Vex Competition Questions

From what I’ve heard, alliances are computer generated thus if we have four teams from our school we CANNOT purposefully join together into an alliance of two teams (we will “mostly likely” end up being in an alliance from a completely random team from a different school)… so that means we will do most of our actual strategising on the day?

Also in terms of VEX Parts we CANNOT 3D print our own functional parts, correct? Does this mean we cannot cut our own metal and make holes for screws, etc (we always have to buy vex metal parts)?? What parts can we make on our own then?
And where can I find all these “general” rules information?

Qualifying match schedules partners teams randomly. You may or may not be partnered with your school and you may face your school on the opposing alliance.

At the end of qualifying matches, there is an alliance selection. Team captains are determined on their ranking during the day. There are restrictions about what happens to a team that declines to be part of an alliance.

In VEX Robotics Competition you are limited to material you may use. You will find these restrictions in the Game Manual. VEXU has different restrictions.

This is all spelled out in the game manual. You can find the manual and other useful information for teams Team Information

Good luck!

  1. Strategising can be done before hand but not really with your partners. However in alliance selection your teams may choose to alliance together. To find out more about how tournaments run you can look in Section 3 in the Game Manual
  2. You are correct that 3D printing is not allowed. You almost always have to buy from VEX or a supplier. To find out about robot restrictions look in Section 4 of the Game Manual

@66618Z-George @lacsap So this means we CANNOT CNC-machine steel metal and add holes to function as c channels / rails UNLESS it has been CNC-ed exactly to look like the Vex Part (with the EXACT amount of holes, etc)?

for VEX Robotics Competition, you can cut original VEX EDR metal as much as you wish. You can not get a blank piece of metal and fashion a new structure component. All details of what you are permitted is in the manual.

@lacsap Ok well the manual is vague thus I wanted to ask
If we got a piece of metal and made it look exactly like for example a C channel (same steel, same amount of holes, same function)… would that be okay… it costs more to buy VEX parts and we can get them cheaper as long as it looks exactly the same as a VEX C Channel (its just CNC-ed by us)

Not ambiguous at all

and the manual tells you what constitutes official VEX EDR components and where to get them from. It also spells out the exceptions. Steel and aluminum structure is never mentioned in any exceptions. Fasteners are and other common materials are listed.

If you scroll down a bit to exceptions…
<R7> Robots are allowed the following additional “non-VEX” components:
b. Any parts which are identical to legal VEX parts. For the purposes of this rule, products which
are identical in all ways except for color are permissible. It is up to inspectors to determine
whether a component is “identical” to an official VEX component.

Thus I was thinking if I were to get metal, bend it exactly the way a C-channel would look, and have identical amount of holes that would constitute as legal. Same type of steel and everything…

“and the manual tells you what constitutes official VEX EDR components” --> is that basically R7… if not where is this list which section?

There was a Q&A this season about making custom made “identical parts” and the gist is that it is not legal.

Nitpick all you want. However, if it is that important to you ask the question on the official Q&A about custom making metal structure.

@lacsap Thank you for the help, sorry for the nitpicking. Do you know where this Q&A Session is?

Turning Point Q&A

@lacsap I can’t seem to find the Q&A in which you said: “Q&A this season about making custom made “identical parts” and the gist is that it is not legal”

In general, you are not allowed to modify the electrical and electronics parts. And it is easier to just buy the metal parts from Vex.

I am not sure how much cheaper will it be if you want to custom made your own c-channel.
And identical also means the exact composite of steel or aluminium as vex.

So unless you have a big pile of steels in your workshop and you don’t mind spending your time to get all the holes done in the exact way as vex, else, I would really suggest that it is easier to just buy them off from vex.

It has NEVER been legal to make your own custom metal parts. That is not unique to this season but for every past season for as long as I have been in this program (14 years). Looking in this season’s Q&A is not likely to address this question as all of us who are or have been in the program understand the answer. I apologize for being rather rough with this answer and you are welcome to ask for an official ruling.