Can custom gearboxes be used for multiple years?

2 Phase Question:

Phase 1: If we were to design and build a custom gearbox using primarily COTS gears and shifting systems, and publish it before kickoff of next year, should we choose to use it next year during the season do we need to remake everything that isn’t COTS?

Phase 2: If we were to work with a sponsor and they made the gearbox that we designed publicly available for purchase, would that make it a COTS item? If so, could we then buy our custom gearbox once and use it for multiple seasons (Provided it lasts that long)?

  1. Yes, all non-COTS parts need to be made during the season in accordance with the schedule rules (R13 and others). Just publishing the design information about something does not make it COTS.

  2. Yes, as long as this sponsor meets the 5 very stringent criteria required of a VENDOR.

Phase 1:No you cannot reuse fabricated components. Rule is very clear. You could disassemble the gear box and reuse the COTs components. You would have to publish the plans to even reuse the design.

Phase 2. It would need to be a arms length transaction. In other words It would need to be available for other teams to actually buy.

I have never really read in to the design rules. I am familiar with the way the software works. As long as you publish your code making it publicly available for all teams you can reuse it from year to year. Are CAD files the same way?

Say our team was to design a gearbox or a chassis or something of the sort either during the season or off season this year. As long as we publishes said CAD files for all to use, could we reuse that same design year after year? I am familiar with the way fabricated items vs COTS work. But I was under the impression that CAD had to be redesigned from the ground up each year.

Thanks in advanced,

Bonus points for quoting rules because I always miss something when I quickly ctrl+f through the manual.

Yes, you can reuse the design if you publicly publish the CAD files, but you’ll need to remanufacture any non-COTS parts.


You may also want to use this as an opportunity to make some refinements to your design since you are not allowed to reuse any manufactured parts from previous seasons anyways.

Keep in mind the published rules are the rules. Statements made outside the rules are opinions on the interpretation of the rules. Anyway R14 clearly says you can reuse published designs. There is a big blue box that goes along with it.