Shepherds of the Nerd Herd

Educating the next generation of techies is the only way to keep innovation alive. It’s part of our legacy as an industry. That’s why we take any opportunity to help young people interested in the work we do. Last month, we hosted tours for the local, award-winning robotics team the Nerd Herd. We gave these stellar, NASA-sponsored young techies an inside look at our facilities and process, teaching them the ins and outs of commercial 3D printing and additive manufacturing.

In March, the Nerd Herd participated in their first robotic combat competition at the Oregon FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics) event. This intensely competitive, multinational competition requires high school students to design, construct and program a robot to compete with other robots.

A panel of judges evaluates each team on its robot’s design and performance, as well as the team’s strategy and collaboration. The Oregon FIRST pushes these young techies to the boundaries of their potential and beyond and fosters an exciting experience that will inspire them to pursue a career in science, technology and engineering.

Each team had only six weeks to build their robot for the competition, and all had to use the same kit of parts and abide by the same set of rules. We helped the Nerd Herd prepare by manufacturing the parts for their robot. Thankfully, the team was ecstatic with the parts we provided, as Coach Eagan noted:

“Not only did the parts fit perfectly with no modifications, Rapid Mfg. was an absolute ease to work with. Confidently taking our CAD files and turning them into real, functioning parts without so much as a broken fingernail. They have done more than we could ever ask for, and we will be sure to stay in contact with them in the future.”

Though the team didn’t win this time around, the experience was undoubtedly invaluable. As mere rookies in this year’s event, next year they’ll have all the experience and knowledge they need to devastate the competition. To see pictures of the Nerd Herd team battling it out in the competition, check out their Facebook page!

There’s nothing more satisfying than inspiring young people to pursue their dreams. We couldn’t be more proud of the Nerd Herd and honored to have helped them in this experience. Whatever your needs for a project may be, we’ll make the parts to match! To learn more about the parts we manufactured for the Nerd Herd or for any inquiries for your own project, contact us today to let us materialize your dreams!

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