3D Printing

3D printing is one of the most common advanced manufacturing technique that is used in VexU allowing teams to make complex parts to suit use cases. This technology allows for rapid prototyping, giving competitors the flexibility to iterate on designs quickly and affordably. Not only does this enhance the capability to fine-tune robots for optimal performance, but it also allows for low cost manufacturing.

Common Uses

  • Gears

  • Brackets

Best Practices

Perimeters & Infill

Perimeters are the outermost layers of a 3D printed object, providing the shape and are crucial for the object's strength. Increasing the number of perimeters enhances the part's durability and impact resistance.

A minimum of 3 perimeters is reccommended for any piece that will be under continuous strain or experience impact.

Infill refers to the internal structure that occupies the space inside a 3D printed object. It adds strength and rigidity while minimizing material usage and print time. The infill percentage and pattern can be adjusted depending on the application.

20% infill is a safe bet. Gyroid & 3D honeycomb are the most common patterns.


Polylactic Acid (PLA) is by far the most common 3d printing filament due to its ease of use, low printing temperature, and above average durability/strength. PLA is a versatile material that can be used for the majority of parts on a robot from structure, to motion components.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is one of the strongest and most durable 3d printing filaments, but is more difficult to work with. ABS has a high impact resistance and is well suited for any portion of a robot that will undergo repeated stressing such as gears.

Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG) is seen as a middleground between PLA and ABS. PETG is more durable than PLA, but far easier to work with than ABS.

Common Hole Sizes

These are based on the experience & practice of the Purdue SIGBots.

Screw THROUGH Holes - 0.175" Diameter

Screw SELF-TAP Holes - 0.160" Diameter

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