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...