Are 3D printed parts allowed if they are copies of an already exisiting piece?

The title says it. Are 3D printed parts allowed at all if they are based on a part that already exists? For example, a gear with some missing teeth because we don’t want to ruin an already existing gear. I read the rules and they said that 3D printed parts are not allowed for functional purposes, but I’m still confused because I’ve seen people do it before.

Obligatory read the game manual and see what it says post.


It is only legal in VexU. License plate holders can be 3D printed and decorations can be 3D printed but if it replaces a functional part, it cannot be 3D printed.


From my experience, it is not legal, but some event partners (e.g. Australian Nationals organizers, at least till recently) would allow parts identical to standard parts if they were out of stock.

So in a nutshell any form of 3D printing for functional purposes is forbidden per the Game Manual, unless your event organiser allowed you to print parts that were out of stock


Make sure to read the game manual, and use the search bar in the upper right-hand corner.

My team uses it to just hold the license plates. The only legal functional way to use 3D printing things. You can also have decorations.

If the EP lets you, you can get away with it, but that does not mean it’s legal.
Nowhere in the game manual does it say you can do it if your EP says it’s ok. The only 3d printing you can do is the license plate holders permitted by R7g.
The Recf code of conduct states “ * Act with integrity, honesty, and reliability”

I would advise against doing anything that explicitly breaks the rules even if your EP is ok with it. It goes against the RECF code of conduct and is not in the spirit of the vex robotics competition to do something just because you can.


Yeah no. In my top 10 things I hate about prior events to mine is “Well the EP / Inspector / Head Ref said that it was legal in the last event, so it should be legal here.” That never has a happy ending.


That was essentially what I was trying to get across, but I guess I didn’t word it properly. I agree with what you said.


Yeah I was essentially trying to say that but didn’t word it right. I completely agree. Last year in Tip, we had an EP say that a goal didn’t count if it was tipped over. Just because one EP says something, doesn’t mean they’re right and definitely doesn’t mean you can get away with it at future competitions, or any for that matter.

To amplify Foster’s point - there is a Commitment to Excellence document that all EPs who host a qualifying event must sign - the first three lines are critical:

As an Event Partner for the REC Foundation, I agree to:

  1. Adhere to the REC Foundation Code of Conduct.
  2. Adhere to the rules in the Qualifying Criteria, Game Manual, Judge Guide, and Referee Guide.
  3. Seek out assistance from the RSM with questions or concerns about event planning or operation.

so it may well be that for that one event the RSM (EEM) allowed for a waiver of the rule, EPs MUST follow what is in the Game Manual.


Yep, that’s why the rules say “The referees ruling is final”, not “Trust Foster” :roll_eyes:


If an EP is allowing one team to have an advantage over another, it all falls apart.

If anyone finds out a team has illegal printed parts, the team could be disqualified by officials. That would be a terrible experience if an opposing alliance found out during the day, and called them out in the finals. Then, if the EP didn’t take action, they would held accountable for allowing a team to break the rules.