So, turns out even this year my school didnt purchase any aluminum kits. Me and the rest of my team are contemplating if we should shill out $80 to get an aluminum kit. Are they worth it this year?
Also, is there a point to making the chassis out of aluminum? or should we just use it for the lift?

It is always worthwhile going aluminium for any Seasons… unless you are looking at building a pure defensive robot.

The lighter weight of aluminium parts will be translated into either a faster drive/lift or carry a heavier load.

For the most part, I find that it’s better to avoid the kits. I’ve gotten more mileage out of purely buying 7-unit c-channels packages individually, but to each their own

Try to go all-aluminum on your robot as much as possible, including on the chassis. Any unnecessary weight avoided by using aluminum instead of steel can translate to a faster and/or more capable robot. Using an aluminum chassis should not have a negative impact on performance, only positive ones. If you want to get into the business of extreme weight reduction, there may be a thread or two about that, aside from the humorous one.

aluminum helps on weight greatly we built our whole 6 bar out of aluminum c channel and it really makes a difference we have a 7 to 1 gear ratio on the tower and it works really well we can lift mobile goal easily the aluminum is worth it although we left our base steel to counterbalance weight

Do not build a fully steel robot. VEX Motors are not extremely powerful, thus making a good robot out of steel is very impractical as it is heavy and aluminum is plenty strong. Good teams most often try to conserve weight.

Aluminum can be very expensive, so I would recommend, if anything, building a robot from steel and then replacing all its parts with aluminum if you are scrapped for money. If you really don’t have a big problem with money but just don’t want to spend, just buy 6 35 length and 2-3 25 length c channels and build a basic robot.

Avoid building the main lift out of steel at all costs (literally), though. That’s just a terrible time.

Is it worth having a steel base to stop the base from tipping - or does that just not happen often. Thanks in advance,

If you have a relatively small/not-many-pieces chassis, then steel should be alright. I’d also recommend a steel chassis if your lift is particularly tall; you’re robot would not be tipped over easily. Otherwise, aluminum masterrace all the way.

Ok thank you for your fast reply @Royal_xD

Having a heavy chassis is not the only way to counter tipping issue.

another approach is to have an anti-tipping device (there are many versions of it in the forum and youtube).

“If you absolutely need steel for the sole reason of preventing your robot from tipping, you have a critical design flaw” - 2 unnamed Alumni, 3 unnamed members and I of 7862
I’m sure more would agree if I brought it up with them but the people i’m mentioning here have said this already at this point due to prior experiences with new robotics students

that’s a good point too…

We haven’t built the base of steel for that reason @DylanTheTactician, I was just wondering whether that was one of the benefits of having a steel base over an aluminium.

I’m a huge proponent of form stability instead of using ballast. If you find yourself bolting any structural materials onto a robot to add weight and improve stability, you are probably doing it wrong. Weight = bad on a VEX robot.

However. One of these years I’m going to build a competitive VRC robot out of all-steel to demonstrate that aluminum is not required for success. (Disclosure: I was coaching some of the first teams in VEX with all-aluminum robots, so I am, to some degree, a hypocrite. This was for Elevation.)

Wait you had aluminum in elevation. I remember seeing 254 with pistons in Cleansweep and just being super confused.

This was my attempt at a stupid cheap robot but it was pretty specialized. Would enjoy seeing you take a shot.

My wording could have been clearer, the EXO teams in Elevation were all-aluminum. The lightest (417) weighed less than 7 pounds, with the battery installed, and the others were all from 7-8 pounds.

Your Little Robot That Could was very cool.

Ya the rest of us didn’t know there were multiple metals, not to mention VEX sold multiple metals.

That’s OK, our very first year was “Hangin’ Around” and we didn’t know about omniwheels (most teams didn’t) and our robot barely turned. By Quad Quandry we were into omnis and some aluminum.

Sometimes I watch old videos from the early tournaments on youtube and the robots look like they’re moving in slow motion!