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!


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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