Polycarbonate

by any chance could you start selling the regulation sized polycarbonate so that every team can easily get some or change the max regulation size to the .093 size that can be found at most home depot locations here because the size mentioned is not very common to find

Can you explain why Vex would be a better source than McMaster.com or InterstatePlastics.com?

I haven’t tried other sources, but McMaster-Carr has 12x24 sheets for $7.22: http://www.mcmaster.com/#polycarbonate-sheets/=f03qic.

There are lots of online places that sell larger polycarb sheets for under $3 a square foot, but I would imagine shipping would be quite a bit.
See this thread.

here’s two good reasons
1: my school has to write out checks to spend money in our robotics fund which have to be approved by administration (it takes days) having one place to get everything would be more convenient
2: if something happens to the poly carbonate during shipping or game play or whatever it would be nice to be able to buy some more at the event instead of where ever you would have to buy some in California the only place i would think of would be home depot which carries the .092 size

In keeping with the theme that “the best robot parts come from Texas” we use Boedeker located in Shiner, TXfor our supplies. About $2.75 for a 12*24 sheet in clear and black. You can get smoked gray ~$4.50 a sheet. Good customer service, nice to deal with and they understand small orders. We get 25 sheets at time to cut down on the individual sheet price.

then vex can buy it for that much and sell it to us for about $5 a sheet

While I understand the school purchase process, then having a relationship with McMaster Carr that carries lots of different parts would be better.

On the other hand, I’ve never been to an event other than Worlds where there were parts for sale. Part of the charm is being able to announce on the PA that you need a length of C channel or a hinge or a frobostat and someone hands it to you.

I’d rather see VEX take parts they don’t want to deal with, mark them with a VEX SKU number and then mark it “out of stock” allowing us to buy it anywhere. Sheets of commonly available poly carb and Sharp IR sensors fall into that category.

its VEX, make that $15 + ship per sheet :wink:

btw the link was broken when i tried to go there
thats insanely cheap btw compared to the other online links we saw above…

Amazon also has Polycarbonate
http://www.amazon.com/Polycarbonate-Sheet-Clear-Thick-Length/dp/B000FP83P4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1321758481&sr=8-4

Hm, I’m wondering why the current limit on lexan is 12x24"? If it’s because it’s not a part that Vex sells, then would making it part of the product line remove this limit? That would be fun to see what teams can do with unlimited lexan. (All plastic robots, anyone?)

Other places do sell lexan, but it might be more convenient for some teams if Vex sold it instead of having to look for 3rd party retailers.

The vex officials never check the size anyway i saw a robot at the world championship with 3 sides with lexan on them. 3 18 by 18inch pieces and they made it to the semi finals with no questions

maybe it was “non-functional” decoration (to hold the panel designs)
if thats the case, you are allowed as much as you want (only 24x12 functional lexan)

I was at a tournament yesterday, and after one of our matches, they pulled us aside and asked to measure our polycarbonate. I was shocked because typically some of the local events fail to look at every detail like that.

thats a possibility and all lexan robots would be cool and cheap but would take a long time to build, id try it

Plastic robots would take forever to make, also, there would be infinite possibilities of different robots. I would definitely build an all plastic robot if competition allowed it. People with automated polycarbonate cutters/saws would have a lot more advantages. Also people with automated strip benders.

For polycarbonate, it’s sold at most plastics shop, heck even some signage shops have them. Not that hard to find, though if VEX sold them, it would be much more convenient than ordering at one place and driving to another to buy something else. Shipping might be a problem, as most boxes that I’ve seen have no way of fitting a 12" x 24" piece.

At all the competitions I’ve been to, not many robots use polycarbonate. Thus, inspection people probably don’t really look into it. Most robots I’ve seen don’t use the full 12" x 24" piece as functional vex parts anyways.