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!


The Advanced Ease of Use Rack and Pinion System

VRC Team 899A - Alluminators

North Point High School

Made in Autodesk Inventor 2018, as every rendered photo shows.

All parts not submitted are sourced from the 2013 Inventor VEX Kit of Parts.

Final Report included in Files/Images


Designer and Report Writer: Maxwell Stine


Our product, the Advanced Ease of Use Rack and Pinion System (AEURPS) is designed to make linear motion easier on a standard robot build, by having far more constrainable motion and attatching points for manipulators...

Real CAD: Adjustable Standoff 507C

This adjustable standoff was created on Fusion 360 (version 2.0.6670) because its a part 507C wished they had for their robot. The main function is to be able to have an adjustable spacing whitch is secure. Hope you like this CAD online challenge. 

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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...


IQ Shaft Extender


The part we designed is a rectangular box with a square slot through the length of the box that can accept the metal shafts to be connected.  The part has two holes which can accept existing VEX IQ Shaft Collars.  These Shalt Collars will hold the metal shafts in place so they do not pull apart.  The centre of the new part is solid plastic (dense honeycomb pattern) which can transfer the rotation forces (torque) from one shaft to the next.

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Snap Together Kit


Have you ever had to take a whole shaft off just to put an additional spacer on? Or to put a gear of another size on? The fact that pieces like spacers, shaft collars, gears, and wheels are enclosed shapes make them frustrating to deal with when building. Well, be frustrated no more! Introducing...the Snap Together Kit, the solution to (most) of your problems!

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Quick Swap Motor Housing

Quick Swap Motor Housing

By Zac Serocki of Team 8481X



Using Autodesk Fusion 360, I found an innovative design solution for quick swapping motors in the event you need to quickly replace a motor.  During a tournament, if a motor fails and needs to be replaced between matches sometimes the motor mounting screws are not easily accessible and may require removing other components to be removed to access the motor mounting screws.  There may not be enough time...


SlotLock Variety Pack

SlotLock Variety Pack

CAD, Report, and 3D Printing: Alan Onuma

Robot Integration: Jonathon Bower

Video: Kelly Zhou


Currently there are no VEX products that give teams a simple way to lock any fold-out mechanisms. Instead, teams must use bulky multi-part systems, using many rubber bands to retain their parts in place. The SlotLock Variety Pack provides a clean and elegant way for teams to lock their fold-out mechanisms at either a 180, 135, or 90 degree...


VEX Nameplate Holder


Final Report Note

The Final Report is in the "Make It Real CAD Final Report.pdf" file in the files section.

3D Printing Note

The 3D printed Nameplate Holder my team used was printed as two seperate pieces on a Stratasys UPrint with soluble support material. This support materials was dissolved away in an acid bath to get the final print.

Rendered Plates Note

The CAD files used to render images of the blue plates, red plates, 1x1 connector pins, and 1/2" hex screws were taken from the...

Adjustable Spring-loaded Chain Tensioner

Welcome to 39k's submission to the Make It Real Challenge, the Adjustable Spring-Loaded Chain Tensioner. Our final report is available in downloads, along with a presentation that goes into detail with renders, pictures, and drawings. Note: As of submission time, .iam (assembly) files aren't rendering on the entry page.  Renders of these parts as a png file are viewable, but in order to see the assembly, you must download the files. 

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