Author Topic: Allowing TPU in Plastic Ant  (Read 34 times)

Turnabot

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Allowing TPU in Plastic Ant
« on: September 19, 2022, 05:29:42 pm »
If Plastic Ant is intended to be a good "entry" point into robot combat, keeping the TOTAL cost low could be a high priority.

As such, TPU, seems like it aligns very well with the class.
Most TPU filament cost is very similar to most PLA, putting it among the cheapest of materials. TPU prints almost as easily for most people on most printers.

TPU can DRAMATICALLY reduce damage compared to most other materials.
Reduced damage has a multitude of benefits including:

     1. Letting bots last longer in a given match, which could absolutely make the difference between a new competitor enjoying a match and getting destroyed frustratingly early.
     2. Reducing the need for repairs. A new competitor might not have the spares or the tools to make repairs, TPU might allow them to continue on in an event when other materials wouldn't.
     3. Reducing the cost of repairs. Even with the low cost of other printed materials, their stiffness increases the likelihood of damage to more expensive components.

TPU will also allow some designs to be competitive in both Plastic Ant and Full Combat Ant. This could significantly increase the opportunities for competitors to enter events.
Plenty of events only offer one of the antweight classes. The increased ability to create a bot that is competitive in both Plastic and Full Combat directly increases the opportunities for people to compete.

I hope that we can have some good discussion about the pros and cons of adding TPU to the allowed materials list for SPARC Plastic Ants.