Thanks to SeeMeCNC in Goshen, Indiana

It is hard to believe that Goshen, Indiana would be a 3D printing hub for the world, but it truly is.  This northern Indiana town is home to SeeMeCNC, a 3D printing company owned by Steve Wygant that specializes in both printers and service to its customers, including its widely popular Delta 3D printer series.  Their great service is something that they take seriously.  They stand behind their work and will help you out when you need it!  That is where FTC Team # 8746 comes in!  We had a problem with our 3D Systems printer the EKOCYCLE.  3D Systems was nice enough to give us one, along with a whole lot of other teams, but service (after the warranty) really wasn’t their thing.  In fact 3D Systems said the $2 fan blade was not fixable and advised us to stop using it.   That seemed a little wasteful, so we sought out help from SeeMeCNC.  They are in our hometown and they were willing to take a look and help us out. Thank you so much!  See our next blog to see what happened!

First Lego League (FLL)

Our robotics team began in 2011.  For four years we were a First Lego League (FLL) Team.  The robots in the FLL group are made of LEGO Mindstorms and other lego pieces.  The microprocessor is the NXT Brick.  It is programmed through the Mindstorms software.  We had many variations of our robot from the simple that could just push, pull, lever arm grab to the more sophisticated, as we matured, using gears and attachments which could lift and grab to using sensors to determine placement on the board.  The picture shows the second year of robotics.  The boys are 4th grade, 5th Grade and 6th graders at this point.

3D Printing at the 2015 RepRap Festival in Goshen, Indiana

Our team participated in the 2015 RepRap festival this weekend on March 21st and 22nd.  We met some great people and learned a lot about how to improve our 3D printing and how to diagnose problems in our own printed pieces.  3D Systems had graciously given our team an EkoCycle 3D printer in January in response to a grant our team wrote on how we would use the printer, which prints using partially recycled plastic, and how we would continue to recycle the cartridges.  We took our EkoCycle and our robot and set up as a vendor at the 3D festival.  We wanted especially to demonstrate that youth can excel when given the opportunity to use emerging technologies.  Our team has been using AutoCad, Inventor, and PTC Creo software to design their own creations and of course printing off some readily available “fun” ones already on the web for use.  Thanks RepRap for a great experience!

Developing our Partners

This is our very first post to our new EFF 5 Robotics site.  We are FTC Team number #8746.  We are a group of friends in Goshen, Indiana who are beginning our sixth year in Robotics as a part of First Robotics.  We started as a First Lego League (FLL) team and participated in FLL for 4 years.  Last season (2014-2015), we made the leap to become a First Tech Challenge team (FTC).  With the help of grants and partners, we were able to participate this year and were sucessful enough to earn an invitation to State Competition.  Now we look toward developing our team for a new year and adapting to big changes in the FTC competition platform in the upcoming season.  In meeting that challenge, our team looks toward developing new partners and developing sponsorship relationships that will allow us to compete in the 2015-2016 competition season.

Please contact us so that we can share our experience with you!