Product Idea – X-Beams

Hello everybody,

When building structures, almost always there is a cross member at an angle connecting the verticals… so I have designed some X-Beams. These beams fit at 45 degrees to the standard hole pattern. Have a look and maybe one day we’ll see these in a kit or add-on pack. :slight_smile:

Best regards,


Vex IQ - Job 0007 - 18mm X-Beam.pdf (28.7 KB)

Vex IQ - Job 0008 - 35.9mm X-Beam.pdf (29.4 KB)

Vex IQ - Job 0009 - X-Beams.pdf (42.5 KB)

Those are interesting, but I’m not sure I understand how you can connect anything to them.

I could see attaching these to a plate, but how can anything else be attached to them?

Good point Steve. Sometimes these things are clear in my own mind, but difficult to convey verbally to others. :slight_smile: So I have enclosed a quick sketch showing the X-Beam being used as a structural bracing; when constructing something tall like a crane.

Best regards,




I like this idea. I was recently experimenting with building a dune buggy-style chasis where the motors / wheels were attached to beams placed at an angle to give the vehicle more ground clearance. (Incidentally, this can “sort of” be done with existing beams, but the angle is more like 30 degrees.) Definitely could have used some of these, then!

You can do the same thing like this, right?

Still trying to understand how to use those pieces.


I think that he’s making beams that have a different pitch to them so that more holes align when connecting at a 45 degree angle. The title is a little weird, when I looked at it I was thinking “beams that make an X” and that I could use them for cross braces.

However, the ONLY way to connect them is at 45 degrees. In the picture Rafal posted, the two vertical beams and all cross-bracing could be replaced by a single plate.

Foster - you make a good point about the title, it is a little confused; a lot of times I just pick the first name that comes to my mind for these new pieces. :slight_smile: I have enclosed another quick sketch of a cross brace configuration. Two x-beams would be placed on either side of the vertical beams, with a 1x1 beam (another one of my ideas) and a 1x2 connector pin in the middle.

Steve - you are correct that these beams can only be connected at 45 degrees. The intent is to reduce the weight of the design or to match the aesthetics of a build. For example: a bridge or tower crane.

Best regards,


X-Beams 2.JPG

Not sure how much you’re reducing the weight, but you’re also reducing the strength.

The structure pictured could be replaced with a 4x8 plate. It would not be 5x8, like the image, but would be much stronger, and weigh about the same (counting cross beams and pins)

@Rafal - what I was thinking was a solid part that is an X shape, so it would fit on one side of the beams. I could use it like you show as a support between rails. The other use would be to connect 2 X plates with the longer standoffs to create towers.

I think you had proposed the 1x1 beam and I see the use in your drawing. I’d use one of the short connectors to bridge the gap.

@Art – My product suggestion would be longer connectors. I’l buy packs of 8, 10, 12, 14 lengths. Good for spanning the robot to connect things like 6-bar linkages

Longer connectors? Like pins that are 14 long?

Sorry, needed to use the word standoff like these And yes, 14 long would be good

Foster, Rafal,

Thanks for the great feedback regarding potential new items. In the interim period though, here is some more info regarding building truss-like structures.

One of the intentions of the 1x Beam Odd Length Pack that we released in 2015 was to make it easier to build Pythagorean Triple truss structures, using 3-4-5, 6-8-10, and 5-12-13 triangles. These combinations of integer side lengths form perfect right triangles, so are ideal for making truss-like bracing structures in VEX IQ builds. We use the 3-4-5 triangle construction in the VEX IQ Challenge Bank Shot field to reinforce the Fence.

To build these triangles, just add 1 to each of the Pythagorean values to get the VEX IQ beam length - e.g. a 3-4-5 triangle uses a 1x4, 1x5, and 1x6 Beam to build (since the 3-4-5 lengths refer to the gaps in between the VEX IQ pitch holes). This is why the 1x Beam Odd Length Pack goes up to 1x13 beam, so as to be useful for a 5-12-13 triangle.


  • Art

Foster – that is a great idea making the X-Beams be cross members on a single side of the structural beams. So I have updated the design to accommodate just that. :slight_smile: Also another good idea for longer standoffs.

Art – didn’t know that the odd length beams were initially intended for that. I just used them where ever there was a need for an odd length beam. :slight_smile:

Best regards,


Vex IQ - Job 0009 Rev A - X-Beams.pdf (46.5 KB)

X-Beams 3.jpg

X-Beams 3.jpg