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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.
As a result of this challenge, you may just uncover the path to your destined career! You can sharpen or learn new skills, show off your talent, and build a portfolio that will give you an edge over peers when applying to universities or jobs. This is especially important as employers today are looking to hire new graduates with demonstrated experience and skills.
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™ or Autodesk® Inventor® 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. You can learn more about parametric, direct, and free form modeling on the Autodesk Design Academy web page created just for this challenge.
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!
Grade Level Requirements
|Elementary School||Middle School||High School||College / University||No Grade Level Restrictions|
|VEX IQ Challenge||VEX Robotics Competition||VEX U||Open to All|
All participants with eligible entries will be rewarded with a certificate for your portfolio and membership points in the Autodesk Education Expert Network, which allows you to showcase your work with industry professionals, among other benefits.
One prize will be awarded in each of three divisions – Middle School, High School, and College/University. The 1st prize will be awarded to the highest scoring of all entrants. If there are no entries in any division, then a prize will not be awarded for that division.
- One 1st Prize: CAD Engineering Challenge Award, a Desktop 3D printer, $750 VEXrobotics.com gift certificate, and automatic team qualification for this season's VEX Robotics World Championship if the entrant is part of a registered VRC, VEX U or VEX IQ Challenge team
- One 2nd Prize: A Desktop 3D printer and $500 VEXrobotics.com gift certificate
- One 3nd Prize: A Desktop 3D printer and $250 VEXrobotics.com gift certificate
Additionally, one “bonus prize” will be awarded to the best entry that uses a 3D printer to make the part that they have designed, and that meets all of the requirements associated with the “Make” section of this challenge. It is not necessary to be selected for the first, second or third prizes in order to qualify for the bonus prize. If you do not have access to a 3D printer, you may send your file to Shapeways or Sculpteo, or identify another local source that can provide this service, generally for a small fee (not reimbursed by Autodesk or the REC Foundation).
- Bonus Prize: A drone quadcopter
Each winner will be awarded only the prize(s) for which that winner was selected, as described above, and must sign the winner’s declaration form in order to receive sponsor prizes (3D printers and drone quadcopter only).
- Entrant age range: Age 13-24 years old, must be a registered student or homeschooler.
- VEX competition team requirement: Does not have to be a team entry.
- Designs submitted in previous Online Challenges are not eligible for submission.
- Only one entry per challenge is permitted by the same person (if an individual entry) or team (if a group/team entry). Each team in a multi-team school or club program may submit an entry. For example, teams 123A and 123B could each submit an entry, but team 123A could not submit two entries.
These are the minimum requirements for this challenge. The “Evaluation Criteria and Additional Information” section below will provide additional guidance on how your project will be judged. Failure to fulfill any of these requirements may result in your entry being disqualified from advancing to Finalist or Winner status.
Basic Requirements (all entries)
- You must use Autodesk Fusion 360 and/or Autodesk Inventor to design the new part.
- Quickly get up to speed with learning resources provided for this challenge on the Autodesk Design Academy – learn to model YOUR way, from parametric, direct, to free form modeling. Visit www.autodesk.com/CADEngineeringChallenge.
- Show how this new part will be utilized by a complete robot. Note: you do not have to design the complete robot, just the custom part itself.
- See "Design Requirements" for what you must submit to enter the challenge, and "Make Requirements" if you want to qualify for the bonus prize.
- Upload the Final Report document and all supporting imagery, videos, or diagrams directly to this online challenge site (maximum file size: 200MB) during the submission process.
- Previous online challenge entries are not allowed.
Design Requirements (all entries)
Final Report (maximum length: 1000 words):
- Brief introduction: Identify why you created the part – what functionality are you improving or what issue are you solving?
- Explanation of how the new part would be used and how it fits into a complete robot design. Note: you do not have to design the complete robot, just the custom part itself.
- Explanation of how you used Fusion 360 or Inventor to create your new part AND clearly state the version of software you used.
- Brief conclusion: What did you learn from this project? Will you use Fusion or Inventor in the future? If so, what for? How does Fusion or Inventor help you if you are on a competitive robotics team? Will learning 3D design software help you in your career path? If so, how?
Include at least one image of your design:
- One (1) final rendered image of your new part, LABELED with the software version you used to create it.
- Optional: Additional images are highly encouraged, but not required. You may provide multiple angles of your new part, or an image of your complete robot design incorporating the new part, etc.
- Optional: you may also submit videos, animations, simulations, etc. to help explain your design decisions and illustrate how your part will be utilized.
- If you are selected as a Finalist, you will be required to provide the complete CAD dataset created.
“Make” Requirements (for additional “bonus prize” only)
If you do not have access to a 3D printer, you may send your file to Shapeways or Sculpteo, or identify another local source that can provide this service, generally for a small fee (not reimbursed by Autodesk or the REC Foundation).
- You must submit all requirements in the “Design” category (Final Report and imagery) in addition to the following:
- Provide a minimum of one (1) image of your 3D printed part:
- A photo of your 3D print (we want to see the physical object, not the digital rendering).
- Optional: Additional images are encouraged, but not required. You may provide multiple angles of your 3D print, or an image of your actual robot incorporating the new 3D printed part, etc.
- Optional: you may also submit videos, animations, simulations, etc. showing your 3D printed part in action.
- If you are selected as a Finalist, you will be required to provide the .stl file (in addition to the CAD dataset required in the “Design” category).
Upload the Final Report document and all supporting imagery, videos, or diagrams directly to this online challenge site (maximum file size: 200MB) during the submission process.
Judges will select ten or more finalists from the submitted entries and will take community voting results into account in making their choices. The finalist submissions will then be judged by additional selected professionals including Autodesk engineers whose scores will be combined with the preliminary-round judges’ scores to determine the winner of the Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge.
All entrants will be judged for their Design entry, and those who have submitted an entry for the “Make” section of this challenge will also be judged for the additional bonus prize.
Evaluation Criteria and Additional Information
- New part design and function: How well does the new part meet the requirement of being useful in building robots? Does it improve functionality or solve the intended issue?
- Is the part design efficient, simple, and elegant?
- Does the design work show skill proficiency using Fusion and/or Inventor? Is the software version clearly identified?
- Written description: Judged on clarity, thoroughness, design process and description of use.
- Overview images: Quality and thoroughness of the images.