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!




A 3D model of a 1xL, a cut angle bar. They can be used in substitution for c-channels to cut down on space and weight while still having decent structural integrity.

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The Hook

Make it Real CAD Engineering Design Challenge
2211A KHU Inventors

While practicing for the Tower Takeover game our team was having issues with the rubber bands when the cube holder opened. The rubber bands were breaking, and the cube holder was falling to the front. We modified a flat bar to work as a hook and hold the cube holder.

From this idea I decided to use Fusion 360 to design a custom part named “The Hook”. This new part goes attach to a c-channel with 2 screws and uses a spring or a rubber band. Any of those are...

404A Even Smarter Motor Mount


The "Smarter Motor Mount"

404a Make it Real Submission.


All work was done by students.

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Bender Machine UCSA


New Bender Machine UCSA

The design of a machine that helps to bend the robot parts.

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Hinged Panels


In the attached you will find the design for a 2x2 panel that has provisions that allow them to be used as a hinge.  These can be connected to other panels in order to allow the panel to used by more than just a 90 degree angle.  

By connecting these in groups, strength for the connection is increased.  This is similar to how a piano hinge works.

The holes for the connector pins are serrated in order to provide extra holding power.

To connect the two halves together, a regular metal or plastic shaft (such as used when building with...

Make it Real CAD - Team 56445B


Our team's Make it Real CAD piece operates as an inclined plane to move the balls into the cubes in the VEX IQ Game: Squared Away! Please see our attachments for more information!

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Make it Real CAD - Team 56445A


Our team's Make it Real CAD 3D printed piece functions to hold our robot's claw together so it will not become detached from the back of the robot during competition. Please see our team's attached photos and response to learn how it works!

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The Magnetic Claw


Our team's Make it Real CAD part operates as a claw to pick up items, but it also has a unique function of picking up metal items as it is "magetic." Please see our attached photos and explanation. 

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Epicyclic Gearing Kit


Why did we choose to design this?

In the Vex Robotics EDR part line, there is a vast array of parts that students can use to learn about the fundamentals of mechanical design. There is however, a gap in the library of competition legal parts that has yet to be filled: Ring gears. We designed our set of 3 ring gears, and accompanying carriers, to fill this gap,and to offer a cornucopia of new possibilities for builders and designers alike. Ring gears are a very important part of the engineering world in epicyclic gear sets, with uses spanning from pencil...