Intake Directions

Where do you usually look for build instructions? Specifically, my students are looking for how to make an intake for their linear puncher, but they’re unsure of how to build from pictures alone.

I’m completely new to teaching PLTW this semester, so I apologize for how silly this may sound, but I’m unsure of how to get them started. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

There are no specific instruction to build from. It would be best to let them try to figure it out on there own and look at VEX Reveal for inspiration.


Most of the time in Vex, rather than using instructions or copying something that already exists, teams and builders will come up with their own designs. These are usually different implementations of the same concept, but there is never one perfect design, and if there is that team probably has it secret.


Students so new to the program that they don’t know how to design/build new mechanisms might want to turn to the various pre-designed trainers: . In addition to the “V5 Clawbot” trainer, each year VEX releases a basic “trainer build,” which can play the current game at basic level. They are not “good” designs (by intention) but not bad designs either. They do demonstrate good practices for building, which makes them effective trainers. Once students are comfortable building from plans, and understand how the VEX components are assembled, they can branch out and use the design process to come up with their own designs, or be able to look at other robots at events or on youtube to come up with ideas that they can base their own designs on. It should be the goal for a team, that after building one or two trainers from plans, that they would be competent enough to build on their own after that.


Have them look at real lofe mechanisms, conveyer belts, etc. and see if they can come up with their own take on the concept. I teach PLTW as well and once I get past basic “this is how you fasten things together, drivetrains, gear ratios, etc.”, I leave it to them to figure it out. They will surprise you and some of them will amaze you. I only help when I see it is going terribly wrong and then it is only to ask why they think it is going to work or to ask if they continue on the path they are on, what will happen. A good design process will help immensely, BRAINSTORM and test.