FIM Week 1 Event Preview - Jackson

There are 5 Michigan districts this week and I hope to do a preview for each event, as well as ranking each event. This is Rank 4 for 2023 Week 1, Jackson.

Jackson District

Last Year Winners (107-3322-4776)

Favorites: I have Jackson as the second lowest ranked Michigan event for the week but as I started looking into the teams, it is more than likely on par with my 3rd Ranked event, Calvin University. Looking at the team list, there are two clear standouts, 1023-Bedford Express and 3322-Eagle Evolution. 1023 has been one of the best teams in Michigan for a long time, and last season was no different. Bedford Express was a Winner at Saline and Finalist at Calvin University. Apart from a less than ideal performance at States and Worlds, they are definitely the clear favorite at Jackson. Now right behind them is last year’s Jackson district winner, 3322. Eagle Evolution has been a team that has always competed at a high level that just couldn’t seem to win more than their singular blue banner from 2012. However, last season, they added two to their rafters, and one of those being from MSC. As the current Jackson champion, I can easily see them repeating. The last team I want to add to this tier was the 1st Ranked team in last year’s Jackson District, 5084-Team FridgeBot. Not only do they have a top 10 team name, but 5084 were kings of qualification matches last year. Ranking 1st, 1st, 3rd and 6th across all their events. Unfortunately they did not fare as well in the playoffs, only finishing as Finalist twice, finishing the season bannerless. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for FridgeBot to finish at a high rank and pair with another Contending Team, or even better 1023 or 3322, and make a run at a medal.

Contenders: If Bedford fails to win the event, or rather is looking for a partner to help secure another Blue Banner for their collection, look no further than these three teams. 4381-Twisted Devils, 302-The Dragons and 2834-Bionic Black Hawks. Twisted Devils swept at the district levels, winning both Gull Lake and Kentwood in 2022. Though not the most competitive events, wins at the district level are very different than at MSC and Worlds, especially week 1. Your robot has to be ready from the jump and the game still has to be figured out, and since 4381 was a part of FUN premiere night, they are clearly ready for week 1. 302 was almost the opposite of team 4381, where their best performance came at MSC. The dragons are arguably a top 25 team in Michigan, but I have one hiccup with them, going into the season. Not only did they have a not so great start to 2022, they also didn’t compete until Week 3, and not in Michigan till Week 4. So with having at least 2 weeks less build time as last season, I struggle to put them in the Favorite tier. So they end up here in Contenders. Lastly, is the hall of fame team, 2834. Bionic Black Hawks have struggled to win after their top of the mountain performance at 2017 MSC. They should hope to rewrite the narrative, finishing as Finalists in both of their districts last season was a start to this, and hopefully in 2023 take home a long awaited banner in week 1.

Outside Looking In:
2611-Jacktown Vectors
2832-The Livonia Warriors
1502-Technical Difficulties

Dark Horse:

Playoff Teams to Make a Jump:
4216-Blue Ops Robotics
6861-The Tyros Team

1 Seed 1023-4381 v 2 Seed 5084-3322

Next up is Rank 3, Calvin University.
Coming Soon.

Week 1
5) Escanaba


I’m interested to hear what you say about Milford

My assumption is that Milford is ranked 1 so probably good things for all those teams. I’m curious about Calvin, but that’s just because that’s where we’re going.

At my current pace I am guessing I will finish Calvin University and spoiler Kettering 1, today. With Milford coming either tomorrow, or if I get into a rhythm, tonight


We lost a lot of seniors last year so we have quite a few rookies on the team this year. Last year’s underclass-people took a big step forward in helping bring our rookies around. So we’ll happily fill in the dark horse spot. Here’s a sneak peak of what we’re been up to.


Almost had you in the next tier up, you had a great year last year! I hope it rolls into 2023.


We’re printing covers for our swerve modules too, but our numbering wouldn’t print for some reason. Yours look great!


Thanks, Jack Wilds one of our seniors that wasn’t even on the cad team overheard a couple of us mentors about needing covers and he came into the next meeting with his first version of these. The file for these without the numbers are posted in one of the mk4i threads on here

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Thanks, we had a special class of seniors last year that put a lot of effort into last year’s robot. Just wish they wouldn’t have had to miss 2 years due to covid. If they hadn’t who knows where our program would be.


This year has been interesting. 1502 is 43% freshman and almost half the team are rookies. While I am loving this in terms of community interest and sustainability… it has been a struggle integrating and teaching this year.

See you there!

Yeah our 3D printer is doing something weird so we can’t print the numbers. (It’s an UltiMaker 3D printer)

We tried printing these in a different color on our enders but the quality was not good. The school has a stratasys that we used for the first versions but it broke and they don’t want to fix it. Luckily we got Go Engineer as a sponser who were donating printed parts as part of the sponsorship so we had them print these on their statasys.

Maybe y’all can reach out to them for a print of your covers, their turn around time has been surprising so far.

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How Ultimaker convinced the educational world that they make a good printer is beyond me. For the price of 4 ultimakers, we could have 10+ PRUSAs


I wouldn’t underestimate the rookies this year. 9312 seems to be very capable based on their build thread and the Everybot this year is quite competitive. While not a rookie, 4422 is a new team and they also have been killing it in practice.

I never do, rookie teams are just hard to judge without having much information to go off of. I did almost add 4422 to my list in an additional tier after their showcase in the FUN premiere, but decided against it. I hope any team I don’t list in these previews doesn’t get discouraged, and rather proves me wrong so they can be in my end of week recap and top 25, and on the preview for their next event.

We have hundreds of prints off Ultimakers. Have a new S5 this year for the team that has printed tons of parts with zero issues. The ultimaker S series stuff is abasolutely fantastic. As close to the markforged as it gets as far as print reliability and a printed you just click go and walk away.


That’s awesome! I wish we would have your luck with them. We have 4 of them, and very rarely are all in service (we have a mentor who spends most of their time on them). The amount of maintenance and the funky filament size and expense has turned me off. In comparison, my partner’s PRUSA has been the goto for the crucial parts. I bet 4:1 parts get printed on the PRUSA vs the Ultimakers.

I shouldn’t complain as the school district was like “hey, have some printers” and I am very aware of our team’s privileges.

This is a really cool post, excited for more! The story you build up is enticing me to finally to watch more events.

Looking forward to what 5205 comes out to 2023 with. Since 3538 played with them in 2018 I’ve always been excited to see their divergent robot designs.

Thanks, Michigan is such a tight group with lots of overarching relationships between teams. I always love to see them evolve season to season, and the narrative for each team can be really fun to look at and analyze. Also helps me keep the bigger picture in mind for scouting MSC and Worlds. Minor spoiler for upcoming Milford preview, but 3538 definitely makes an appearance.