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Official Q&A: VEXU 2022-2023: Spin Up

Usage Guidelines All Questions

Carbon Fiber


VUR3 states:

Fabricated Parts may be made using the following processes:

a. Adding material, such as 3D printing.

b. Removing material, such as cutting, drilling, or machining.

c. Bending material, such as sheet metal breaking or thermoforming.

d. Casting or molding material, such as injection molding or sand casting.

e. Attaching materials to one another, such as welding or chemically bonding (e.g., epoxy).

VUR4 states:

Fabricated Parts must be made from raw materials. For the purpose of this rule, a “raw material” is any material that would not be considered a “pre-fabricated” part (i.e., has not undergone any of the fabrication techniques listed in VUR3).

a. Standard raw material finishing processes, such as extrusion, heat treating, or anodizing, are not considered pre-fabrication.

b. Fabricated Parts may not be made from raw materials which pose a safety or damage risk to the event, other Teams, Field Elements, or Discs. Examples of prohibited materials include, but are not limited to:

i. Any material intended to produce flames or pyrotechnic effects.

ii. Any material that is liquid at the time of the Match (e.g., hydraulic fluids, oils, liquid mercury, tire sealant, etc.).

  1. Fabrication processes that include the use of liquids, such as milling coolant or resin which has been cast into a solid part, are not considered a Violation of this rule.

Is carbon fiber stock a legal raw material under VUR4? Here are a couple examples of commonly available carbon fiber stock:

Given that the team performs one or more of the manufacturing processes in VUR3 in order to turn the raw carbon fiber into a Fabricated Part, would it be legal for use?

Answered by committee

VUR4 does not include a specific list of permitted or prohibited materials, other than point "b" (i.e. the materials do not pose any safety or damage risks to the event).

So, in general, the use of carbon fiber is not prohibited as a blanket rule, but we would strongly advise researching any applicable safety precautions and protocols involved, and including these as part of a Team's VUR5 documentation (as should be done when working with any exotic materials).

Ultimately, the decision whether a given material poses a safety risk is at the discretion of the Head Referee and the Event Partner, taking into account the context of the material's usage and application. For example, we would not recommend using carbon fiber for a Fabricated Part that has a high likelihood of snapping during a match, or require additional drilling / cutting in the pit areas (i.e. around other Teams who may not be familiar with proper safety precautions involved).