VEX Springs

I think it would be a great simple addition to see springs added to the product list. While rubber bands are good and all, they can snap and are not good for every kind of stored energy application.

My idea:
offer a VEX Spring pack
maybe a 1" spring, 2" spring, 4" spring, and even 8" spring

I think this would be a simple addition to the product line yet greatly helpful to teams/design/etc.

Just my $0.02

are you thinking like an exposed spring, or one within something similar to a shock absorber housing, because something can push with force instead of pull would be useful.


I am currently working on a project and i was wondering what do you think would be the best spring type of thing that is legal for gateway?

Surgical tubing can pull! That’s almost pushing!

If you really need a spring, you can always disassemble a VEX claw… there’s one inside of it… :stuck_out_tongue:

If you do it right it can! :smiley:


Are there any legal vex equipment that you can buy to take place of a illegal vex spring?

As far as i know there are springs in the claw and in the clutches. There are also ways to twist rope to make a spring as well just like ancient catapults used.


Using sliders and rubber bands (or latex tubing), you can make sliders that push apart, which is effectively a spring.

Interesting, I didn’t kow that. I guess it’s time to take apart that demo bot…

True, but sometimes depending on the application/situation, rubber bands or latex tubing won’t get the job done…

We opened up the Clutches and I was surprised at the size of the spring in them. It could be quite useful…


Just to firmly drive home the point a few other folks have made. The Vex product line includes two stand-alone “legal” springs. No disassembly required.

One is called “Latex Tubing” the other is called “Rubber Band”.

This is one of those times when common use of a word (i.e. “spring”) is at odds with the proper use of the term in physics/engineering/math. Future techies should decide to start thinking of the Latex Tubing and Rubber Bands as springs; and to start training themselves to see compression and tension as two sides of a coin or two ends of a continuum, not as separate situations always needing separate tools/mechanisms

Also, even though it isn’t always immediately obvious how you can use tension to expand (pull?) a compressed mechanism back into it original (expanded) shape; or how to use them to resist compression forces; it is usually possible.


Like I said, anything other than rubber bands (latex tubing included). The difference between using a rubber band (or latex tubing) and a spring is the amount of give each object has when pushed/pulled in one direction.

You can “fold” the rubber band so it has less length and more force to get a “stronger spring”.
I can’t think of a reason why you’d need springs other than rubber bands. My team rarely uses latex tubing because it’s expensive (compared to rubber bands) and tends to break easily when it rubs over anything, or is just stretched a lot. The only advantage that I’ve found with latex tubing is that the spring constant decreases as you stretch it (its force is more constant than an ideal spring).
If you really want a powerful compression “spring” you can use pneumatics.

How big are they?

open one and see :wink:
it can be easily put back also

last year, we used the springs as spacers because they would adjust to whatever spacing it was (we ran out of spacers :()

Haha, I really like that idea!


How effective was this? Did it cause any sort of mechanical problems at all?

I never knew that the clutches had springs in them. I will have to take a look at that sometime soon…

And yes, I believe pneumatics could be used. Wouldnt a rubber link work as well? And depending on the application, the rubber outside of a wheel makes a nice cushion.

Rubber links, mesh, velcro, polycarb, anything squishy could work, depending on the application.

Are the springs from the claw and chlutch the same? Does anyone know if the springs from the clutches or claw are legal for gateway?