A Chat About Common Inconveniences with VEX Parts

This chat group is a discussion of minor or major annoyances or inconveniences with VEX parts and/or building with them. They could be major flaws or minor things that everyone takes for granted (but should be fixed).

The point of this chat is to collect negatives in one place so that VEX can see and try to solve some of the problems that are brought up here.

No contest, the square holes are the worst.

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Hm… I’ve never though about it, but I’ve DEFINITELY never thought, “Hey, I’m glad these holes are square!” And of course, it allows more variation.

Imagine if bolting 4 channels together guaranteed they were perfectly square instead of having a ton of slop.

Yes, I understand the benefits of circular holes. To think VEX parts have been putting the round peg in the square hole the whole time. :wink:

The sad excuse for “strain relief” that is the grommet on motor wires where they enter the motor casing.

Standard heat-shrink tubing would be far more durable.

This is my husband’s pet peeve, too! It bugs him that it leads to slop in builds due to the hole size. He’s proposed an insert that would eliminate the slop - but rounds holes would be a much simpler solution. DUH!

The explanation of square holes to me was that Erector Set had patented circle holes

I hate that the bearing flats don’t actually sit flat against the inside of a c-channel when you put them up against the 1x side. If you want to do this you have to file the side of the bearing flat which is a huge annoyance.

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I hate having to do that!!! You have to file down spacers to get them to fit in there too :confused:

Well, then, I’m going to patent round wheels! And air! And water!!

I’m clearly not a lawyer because I can’t start to understand how someone can patent simply drilling round holes into a piece of metal.

I think it has to do with a constructions set made of metal with round holes as a defining characteristic.

What’s funny about this is that we were cleaning our basement a few weeks ago and throwing away old toys the girls didn’t play with anymore. One of which was an erector set. I have to say that after working with Vex parts, the erector sets truly suck. No other way to say it. I guess it has to do with the fact that erector sets cost so much less - but, wow, Vex is superior!

That only true for aluminum, correct?

I don’t think it was due to other’s patents, I think it was so they could have some. Like patent US8337270.

I’d like to see their Engineering Notebook for that patent…

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I have a hard time believing it’s a patent issue, mainly because some of the platforms we were allowed to use in FTC (e.g. TETRIX or Actobotics) had round holes. Not sure what counts as a defining characteristic though.

I wonder if they could solve this problem by simply allowing teams to use #10 screws. It would require a few strokes of a round file to expand the holes, but at least it would eliminate the slop and not require a massive design change.

LOL. I did a Google search for “does erector set have a patent on circular holes” and this was the first link:


It is a link to a patent owned by … Innovation First, Inc. What else does Innovation First, Inc. own? Vex Robotics.