vinyl. Clear vinyl may be good for top and bottom. Create panels that magnetically attach to the frame and when you are done, roll them up and put in a tube for storage.. Thanks again for the update. Hope our advice helps. Keep up the good work.

    5. Terence Tam on

      Two comments:

      1) Do you really need lexan for the bottom, non-transparent panels? If you used 1/4" MDF or 1/4" birch ply, it would be a lot cheaper to build.

      2) I can't see how this thing is supposed to be broken down, but I would suggest that it breaks down to 4x8 sections. Anything bigger will incur major transportation headaches.

      Keep up the good work!

      -=- Terence

      (Shameless plug: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ttstam/openbeam-an-open-source-miniature-construction-sys )