Can we use 3D printed parts to support LED light strips?


I installed an LED light strip on the robot but it is slowly deteriorating due to robot use and being improperly supported and being forced to go through tight corners where it is supported. Would I be allowed to use custom 3D printed parts for the sole purpose of supporting and securing the LED strip? They serve no purpose in improving the performance of the robot for the purpose of competing.

Btw, the LED light strip is powered from the Brain battery. It does not have its own separate battery.

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Please read rules R5, R6, R7 and R8 in the game manual for rule clarification (see page 38).

According to these rules, using lights could be considered illegal as they may interfere with vision sensors, but the 3D printed part itself would not be considered illegal.



But we are allowed to 3D print decorations just not functional parts that contribute to the robot’s performance. I thought supports just for lights would qualify.



I would have assumed the 3D light support part you are talking about qualifies as non-functional decoration, at least as long as the lights themselves are legal & nonfunctional. @AidenPyle, have you encountered differently?

.R8 Teams may add non-functional decorations, provided that they do not affect the robot
performance in any significant way or affect the outcome of the match. These decorations must be in the spirit of the competition. Inspectors will have final say in what is considered “non-functional”.



I went through regionals and multiple other competitions with the lights and judges didn’t say anything so I don’t think Worlds judges will mind the lights themselves.

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Non functional decorations are legal. They don’t help your robot perform better, so they are non functional. I’d call it legal.



Custom 3D-printed parts for the sole purpose of supporting a non-functional decoration LED strip would be legal under <R8>.

Obviously, just make sure your 3D-printed parts and LED strip are clearly non-functional, to avoid any unnecessary controversy at inspection and in matches.



at worlds the judges are much more strict than at regionals. so it’s all up to the judges interpretation at worlds. personally I wouldn’t risk it.

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It should be legal under <R8>, but be prepared to take them off without a fuss if you have to.



I stand corrected. The 3D printed part itself is legal. I meant to say that the reason it would be illegal, would be in regards to the LED light strip (should have been more clear and read what I was typing before responding and I forgot to mention R8 in my original post… sincerely sorry about that).

R8 states that…

Decorations that visually mimic field elements or could otherwise interfere with an
opponent’s Vision Sensor are considered functional and are not permitted. This includes
lights, such as the VEX Flashlight. The Head Inspector and Head Referee will make the final
decision on whether a given decoration or mechanism violates this rule.



(for anyone who knows)… what is the ‘line’ for non-functional?

For example, could a 3d printed part prevent a ball from getting stuck on the side of a robot (where there’s an otherwise gaping hole?). Would that be considered functional? (Doesn’t help the robot - in fact, if anything, it helps everyone to keep a ball in the court). Or, would it have to be surrounded by, like, rubber bands in order to be completely non-functional?


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This be functional. It serves a purpose of stopping a ball from getting stuck.



The particular example you mentioned would be covered by <R8b>:

Any guards, decals, or other decorations must be backed by legal materials that provide the
same functionality. For example, if your robot has a giant decal that prevents scoring objects
from falling out of the robot, the decal must be backed by VEX material that also prevents
the Scoring Objects from falling out.

Per <R8>, the ultimate decision as to whether something is non-functional rests with the head inspector.