Voron 3D Printer Turns into Death Racing Robot

“Death Racer” battle of the 2023 Midwest RepRap Festival
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Voron Design conquered the last “Death Racer” battle of the 2023 Midwest RepRap Festival, with a little help from a high school robotics team. The Quadrangles, a FIRST Robotics team from Bloomington, Indiana, brought their "World's Fastest Voron” 3D printer out to play. The robot has a fully functional student built Voron Trident mounted on a remote controlled Swerve drive platform. Hayzel Roeder, 18, represented the team and drove the bot. 

Hayzel Roeder and the World's Fastest Voron (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

David Fry, a Quadrangles dad, mentor and member of the Voron Design team, introduced the students to 3D printing to help build their fighting robots. He asked the Voron crew to donate spare parts, which the students then used to build a Voron Trident, a large format, high speed Core XY machine capable of cranking out ABS parts. Voron Design is the volunteer group behind DIY Voron 3D printers

Fry said the Quadrangles were looking for an off season project, and thought about building a superfast printer. Instead of going for the obvious speed Benchy machine, the kids mounted their Trident to a robotic platform similar to what their combat robot, the Aegaeon, uses. The machine is completely battery powered and capable of printing ABS while driving down the sidewalk.  

The Quadrangles knew pitting their printer on wheels against battle bots – even tiny ones – would be risky, but had no fear as they had the skills to rebuild the Trident. They taped the doors shut and entered the fray, literally crushing the competition.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Quadrangles are a 30-member strong student robotics team from Monroe and Lawrence counties in Indiana. Students put their science and math skills to the test by building competition robots and taking them to tournaments. FIRST Robotics competitions combine team work with engineering, while also teaching students about budgeting time, money and resources.

Members of the Quadrangles and their bot Aegaeon, photo used with permission. (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Midwest RepRap Festival, or MRRF, is the oldest 3D printing festival of ita kind and held annually in Goshen, IN. The festival attracts 3D printing enthusiasts from around the globe who share projects and show off the latest advances in 3D printing. 

The Death Racer RC battle bots are the pet project of British YouTuber Sam Prentice, who is well known for his 3D printed Star Wars droids. Together with designer Michael Baddeley, and fellow YouTuber’s John Ivener of Tripod’s Garage and Jim Edgeworth of Edge of Tech, the 3D printed RC bots have grown to a thriving community of over 600 members worldwide.

The Tom’s Hardware Death Racer, printed by Denise Bertacchi (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Death Racer builders compete for fame, glory and giant stacks of filament. Prizes are provided by sponsors Polymaker, Fabreeko, BigTreeTech, Slice Engineering and PCBWay. A Death Racer competition has been planned for each RepRap festival of 2023, starting with Denver’s RMRRF which took place in April. Maryland’s East Coast RepRap Festival which will be held in September, and Oxford’s SMRRF (Sanjay Mortimer RepRap Festival) which is scheduled for December.

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Denise Bertacchi
Freelance Reviewer

Denise Bertacchi is a Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering 3D printing. Denise has been crafting with PCs since she discovered Print Shop had clip art on her Apple IIe. She’s been a freelance newspaper reporter, online columnist and craft blogger with an eye for kid’s STEM activities. She got hooked on 3D printing after her son made a tiny Tinkercad Jeep for a school science project. Excited to learn more, she got a Creality CR10s and hasn’t looked back. She loves reviewing 3D printers because she can mix all her passions: printing, photography and writing. When she’s not modding her Ender 3 Pro or stirring glitter into a batch of resin, you’ll find her at the latest superhero movie with her husband and two sons.