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Official Q&A: VRC 2020-2021: Change Up

Usage Guidelines All Questions

Is 3d printed parts identical to VEX sold parts legal


The game manual does not state whether 3D printed parts identical to VEX sold parts are legal are not. Someone on a VEX chat said that it was legal if it was identical to the VEX sold part. In this case, they would be 3D printed out of the CAD files that VEX provides. The reason for this is because our team is low on budget and cannot afford to buy more parts at the time being, we still want to compete as soon as possible. In this case we would be 3D printing the VEX sold plastic parts such as gears and sprockets taken directly from the VEX website's provided CAD model.

Answered by Game Design Committee

Per the Q&A Usage Guidelines, specifically point 3, please remember to quote the applicable rule from the latest version of the manual in your question. Rule R6-d reads as follows:

<R6> Robots are built from the VEX V5 or Cortex system. Robots may be built ONLY using official VEX V5 and Cortex components, unless otherwise specifically noted within these rules. Teams are responsible for providing documentation proving a part’s legality in the event of a question. Examples of documentation include receipts, part numbers, official VEX websites, or other printed documentation.

d. Any parts which are identical to legal VEX parts are permitted. For the purposes of this rule, products which are identical in all ways except for color are permissible. It is up to inspectors to determine whether a component is “identical” to an official VEX component.

It would not be feasible for an inspector determine whether a 3D printed part is identical to an official VEX component in terms of physical properties like material type, shear strength, dimensional tolerance, etc. Thus, functional 3D printed parts are not legal for use in the VEX Robotics Competition.