Our organization has unfortunately not provided budget for our robotics club to buy new field components. A need for a field, as well as an underlying want of having my own field has led me to look for used fields. Do you guys have any recommendations for finding said field? I am looking at the $100-200 range, including the Change Up components if possible, although I am not optimistic. If you have any other cost-effective solution, I would appreciate any help you could provide. Thanks for your time!
you’re definitely not going to be able to find a full field for only $100-200.
cheaper options include building your own perimeter from wood and buying different tiles. there’s not really any good way to get around buying the game pieces, you could only buy half of them if you don’t really want a full field.
How high would I need to increase budget to get all I need? Also for clarification, my aim is to run driver and prog skills on this field, so I do need all the components, and the field should be able to be approved by judges during inspection.
You’re looking at $1500+ for a complete field setup. EP’s can get a 50% discount on the field elements ($250 savings). It is rare that VRC fields are ever for-sale used.
I would suggest you explore the possibility of borrowing fields and equipment from a nearby team. In SE Michigan/NW Ohio, for example, we have an “Event Trailer” available for a nominal rental fee, with everything needed for a complete competition event (4 complete fields, 2 Tournament Managers, projectors, screens, tv’s, all the “trimmings”).
VEX has a low cost option in which you build your own field perimeter and tiles. For this season, this field is allowed for use in competition. Here is the link:
It should also be noted that the field tiles that you have to use cost $250.
What are my options for field elements though?
If you have access to a 3D printer, you could just 3D print the game elements. However, I believe that you have to buy the field elements from vex.
If you are just using them for your own practice there isn’t anything wrong with 3D printing. Obviously they wouldn’t be competition legal but that isn’t a big deal unless you are hosting a competition.
Ummm, it isn’t just if you are hosting a competition. If you are using that field for a competition, (remote skills, live remote tournaments, recorded skills), the game elements need to be the VEX elements.
I don’t know that I would 3D print the balls, though. Printing them takes a lot of filament, and to really print them where they will be sturdy, they are a lot heavier than the normal ones. I might get some cheap inflatable ones around the same size of something like that, as seen in lots of this seasons earlier reveals.
You really can’t get away with testing your robot without official game elements. The mass and ball geometries can’t be easily and accurately replicated (or at least, at that point it’s probably just worth investing in a legitimate field element kit). Worst case scenario, you could try to borrow some elements. You could probably get away with making your own goals out of PVC and wood, but I don’t see how you could do anything of that nature for the game balls.
also it’s worth noting that balls cost about $4.21 each (when buying in bulk from the game element kit, when buying individually it’s about 5$)
each ball weighs 168 grams. PLA or ABS filament are both around 15 cents per gram. so printing a ball costs about 25$ in filament, more than 5 times what it costs to just buy it from vex. And that’s for a weight-accurate ball, and most prints end up weighing more.
I think it’s safe to say 3D printing game pieces is definitely not the cheaper or more accurate route. it’s really only good for getting a feel of the elements before they ship them at the start of the season.
Yeah, that’s what I did. It was easily 4 times as heavy, otherwise It breaks easily when dropped. They are also much less slippery than the normal balls, which may impact how the robots can pick up the balls.
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