As this season keeps on progressing, I’d like to pose a question: What is stronger? New REV Ion tubing full of holes but with reinforced corners, or the traditional VEX solid 2X1?
In my experience, I know that VEX tubing is tried and true, but after getting in the shipment of REV Ion tubing, I’m tempted to try it out. It’s new design looks very sturdy but I wonder how lateral pressure would do against it.
CD is going to say to go with anything that’s not VEX due to issues with IFI’s management.
But on a more serious note, the rev maxtube is slightly lighter and weaker than its comparable solid boxtube making it for the most part functionally equivalent. The extra thin walls make it easy to crush the tube if screws are used incorrectly so a care is needed to avoid loading the the center of the tube faces.
This is the key here - comparing MAXTube to solid tubing. Adding holes to tubing is going to weaken it, but it’s so definitely worth it. It’s more accurate to compare the MAXTube* to the pre-drilled Versaframe. Personally, if I want solid tubing with no pre-drilled holes, then i’ll source it locally and save on the shipping. But we like having those pre-drilled holes on the 1" side
For what it’s worth, we used the pre-drilled Versaframe in years past, and this year are using the MAXTube (and MaxTube Lite) for most things (we still had some old Versaframe, and needed it for some parts that were more than 47" long).
I have used both, and prefer the MAXTube. Here is my reasoning:
-The MAXTube is all based on 10-32. Sure, you can drill out the versa tube, but that’s another step. We are close to having the entire robot use 10-32 fasteners removing the need to stock 1/4-20 hardware and #8 hardware. This reduces our part count and things we need to keep track of.
-The MAXTube support structure acts as a “wrench” for 10-32 nuts. This is a nice feature that we have used a few times this year.
-The MAX tube comes in “Max” pattern and “Grid” pattern. This has been huge for us because it means we can avoid drilling any holes in the tube - it’s all there already. While we have the ability to put the tube on the CNC, it saves us time not to have to. The MAX pattern has also been really cool. We are using it on our swerve chassis. The huge spline holes are great for routing wires through the frame, and accessing the inside of the tube to add bolts/nuts. We are using the lite grid pattern in other locations. It’s a light-weight solution and has plenty of holes. We have plenty of mounting holes so it’s easy to upgrade parts and experiment.
I really enjoy using the stuff. We haven’t battle tested it yet, but it dramatically simplifies the machining process for us, and gets us to quality assemblies faster.
The Vex stuff was nice last year, but the advantages of the MAX tube outweigh any strength concerns, unless a design really needs something beefy.
I would add the the thick-side-walled MAXTube is super nice if you plan to put bearing pockets in it. The back-cut on many flanged bearings can be around .05in, making the bearing area available in .063in walled tubing .013in, which is a problem.