For the 2000 season of BattleBots, I decided to abandon the rotary pneumatic actuator in favor of a straight (in-line) cylinder. This afforded much more hitting power and speed (as was demonstrated against pressure Drop in San Francisco, which set a record of 114 pecks in one match). The price I had to pay for the faster response was that the arm no longer traveled a full 180 degrees. In the end, I think this resulted in a better, more aggressive look fro Deadblow. Below is a description of the preparations for the titanium arm.

click on an image to enlarge it

After losing the hammer head against Alien Gladiator in San Francisco, I decided to make the entire arm out of titanium. First, I made a prototype of the new hammer design out of acrylic. At ILM, we have a computer controlled laser that can cut shapes out of acrylic. After verifying the design, I sent the pattern to be cut out of titanium by an abrasive water jet.

Here team member Jon Foreman makes some minor adjustments to the head of the titanium arm to allow the weight at the end to fit better. The white sparks are normal for machining titanium. Just make sure that you have nice new sharp solid carbide mills.

After the titanium arms arrived, they were then heat treated. The heat treating process discolored the metal, so team member Nelson Hall took a belt sander to the arms to get their shine back up.

On top is a finished arm with the weight applied to the end. The arm is 3/8" solid titanium and the weight is machined out of steel.

Another view of the weapon arms. The arm to the right is how the piece returned from the heat treaters.