Can I buy and Laser Cut my own Nylon spacers?

I would like to buy the corresponding thicknesses of the VEX Spacers and laser cut my own spacers. The length and inside diameters will be the same as the official spacers but have a smaller outer diameter. We can turn down the current spacers but that takes too much effort for what it produces. Also means we can have custom colored spacers. Is this legal for EDR?

Actually, you can buy your own in whatever size you want :slightly_smiling_face:

“R12: Robots may use any commercially available #4, #6, #8, M3, M3.5, or M4 screw up to 2” (50.8mm) long (nominal), and any commercially available nut, washer, and/or spacer (up to 2” / 50.8mm long) to fit these screws.
available nut, washer, and/or spacer (up to 2” / 50.8mm long) to fit these screws.

available nut, washer, and/or spacer (up to 2” / 50.8mm long) to fit these screws.
The intent of the rule is to allow teams to purchase their own commodity hardware without introduc- ing additional functionality not found in standard VEX equipment. It is up to inspectors to determine whether the non-VEX hardware has introduced additional functionality or not.“


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Aside from the provision of R12 mentioned previously, which lets you use any commercial fastener, was there some part of R23 that made you think the method of legally cutting parts was restricted to only certain processes?

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No, just checking. :slight_smile:

Cutting spacers seems like a waste since they would count towards your 12" x 24" plastic limit and you can buy whatever width, thickness, material, and color that you want.

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no it wouldn’t
assuming they started as normal spacers this is perfectly legal and doesn’t count towards any limit


Of course, but he seemed to be talking about cutting spacers from plastic sheets since he said custom colored soacers (I was also ambiguous in my message)


Re-reading the original post again, I agree with Bob132, and to cut custom plastic spacers from a sheet of nylon would fall under R10. You would be limited to 1/16" plastic (except for VEX-U), which you could, of course, stack to make any thickness. (In my original comment, I though we were talking about methods of cutting down vex spacers).

You could cut a lot of spacers from a 12x24 sheet! Especially if you patterned them on a hex grid to maximize yield.

But, there’s a lot of commercial spacers available from McMaster and Robosource, If you want to stick with nylon: (
Otherwise, based on R12, McMaster has 19 material choices for commercial spacers;, surely you could find the spacer size you need in the catalog.


ah gotcha, no worries. seems kinda silly to do it from a sheet like that tho. not sure how you’d go about legally attaching the ends to form a cylinder lol

I was curious if I could buy a 1/2" thick nylon sheet and then laser cut spacers out of it. But if I can buy and use any spacer for any screw I choose, then this should be legal.

Except if you buy and cut it isn’t commercially available, which is what is allowed…

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so you can buy something but can’t make it? that sounds silly, seeing that machining is a rather extensive part of engineering. besides, if you do a decent job whose going to be able to tell lmao
(yes it would be illegal to do this but it’s pretty much unenforceable)

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So, you work within the rules while you’re in high school, and when you join a VEX-U team, you can pretty much make anything you want. Besides, why buy it for $0.10 when you can machine it for a dollar* :wink:. In real life, you buy as much as you can and custom make as little as possible!

*the estimators at my company typically use a flat rate of $100 per hour to estimate custom machine parts.


I believe you can have any spacer made by anyone as long as it’s 2" or under.