Recycling parts

Just curious cause we might get into that situation in the near future. Lets say you had that super duper swerfe drive you designed and used in the 2019 season it works perfect. You publish the design so you can use it. So now the 2020 season comes. So first thing you do is build the exact same drive from scratch based on your drawings and instructions and take the 2019 drive and throw it into the garbage? That is how I interpret the rules unless I am missing something. Isn’t that extremely wasteful and not “green” at all? shouldn’t we reuse as much as possible?

Asking as it applies to 3d printed parts too. As its being used more and more wouldn’t it make sense to reuse those plastic parts instead of printing a new set and throwing the old parts in the garbage? We got some perfectly good gears and racks and pinions and limit switch brackets and electronics brackets etc that are published and explained right here so are we going to contribute them to the ever growing pile of trash? and print the same modular components every year over and over?

As it currently stands: pretty much yah. All your parts on your competition robot have to be either purchased or made from raw stock during the season.

I agree it’s pretty silly and certainly shows a vision of years past where you couldn’t just order whole mechanisms online, but them’s the rules (unless they change).
That said there’s nothing stopping you from using all your old parts on your practice bot which never sees the field, making sure to use fresh components without all the lifetime sucked out them for the competition robot.

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Perhaps the rule will be different in the future. There’s a recent thread on this.

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What if you just melted the 3d printed parts back into a strand with a machine forget what it’s called but you could just remake the part with the same material and bam it’s a new part

You can, but those tend to be expensive. I’m also not 100% sure what the BOM ramifications of a non-cots raw material are.

Waiting for an extruder like that that is

and works

There are extruders like that that work they are used in the filament production factories and are in excess of 10k. There are some in the Neighborhood of 1k But most work for only PLA and not Nylon and all I reviewed so far produce inconsistent filament which would make extremly crappy parts. We are saving all the old “trash” about 25 kg so far with the hope to sooner or later have the technology come to the point where it becomes affordable and it works

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I think the re-printed parts would still still illegal because the plastic had work done to it by you, making it a fabricated part.

Nobody would know, but it’d still be illegal.

I guess 3d printed plastic parts have been used for years so I assume it to be legal otherwise half the teams at this years competition would have violated - us probably the most cause by poundage we had the most 3d printed parts. But we are working on interchangeable and replaceable components (figure legos on steroids) We want to be within the rules. So there is plenty to reuse from gears and gearboxes to frame pieces, Rack and pinions actuators eventually wheel assemblies. So theoretically if we choose and all is successful we could reconfigure and probably reinspect a robot between matches - I know that is another topic but only mention it here as in the future all the parts from this years 8 wheeled defensive monster featuring tank drive could be next years or tomorrows match offensive bot with different dimensions etc. And what are rules good for if they are unenforceable. So how would you catch it if there is last years 3dP part on this years robot. IOW the honest teams pollute and are wasteful and the dishonest just use last years and are green - but dishonest - that is not a good lesson to teach the kids IMO

Maybe someone with access to a commercial re-extruder will start a filament buyback program that will able to cover the shipping and overhead costs.

I think that is still way off. Like for example even Taulman sells about 1/2 dozen different Nylons just to talk about Nylon now a Bridge Nylon gear in Black is indistinguishable from a 910 so how would that vendor know what you are sending him/her same there are many different kinds of PLA out there each with their own settings and melting temp and additives etc same holds true for PETG or ABS or HIPS. You as a “re-extruder” would have no idea what quality product you re-extruding or if the beginning of the spool is anywhere close to the middle and the end. Now it might work for Look at models only - but wait you are getting a pile of chopped up plastic of different colors so you have no idea what will come out the other end and if the beginning of the spool will have the same color as the end. You might be better of chopping it up and mixing it with asphalt and cement and use it as roads - and that they are doing already but is probably beyond what and FRC team can and should do

IDK about that - as you could then argue that if I take a 2 foot piece of aluminum and cut the 2 holes at the end off and make a 1.5foot bracket out of it would make it illegal too as it already had some work done?

I think some of the already published designs should be reusable like a COTS part. But it should be published even earlier, maybe before the previous season to give more chances for everyone to access the design.

If I am being totally truthful, we have reused parts like those PWM strain relievers without thinking about it. There sometimes is parts like that are just in a parts bin but the origin isn’t completely clear, there are some COTS 3dp parts after all.

I was tossing some air tank holder back in a parts bin, probably should separate them out because I can see down the road that they are similar enough to the AM COTS ones that they could be easily used. But honestly, those are the uses I’d support if the rules were changed.

edit: I wanted to specify my thoughts with examples. So my thought would be a part published before kickoff 2019, would be a 3dp ‘COTS’ part for 2020. Why parts published after kickoff would not become usable like that until 2021. Certainly, no clear way to police teams following this other than honor code. But I think it would help teams to know they could go ahead and print or order 3dp that are older than the previous season and have a small stock, and also that they don’t need to be reprinted going forward.

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There was a team at Houston champs that was building their future shop out of recycled materials. So get some molds and start making bricks😁

25kg, you are on your way!

We are currently publishing as soon as a part makes it past QC - i.e. it works. Don’t think it makes sense to publish the fails

Ignoring using it at events in 2020 (in which its as good as scrap under current rules), theres nothing saying you cant keep it around as a practice chassis and educational tool for future students/teams wanting to learn swerve in person.

Yeah but how many plastic bots can you have. We used some pre season frame test pieces last season as a display stand

Then slapped some hardboard on it and taped the poster to it showing some of the 3DP parts we used on our robot. I hope they change the rules by time we converted past robots into our whole pits lol. And yes those parts have been published too JIC we use one in the future on the robot

10.1 - Overview
A FABRICATED ITEM is any COMPONENT or MECHANISM that has been altered, built, cast, constructed, concocted, created, cut, heat treated, machined, manufactured, modified, painted, produced, surface coated, or conjured partially or completely into the final form in which it will be used on the ROBOT…
Note that it is possible for an item (typically raw materials) to be neither COTS nor a FABRICATED ITEM. For example, a 20 ft. (~610 cm) length of aluminum which has been cut into 5 ft. (~152 cm) pieces by the team for storage or transport is neither COTS (it’s not in the state received from the VENDOR), nor a FABRICATED ITEM (the cuts were not made to advance the part towards its final form on the ROBOT).

Yup, that’s how the fabricated parts rules work, any progress which is intentionally altered to be closer to the final for use on a robot counts. It’s very broad. Leftover stock metal usually doesn’t count because it doesn’t “advance the part towards its final form on the ROBOT”, but extending that to reformed plastics I think would be harder.

The fabricated parts rules are probably broken very often either by ignorance or outright being ignored because they can be a bit silly in today’s day and age.

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Hence if a rule is “silly” or cannot be enforced it ought to go or be changed otherwise it just becomes a penalty for those who really make an effort to stay within the rules


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For the past 3yrs, 1076 uses recycled parts such as the ones you have described for our practice robot (since there are no rules regulating what a secondary robot can/can’t be made of), and new fabricated parts for the competition robot).

We don’t anticipate stop making duplicate robots for the 2020 season, so this will hold true into next season for us as well.

Extras tend to end up being spare/emergency parts for if/when things break.

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