I have seen teams who cover their robots in polycarbonate, and I have no idea how they do that in a 12x24 sheet of polycarbonate. I was wondering if you are allowed to use more than the 12x24 sheet on your robot if it is only for the sidewalls of your robot?
Polycarbonate doesn’t count towards your limit if it is a non-functional decoration (meaning backed by legal parts).
Rule R7 is clear that you may not use more than a 12x24 sheet of polycarbonate. https://content.vexrobotics.com/docs/2022-2023/vrc-spin-up/VRC-SpinUp-Game-Manual-2.2.pdf
The parts you cut out must be able to fit in a 12x24 sheet. They don’t have to come from the same sheet (cutting issues, etc.) but if asked you should be able to slide them around to fit a 12x24 area.
You would be surprised on how much a sheet will cover.
The rules are clear about use of polycarbonate material - what you need to determine if it functional or decorative. If it is functional purpose, you are limited to 12x24. If it is decorative, you should be prepared to remove the plastic if it appears that it is serving a functional purpose vs decorative.
All of these points are covered in the Game Manual and the Official Q&A.
I believe teams cover those robots in polycarbonate because that plastic is decoration and deemed as “non-functional.” You may only use a 12x24 sheet for functional plastic but any extra plastic used for decoration is not functional and therefore doesn’t count towards the plastic limit.
So if I were to use poly for wheel guards and a catapult gear box guard that would be nonfunctional? But if I used it for my intake that would be considered functional.
Ummm - no? Wheel guards and catapult gear box guards are clearly functional… they serve the function of guarding those things.
If you were to use poly for a decoration on top of a metal guard, or if you were to use poly as a holder for a cool name / number design decoration that clearly served no other function, THEN it would be nonfunctional.
It typically should be a pretty easy determination. If you can remove it at a competition with absolutely no thought towards needing something to replace it because it was literally just sitting there looking pretty - then it is likely nonfunctional.
Using polycarbonate as a wheel guard would be functional as it is serving the function of guarding your wheels.
You describe two uses as a “guard.” To me that would suggest a function (preventing unwanted objects from entering those areas). Any functional use is considered towards the maximum material alotment. It you had nonfunctional uses, such as decorative only, then it would not be counted.
The way to determine functional vs. nonfunctional would be to ask the question “does my robot function the same with or without this material” (including during match play). If no, it is functional. If yes, it is nonfunctional.
Depends - so simply removing the guards the functions of the wheel and catapult remains the same. However, the guards might have another function - for example, preventing game objects interacting with mechanism - that would be considered functional and therefore count as part of the 12x24 limit.