3D printed brain case functional or non functional?

I was thinking about making a 3D printed brain case to protect the brain (basically it would cover the plugs so the wires arent exposed at all) in case I place it on a more vulnerable spot on the robot, while I think it should be legal as a non functional decoration, you are not allowed to use a copper wire touching the surface for anti static purposes under that rule even though it does not directly effect the outcome of the match, so it might be considered that protecting your brain from damage might effect the outcome of the match and thus be an illegal decoration item. Like copper wire which is illegal, a brain protector has a similar function (protecting the robot) which makes it functional, but like copper wire, the brain protector doesn’t actually influence any function on the robot that would have an effect on the outcome of the match, so would having a 3d printed case be illegal? In my personal opinion no, but I also tried to pass a robot with copper wire and ended up having to remove the copper wire.

I feel like you are answering your own question here.


Honestly even though it doesn’t protect the wires, use the normal brain cover. And then maybe use plexiglass to “guard” the wires, and double it as decoration. So if you have like a sponsors panel, place it in front of the wires.

Basically the ruling at all of the tournaments that I have ever gone to is that if it can block a game element from entering, it’s considered functional. Even if you cover it in stickers. This includes Wave at WPI, and my regional Competition. For some reason at Worlds they seemed more lax on the inspection?

There are two ways to make the polycarb decoration. 1. Make it thicker than legal polycarb, so that it only can be decoration, or 2. Back it with legal material, so like a 5 wide plate.

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Not a good recommendation, since plexiglass is illegal according to the game manual.

If you’re trying to use the term “plexiglass” as a generic for clear plastic, that is a bad habit since plexiglass is specifically a brand name for polymethylmethacrolate or acrylic.


My problem is that the rules are kinda vague on the definition of non functional.
The rulebook states: “Teams may add non-functional decorations, provided that they do not affect Robot performance in any significant way or affect the outcome of the Match.” And while it’s not specifically listed as something that would be legal, it’s also isnt described as something illegal according to this. In this situation it’s up to the inspector call it illegal or not. I could understand why disallowing copper wire is illegal but frankly banning a brain cover doesnt seem to make sense.

Banning lots of individual things in the rules doesn’t make sense, which is why the manual doesn’t do that. But this is, by the very nature of the way you have described it, functional and therefore illegal.


Yes, thank you. I didn’t mean plexiglass, that is indeed illegal. I accidentally used it as a general term for polycarbonate.

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