Differentiating between "custom plastic" and "nonfunctional decoration"

According to rule Custom non-shattering plastic is allowed if it is able to nest within a 12"x24" sheet. Rule defines the use of nonfunctional decorations as having to be backed by legal material. If one were to use a legal plastic as a nonfunctional decoration (being backed by legal material) would said plastic being used count toward the 12"x24" sheet of plastic or would the nonfunctional plastic be deemed illegal due to it exceeding the 12"x24" size limit?

For an official ruling you need to ask the Q&A on Robot Events.

Based on your explanation, I would think the extra material would be legal. The keyword being “nonfunctional”, witch means the team needs to be able to defend their design to the event inspectors. Simply making a surface smoother where a game object slides easier would be considered functional.
I would have the decorations documented, and a plan to remove them should the inspectors not approve them. Make sure your robot works without the decorations before you add them.



A good way to tell if your non-functional decoration is non-functional is to ask yourself these questions:

  • Does my robot cease to function in the same way If I remove the plastic?
  • Is the plastic providing any structural support?

If you answered yes to either of those, the plastic in question is most definitely NOT non-functional, (and would then count towards the 12’’ * 24’’ limit).


Thank you for your input!

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