Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

VEX Robotics Competition "Make It Real" CAD Engineering Challenge Sponsored by Autodesk®

Have you ever wanted a 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. Note that your 3D printed part from this online challenge may be used in the VEX U competition, but not in VRC.

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!


"Make It Real" Challenge: C-Channel Angle


The inner side of a C-Channel often doesn't get much use, as parts often don't fit inside of the channel. With the C-Channel Angle, you can now attach other parts 90 degrees from the inner side of the C-Channel. The part also has 5 screw holes on each side of the angle, enabling more freedom for putting in screws. No longer are the days where the inside of the C-Channel receives little to no use.

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The Aligner


Imagine it was a match in your regional competition that would make or break your chance to get to World’s. You put your robot on the field only to find that one of the wheels is not turning. Your alliance calls a timeout, and your team scrambles to fix it. Then, you realize that the locking collar fell off and the axle is out of the motor. But every time you slip on the locking collar, it twists and falls off. You finally get it on with seconds to spare, but you don’t have time to tighten the set screw. You run to your match in a panic! Our team faced this situation last...

The Omni-Directional Gear

Tempest 20785D

In most robots I have seen, I have noticed a very heavy reliance on gears. In particular, a reliance on gears for the movement of parts that involve carrying or pushing an external object such as a ball or ring using the robot. I thought it would be more helpful for teams if they had a component that was capable of doing more than what a gear could do with less space and time consumed for many purposes. Hence, I have created the Omni-Directional Gear- a component that can move other VEX parts in a multitude of directions.  

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The Mountable Wire Clip


The Mountable Wire clip is an incredibly useful part for wire management. The clip can be attached to c-channels, angle bars, and other types of pieces. To insert or remove wires from the clip, simply slip the cable through the slot. While this part was designed for the new VEX Smart Cables, it can also work with the legacy cables.

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Custom Angular Gear


We are a high school robotics team that likes to be challenged and constantly use our minds to be creative and absorb knowledge. We would like to represent our school Metea Valley High School. We created a Custom Angular Gear to solve different problems in robotics.

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36637A - Back Lock


The problem began to appear in Tower Takeover 2019/2020 Mission in VEX Robotics Competition. Our robot had a manipulator, which was collecting the cubes from the field. Manipulators mechanism had to be inside the dimensions due to the limitation of robot dimensions at the competition. At the beginning of the match, the manipulator opens until it became in the front of the robot, using  the Rubber bands.

Last Year, while working on the Tower Takeover challenge, we faced a problem in the manipulator mechanism which was responsible for collecting cubes. The manipulator...

Renovated Mecanum Wheels


Submission for the "Make It Real" CAD Engineering Challenge Sponsored by Autodesk® for vexU team SPARK from Austin, Texas.

Our report PDF is interactive, so if you click anywhere on the table of contents it will navigate you to that section.

We have also included a video to help with visualizing our assembly process.

Please feel free to comment with any questions you have and thank you for your time!

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5327V's Shaved Bearing


When building a robot, there are many times when a bearing is needed on the inside edge of a channel.  While putting on the bearing you realize you need a shaved bearing.  You can't find a good one, and are forced to make youre own.  While making your shaved bearing, you accidentally cut through one of the holes and have to restart, wasting both a bearing and your time.  If only VEX sold shaved bearings so you wouldn't have to shave them yourself.

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V5 Gearbox Cartridge Adapter



The part we created for the Autodesk Make it Real Challenge is an adapter that allows for use of the V5 Motor Gearbox Inserts on mechanisms external to the motor. This allows for large gear ratios to be created in an extremely small space, enabling lighter and more compact mechanisms, as well as simplifying the process of creating geared mechanisms for new teams.

Design Explanation

The inspiration for our cartridge adapter comes from the VersaPlanetary, available in the VEXPro product line. During past seasons, we...

Wire Manager


We are a team that consists of 5 sophomore members from Michigan. As a team, we are passionate about what we can bring to the competition.

We created a wire manager to better manage wires on the robot.

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Clip on Keps Nut


Our team created the Clip on Keps Nut to make working in small spaces easier. This Keps nut also makes taking apart your robot simpler. Instead of unscrewing screws out of the regular Keps nut all you must do is pull the clip on Keps nut off of its screw.

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Canine CareTaker




My submission for the AutoDesk “Make It Real” Engineering Challenge is the Vex Raspberry Pi Communicator. The Vex platform is amazing; the ease of use and reliability never cease to amaze me. The Raspberry Pi and its community offer networking, access to artificial intelligence software, and speech and voice recognition software, just to name a few potentials. I sought to create a part that would allow reliable communication between the two platforms. The result: a Vex Raspberry Pi communicator. Although the...

Integrated Adjustable Ratchet


Final Report:

Version: Autodesk Inventor Professional 2021

We hope that you enjoy our project!

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Structural Support


Structural Angle Support


My name is Dean Parker, and I have created a Diagonal Angle Support. A frequent problem when building towers or having 90° angles is support. It is nearly impossible to keep something 90° and it to be stable. However, this new piece has solved that problem. This support piece can be used to keep stability in a robot that is dealing with long c-channels being connected together. 

            Before I constructed it in CAD, I began measuring and sketching using a...

Clawbot Claw Rotator


This piece works for rotating the claw which allows the Clawbot to grasp more objects.

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Helical Gears for VEX Robotics


For our entry to the VEX Robotics "Make It Real" CAD challenge, we decided to design a set of helical gears that could easily be used in place of the stock VEX spur gears. These gears needed to use the same hub design as the stock gears so that they could fit in the same spaces and be mounted interchangeably. In addition to this they needed to have all the advantages that helical gears bring over spur gearing:

  • Lower backlash
  • Higher maximum loads
  • Smoother operation
  • Less wear

Although helical gears do...

V5 Smart Port Inserts


Our entry is the V5 Smart Port Insert. This insert blocks out dust or dirt particles from entering any smart ports. It can be used on any V5 electronic that uses smart ports, including the brain, motors, sensors, etc.

More information is in the attached report.

Version Used:

Active Plan: Fusion 360, Student
Windows 10 (19041)

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Standoffs are one of the many VEX components that are essential in building a functional robot to complete certain tasks. They serve a wide variety of uses from structural support to interacting with game objects. However, sometimes getting the correct standoff length can be difficult, and they can often be annoying to swap at a moments notice. Therefore, our team decided to create an extending standoff (extendoff for short) that would allow teams to adjust the length of a standoff quickly. 

How to Use


Battery Holder V2




Many people have complaints about the Vex battery clips. They make it a pain to remove batteries, they break easily, or maybe you just want to use one hand for the battery. This new holder seeks to remedy all of those issues. The new holder features 2 parts: a clip, and a holder. The battery slides into the holder and you clamp it in place with the clip’s latch. The part could be added to any robot without much trouble, although it is ideally placed vertically. 




To create this I...

Clip On Washer


The clip on washer will save builders precious minutes when it comes to fitting spacing into the crooks and nannies of their robot.

Team 5327Z

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Omni-Wheel Lockers


A full PDF can be found in the attachments to this submission with the images mentioned in this description.


Throughout the many seasons of the Vex Robotics Competition, maximizing your robot’s scoring capabilities has often been the ultimate end goal for any competitive team. One strategy to achieve this is to not only maximize your score, but minimize your opponent’s score using defensive strategies. In recent seasons, such as the 2018-2019 game Turning Point, robots with more defensive capabilities have become more prevalent. One ability that many...

High Strength Axle Connector


We decided to create a high strength axle connector in order for us to be able to use the pieces that VEX provides us at their fullest potential. In many of our builds we utilize these axles but have issues with their length and versatility. This was our final design in an attempt to solve these issues.


Please review

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Adjustable Support Beams


Adjustable Support Beams 

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