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!


Robosus | Suspension System

This instrument is designed as a solution to motion restirictions and vibration problems of robots. As well as providing independent motion to front and rear wheels, it also seperates the main frame from the wheels. This practice ensures more convenient mobility and keeps the main frame steady. It is possible to interlock two or more robots and create a more complex transportation system which can be run by a single motor.


After finalizing my drafts, I used solid modelling, assemble, animation, motion study and motion link...

Angled Brace


Videos and Images of CAD drawings of an angled brace used to sucure shafts on the flywheel devise on our robot.  The brace would have evenly spaced holes used to use screws and shafts to hold the flywheel system in place with out needing to bend or cut a part.

This allows the part to be conveniently placed on any part of the robot to hold items at an angle.

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Compound Gear


The part that the Vex team 2177D Brain Bots has created is a High Speed/Torque Preset Compound Gear. The purpose of this was to have an easy gear to insert into a line of gears so that you don’t have to match up individual gears. This could be used in place of two gears, with others of it’s kind, when you need a wheel or other part to be fast or strong. We used Autodesk Inventor to create the part, and we used the CAD downloadable parts as a starting point. We then modified the parts and put them together. We took away from this project a better understanding of Autodesk. We...

Motor Heat Sink


For this challenge, we have decided to design a heat sink for our motors. Heat sinks work by transferring some of the heat generated by a device into a coolant in motion, such as air or water. For our design, this would include replacing the green plastic backing of our motors with metal (likely aluminum or copper) and adding vertical fins to the back. Because of the high thermal conductivity of aluminum and copper, some of the heat generated by the motor’s operation would be transferred to the metal backing. The vertical fins connected to this backing allow for a large...

License Plate Holder


The license plate holder we made gives teams the ability to easily switch out their plates between matches. The snap-in design saves teams alot of time and helps out especially when teams have back to back matches.

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VEX Universal Gusset

3946A Sun Devils

1.0 Introduction

The VEX Universal Gusset is a comprehensive mounting solution designed for new and well experienced teams alike. It provides space efficient and rigid mounting solutions for out-of-the box ideas, where implementation is limited by 90, and 45 degree structure. The VEX Universal Gusset can be implemented as a significant structural member, where as 1 by bars are only applicable for non rigid solutions. Our product solves this problem by providing mounting freedom in two rotational degrees and was designed utilizing assemblies and parametric 3D...

The T-Peg


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...

Pneumatic Mounting Bracket


CAD Design Final Report

Grant Kobes, VRC Team 8926   Combined IQ


I have served as the lead design engineer and builder for my Vex Robotics Competition team, 8926, Combined IQ, for the past two years.  Our team has utilized Vex pneumatics since the  2015 South Carolina State Championship.  On our Skyrise robot, the pneumatics powered a two-speed transmission that ran our linear slide lift mechanism.  Since Worlds, we have purchased a second pneumatics kit and have...


New Bearing Block


New bearing block design for the CAD challenge.

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Multi-Axle Shaft Collar


This part was created to fix one major problem that our team runs into a lot; not having a long enough axle. This piece combines two shaft collars with a recreated shaft coupler in order to hold two axles together. It can be used to extend multiple small axles to fit a required distance that your available axles cannot reach. We used AutoDesk Inventor to create this part. It was created as a new part then assembled with the current shaft collar screws. We learned that AutoDesk Inventor differs from other CAD softwares but we plan to use it more in the future because the VEX...