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!


Easy Removal Attachment Point for VRC License...


As a High School (9th grade) Engineering-Design student, and a highly involved VEX Robotics Competition team member (Team 81Y – VEXMEN: Cypher), I felt I could take the challenge of creating the next VEX part.

My search for a problem was quite short after accepting the Challenge mentally on the 7th of
January. I remember seeing the CAD Challenge at VEX Worlds in 2015, but never thought I would be
able to compete with my horrible CAD skills at the time. Due to my time as a 9th-grade engineeringdesign
student, I have easily mastered the basics of part...


Extended 45-degree gusset


An extended version of the 45-degree gusset allowing two connection points when attaching a c-channel at a 45-degree angle in the middle of another channel.


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Vex Transmission Clutch

The part I created is a transmission clutch and is made up of three components, a high strength gear adapter insert, a sliding clutch collar, and a shifting lever. The purpose of these components is to allow for the changing of gear ratios in a compact and reliable way. Changing gear ratios allows a design to adapt the output rotational force from a motor to suit the situation. An application example would be a drive chassis, where a high speed gear would allow a robot to traverse a field quickly, and a low gear would allow for precise movements, and extra torque for pushing. Previously,...

Big "L"


This piece is a much needed addition to the VEX IQ part options. This "L" shaped piece allows you to connect two pieces turning it into one whole piece. This avoids the need for lots of connectors when building bases, intakes or anything that requires a 90 degree angle. It will allow for more stability and strength in the robot.

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Team 7700B Ring Gear


Our team designed a ring gear for vex robotics. Vex is currently lacking a ring gear for planetary gearboxes, so we made just that. Our design is based off of the inversion of a vex 84-Tooth gear. We designed our part in Autodesk Inventor over the course of our design. It can fit a 12-Tooth gear as the sun gear and 36-Tooth gears as the planets. It also can fit a 60-Tooth gear as the sun gear and 12-Tooth gears as the planets. It features 12 screw holes for easy mounting that are sunken below the ring of the gear for inline screwing. During this challenge we learned about the...

Integrated GearBox Module


Design Report – Integrated Gearbox Module

                An important part of any VEX robot is creating gear systems to transfer motor power to other devices, or to change the amount of torque and speed your motor can produce. The problem is that VEX only sells large external gears. This creates a number of problems when creating a gearing system for a robot. The large external gears mean gear systems are large and bulky, and they take up a lot of space on the robot, are complex to build and...


Metal 12-tooth High Strength Gear/Shaft Collar...


A High Strength 12-tooth gear with a threaded hole and set screw to ensure placement of the piece is secure on the shaft and ensures the placement of the shaft is secure on the robot.

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Trapped Roller Clutch



We have created The Trapped Roller Clutch for use in VEX Robotics. Currently in VEX, there is a product called the Winch and Pulley Kit. The Winch and Pulley kit is bundled with a ratchet. The main problem with the ratchet is that it was never designed for applications it is now being used for. There is too much friction when used in high RPM conditions and high torque applications and it is also very...


Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge, Sponsored...


This part allows teams to build ENTIRE robots that are lighter, more precise, and remain
just as rigid as before; all without cutting. 

Please see attached PDF file of report and appendicies. 


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Motor mount/Delrin bearing

I am the builder on the team and have come across certain problems mounting the motors onto our robot. Sometimes, the screws come loose and need to be tightened and it's almost impossible to to access them without taking everything apart. My idea: flip the screws around and bring them to the outside. You already need a delrin bearing as well and this would be functional as that. On the underside, two of the five parts are thinner than the rest to allow the motor screws to go into the motor. The shaft would come out of the one next to those, leaving two holes on the outermost parts...