Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Inspiring students, one robot at a time.

The Q&A is closed for the 2021-2022 season. Any rule changes or clarifications pertaining to the 2022 VEX Robotics World Championship will be included in the April 5 Game Manual Update. Teams attending VEX Worlds who wish to pre-submit questions for the driver's meeting should have received a contact form via email; if not, please contact your REC Foundation Team Engagement Manager for more information.

Official Q&A: VRC 2021-2022: Tipping Point

Usage Guidelines All Questions

VEX Parts Shortages: 3D Printing to Compensate?


Seth Mitchell (Event Partner)
4-Jan-2022

I need to start this post by saying I understand the rules regarding 3D printing in VRC.

I wonder, however, if there is room for flexibility when the VEX catalogue is short on supply? For example, my teams need high-strength shaft bearings ( 276-3521), but VEX has been out of stock for some time. That leaves us in a bit of a quandary. If we are limited to VEX parts, but the parts suddenly become unavailable, it seems like kids are put at a disadvantage if they design bots around what should be in ready supply. I think most people would agree that bearings are a necessary component in most systems that rely on axles. Bearings are akin to standard hardware (screws, rubber bands, zip ties, etc.) that teams can already sub out as needed.

In supply chain shortages, should teams be able to 3D print these basic parts as needed?

Answered by committee

I need to start this post by saying I understand the rules regarding 3D printing in VRC.

For the sake of reference, those rules in question being R6, R7, R8 and R13. Namely, 3D printed parts are not permitted in VRC, except in the case of non-functional decorations or License Plates.

Although we appreciate your suggestion, if there is no specific rules question being asked, we must reiterate the following point from the Q&A Usage Guidelines:

The Q&A system is for rules clarifications only. For game questions, suggestions, or concerns outside of specific and official rules questions, contact [email protected].