A project log for Badminton ACE Shuttle Launcher

A badminton shuttlecock launching robot.

peter-sinclairPeter Sinclair 04/23/2023 at 19:220 Comments

In order to keep the project cost low and accessible I decided to use 3D printing for the majority of the design. 3D Printing has many benefits including low cost, high availability, and very high design flexibility. All of the printed parts are made out of PETG because of it's strong performance characteristics and ease of printing and they were printed on a Prusa MK3.

There are only a few items that were not printed:

  1. Trajectory Pivot Shaft - I decided to make a shaft out of steel round bar. I purchased a short length of it at Home Depot and cut it to length with a hack saw. I filed a flat near each end and drilled a hole for cotter pins to hold it in place. I used the cotter pin approach because it was easy to do with minimal tools compared to circlips or other methods.
  2. Wheels - Due to the high wheel speeds (7000 RPM) and shock loading I decided to laser cut the wheel hubs out of Acrylic as the design was already proven on the Baddy project. The urethane rubber exterior was then cast onto the acrylic in a 3D printed mold. The wheels were balanced using a cheap prop balancing rig by drilling holes in the heavy areas. I have some ideas on how to improve this process, but I expect wheels will also be available amongst the community. I plan to release a detailed log on making these in the future for anyone that wants to give it a try.
  3. Hardware - Screws and heat-set inserts were purchased off of Amazon.
  4. Electronics - The majority of the items were purchased off of Amazon. 
  5. Magnets - Used to magnetically couple the shuttle tube to the baddy launcher. These were purchased from Lee Valley and glued in place.
  6. Shuttle Tube - This clear tube was purchased from Amazon.

This printed approach limits the number of separate parts and makes the build process straight forward. All of the component mount locations, cable tie-down points, and other features can be designed into the parts directly.

  1. Print Parts & install heat-set inserts.
  2. Purchase or manufacture non-printed parts.
  3. Assemble electronics.
  4. Download firmware to ESP32.
  5. Connect to the ESP32 and command servos to their setup positions.
  6. Power off & assemble the launcher.
  7. Power up & configure servo positions.
  8. Get Training!

It is still an early prototype but if you're eager to get going the CAD & Code can be found on the projects github page. Keep in mind that since this is a high speed kinetic launcher it can be dangerous. Build it at your own risk!