Recently VEX released the “PET Sheet Variety Pack”, which contains in VEX’s words “Plastic sheets with “on-pitch” holes, can be used as a lightweight alternative to back your robot’s mechanisms. Includes 3 different sizes”. Until the Q&A opens, it remains unclear whether or not these parts will count against the plastic limit as described by <R9>.
<R9> states the following.
<R6> states this.
On the surface, it would be fair to suggest that the new PET sheet variety pack does not count against the plastic limit. It is clearly a part meant for robot construction, and is directly listed as a V5 part. Nothing would suggest that it would count against the plastic limit in <R9>. <R6> would seem to imply that the only other rules that could affect part legality would apply to non-VEX V5 parts. The corollary on <R6> states that “non-Robot products” are an exception to this, and this seems to be the only such exception that exists. The way the rules are written, anything with a “V5” label on the VEX website that is meant for robot construction is legal, and does not count against any plastic limit.
This interpretation is supported by the thinking of DRow, as he stated on Discord.
<R22> also seems to mean that any part derived from a VEX-legal structure part is also legal.
Now, up to this point, everything seems fairly cut-and-dry. It seems clear that the GDC intends for these new parts to be legal and not count against the plastic limit. As the rules are written, the fact that PET Sheet Variety Pack is listed as a V5 part makes it legal in unlimited amounts, and <R22> makes it legal to cut or machine any shape out of them that it is physically possible. There don’t seem to be any discrepancies in the rule.
Now, I think everyone can agree that for the game rules to work they need to be applied consistently everywhere they apply. Which is why the existence of the following product poses some issues.
These polycarbonate sheets are listed as V5 parts, and as the description states are “a great solution for making simple brackets”. This meets the established criteria for being legal in unlimited amounts: being listed as a V5 part, and being intended for robot construction.
Now, it is likely that the GDC intends these polycarbonate sheets to follow the plastic limits as described by <R9>. Anything else would simply fail to make sense.
This leaves a discrepancy. If the PET Sheet Variety Pack is legal for use in unlimited amounts, as is intended, so must the Polycarbonate Sheets. Something isn’t right.
The “custom-made” test suggested by DRow doesn’t really work either, because cutting is already established as a legal process, so the act of cutting or machining can’t make it illegal.
As best I can think of them, the only resolutions to the problem are the following:
- Both the PET Sheet Variety Pack and the Polycarbonate Sheets count against the plastic limit
a) This is undesirable because it goes against the letter of the rule in the game manual
- Neither the PET Sheet Variety Pack and the Polycarbonate Sheets count against the plastic limit
a) This is “”“undesirable”"" because it would allow unlimited lexan, however I think this would be very funny and therefore support it as the answer to this problem
- The PET Sheet Variety Pack doesn’t count against the limit, but the Polycarbonate Sheets do
a) This is undesirable because there is nothing in the rules to distinguish these two parts. Treating them differently without rules modification would not make sense, and would impeach any remaining credibility of the rules
- The Polycarbonate Sheets are de-listed as V5 parts, and instead left only on the VEXpro store
a) This is probably the easiest solution that addresses all of the problems mentioned here
- Some other distinguishing factor between these parts or rule exist that I have missed
a) If this is the case then I have embarrassed myself and apologize for wasting the forum’s server space
I plan to ask this on the Offical Q&A as soon as it opens, but until then I would be very interested to hear the opinions of the people here. I would also like to avoid “just look at <G3>” as the answer to this question. No, <G3> cannot be the answer to the question, because it is legitimately unclear how the rule applies. My interpretation of the rules would be that both of these items are legal for use in VRC in unlimited amounts.