Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge Sponsored by Autodesk ®

Have you ever wanted a particular component for your robot that was not included in the kit of parts? Do you want to design and make something unique that sets you apart from your peers? Then the “Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge” is for you! Autodesk is sponsoring this challenge and giving you a chance to focus your passion for CAD and apply your skills to solve a real world design issue.

In this challenge, you will use the same Autodesk 3D design software used by professionals to conceptualize and model a new part for a robot that improves its functionality or overcomes an existing problem. The new part must be designed to fit an existing robot, and may consist of multiple pieces that form one part design. The robot may be a competition robot (VEX, FIRST, BEST, PLTW, SkillsUSA, TSA, etc.) or another robot that performs an interesting task. To make it even more exciting, you will also have the option to compete for a “bonus prize” by 3D printing your custom part! Note that your 3D printed part from this online challenge may be used in the VEX U competition, but not in VRC or VIQC.

To help you succeed, access to Autodesk software is available at no charge to students. In the Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge, you must use either Autodesk® Fusion 360™, Autodesk® Inventor®, or Tinkercad™ to model your custom robot part. Whether you’ve used the software before or are brand new to CAD, the Autodesk Design Academy provides lessons and video tutorials for all skill levels.

To get started, carefully read the complete challenge requirements on this page. Then visit the Autodesk Design Academy challenge page to download software, watch tutorials and learn how to create custom parts. When you’re ready, return to this page to submit your entry.

The future is yours to design, and we can’t wait to see how you change the world!


V5 Brain Cover

This is the 3D design of the box that will contain the brain of our robot, made by Autodesk Fusion 360. We made it to protect the brain from static electricity… Blurry? Let us provide you with a clearer explanation! As some of you may know, electric motors work with electromagnetism. Therefore, while motors work with electricity initially coming from the battery, they also produce electric charges while turning. These electric charges get to all metallic parts of the robot, such as shafts and channels, since metals conduct electricity. Still, how does that affect the brain? Since...

Advanced Tension Kit



Over the past decade and more, many advancements have been to the vex robotics competition and parts library to match. Although several years of competition have had a large need for different aspects and customizability of tension. Many Vex teams have worked to solve these problems out of other Vex parts however the need is still unmatched by Vex in the standard parts library. This kit’s contents will allow Vex teams around the world to better use rubber bands as tension on their competitive...



A major challenge that I have come across in my years doing Vex Robotics is designing the intake. Whether is was picking up stars, cones, balls, caps, or cubes, a reliable intake is vital to any team's success. The intake is complex and can be difficult to design and fine-tune, and yet it is fundamental to a successful bot. Because this is such a hard part to create, especially for younger teams that may not understand the mechanics of it, I decided to create a roller that teams can use to help game objects, parts, or even robots move more...

62019A Vex Multi-tool


One issue we've all have had to deal with is losing our tools or having to run around at competitions to grab a tool. This multi-tool offers an easy solution to these problems. With all needed tools in one spot, combined, there will no more running back and forth at a comp grabbing tools or spending hours looking for a specific screwdriver. What a time saver! 

The custom part we created in Fusion 360 (version: 2.0.7046 ) has many tools used in Vex. On one side there is 2 wrenches, one that would be used for nuts and the other for standoffs, and two hex...

Omni-Sprocket Wheel


This CAD creation, made by Nathan Ryan and Aine Bolton from 7316B, is an omni-wheel with a wider width and a swappable sprocket that can be inserted between the two thin wheel sections.


It tends to be difficult to insert omni-wheels alongside sprockets in drivetrains and tends to result in rather large and bulky ones. In turn, we decided to fix this by placing the sprocket within the omni-wheel.

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V5 Reusable Wire Retainer

The Reusable Wire Clip is a practical and economical tool for wire management. The most common method for wire management on vex robots is the zip tie. However, zip ties are a very commital thing for wire management. Often, we will find ourselves spending hours and going through several zip ties when we are wiring. Since our lab is home to ten teams, and a classroom learning program, we go through zip ties quite fast. We thought that a reusable wire clip would solve this problem.

We first needed to pick a design. We wanted the wire clip to be simple, so we chose a simple curved...




One of the most frustrating things in VEX VRC is having to cut and file metal pieces. We spend A LOT of time cutting steel and aluminum in order to have a robot that can fit in an 18” cube to compete in the season’s challenge. Even though we try hard to file the edges down, we sometimes miss spots or develop new sharp edges when the bot crashes into other bots during matches. Our team decided to solve this problem once and for all by creating “CAPS”!

“CAPS” provide these solutions:



The Turnstile is a unique part which would be extremely beneficial if incorporated into the VEX part list. This is a part which is used in real-life applications already, which makes it all the more logical to use within VEX. A turnstile can be found at Train Stations, Offices, and amusement parks in the form of a secure one way entry. Our Turnstile will serve a similar purpose of only allowing objects in one way. This is achieved through the small gear which has prongs, and a stopper which only allows the gear to spin one way. When the gear will reverse, two flat sides of the gear prongs...

Aluminum Sliders


The problem being solved is the lack of efficient sliders. The ones already unable are too heavy from being steel rather than aluminum and do not have enough holes to screw parts into.

The new part is aluminum and has extra holes based on the spacing of a normal 2 by C-channel. This allows efficient sliding and as an example using tower takeover: you would be able to add a tray stage using these sliders.

I used the most recent version of fusion 360 to make this product. I gained a lot of experience I had been lacking in basing parts of other 3D models, since up to this...