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Material Usage
2014 Challenge Questions

expand We saw that the paint stirrers were supposed to be 1 inch or less and were concerned about the stirrers we have that are 1.5 inches wide. Based on your previous email they would not be permitted but would it help if they were close enough so I thought I'd ask.


expand I was wondering if we are allowed to use spools that are about 5 inches in size? In previous years there was a set limit on the size of spools, however this year it does not specify.


expand Is wax paper allowed?


expand Is Graphite Lube a permitted material?


expand In the list of approved materials it says we can use switches, does this includes the use of a DPDT center-off switch?


expand Are electromagnets allowed for picking up screws?


expand Are Knex allowed (like LEGO pieces)?

expand Is PVC allowed?

expand What type of material is used for the plywood on the platform floor, specifically, we want to know how rough/slippery the base will be.

expand Are we building a control box from scratch or do you provide anything, any cables. What can we use?

expand We requested information concerning the use of LEGO WHEELS. Are they permitted?

expand What is the maximum number of additional motors and LEGO kits a school can order?

expand What are "wood-ties" on the approved material's list?

expand Are zip ties allowed?

expand Are paint stirrers allowed?

expand Where can I buy 1 inch square wooden dowels and does the type of wood matter? Does the type of glue that is used matter? And lastly can we cut the dowels or sand them down to a certain shape?

expand Is SINTRA foamboard is allowable? Here is a link

expand Our team has a question about the adhesive tape in the materials list. Does that include masking tape? We would be using in the same manor as scotch tape. Or is scotch tape what you meant by adhesive tape?

expand My team plans on using an elastic fabric strap for the "chain" to connect to the wheels. Is this an allowable material? If not, are there any materials similar in properties to this that can be used?

expand Also are Wine Corks allowed?

expand Are we allowed to use store bought wheels for the device(eg. lego wheels , wheels that come out of used RC cars or toys)

expand Our team was wondering if we would be allowed to use a plastic lid from an old animal cracker cookie jar. The lid is a blue plastic lid with a diameter of approximately 12 cm. I think it is made out of recycling number 3 material. See the following link:

expand Can we use an LED in our circuits in our Control panel?

expand Are packing peanuts allowed on the robot?

expand Is butter board (high-density urethane foam) allowed on the robot? Here is a link for the butter board we wish to use:

expand Are their any restriction to the type of foam we are allowed to use, besides liquid?

expand Cardboard is an approved material. Can it be in tube an empty paper towel roll or a sonotube?

expand Can you tell me how thick the white fabric (Poli-Fil Nu Foam within Crater 1) is? Is it layered? If layered, how many layers?

expand Straws are on the list of approved materials. A straw is defined as a slender tube used for sucking up liquid. Polyethylene tubing of a ¼" diameter meets this definition. We are verifying that it is okay to use this material to prevent confusion on the day of the competition.

expand Pencils are an approved material. We realize we can take the erasers off of the pencil to make use of just the eraser. And our question is, are other types of erasers able to be approved? We are referring to block erasers here.

expand Within the approved materials list is foam. Does this include foam board?

expand Would i be able to design and build mecanum wheels like shown here out of legos? Or would I be able to purchase them as shown in this kit:

expand I noticed in the kits that there are no wheels. Do we have to make our own or can I use plastic wheels that I use to make solar powered cars (see picture)?


expand I have a question regarding the rule which states that metal is not allowed to touch the course. If we were to take the metal and coat it with either tape or spray paint, would this now be within the rules, since technically, the metal is not touching.

expand Is laminated paper allowed to use in the construction of the robot?

expand Since nails are on the approved material list, are we allowed to use nails as axles?

expand We have a question regarding a material and we were wondering if we could use it on our device. The material guide says we are allowed to use rubber bands (see attached picture below of the questionable material).

expand Is this switch allowed?

expand Many Staples particularly in Morris and Somerset county don't carry the #18 rubber bands. Can you tell me where to order them?

expand Foam is now on the approved material list. Can we use styro-foam? Spray foam?

expand Can we use gears with a larger tooth count than the ones provided in the kit (i.e. 40 tooth gears). Can we use a larger quantity of gears than the ones provided in the kit?

expand The list of accepted materials says we can use modeling clay. Does this include play-doh or crayola model magic?

expand Can the tethered control box be made of wood?

expand Are CD plugs permitted as a material?

expand Can we use metal ball bearings or ball bearings of any material?

expand Are snap rings or external retaining clips permitted, under the umbrella of washers?

expand Can we use LEGO's that are not included with the CDC material kit to build our device and can we use rubber tires that are from a toy car?

expand Is fishing line permitted, falling under the umbrella of "string and thread"? Is spider wire permitted under the umbrella of "wire"?

expand Can WD40 lubricant be used?
expand Are we allowed to use metal axle rods, as well as the supplied lego ones? Can we use ball bearings in the axles? Is carbon fiber allowed? In the hand control, are we allowed to put a small computer fan in, to reduce heat and create air circulation? This would be run off of a separate circuit, but still only using the supplied batteries.
expand On the list of approved materials it lists "switches". Does that include things like potentiometers and other variable output switches that could be used to control motor speed? Or is the switch strictly a 2-way on and off switch.

expand Can we use nalgene water bottles?

expand Just confirm, pre-shaped cardboard (as used for posters, packaging, etc.) Is permissible for "cardboard"?

expand Can we use wood putty?

expand I have a team that has a question regarding one of the materials on the list. Electromagnets are listed. Their question is whether they may use a solenoid. It is going to be used to create linear motion in a manner similar to those used in pinball machines. It will consist of a coil of wire and the solid steel core rod.

expand May we use guitar switches as a toggle switch on the remote control?

expand Can I use masonite (type of cardboard) for robot?

expand Can I use a 1900 metal electric box for the control box?

expand Can I use house switches?

expand Are we allowed to make our own wooden dowels?

expand Is there a minimum number of batteries and motors that must be used?

expand Can we use a solderless connection/terminals for our device?

expand Are Aluminum or Steel cans allowed for the construction of our apparatus?

expand Can rods/dowels of wood less than 1" in diameter be laminated together to exceed the 1" size restriction?

expand Can we modify the motors supplied in the Material Kit?

expand Can we build additional motors from items on the approved material list?

expand I would like to use a piece of a clipboard with some of the material attached as the backing of the clip. Is this allowed?

expand Are Pyrolytic Graphite plates are permitted? Also, are Neodymium Magnets allowed, as they would fit into the permanent magnet category?