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3D Printing

Creating VEX IQ Compatible Parts Using 3D Printing Technology

Engineers and designers at VEX Robotics often use 3D printing technology to prototype, test, refine, and iterate their products before they are released. 3D printing technology allows computer models to be quickly turned into real world prototypes. We are excited to support the VEX community's desire to customise and extend their VEX IQ experience through the use of custom 3D printed elements.

Download the entire VEX IQ product catalogue in STEP format from here. You can then load these directly into your CAD package and print your own or modify them to make new parts!

To ensure a positive 3D printing experience, we've compiled a few useful tips that will help your 3D printed parts correctly interface with the VEX IQ system.

Use The Correct Part Dimensions

All VEX IQ parts use the same 12.70mm (1/2in) spacing and 3.18mm (1/8in) square shaft as VEX EDR. The specification drawing PDF here shows the important dimensions to take into account for beams, holes, and parts that interface with shafts.

Keep in mind that there is a large variety of 3D printer types, materials, and precision levels, and you may need to tweak the parameters of your particular 3D printer to have your personalized part achieve a proper fit with the VEX IQ system. If your 3D printer is not capable of printing in high resolution, it may be helpful to print the 4.2mm holes slightly smaller and use a 4.2mm drill bit to clean them out.

3D Printing

Understand the Limitations of 3D Printing Technology

We highly recommend that you avoid 3D printing any parts that contain snap geometry, such as connector pins, standoffs and corner connectors. It is very difficult to reproduce a snap geometry via 3D printing that achieves both the necessary precision to have a snug connection while still remaining durable enough not to break on its first or second use. We suggest that all 3D printed VEX IQ compatible parts should be designed with only holes, to be mounted using existing VEX IQ connector pins, standoffs and corner connectors.

As always, be sure to follow all guidelines and procedures for your specific 3D printer model.

Share Your Creations

Do you have any questions about using a specific model of 3D printer? Did you create a cool VEX IQ compatible element? Looking for fun ideas for potential parts to make on your 3D printer? Let the community know at the VEX IQ Forum!

Click here for Rapid's range of 3D printers.

The Fine Print

VEX IQ CAD models and 3D printing specifications are made freely available for personal and educational use. Commercial use of 3D printed VEX IQ parts is strictly prohibited. Using custom components on a VEX IQ robot design has the potential to cause unexpected behaviour for which VEX Robotics and Rapid are not responsible. Parts created using 3D printing technology are not eligible for use in the VEX IQ Challenge.