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!



Custom Hinge System


The custom hinge system allows you to make different size hinges based on where you place the modules, allowing for greater flexibility in building.

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Robo All-in-One Tools (RAT)!

Robo All-in-One Tools (RAT) provides all the tools you need for your robot build. 

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Omni Locker

Team Synapse (20785B) is a team comprised of 6 individuals who work extremely hard to create a well-rounded program which encompasses key values i.e. leadership, trust , whilst giving back to the community whilst we can. 

Many people need to lock omni-wheels in order to to prevent the spokes from spinning preventing them from getting pushed around by other teans. This device looks the majoirty of spokes whilst causing the least amount of damage to the actualy omni wheel.

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Square Nylon Spacer


Our team constantly runs into issues where we want to put a supporting piece or a rotating piece on the hole next to the wall of a C-Channel. Unfortunately due to the diameter of the nylon spacer it pushes the whole thing out of alignment. It creates a lot of tension and friction and ultimately makes it so it doesn't do what it was meant to do. To get around this we either grind down part of the nylon spacer, or we put a black spacer first then the nylon, but unfortunately the black spacers often compress which causes it to be an incorrect length, and increases friction, or they just...

Winch for a Continuous Elevator Lift


The winch part that we have CADed on Autodesk Inventor 360 will be used to help the robot go higher from a lower starting position using a continuous elevator lift. In previous challenges, where there was no height limit, this is a part we wished to have. The winch has a  hole for a string to go through on one side. When a string is secured there and the winch turns, the string is pulled. The string will also be fitted with a pulley system that has two or more 30mm pulleys with the string wrapping around them and then connecting to a claw. Both sides of the winch have...