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!


Ring Gear for High Torque Application


Ring Gear for High Torque Applications

Created by NYIT Robotics


When creating a lift that can raise two arms and a claw capable of rotating, there is a high load placed on the motors. To compensate for the increased load, a planetary gear can be used to provide high torque while maintaining a compact design. The ring gear is crucial to a planetary gear build and provides an efficient path to guide the system on.

Part Application

A ring gear would be mounted...

A Better Vex Bevel Gear

Team 2360S presents to you a better version of the vex bevel gear. With its wider, curved teeth, our bevel gear allows one to reliably connect axles at a variety of different angles.

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Team 8440A's Robot!

We created our robot on CAD because we thought it would be more of a challenge that many teams do not do. We really wanted our team to be unique to other teams and stand out to judges at competitions and parents at meetings. We would use this robot in CAD to show off to judges and give an example of how our robot works to others. We used Autodesk Inventor Professional 2018 by constraining, flushing, mating, and connecting different parts and pieces to other parts to clearly create a unique and precise image of our real-life bot! We learned a LOT from this project! We learned patience,...


Mrs. Shelley Crozier

We ran into problems trying to secure the brain without it popping off or even just wiggly. We didn’t know how to properly secure it. When we thought we got it, it kept on falling off. That’s where our part comes in. We call it the Brain Holder!

We kept trying and trying to secure the brain. Nothing ever seemed to work. We also felt that we were using to many parts trying to achieve this. So, we created a part that solves both of those issues. We call it the Brain Holder. It is a part specifically designed for holding the brain properly and...


750C CAD Challenge


A common issue for all VEX robotics team is a lack of stability. With the games getting more and more intricate and complex, many robots have sacrificed stability in order to incorporate all of the aspects of each game. Personally, my team has struggled with securing perpendicular c-channels to each other; often, the c-channels are part of very essential components of the robot so lacking in stability is not an option. The 90 degree standoff will prove to be critical in enhancing structural integrity so teams can continue to tackle the various aspects in each...

4/6/8 bar lock nut bracket

Cad Challenge Report

This part was made to hold an untightened lock nut perfectly in place while keeping its original functionality. In my VRC robot a 4 bar lift is used to pick up the cap pieces and score them as a high cap. Our 4 bar design uses screws and lock nuts to hold the c-channels together, but the lock nuts is slightly loosened from being fully tightened to allow the arm to move. The problem is whenever the arm moves, there's a small amount of friction between the screw, locknut and the c-channel that starts to untighten the lock nut more...

Shaft Insert Strengthner


TEAM 8787A




One recurring problem has haunted our teams building abilities while preparing for VRC competition. The shaft inserts within wheels and geers experience excess strain and torque over time, as a result our wheels have become striped and impossible to reuse. This problem caused shafts to free spin and un-effectively turn the vital components we need. The amount of wheels we've had to scrap due to this...

Team PUPR Cad Challenge Inertia Gear

Inertia Gears – Make It Real Cad Challenge


                Each year, the VEX Challenges get more and more interesting, and its constant game change makes way for thorough thinking and designing. This year’s ball objects must be launched, so being a university team, our restrictions were less of motor quantity and more spatial in many ways. How many motors will it need? How many layers of metal for structure as well as protection once the practical uses are completed. How do we...

AutoDesk Inventor 8440B Robot


We were not able to connect all of the pieces of our robot but we finised the majority of the pieces. This is almost the whole of our robot.

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