Nets falling apart from hard shooting bots.

I’m amazed at how the nets are not holding up in tournaments. We’ve seen the supports actually snap in two. Duct tape is helping hold the nets once someone realizes whats happening.
Is there any reason why we should not duct tape the goals at the 2 corners of the entrance of the high goal prior to the start of the tournaments? If that is ok to do, it is encouraging robots to destroy game elements, which is against the rules.

TBH it’s just another example of VEX making low-quality game elements. Personally I am in favor of duct tape, but I’m not sure if this is legal.

At a competition I was recently at, the net on one of the fields broke. As a result, teams stopped playing on the entire field, and only played on the other two fields. It is absurd that the entire event and many matches for 60 teams at a major event were delayed for half of qualification and all of elimination due to a single poorly made joint on one of the nets. Why VEX couldn’t invest in some high quality connectors rather than those cheap white plastic ones is a mystery to me, especially because the nets are being sold for $70 while a much higher quality PVC and duct tape replica can be created for under $20. Hopefully VEX will decide to create less budget, more durable nets and other game elements in the future.

As with all of my posts of this nature, my intent is not to criticize VEX’s low-quality game pieces, but instead to convince them to perhaps make better ones in the future. It is meant to be constructive rather than derogatory.

I agree.
Another note is the extreme difference in densities of the balls. The quality assurance in the factories that produce the balls is laughable. They should hire VEX to design a microcontroller that controls the amount of polymer or the amount of air that is injected into the molds. If any of us had a company that was that far off in a products tolerance, we be out of business in a day!

We have had several failures sure to this. We have tried treating the nets as gingerly as possible but still get two main failure types.

  1. The pole breaks at the connection point into plastic bracket
    Fix: use wooden dowels from the craft store as replacements
    Alternate fix: steal them from your RECF rep or another team! :slight_smile:

  2. Plastic bracket itself breaks
    Fix: buy a few spare boxes of replacements at $4.99 each


Very true. So it maybe intentional.

Fix: Electrical tape… worked for us

I wish the materials were slightly more durable. If so I’d say teams that shoot full force into the back of the net to reduce the variance, assume that risk. If I remember at worlds last year several skyrise pieces broke. Part of good design considers the materials with which it must interact. But as it is what it is, they need to be secured by some manner.

Yes, the joints can and should be taped to the poles as part of the setup prior to the event.

We realised at the first event that the goal connectors were breaking, but we’ve been very careful since then so it hasn’t really been a problem at events. I don’t know if any poles have broken in NZ.

We have had a number of solutions to this.

Once the connector broke we just used tape of varying kind with duct tape working the best.
We put elastic bands on between two corners of the goal mouth to try and hold them together.
We drilled a small hole down the axis of the shaft and used a lathe to make a steel insert. (This hasn’t failed us yet since being put in)
We 3D printed a couple of the connector and I plan on hardening them in the chemistry department

I love VEX, but I am extremely disappointed in the quality of the nets. Its an utter joke that simply playing the game regularly breaks the primary scoring goal object. We all paid $500 for these crappy game objects. I sure hope they have learned their lesson.

I do think that all previous years game objects, though not perfect, were acceptable quality.

Too be fair, this game was meant to be a think outside the box game. Without expanding at all until the las thirty seconds, and having the goals be of color and not scoring objects I think Vex was anticipating high shots at lower speed to swish into the net. However the idea that this nets break very easily also kinda makes me wonder, how much is vex focused on profits vs how much they are concerned with where our future crew of engineers and technology experts are going.

I really don’t see poles popping out as an issue. Tape is a really easy fix, and if your event partner isn’t doing that you probably just need to talk to them.

Connectors breaking is bad but If I remember correctly the goals came with two packs of connectors and at least for us they haven’t broken from ball impacts, only from people not being careful enough with assembly and disassembly of the goals. So with a field set of 2 goals you get one set of connectors to teach you that you need to be more careful, and then another three sets that should probably last most of the season. Though maybe other teams are just throwing balls a lot harder than our teams are.

I agree with the sentiments on this page. I love what VEX has done to get kids involved in learning about robotics, etc… But what we received in game elements, given what we spent, is sad. The field products this year are just garbage. The connectors break, rods break, velcro doesn’t hold, etc… And I guess it would be livable except that it is the same with VEX IQ. The ramp rivets fall apart constantly , the high goal has the same issue. All around the elements for all of VEX this season has been garbage compared to the prior seasons. These teams have to raise the money for their equipment through fundraisers and corporate sponsorship, they deserve better than this. It’s not like they don’t have access to plastics engineers to do a quality job, those VEX IQ parts take a lot of talent to get designed correctly for materials and molds.

My concern is that they are heading more toward a profit based company from an education company, which is a shame because they could be both. I base that on an experience from World’s last year. We had some young siblings follow our HS team to world’s so I decided to get them some Hexbug toys at the arena. I felt it was great for VEX to get the profit instead of Wal-Mart or Target and might move the kids towards robotics. Well, let’s just say the toys we picked, around $50 and then $10 in batteries, didn’t work. That happens. Got a replacement, same thing. So we went back to the World store to pick something else. They found something that seemed to work great for $40, but I didn’t have the receipt (we all know how crazy World’s is) from the day before so they told me they wouldn’t exchange it. Finally, after much arguing I convinced them to swap out even for the toy. So I was out $10 for the difference and had $10 in batteries I couldn’t use or return. Honestly, who cares, except we had spent thousands upon thousands of dollars with VEX already, but they wanted to complain about $10. I can’t get online without placing an order for $500 for our team every time I visit the website and our bill for 2015 for registration and parts > $10k for 2 teams. Just seems silly to me.

It’s not the pole popping out, it is the pole breaking with part of it remaining in the bracket shearing at the spot of the holder. Once that happens the tape does not work well. It makes for a corner that is crooked.

I bet it’s hard to keep a game a secret and adequately test the game. I really would love to see the types of robots that were tested for the game and a report on their perceived ways they thought it would be played versus the types of robots they see actually playing the game. There are always some amazing robots that come out each year that are different but as the threads that always pop up, design convergence happens a lot once people see what works.

We’ve had this happen to us on all of our nets and what we have found as a pretty good, although not perfect fix is to tape the rods and brackets together using a spare axel as a splint to keep the joint and corner inline with how REC designed the nets to sit.

Even the wooden dowels broke at our last competion!
I like the splinting with an axle idea. Necessity is the mother of invention.
See engineering is not just on the robots any more.

To fix the broken end of the pole, I have taken to drilling out a hole, inserting a machine screw and then wrapping it with tape to create a stronger version of the plastic end tab. I stole the idea from our local event partner.

Even better.Machine screw. I wonder what the States or Worlds will be like.