On the Battlefront: Laser Cut Parts for BattleBots

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Of all the parts we make here at SendCutSend, the ones we especially look forward to producing are those used in BattleBots. Never heard of them? BattleBots are weapon-wielding robots that fight to the death while under the control of their human masters, cheered on by the teams that built them along with thousands of dedicated fans. What’s more, all of this mechanical carnage is on full display under a television program of the same name. If you saw the movie Gladiator or Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, you get the idea.

They’re nothing new. The show first premiered in the fall of 2000, and I was an immediate fan. Considering the flame throwers, spinning blades, and bits of metal flying everywhere, who wouldn’t be? Since then, BattleBots has jumped from network to network, first on Comedy Central (ironic, right?), followed by ABC and then Discovery Channel, where it’s slated to resume once life gets back to normal.

Lending a hand

BattleBots cost money. Before the world stopped turning, each team would hop on a converted school bus or borrow Uncle Ted’s RV, then travel cross-country for the next championship, eating Subway sandwiches by the yard and chugging Mountain Dew to stay awake. All that junk food and gas gets expensive. BattleBots also need parts. Each one requires electric motors, tires and belts, circuit boards, remote control gizmos, nuts, screws, and loads of fabricated parts (and don’t forget the weapons). As I implied, it’s not for the financially faint of heart.

The team at SendCutSend helps out as much as we can. Because we can precision loads and loads of laser cut sheet metal parts from steel, titanium, aluminum, and more—and do so in a hurry—it’s a no-brainer that the enthusiastic people building these things (some call them obsessed) would come to us for the frames, housings, and protective panels. In all, we’ve made parts for, or are otherwise sponsoring, nine BattleBot teams. Talk about obsessed!

Introducing the Witch Doctor

Last January, I got a call from Andrea Suarez, a medical device engineer by day and BattleBot weapon operator by night. She and her team are responsible for a BattleBot lovingly named Witch Doctor. The other eight members include Andreas’s husband Mike (the driver), Steven and Katheryn Sharp, Paul Grata, Christian Chiriboga, Jennifer Villa, and the newest member Rick Pease. Each has a specific role to play, from pyrotechnics and programming to electronics and repair. Lots of this last part.

The Witch Doctor is known as a vertical disc spinner, but there are also drum spinners, bar spinners, and full-bodied spinners, not to mention lifter/grappler +torch BattleBots (ouch), BattleBots with hammers, baseball bats, or flippers, and BattleBots that resemble a paper shredder from Hell. It’s all a great deal of fun, which is why I agreed to sponsor Team Witch Doctor for an upcoming “BattleBots for Kids” video series.

Thanks to those nasty bits of genetic material, proteins, and nucleic acids known as the Coronavirus, the 2020 season of BattleBots (along with so many other things) is currently on hiatus. But never fear. It won’t be long before Andrea and her team are back in the arena, attempting to crash and smash those other guys to smithereens. They’ll have some fierce competition. I was really excited to hear about the show’s reboot a couple years ago, and am now even more excited to be a part of it through sponsorship. I’m sure we’ll be fielding plenty of calls at some point from teams looking for replacement parts, something we’ll be happy to help them with. BattleBots are cool.

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We proudly use hardware by PEM

Flush Standoff, 4-40, .250" Zinc plus Clear Chromate

Aluminum: 5052, 6061, 7075 Steel: Mild, G30

Thread Size4-40 x .250″
Hole size in sheet (+0.003/-.0.000).168″
Minimum sheet thickness0.040″
Maximum sheet thickness.125″
Fastener materialSteel
Minimum distance hole C/L to edge0.230″
When determining the distance between two or more fasteners, you can calculate the distance by the formula, C/L to edge + 1/2 the diameter of the second mounting hole..345″
Recommended panel materialSteel/Aluminum
Coating typeZinc
Aluminum material ranges (5052, 6061, 7075)0.040″-0.125″
Steel material ranges (CRS, HRPO, HR)0.048″-0.119″

We proudly use hardware by PEM

Flush Standoff, 4-40, .250" Passivated

Stainless Steel: 304, 316

Thread Size440
Hole size in sheet (+0.003/-.0.000).166″
Minimum sheet thickness0.04″
Maximum sheet thickness.125″
Fastener material400 Stainless Steel
Minimum distance hole C/L to edge0.230″
When determining the distance between two or more fasteners, you can calculate the distance by the formula, C/L to edge + 1/2 the diameter of the second mounting hole. Example shown with x2 of the same hardware..313″
Recommended panel materialStainless Steel
Coating typePassivated
304 Stainless Steel material ranges0.048″-0.125″
316 Stainless Steel material ranges0.060″-0.125″