Product Idea: Longer shafts and/or decent couplers

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has encountered situations where I’ve needed shafts that are longer than 12 inches. I think it would be brilliant if Vex made shafts that were 17.5 inches long (same length as the 35 hole metal pieces). This would make a lot of mechanisms in competition robots a whole lot easier to build. Similarly, 24 inch shafts could maybe be useful for college robots. I know longer shafts could lead people new to Vex into making mechanisms that could twist shafts easier, but there’s no point making it harder for competitive teams just to stop new people from making mistakes (how else can you learn?).

Another thing I noticed when trying to make something that required a longer-than-12-inch shaft was that the Vex Shaft Couplers are pretty useless in most situations. I’m pretty sure they were made to replace clutches, and they work fine for that. However, some mechanisms require the “coupled” shaft to be the same orientation all the way along. The shaft couplers seems to have an ~45 degrees difference between the two shafts, which makes them useless for some applications. It would be awesome if Vex could make a shaft coupler that is the same orientation all the way through. Additionally, it would be great if these shaft couplers could have two set screws in them (they would sort of look like two shaft collars stuck together with a wall between them), so the shafts could be held in without being sandwiched between two pieces of metal or something.

Most of ours keep the same orientation all the way through, we have only had a few that were ~45 degrees out

the advanced mechanics kit has something you might want the universal joint with set screws they might bend but that would be as close to a product that you are looking for.

I agree. The only thing limiting our intake’s width is the shaft length. We would use couplers, but they’re just too loose! We were afraid our intake would fly apart.

You could probably screw 3 high-strength 36-t gears (or three 3-hole segments of 1x25) together using short standoffs or black spacers, with collars in between, to form a custom fastening coupler, so the order on the shaft would be
gear collar gear collar gear
It would take up lots of space, but if you’ve got extra space, it should work.

What we do to couple axles is put both of them into the same pinion gear, put a collar and lock bar on either side, connect the lockbars with standoffs and tighten the collars. It is pretty tight but the axle still requires a lot of support

I have to agree 100%. My vote would be longer axles, as I just don’t like splicing stuff together.

Yeah Ive also noticed that some of the shaft couplers have a 45 degree turn in them while others don’t…

You could always try making shaft couplers, there are a few examples on the forums, but they ever are quite as neat and tidy as the VEX ones.

I think the current VEX ones would work brilliantly if they did have set screws in them, as you could then tighten them to remove the “looseness” that they currently have.

TBH I have never had a problem with the VEX shaft couplers being loose, I just build a solid frame to support all the shafts (for example, one of my current intakes has 3 shafts joined together with shaft couplers and it has no problems, but that’s because we have previously cut all our long ones). In my own experience I have found that it is a good idea to build a structure anyway when using long shafts, as the do have a tendency to bend easily. The structure just helps to give that little bit extra support.


We always build structure, too, but it’s risky on an intake. If one shaft collar comes loose (which they very much love to do), then your entire roller might split in half.

+1 on the longer shafts.

18" might be good so you can put shaft collars on the ends.

This is a request we’ve received before. It is on the list of potential new products. We will consider making this available in the future.


Thanks JVN! :slight_smile: