Why can't we: 3D print, weld, use co-processors, lasers on sharks, etc

I wasn’t aware that 3D printing wasn’t allowed. No where in the rules does it specifically say that 3D prining isn’t allowed. It does say that you may use however: “<R7> paragraph f: Non shattering plastic from the following list:
polycarbonate, acetal monopolymer (Delrin), acetal copolymer (Acetron GP), POM (acetal), ABS, PEEK, PET, HDPE, LDPE, Nylon (all grades), Polypropylene, FEP: as cut from a single 12” x 24" sheet up to 0.070" thick". In addition <R7> Paragraph B says “Any parts which are identical to legal VEX products which are identical in all ways except for color are permissible. Note: It is up to inspectors to determine whether a component is ‘identical’ to an official VEX components”. So to the best of my knowledge as long as you are using the right plastic and it is identical to a vex part you can print it.

I believe that is incorrect, there is a rule that says parts cannot be melted cast or chemicaly altered, which would exclude 3D printing. Also by nature 3D printed parts will be differnent than injection molded parts or however VEX makes their stuff

I don’t think the “identical to a Vex part” rule extends to parts cut from sheets of plastic, since Vex does not sell the parts you would be creating. It is an interesting question if printed Vex parts would count as identical. I suspect it is not legal, but even if it was, I wouldn’t see the advantage of using your own 3D-printed parts over the Vex ones.

The advantage is that the marginal cost of a 3D-printed part can be significantly less than the cost of a Vex part, but the rules are very clear on this: 3D printed parts are not identical.

https://vexforum.com/t/answered-use-of-3d-printed-parts-in-high-school-competitions/30381/1

https://vexforum.com/t/answered-why-cant-edr-middle-school-competition-3d-print-parts-that-are-identical/30660/1

I see, that is what I expected. And yes, that is a good point you bring up, but depending on the quality level of the printer, the printed parts may not be as good as the Vex ones. I suppose it doesn’t matter either way though, considering printed parts aren’t allowed.

You speak as if VEXU is allowed to use co-microprocessors. I cannot find anything that remotely suggests that in the rules. Can you clarify?

Take a look at VUR7

So, teams can use an external “electronic” (microprocessor), but cannot interface any motors, servos, or sensors with it?

Sorry, that’s really confusing :confused: How does that help?

Treat the VEX Cortex like a fancy motor controller. Put an Xbox connect and a laptop on the robot. Laptop does all the object tracking and just tells the Cortex what speeds to run the motors.

All motion has to be controlled by the VEX cortex but everything else can connect to a raspi or any other microcontroller.

Just to back up what Tabor has said this picture shows one of the MESS (Massey University) robots from Toss Up worlds. In between the polycarbonate sheets is essentially the motherboard and all attachments (excluding screen) from a laptop. It was running windows and was utilized to run a vision based autonomous using two webcams at the front of the robot. Unfortunately the lighting conditions at worlds played havoc with it, so it didn’t work.

The point is, the extra processor can and has been used to do some pretty cool things.

Wow I’m impressed. You guys should have showed me that.

We had a similar concept, although we never fully implemented it.

NAR never had the time or money to fully realize our ideas. I did get the BeagleBone Black talking to the Cortex.

It’s a strange hack that allows the field / motors to always talk to the Cortex, while other stuff can talk to whatever. It turns the Cortex into a sort of hub.

This is actually fairly complicated to pull off in a usable way, only a handful of teams have done it.