Uneven manufacturing of the highrise cubes

Dear VEX IQ,

We received our VEX IQ kit today and started setting up the board and inspect the pieces.

Unfortunately the quality of the cubes for the highrise challenge is very uneven.

The blue cubes are reasonable easy to stack and have good friction.

The red cubes are very slippery and hard to stack. I do not think they are usable.

The green cubes are very slippery and uneven. If you place two cubes on top of each other then you can spin the top cube around and it will continue to rotate by itself. They are definitely not usable. Any attempt to stack all the cubes is likely to fail.

The friction coefficient on the cubes is different from the friction coefficient that we observed at the VEX world championship in Anaheim.

Please let me know what we should do to correct this problem. I also sent you an email.

Best regards,

We have had multiple users who have raised this concern about cube instability. While game piece variance will be present in any competition and is part of the challenged faced by teams, we try to minimize it as much as possible. There have been a few reports of people seeing issues, and as such our engineering team has inspected our inventory as well as completed additional testing. There definitely seem to be some cubes which exhibit some of the symptoms you have described above, but we could not find any correlation between colour, or date of manufacture, and the cubes instability.

The engineering team has made a few recommendations to help teams minimize the impact of cube variance:

One factor which may contribute to a cube being unstable is if one or more of its sides bulge outwards. This bulging will result in the tubes not stacking neatly; even a slight bulge can make it seem as though the cubes “float” on each other. To eliminate this, try pushing the sides inwards; the sides will deform slightly and tend to stay concave, which will increase the cube stability. This can be done by simply pushing in on opposite sides of the cube (see attached image), and repeating this until all the sides have been pressed in slightly.

Some users have also mentioned that they feel like their cubes have something slippery on them. While we did not find any during our inspection, we recommend that any concerned users wash their cubes using soap and water.

Sorry for the inconvenience. Please let us know if you continue to have issues.