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!




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...