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...

Split Gear/Sprocket Modules


Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge

Freezing Code 9282

Final Report

        When testing different gear/sprocket ratios or replacing gears/sprockets, the mechanisms location inside a complex robot has the possibility of causing an extremely time consuming swap. Even if the mechanism is not deep inside of the robot, you must take everything else off of the axle that would prevent the sought after part from sliding off. We designed this gear to solve these...

Versatile Cortex Mount


VEX Cortex Mount

So far throughout the career of our VEX EDR team, we’ve encountered a few common peeves that have set us back. The most prominent of these peeves have been mounting out cortex, and we’ve struggled with every robot to attach and find a place to mount our cortex that was accessible and efficient. With our new cortex mount, it brings to light a simple and effective way to switch, mount, and access the cortex on any robot.

The mount consists of 3 simple and quick parts. 2 mounting sliders, and one mounting bracket board. The 2...

Ratchet Gear for Flywheel


        This part is a ratchet gear for a flywheel, similar to a bike hub. For this year's VRC game, flywheels are a popular design to launch balls into the net. However, this design comes with an inherent flaw. When the flywheel is stopped, the enormous kinetic energy and momentum of the flywheel remain. This can damage the gearing, as flywheels are geared for speed, so the energy in the flywheel is geared for torque from the output axle to the input. There are a few ways around this. The flywheel could be run continuously, or could be slowed down...

Vex Robotics Modular Wire Management System


Vex Robotics Modular Wire Management (MWM) System

              I propose a two parts system to help with wire management.  This part helps solve the issue of untidy wires. This is important in keeping the robot design clean and manageable. It also helps programmers make sure that wires and sensors are connected to the right ports.  These parts help to achieve this by providing an easy way to trace wires and cleanly stack and remove individual wires.  They are an improvement over zip...


Trash can lift


As a team in the FIRST robotics competition we must build a specialized robot every year. The Autodesk Inventor software is an invaluable asset to do so, without it we would not be able to effectively compete. Mainly we use the software to design something that is then manufactured in the shop, however for parts that need to be very precise, or would otherwise be difficult to produce this way, we have begun to 3D print. Winning this would greatly increase our capacity to do so, and increase our ability to create complex parts in the 2016 build season. In the 2015 season for instance we...


Traction Wheel


Have you ever thought to yourself, “Wow I wish that the generic VEX wheels had more traction”, well do we have the solution for you! This new wheel is specifically designed for picking up and shooting the foam balls for the VEX “Nothing but Net” competition. This will give you the maximum amount of traction to shoot the balls farther. They can also be used as an intake to pick up the balls. These wheels have a depth of .5 inches and a diameter of 2.6 inches.

This part was made using the Autodesk inventor software. It was designed by using an assortment of...

CAD Design Entry: UART Power Expander


Introduction: I created this part because from my experience there's not that much fun in the non-functional decorations category for some sort of "technology based things" like using a vex speaker and having to program it to say a tune. Also this could strike people in many ways other people have not before and all in all we could have some more unique/ cool looking robots out there "Make your mark". I am improving the functionality of the creativity/ aesthetics part of the robot building process. This is in no means way going to be...

Swivel Wheel Bracket


Team 4442X of Navigator Robotics, from Island Pacific Academy, developed a swivel wheel bracket with the ability to house a two-inch wheel or a four-inch wheel – omnidirectional and rubber – with holes at four different heights for axle insertion. The team used Autodesk Inventor Professional (CAD software) to draw the part, and subsequently printed the product using the MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation, to test the part on a simple base. The part was designed to lower the turning radius of a robot and increase maneuverability while still maintaining motor...

The Screw Bearing


This is the Screw Bearing. It simplifies many complicated trusses which  are normally made using many other parts.

Engineering Notebook Work to decide on part to choose: Here

The Problem: Long axles have no way to be supported easily and without clutter, and angled trusses are difficult to make without destroying parts needed elsewhere on the robot.

          The screw bearing was...

Inline planetary gearbox


Inline planetary gear box

This Gearbox is something I have developed to give the engineers of VEX a new way to use one piece to have multiple functions. I have created this to let the user be able to utilize this as a single piece on multiple parts. There are three drive shaft spots available to be utilize and has three different ways to move the gear box. It can be rotated as a whole with the inside and outside of the whole gear box moving in one direction, it could be rotated in opposite direction, you can keep the outer part of the gearbox still with...

New Conveyor belt inserts


New Types of conveyor belt inserts

I have also created a new type of Conveyor Belt insert. Thanks to the nothing but net competition new types of feeds were made using Conveyor Belt inserts. I created two new curved flaps that are stiff. One is more of a bowl scoop while the other is a half scoop. These two new inserts will lead to better feeds and other new innovations through its curve. It lets the engineer take a fixed Conveyor belt insert with not as much flex giving many feeds more power. These inserts will become a new useful addition to the chain...

7.2v Battery Clamp


The Battery Clamp

I have created the new solution using AutoCad in conjunction with using the 3D printer for the 7.2v battery that makes competition day easier on the driver. This Battery clamp uses a simple two piece flap to open and close on the battery making it easier on the driver and engineer to switch the battery and get ready for the next completion and it is easily attachable to any Robot. This will tightly hold the battery giving it the security during the competition. It is a convenient piece because it gives many options to place the clamp. It...

Alternative Ratchet


Alternative Ratchet

    What I created here was a new type of part that functions as a small ratchet gear on a fly wheel. This can also be used as many pieces as it is just a fixed piece that has a slope. This comes down to the engineers use and is also one object that can play the utility role and go unnoticed but be important to the robot and engineer in the long run. This will enhance the vex robots just slightly but leads to a new alternative to ratchet gears but this object can lead to new ramps or new designs if used correctly.

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Ratchet and Pawl Shaft (or axel) Add-on System


Knights Robotics’ robot design for the VEX Nothing But Net Challenge consists of a single flywheel, a popular design among competitors this year, that rotates at a high speed to propel balls toward the high goal. A problem that emerges with this flywheel design is that pressure is abruptly applied to the gears and motors when the motors are turned off. When the motors stop moving, the angular momentum at which the wheel keeps spinning generates a huge amount of friction on the gears, causing a constant strain which may even rip the internal gears off the motors. This...

Springing into Action


When designing our robot, we were in situations that we needed energy stored.  However rubber bands do not have the capability to store energy in the fashion that we sought.  We discussed and believed a spring would solve many of our problems.  However VEX does not provide such a spring. I designed this coiled spring so that it can be attached to VEX part using screws.  This spring can have many applications, including but not limited to lifting, shooting, suspension, and robot expansion.

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Horizontal/C-channel 393 motor mount


          My inspiration for this part is the frustration my teammates and I have had with the current motor mounting configuration. Our frustration is a result of a hard time removing motors once they are built into a robot, this because the motors mounting screws are on the same side as the axle port. In a many of our designs the motors have been very to tighten or even impossible, which needless to say is frustrating. I realize that this design has many benefits, which is why my part is just an option for motors allowing for more compact and accessible motors,...


New Components Creation for VEX IQ


We design three new componets about corner connection for VEX IQ in this challenge.


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New Components Creation for VEX


There are 3 new components are created in this challenge. The details is described in New Components Creation for VEX EDR Word file.

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VEX High Strength Shaft Add On Kit


VEX High Strength Shaft Add On Kit


We believe our team has designed and manufactured something extremely useful that sets us apart from anyone in the VEX community for this first “Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge.”

We have designed a range of components that can be used for the VEX High Strength Shaft to improve its performance and functionality on a VEX competition robot.

VEX High Strength Shaft Adapter 

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