We will order spares, I don’t think it’s an argument about popularity so much as functionality. I understand the cost of maintaining low volume items as far as shelf space and having capital invested for too long versus turning the same profit 5 times over on a more popular item that sells faster.
We will work on figuring out how to use other vex products to accomplish the task just like we use 5X25 plate to make 1X3X1X25 C channel.
Maybe they’re not *popular *but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re *superior *for many applications. Can vex not produce them in smaller quantities perhaps with a slightly increased price?
It’s one thing if the product has a truly superior replacement (like the new omnis) but discontinuing a useful product and offering something kind of similar as the alternative is a little wrong I feel. While we’ve never made it to worlds, our most successful design relied on these and it never would have been able to work with the plastic kits.
I also feel that removing them puts new teams at a disadvantage as they will not have the opportunity to use the old slides. As jpearman pointed out, his team has numerous slides and they are a staple for the team. I feel the reason so few people buy them is not because few people use them but rather because few people replace them because you don’t really need to cut the slides or anything and can reuse them year after year. Having low demand may justify a cost change but not a change in availability.
The reason the new kit has higher demand is because it is not superior. The parts break and replacements need to be regularly purchased.
Since this is a fairly solid part, most of our linear slides have been reused fairly regularly from year to year. I think we ordered only 2 new sets this past year for our 17 robots. Of which, 8 robots had this part on it in some fashion. So a part being used often does not always correlate to a part ordered often.
I am personally helping deplete the inventory to ensure another few years of use.
Some designs like a multi stage linear lift I can’t see built as effectively with the new style slides. With the new style, you’d only have one connection point to the next stage making it kind of wobbly. I don’t see any reliable way of adding extra external sliders since resetting into the external slide without some helping hands is unreliable in normal match action. Even lining them up did not work well (to do this you still need to buy a full kit and not just extra plastic sliders).
I agree that the old slides are great. The new slides are as well, but I definitely prefer the old slides. I am not worried about my club running out of them because we are stocked up on them but I feel bad that the newer teams won’t have the ability to use them.
The old linear slides are very useful. They are very strong and are one of the best options for a load-bearing linear mechanism. The new slides are good for low-load applications, but they are sort of weak and are difficult to use in some situations. It is also significantly easier to use a rack-and-pinion setup on the old slides as they are designed for this application. Please don’t get rid of this part.