VRC Legal/VEX Brand Twist-Ties

To Whom It May Concern,

Although zip-ties are effective in securing wires and metal pieces, they are often cumbersome to utilize in competitions when multiple motors break down and necessitate mass removal in due time, such as during VRC World Championships. The use of twist-ties can supplement the use of zip-ties through easy removal in critical areas where pliability is required to fasten or remove a robot’s embedded system. Whereas zip-ties often require the precise use of a sharp object to undo and thus rendering them quite impractical in fast-paced competition, twist-ties simply require a free hand to untwist them. Furthermore, twist-ties are also easily adjustable when a wire is secured incorrectly, rather than having to go through another zip-tie. In addition, teams could easily fashion trinkets out of twist-ties, such as phone charms or key rings, to distribute at a competition to promote their team and support VEX through their purchase.

For these reasons, VRC Legal/VEX Brand Twist-Ties would be a welcome addition to the VEX Product line, not only to facilitate robot construction, but social interaction between teams.

Thank you for your time and consideration,


2011-2012 Team 10X, Exothermic Mytacism
2012-2013 Affiliated with Team 575, Exothermic Haiku

I don’t know any rule stating that you can not use our own. Better yet you could get Velcro straps!

Or you could just stamp a vex logo on a twist tie and most inspectors won’t think twice about it :stuck_out_tongue: or at least what I have heard that’s true… I don’t suggest you do that though… but diagonal wire cutters work wonderful for cutting zip ties off… much better than scissors…

Umm… The rules are fairly explicit on why you can’t use twist-ties–they aren’t a VEX product, but rather packaging that comes with VEX products.

(Not to confuse twist ties with zip ties, which are legal…)

I remember. The rule stating that a vex box does not count as official vex parts and cannot be used. Sorry i didn’t think. But you could still buy hook and loop (Velcro) straps.

Hi Squid

Sounds like a good idea, which got me wondering why twist ties are not already legal.

I still have trainer wheels on when it comes to electronics, so this may be well wide of the mark, but I think there could be potential problems with twist ties because they have a metal core. If the plastic coating were to wear through both the cable and the twist tie, for example due to repeated movement of the cable near an arm pivot, it would then bridge the cable wires and have some bad consequences?

Cheers, Paul

Yes–if the twist tie rubbed through the insulation on the cables and through the plastic surrounding the twist tie, you would have problems. You could create a “new” circuit going from voltage in to ground.

That said, ziptying to a moving part can cause problems, too–I started getting odd results from a potentiometer, only to find that the wire to the pot was worn through. Bare copper wire on steel robot was not good. :rolleyes:


Heh, that’s true. I decided not to include a similar statement in my original post since I couldn’t think of an effective rebuttal.

^Then again, as Andrew wrote, the same can happen with zip-ties as well, so I don’t foresee too many new problems.

A strong, ductile plastic would be really nice, but I can’t think of any examples.

Here you go sir. Custom made!


Since VEX robots are essentially made of a single piece of metal (in the eyes of an electron) and there are no GFIs (I think?), ground return might not be such a bad thing…

With respect to twist ties, rubber bands work very well to hold things together for non-structural applications (for which I would presume you would want to use twist ties). I admit it’s not the greatest solution, but it’s very cheap and already VEX-legal:
Picture of rubber band cable ties (clicky)

Nice :stuck_out_tongue: I love the logos the inspectors would not say anything :smiley:

Definitely not a bent paper clip with a piece of paper around it :stuck_out_tongue: It’s an official VEX twist tie!

I personally don’t think that people will call you out if you use Twist ties. If it’s to hold back wires, I don’t think people will have a problem with it. In the manual, section R7, letter D of page 18, it says:

“Teams may add non-functional decorations provided that these do not affect the robot
performance in any significant way or affect the outcome of the match.”

So if you’re using it to hold back wires, That’s considered organizing and decorations. So, I would go ahead and use them.

Nope. Holding back wires does affect your robot and the match. First off, you probably wouldn’t pass inspection if you have no wireties. (Entanglement risk.) Also, even if you were allowed to play, your wires can easily get caught on your own robot, which would change your performance.

Take all the zipties off your robot, drive around a few minutes, and then tell me holding wires doesn’t make any difference. :slight_smile:

Twist-ties are a functional component of the robot.


If you wire your robot correctly (ie giving it enough slack), it will not affect your robot. What I was trying to say is instead of using zipties, you use twist ties.

What Robodesigners was trying to say is that using twist-ties (a non VEX part) to secure the wires on your robot would be considered a functional part of your robot and would not be considered a decoration. Thus twist-ties are illegal.

So from reading all of this, you are saying zip ties are illegal? What is the difference between a twist tie and a zip tie?

This is a zip-tie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_tie

This is a twist-tie:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twist_tie

Zip-ties are legal, because VEX sells them. Twist-ties are illegal, as they serve a functional purpose if you use them to secure wires and VEX does not sell them.