Legal Metal

Vex claims to allow any part identical to a vex part in competition under rule

< R5 > d. Any parts which are identical to legal VEX parts are permitted. For the purposes of this rule,
products which are identical in all ways except for color are permissible. It is up to inspectors to determine whether a component is “identical” to an official VEX component.

So my question is if i buy some 1.6mm 5052-H32 Aluminum sheet and cut out c-channels using vex`s provided CAD so they are exactly the same would that be legal for competition use? I see no reason it wouldn’t be but many claim this is still non legal.

This will not be legal. Reason being, most likely, is that the metal will be very different structurally as the C-Channels are very difficult to replicate from Non-Commercial machinery. Regardless this is my own opinion as to the reason, but the VEX GDC has ruled from the past 4 years in my time in VEX that making your own metal will not be legal for normal EDR competitions.

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I work for a manufacturing firm with multiple laser cutters and break presses im confident we could produce a part indistinguishable from vex produced parts. I am aware that the GDC ruled making your own metal parts illegal but if they are professionally produced in manufacturing setting it does seem that if should be legal under R5 d. Im tempted to run a batch and see how they turn out and if our team cant tell the difference well use it and if they’re different the classroom will get some new metal

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If they are commercially stocked for everyone, then you can probably argue it fits the definition. However, if it is custom made for a team, that was ruled not legal when similar questions were asked. There are teams/companies that have taken vex parts and then cut custom sizes, like one bars angles, and those would pass inspection.

Good luck with your enterprise.

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The intent of this rule is more for fasteners and such. I work at metal fabrication company and the cost to blank, form, and finish was way more than the purchase price. Unless you did it in bulk and now your crossing the lines of patent laws.

You’re better off having your company make money doing production runs and then donate to the team purchases. Some might think it’s an ethical business practice.

Not to mention to get a true match you would need to stamp the hole patterns and that creates more cost.

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