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!



The VEX Belt Drive Kit


The VEX Belt Drive Kit

Created by the Automata Lemon Bot Alliance (ALBA)



The VEX Belt Drive Kit was designed as a compact way to provide precise linear motion with minimal backlash.  It allows a linear slide kit or linear motion kit to be driven using a standard XL belt.  The belt can fit inside the linear slide when a low-profile solution is needed.  The kit is designed to work with standard and steel-core XL belt up to 9mm wide, allowing users to select the...

High strength c channel slider


We created this part because of issues in friction from standard VEX sliders, the standard sliders work good for applications where there is low sideways force where the slides do not rub against the trucks. With sideways force however the trucks act more like a brake and completely stops the sliders from moving up and down, this slider was designed to handle that sideways force well while being as compact as possible. This would be a game changer as there aren’t many good solutions to this problem and most teams simply avoid forklift style lifts all together because of issues with...

Bearing All

Niamh C

We have redesigned the VEX Bearing Block to solve the problem of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. This will grip shafts tightly preventing sideways wobble, allowing them to rotate smoothly. 

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One-way intake


My teacher wanted to create a "V-spring" that would be mounted on a fork lift, but the idea died out after awhile. Instead, I created a passive intake for teams that want to allocate their other motors for other functions and to provide a convenient intake system. The part's main component is a wind-up mechanism. The primary purpose for the mechanism is to allow game objects to enter, but it cannot exit the robot. My team's first robot had an issue of maintaining posession of our game objects. We solved the problem with a gate, but it could easily be solved with the...

VEX Pneumatic Rotary Union


Introducing the VEX: Pneumatic Rotary Union, designed to bring a whole new range of possibilities and opportunities to VEX Robotics Competitions and secular robotics pursuits. Before the application of this part, one could not power and pneumatic actuators on any rotating part, as the tubes would become toggled and damaged. This Rotating union has two parts that can spin infinitely and separately without losing any pneumatic pressure. This is achieved by using multiple sets of O rings – rubber rings – to keep air pressure constant between the shaft and housing parts. In...

Versa Planetary Adapter


Versa Planetary gear boxes sold by VEXPro are used by nearly every FRC team for all different kinds of tasks. Their modular design allows for easy changes in gear reduction while keeping in the same standard form factor. I chose to build upon the foundation of Versa gearbox and improve its functionality.

I have designed a new stage for the Versa Planetary gearbox that allows for the output shaft to be at an angle relative to the motor. This allows for the gearboxes to be used in many more situations. Because the output shaft must no longer be colinear with the rest of the...

Retractable Sprockets



In past years, our team had often considered using a transmission as a part of our robot’s drive train but always concluded that it wouldn’t be worth it. In order to change speeds, we would need to dedicate an already scarce motor to shift the gears, which limited the maximum power output we could achieve, with the shifter being unable to contribute whatsoever. Furthermore, the only other alternative would have been to install a heavy (and expensive) pneumatics system, needlessly increasing the cost and weight of the robot. To remedy...

Panthers Team - Mechanical Shutter and bevel gear...


In the new challenge, "Nothing But Net" was necessary to develop a trigger that losing engine rotation inertia release mechanism to release. As the development of supports for mechanical transmission.

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Four inch curved FLYWHEEL cover




    I came up with the idea for a flywheel with a convex wheel after seeing my teammates’ effort. The ball and normal wheels have few points of contact so they had to load the wheel up with rubber bands. One even tried a convex shape with rubber bands. 9364B’s wheel maximizes surface contact to make as many points of contact as possible for idealized shooting and accuracy.

    The flywheel could be used as a single or double flywheel....

Axle Stablizer


The part I have created was designed to fix the problem of the axels shaking and being unstable. The part uses the idea of the lock bearing but the axel is still able to turn, but making the axel more stable because the shaft is inside the turning lock insert. The insert was designed separately because id the part was printed the turning mechanism would not work. The insert uses a mechanic used in a Lego piece that makes the piece come together at the tip so the inserts tip can fit in through the hole of the bearing.

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Vexecutives Team 8899z CAD Design Challenge Entry


For our CAD piece I wanted something simple but useful. When thinking of ideas it came to me, the T-Peg. The T-Peg is simply a normal VEX peg that can connect to three pieces at a time. I made this piece because our VEX team always runs into the problem of connecting three pieces together for our robot. I used Fusion 360 to first create the model and saved it as an STL. Then I 3D printed it to make the T-Peg. From doing this I learned that your measurements have to be spot on if you want the 3D printed object to come out correctly. Now knowing how to use Fusion 360 it would help...


Winged C-Channel


I created this part because I was having trouble finding a stable and reliable way to elevate my launcher. The most stable of which was a C-Channel on Stand-offs. Which at the first tournament proved to not be very stable or reliable. The part I made in AutoDesk Inventor is a winged C-Channel that is made so you can place C-Channels on any flat piece of metal. In addition to allowing that is that the way that the winged section is connected to the sides allows it to be more stable than any other piece that is made for placement on a flat surface. Which I would have found extremely...


Hinge Plate


REC Challenge Make it Real: Hinge Plate

Created by Naveen Mathew, Team 7983R

The part I have created is called the Hinge Plate. Its overall dimensions are .484” X 17.5” X .546”. This part would be used on a robot to connect parts, increase stability, and create a strong...


Perpendicular 6X1


REC Challenge Make it Real: Hinge Plate

Created by Naveen Mathew, Team 7983R

The part I have created is called the Hinge Plate. Its overall dimensions are .484” X 17.5” X .546”. This part would be used on a robot to connect parts, increase stability, and create a strong...

Pan-Tilt System


Pan-Tilt System (Team 1224J)

In the real world, robots are surrounded by objects and obstacles on all sides. Because of this, it would be very useful to have a sensor that can point in different directions, or have a manipulator (like a claw) that can rotate to different positions with precision, all without having to actually move the whole robot. It’s possible to have this functionality with current VEX EDR parts, but current solutions with VEX parts take up a lot of space in the robot and can take time to build.




Suction Plate


     REC Challenge Make it Real:

Suction Plate

Created by Naveen Mathew, Team 7983R

The part i have created is called a suction plate. It is a metal plate with holes along the bottom, and suction circles on the back to stick it to...


Plate Mount/Motor Mount by 81W


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Throughout our work, our team has had a great issue with mounting motors. Forming mounts is not hard, per se; however, designing one such that it is very stable, but easily removable is a challenge. Often times, only one is possible, or even, neither, depending...


Center Motor


Center Motor Port


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High Strength Clutch


The part that I created is called the high strength clutch.  I created the high strength clutch for the purpose of protecting the internal motor gears when putting a high strength shaft directly into the motor.  The purpose of the clutch is to permit you to attach a clutch to a high strength shaft.  Also, when you put the axle into the motor directly the force exerted could be too strong, causing breaking or twisting of the shaft or damage to the motor gears.   This is a problem because if it happened during or after every match, the time that it would take...

Make it Real 24 Tooth Gear


2015-2016 Vex Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge


            The purpose of this new product would be to improve upon the limited gear ratios. An example of this is trying to use a 1:28 gear ratio which is common this year. A twenty-four tooth gear would greatly expanded the gear ratio options along with allowing more motor configurations.

Explanation of Part

An example of its usefulness is in shooting designs this year. A lot of teams are...

Omni-Wheel Stop


The reason I chose to create this part was to improve the drivetrain of my teams robot. The issue we wanted to solve was the imbalance of different wheel types and the impact it would have on the autonomous period. Specifically our team wishes to use only use VEX 4-inch omni directional wheels to keep the bot as level as possible. The issue is that any other robot could push us in game and the wheel stop was designed to lock the omni rollers of the wheel in place.

A 3D printer will be used to create this part. The wheel lock would then be used on the center wheels of a 6 wheel...

Ratcheting Gear


For this season’s competitions, flywheels have been rapidly gaining popularity. However, a key issue in a flywheel design is that the high speed requirements of the flywheel means that it is geared to low torque, causing there to be a large strain on the motor when the ball hits the wheel(s) or when the motor suddenly turns off. This can wear out the motors or gears and potentially damage them.

This ratcheting gear can fix this problem. The ratcheting gear will turn with the motor when it is powered in one direction, but freespin when the motor...

High Strength Bearing Blocks


These part was designed to be used in addition to the High Strength Shaft and High Strength Shaft Bearing. The High Strength Pillow bearing is intended to allow low friction axis of rotation off of the surface of Vex Metal. The High Strength Square Bearing Block allows pieces to be locked with the rotation of a high strength axle.

The high strength pillow bearing will allow us to raise up our drive wheels with high strength axels to effectively climb up elevation ramps on other robots.

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Motor to stand off screw


This screw will allow the user to connect a stand-off directly to a motor. We found that on a number of occasions, including with our current robot, we needed to attatch a stand off to a motor in order to provide rigidity to our gear box. 

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Motor to stand off screw


This screw will allow the user to connect a stand-off directly to a motor. We found that on a number of occasions, including with our current robot, we needed to attatch a stand off to a motor in order to provide rigidity to our gear box. 

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Adjustable Angle Piece



My name is Martin Felix Gonzalez, i'm student of high school from the CBTis #89, actually i'm in progress to begin the second semester.

I'm working in this project to design a  new piece for a robot, which enables to put two pieces in a specific angle.

His functionality it's to adjust de grades of two pieces.

With this piece we solve the physical problem of get a specific angle between two pieces of the robot.

How to...
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The Square Kit


Introduction: One of the core principles of engineering execution, especially applied to robotics, is build quality. Many teams plan out their designs thoroughly, and make the optimal use of the design process in order to innovate the best mechanisms to fulfill a certain role. However, all this does not mean much unless the team can actually put the parts together and make it work. The square holes in vex parts makes attachment and reiterative prototyping very easy, but the screws that go in the holes are round, and the diameter is smaller than the width of the square...