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.

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™ Ultimate or Autodesk® Inventor® Professional 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!



Snap-On Spacer


The Snap-On Spacer

The Snap-On Spacer is a spacer that you can snap on the axel with ease, without having to remove anything. It has the same dimensions as a normal spacer. You push the axel into the spacer through the gap, with the axel's pointed edge first.


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ATV Robot Chassis Design


This entry is of a robot I have been desiging whilst studying at university. It is aimed at solving a need for an industrial partner. Please read the attached report for all details.

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Shaft Rotator


                I created the part because the shafts for the robots are square, making it difficult to make compact gear reducers because the gears must be on separate shafts.  My part solves this problem by allowing shafts to be inserted into each end and then allowing them to rotate freely of each other.  My part also allows making a robot with front and back axles that still uses tank controls.  The part is used by simply putting a shaft in each end, after which the shafts can spin freely of each...

Improved Robotic Gripper for better grip...


I am designing a robotic part which is the gripper, It has a different way of holding an object, instead of just grabbing it like an average VEX Claw, it has fingers which goes around the object like squid tentacles, it creates a larger contact area therefore better grip without damaging the item it is holding. It has the ability to hold objects of different shapes and sizes.

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Two-Sided Cam


The Two-Sided Cam is a unique part that will double the speed of any spring-loaded mechanism it is used in, without requiring any extra torque or space. For more information, see the attached PDF.

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Shaft Collar


Introduction: Vex robots are superior in most robotics competitions, but they also have an Achilles heal, the shaft collar. Frequently while performing a task shaft collars shake loose and cause the robot to fail, not only does it hinder the robot, but also it damages tools and shafts, rendering them useless. As a team we took on this challenge to fix a simple, yet important part of the robot.

Explanation: The new part is just an improvement on an old one. The shaft collar was redesigned to have a square hole (to match the geometry of the shaft). It also requires no tools, making...



This part seves as a low friction attachment. It is built around the VEX Clawbot, for it had an issue with the claw dragging on the arena mat. This was the cause of many frustrations in a timed challenge. the part i have created ataches to the joint of the arm and claw. it has a simple threaded hole as to be easily attached. The smooth rounded surface allows it to drift across the mat with ease. I can not push how vital this part is it dramatically reduces friction and increases the efficiency of the robot.this part was created using th extrude and fillet features in...


Bicicle Brake Claw


I am participating in the SkillsUSA searh and rescue copetition this year. The main goal of thee competition is go fingd and dispose of wooden ordinances placed on the course. This problem meant that I needed to design a brand new claw to grab the ordinance and place it into the can for disposal. I drew ispiration form a Bicycle brake and used the pivot and cable idea to operate the claw. This allowed it to be better balanced when lifing. The inside of the claw is flat and allows for many different types of gripping options. The stopper helps to keep the claw in a manageable position. The...

Shaft Tensioner


Bradley Bunz

      The shaft tensioner I created is the answer to an issue my fellow competitors and I have encountered with gear slippage on drivetrains and manipulators. To successfully transfer power when driving a manipulator/drivetrain mechanism with two or more gears the gears obviously need to be in contact. Custom manipulators, especially when 3D printed, commonly have issues with gears slipping and power not being efficaciously transferred which adversely affects competition performance. Previously, to solve this problem I used dozens of...

Wire Organizer


Final Report

          My reasoning for why I created the wire organizer was, because from my experience with using Vex Robotics (EDR) after I had finished prototyping and building my robot, all the random wires that connect your accessories and motors to the cortex were everywhere, creating a mess, even when you taped/tied down each wire. The issue that I have solved is that without having a part such as the Wire Organizer to organize and make moving you’re wired around easily; the wires cause an unorganized,...

Modified Pinion Gear


I created this part because the advanced gear set can not be easily used in unison with the standrard gear kit. To solve this I took a 12 tooth gear and modified it so it can be used as a pinion gear or an advanced gear. If you attach one of these gears to a motor using a shaft, you can use a second gear and shaft to rotate a wheel of some other part that sits at a 90 degree angle to the motor. This gear can also be used as a regular 12 tooth gear at the same time that it is being used as a pinion gear beacuse the teeth are still at a 90 degree angle...

4154A Arduino Holder


A minimalistic two part box that allows the user full access to ports but still protects the Arduino.

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The 2-Pin Wire Connector


In designing and building our robot for Vex challenges, we had a huge problem keepin our wires from coming apart. Vex has a connector that is troublesome and slow to use. To make life easier, I designed and printed a connnector that hold the wires together and is much easier to use.

Please follow this Link to a presentation with all my other information.


Improved Linear Actuator



A linear actuator provides movement in a straight line. This mechanism offers unlimited possibilities in robotics engineering.

Unfortunately, linear actuators cannot be built to their full potential with the current VEX Robotics inventory. Rack and pinion linear actuators cannot move heavy loads. The teeth of the rack gears often break under high pressure. Pneumatic pistons have a very small range of movement. And CAMs that provide linear motion are often unnecessarily complex for their intended job. VEX Robotics does offer a leadscrew...

Helical Gear Set



Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the teeth of VEX spur gears to break under high loads. Even the high strength gears have been known to crack under pressure.

With our new gear set, teams will be able to build gearboxes that can handle heavier loads than ever before. Our new gear set contains helical gears. Helical gears have slanted teeth.

This key feature gives helical gears many advantages over spur gears:

  • helical gears have higher torque capacity than spur gears

  • helical gears...


Radial Plate


The part that i have created is a "Radial Plate" which is similar to a flat vex plate but is in the shape of a cylinder. If you would like more information please check the Challenge Report below. 

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The Wire Clip


3018V VEXcalibur's CAD Challenge 2016 - The Wire Clip

Have you ever had trouble wiring your robot? Well fear not, because with the Wire Clip, it will make your life much easier. 

We decided to try this challenge and immediately started brainstorming ideas. We wanted a product that was simple to make, but was very...

VEX Mounting Cube


VEX Robotics “Mounting Cube”

Introductory Statement

Creating the bases and elements with VEX robotics pieces proves to be a more challenging issue as the teams are creating their designs with upmost accuracy and precision. Frequently, teams find various elements of their design don’t evenly or accurately line up as they’re constructing their robot.                                            ...




I am Cole Celeste representative or Vex IQ team Titanium at Hyde Park m.s. For this year's challenge my team decided to do the Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge, Sponsored by Autodesk ® We were inspired to do this challenge by something that happened one day in class. While we were building we decided that by having one control for both motors to the wheels we could move easier, but when we look for a Y-Cable we only found them for Vex. So, we decided it was time for Vex IQ to have one!

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Power Splitter for "Y" Cable


The piece I created would be useful for many different projects. The piece provides the same amount of power to each cable as it would to one cable. What issue I see it would fix is that when one would use a “Y” splitter cable you would only get half the power (amps) to each cable. This design would fix that.

    The components are as followed: three external cables, one battery connector, one internal power splitter for the battery. This last component still needs figuring out but most likely we would use an analog amplifier or something to that...

Remote LCD screen


Team 7983G’s entry for the Make It Real online challenge is a remote LCD screen. The remote LCD screen solves many problems we have noticed with the current LCD screen. The problem is in general during the match the LCD screen is not easily accessible. This led to the creation of our remote LCD screen that would plug into the programming port of the remote. The LCD screen will fit in the space where the VEX logo is currently placed on the remote. The LCD is smaller than the original, but the screen itself is larger and there is one more line available to include more text or...


Chassis Rails Supports


NYIT has been competing in the VEX U college division for the last 5 years with our accomplishments being largely aided by advancements in technology.  Amongst these major developments include improvements in computer-aided design technologies.  Using Autodesk Inventor, our team has designed many parts for the VEX competitions.  NYIT's career being a part of VEX has been a great experience for all of our students as well as our school.

This past year we attended the 2014-2015 VEX World Competition held in Louisville, Kentucky.  We finished 16th in the...


3D Printed Flywheel




When the 2015-2016 Nothing but Net game was revealed, the team instantly began working on countless prototypes. In our sessions during the summer, we built many different shooters such as catapults, double flywheels, and single flywheels.  Then we thought, how could we improve our prototypes?  How can we create a flywheel that provides us a higher...