Painting parts? Legal?

I know it is legal to anodize the metal for competition, but is painting legal? We do not have a shop that could anodize the stuff.

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Sure, as long as it is non-functional.

I sure hope so!

Thanks. I hope so too. We are thinking about painting the lift arms.
Bill R.

its allowed under R7

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A bit off topic, but related…since the real question has already been answered…

Do teams ever regret painting metal? I would like to let my students paint the metal but I worry that in subsequent years it would look terrible when you start making a new robot with painted metal/new metal. Obviously you could paint stuff again, but I wonder if teams find that to be a hassle and end up regretting the decision to paint.

Paint is surprisingly heavy. I wouldn’t do it. But it does really make robots look awesome.

Pretty sure you can’t paint any surfaces that come into contact with game objects or the tiles.

That is a good point that probably isn’t usually considered. A simple spray can is quite heavy when full. Perhaps that is a legitimate excuse for me to say “no” to my students.

According to Karthik on this thread from Toss Up, you can in fact paint surfaces regardless of whether they interact with game objects or tiles. So long as other relevant rules are not violated of course.

Painted robots look awesome…:cool:

Yes, I wouldn’t do it again. It looks really cool at first and then it just looks really ugly afterwards when the paint is all scratched up and the parts are reused and mismatched on a different robot.

On the other hand if you could afford to toss the parts afterwards, then this isn’t really a problem.

My club has been painting our metal with spray paint to differentiate metal for different kits, and never had any issues. I also haven’t found a noticeable increase in weight from the painting.

Last year my freshman girls team (6 girls) came to me a few days before their first competition and asked “Can we paint our robot?” and they held up a spray paint can of gold paint.

I guess I should say that it was my first year as advisor of our robotics club. I’ve learned a lot since then!

I responded “What do the rules say?”

And they said, “It says it’s ok.”

And (stupidly) I said, “I guess you can then.”

They proceeded to take apart their ENTIRE robot and spray painted every single screw, bearing flat, wheel, chain link, gear, shaft collar, etc. You name it, they painted it! (Except the motors and shafts.)

So I was overwhelmed and busy advising a total of 7 teams and didn’t really notice they painted every single part until we arrived at our first competition and they – you guessed it! – failed inspection.

They spent a frantic hour rubbing the paint off their wheels and intakes so that they could pass inspection. (The inspectors were amused and let them pass when they really shouldn’t have passed).

Well, now I have 12 teams this year, and we still have parts painted gold mingling in and mixed with our other parts. I wish to god I had never let them do it!

The spray paint is flaking off all over our parts bins. I can’t get away from all this gold! Every time I go to throw away a C-channel because it’s all gold I stop and hesitate, thinking “but what if we run out and are down to our last C-channel and this one is it.”


By the way, I love my freshman girls team! God bless those girls.

I think paint can look cool in moderation. Like pastoral invasion last year. Most parts stayed the stock color, but their hanging hook and pneumatic tanks were painted. Little bits of color can make a robot look really good In my opinion.:cool:

Why did the fail inspection? From what you’ve described it seems like their robot was legal under last year’s (and this year’s) rules.

I suppose it would be legal under the rules:

However I could imagine that event partners don’t want the paint on wheels and intakes flaking off and making a mess of the field and objects. I had thought there was a clause in the rule saying that the decorations shouldn’t come in contact with the field/shouldn’t make a mess, but there isn’t. Perhaps this would be useful in the future.

how do you make functional paint?:confused::smiley:


Perhaps by making the metal grip better with the paint than without?

For example, some marine paints have a nice grip to them. Others can provide a teflon-like coating that is bonded to the metal and is not just a grease-like material.

Furthermore, some decorations are so entertaining I think they could be ruled as a form of psychological warfare.

The Syntax Armor! Expect to see more psychological warfare from the 1200 teams!