Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge, Sponsored by Autodesk ®


First Prize in overall challenge (Worlds Qualification), and Top Winner for VEX U category:

  • Team EFR Engineering Freaks from Toa Baja, Puerto Rico with “The VEX Two-Speed Transmission”

Second Prize in overall challenge, and Top Winner for VRC High School category:

  • Team 86868 THE RESISTANCE from Santa Clara, CA with “The Standoff Slide Truck”

Third Prize in overall challenge, and Top Winner for VRC Middle School category:

  • Team 9364D Iron Eagles from Brentwood, TN with “VEX License Plate Holster”

Winner of Bonus Prize (quadcopter) in the “Make” category

  • Team AURA Auckland University Robotics from Auckland, New Zealand with “AURA: Motor Attachment Blocks”

Congratulations everyone!!! Your entries these season were absolutely amazing, and you should be very proud of your work. We hope to see ALL of you entering again next season, and wish you the very best of luck and skill!

Don’t forget: All participants with eligible entries will be rewarded with a certificate for your portfolio and membership points in the Autodesk Education Expert Network, which allows you to showcase your work with industry professionals, among other benefits.


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™ or Autodesk® Inventor® 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!



GMS Gears of Glory


We are a team from Downey striving to go to the VEX World Championships and have fun and compete. We got into states last year but was barely short of making it to the VEX World Championship. Just being in the VEX World Championship would b e the biggest accomplishment.

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spiral gear


We would make a gear that is shaped like a corkscrew.

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Nyloc Standoff


This basic part would have the same structural advantages as a regular standoff but with locking end this part could easily be interchangeable with current vex standoffs and would offer a wider veriety of use for this sort of component. This new standoff could come in your same basic lengths including your .5'',1'',1.5'',2'',2.5'',3'',4'',5'', and 6'' measurments. One could also offer a 9" and a 12" standoff in this form for another part for students to utilize. This standoff would be the same width as...

Corner C-Channel


Vex Corner C-Channel

By Team 8110R "The Knights"

Vex Corner C-Channel

By Team 8110R "The Knights"


Why Was It Created?

The reason for the creation of this part was to solve the issue of having to create right angles with the C-Channels for the frame and structure of robots. If your bot...


Planetary Gear


I am going to design a planetary gear which can be use on its own for gear reduction, or in use with other parts to make a sort of tranmission.

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Epicyclic Gear Box Set/Kit For VEX Lifts



Throughout Team 22283A's years in robotics, we always came across the problem where we run out of spaces for gears to make a high torque four bar lift, six bar lift, scissor lift, etc. Because of this problem, we decided to create a gearbox that increases torque by adding more "chains" of the gearbox in front of the next. Our project is a 3D printed epicyclic gear kit/set which incorporates an epicyclic gear box that can be continuously added on to increase the torque of a system;the more epicyclic gear chains added, the greater the torque. Unlike a...

Noah Garon 4154A Battery Protector


For this challenge I created a battery protector. Built to fit on the 7.2V Robot Battery NiMH 3000mAh, this product will help prevent battery damage. All pictures as well as the final report are attached in the document.

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Zev 4154W ~ Vex Cad Design


Zev Lerner's spacer CAD design. 

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David Farache CAD Design 4154B


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Faillace, Victor MicroCase 4154A


Victor Faillace



Have you ever been in the middle of a competition when your battery slips out from it’s plug into the microcontroller? Or with the purchase of a 250$ robot brain be scared of who holds it so it doesn’t get damaged. This invention is to now both protect accidental drops and prevent from loose battery directly to the micro controller.

The way this case works is with the flexible material it is made out of so the with the same ease of putting a phone case on your phone you will put it into the...


VEX AutoCAD Challenge




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Ball and Socket Latch


The part I created is called a ball and socket latch. I began concepts of this idea in my engineering notebook after struggling for many days on a mechanism to lock our claw inside of the 18x18x18 inch size requirements for robots in the VEX robotics competition. The ball and socket latch is designed so that you can attach each of the two pieces, the ball and the socket, to two separate faces and pop them into each other to hold them together. Under a medium amount of pressure, the two would separate and become independent of one another until they are connected back to each other...

24 tooth gear


The reason why I created this part is so there can be a gear size between a 12 tooth and 36 tooth gear. This season when my team was designing our drive base we wanted to be gear driven so both the motors we had on the drive base would equally distribute there power to both wheels, but we wanted to a little more speed then a 1:1 gear ratio but not quite as much as a 1:3 ratio. We also needed to consider the sizes of the gears so our wheels would be close to where we wanted them. A 24 tooth gear would have given us the exact spacing we would have needed.

The design intent of this...


The amazing castor socket!


As my team started brainstorming robot ideas we realized we needed an omnidirectional wheel. Although Vex already sells omnidirectional wheels their wheels need an axle which can be cumbersome. This castor ball socket will eliminate the need for an axle and will be able to carry out the functions of an omnidirectional wheel.

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Snap-On Bearing Blocks


Why was this part created?

Our snap-on bearing block part was created in order to make using axles, motors, and gears more easily.  Bearing blocks commonly lose their screws and become loose constantly, which creates problems during competitions. With this new part, bearing blocks will not have to be periodically tightened and replaced.

How will this part be used?

This part can be used to replace bearing blocks on VEX robots. The snap-on pins can be moved around or taken out of the holes as needed, such as when motors...

High-strength lock bars


High strength lock bars are very useful in keeping gears from breaking in half, and keeping the hub from stripping out. The lock bar that I designed is made so that teams don’t have to us spacers to tighten the bolts without having to worry about bending the bar. Team Virus (3547) makes lock bars from vex one-bar by chopping them into 3, 5, and 7-hole high strength lock bars and sells them to teams all around the country. We have partnered with robosource to be able to sell them in Canada easily.

We make the lock bars by using a broach tool which is a rod that starts round,...


middle hole


A standart 36 tooth gear with a circular middle hole. This middle hole alows us to turn it into a differential or transfer multiple gear lines on one axel, which is also helpful. Lastly, you can use it to design a robot that is like a clawbot but can move it's claw up and down, seperate form the arm and on a motor that is attached to the 12*4 plate on the robot.

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Autodesk team challenge Hook


For the benfit of the compitition's challange of high hanging, we decided to design a hook which would complement our design. To hang, we needed to attach something light and simple that would provide enough friction to the pipe. A hook was the right design to complete the challenge. We made it long enough to reach the pipe and added a thredaded hole to extend the hook if needed. As well we chamfered the inside to give the hook a better grip. To attatch the hook me made a square hole with the same dimensions as the standard VEX parts.

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Shaft Locking Peice


All information can be found in the PDF attached.

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Pre-Made Slip Gear




Since the introduction of our school's participation in this years vex robotics competition, most of our fellow teams have complained about the slip gear.

What is the problem with the part?

The main complaint with the part isn't its...

The VEX Two-Speed Transmission



As time passes, the Vex Robotics Competition has gotten even more competitive. Do you need to collect scoring objects faster than your opponent? Do you need to push your opponent out of the way to score in your goal?

To dominate the field, a new weapon must be used: The Two-Speed Transmission. Using the Two-Speed Transmission, the output shaft can shift to the speed and torque that suits your needs in a competition...

New VEX Protractor


Introduction :

The Vex protractor is designed to provide an easy way to adjust the precise angle that I want, which help to build angular mechanisms by the protractor hand that I have designed.

You Can Download the Final Report so You Can Know More about the Protractor.

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VEX Gear Shifter


Hello!  We are ROBOTECH team and this is our entry to the 2017 REC Foundation Make It Real CAD Online Challenge.

Building a robot is on of the most exciting thing that you can do.
But what will happen if wanted a part that not included in the kit ?
You can design and print it ....
In the report you will see the new part that we designed for the make it real cad challenge...


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VEX Electromagnet



     4423C  4423D 

     4502G  4502H                                     ...
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Protective Plug Cover



Our team had run into big problems with the motors: the two pins that plug into the Motor Controller 29 kept on breaking and making us replace the motor. That is very difficult when you have gears and shafts in the way.


Part Description

Our part solves this problem by snapping onto the plug. The part fits around the pins and stops them from breaking and falling out. It would be used by sliding it onto motors as you are taking them out of the box and then taking it off only...

Add-on Shift Gear



The Add-on Shift Gears were designed as an alternative to traditional methods that teams have used to create multi speed gear trains. It seems to be common practice for teams to chamfer the edge of gears that are used to shift. These gear additions would allow teams to shift without the need to modify gears.


How the part would be used

The Add-on Shift Gear would be used by one on each gear and two on the gear fixed to the shaft. The other gears on the same shaft as the shifting gear would use the...


New Vex Part


We made our part to support our lifting mechanism or to support the base of the robot so both are not as flimsy. We used Autodesk inventor 2015 because we had a course on it during our 7th grade year. we also had it installed on our computer. we sketched out the simple parts on the z plane and then measured it out and added connector points. we learned to measure things super precisely and will probably use inventor in the future. If any of us get into a 3d designing career. inventor well probably be a big help. for pictures

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3946W Make it Real CAD Challenge


What is the part?

The part our team designed is an aluminum 1x3x1x35 c-channel dedicated for implementing and using high strength shafts through the metal. We drilled holes capable of fitting high strength shafts and high strength bearing flats in the c-channel. It will reduce the hassle of having to drill holes out of every piece of metal we use with high strength shafts. Each high strength hole is spaced apart by two other holes which will allow space for any high strength bearing flats to vertically line the entirety of the metal.

Why do we...

Gear Enlarger


I made the Gear Extender with Autodesk Inventor Pro 2016 for fast and easy prototyping for teams without many parts. It’s snap on design allows gears to be changed out quickly. The part is designed to made out of the same steel as the pinions so could be used in high torque situations without breaking. This CAD shows just the 60-tooth add-on, but there are plans to extend this to each of the current gear sizes for added flexibility. Because the two halves of the gear add-on mesh together you can put them on without having to take out axles to replace the gear, this makes them an easy...

Amperage / Voltage Meter



What is it?

This year for the Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge our team, Freezing Code, designed an amperage and voltage meter. The purpose of this part is to be able to monitor the voltage of the battery, and more importantly the current draw of a connected motor. This would help teams diagnose problems with drawing more amperage than the motor, cortex, or power expander can handle. This would help teams balance...



Through all the obstacles that our team experienced in relation to battery chargers, we came up with this idea to help make battery charging more efficient and safe. With this new and improved battery charger, the chances of the batteries being over charged will be very low. We hope that this idea will be a great benefit for future teams. 

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CAD challenge: c-channel attatchment


Intro   This part was designed by Vex Robotics Team 98807A using Fusion 360. It was made to attatch 1x2x1 c-channels together in a perpendicular orientation without using bulky gusset parts, this was something that could be used in constructing drivetrains that are light and efficient.

How it will be used  The part will be used by sliding two 1x2x1 c-channels into the plastic part and securing them with quarter inch screws. We hope that this part wiould offer a useful alternative to metal gussets.


Rubber Band Holder/Hook


                                              Vex Hook

The VEX hook is a small part that could be capable of restraining a rubber or you can tie off a segment of string. This part is very useful if you have rubber bands on you robot and struggle to keep them from falling off.

In order to create this part, the team used Autodesk Inventor Educational Institution version. A crucial tool used in inventor to create the part was sweep...

Tower crane


Metallic building set for children. Educational toys help children to develop logical thinking, fine motor skills and patience, and as result greatly boost mental development and highlight children’s abilities. Mechanical construction set is very sustainable and is unattached to one exact model (tower crane). Children can create their own models materializing different ideas and improving their imagination.

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7110X Fired Up!


In our online challenge, we chose to create our own part for our robot. A problem we had in the construction of our robot was our wheels. Our initial design had two motored wheels in the middle and had wheels in the corner similar to a normal drive train. This made our final drive train have 6 total wheels. This allowed our robot to be able to make a complete 360 degree turn. This did not end up working because the center wheel was too small compared to the gripped wheels on the outside, so the middle wheel that had the motor would spin in place a few rotations before starting. This would...


Motor Pin Protecter


4768 A-J Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge, Sponsored by Autodesk by Joel Ward and John Siy


For this years online challenge we have decided to develop a 3-d printed pin clip that is low cost and would save time and effort in a team’s yearly build. This part and it’s design would protect motor and sensor pins from bending and breaking. One variation is a sleeve that goes over a motor and motor controller connection.


We believe that motor pins breaking are one of the most...

Make it Real CAD Engineering Challenge: Team 7110F




     This hook part was essential to our robot at one of its features consisted of hanging from the hanging pole and achieving a high hang. Before this part was designed our team used 4 90 degree gussets which were bent in to fit into the hole this solution was creative but also wasted perfectly good gussets and was heavy as we needed many standoffs to make it rigid enough to support the weight of the robot. The designed hook was made of plastic and was one piece which makes it simpler to install and much, much,...


Shaved Gears


The Gear was designed for Piston Shooters. The reason was to supply the team with the availability of this gear they will have a shaved gear for piston shooters. There is no need to shave this gear unless you want a less pointy Teeth for the gear.

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Kaizen 4305A New Motor System


Are team has come up with a hole new body and housing for motors for easy fixes and changes. See full description in video and documents.

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High Strength Strength Axel Bar Lock 1460Z


    We created this part after realizing that having a high torque arm/lift is not very benafitial when the drive shafts bend and twist so easely, and when you use a High Strength axel, it's not very efficient to fasten the arm to it in any way. So what we did is design a drive shaft lock bar, for high strength axels using Autodesk Inventor.
    This part would be used that the previous drive shaft bar lock, only for high strength axels. You would get your metal with a good sized hole in it (for the axel to go through) and then you would fasten the...

Wire Rails, the colorful way to organize your...


Wire rails are a cylindrical tube that uses prongs that are easily attachable and detachable. Absolutly no screws required. The wire rails are bendable and translucent tube that has a special suprise. The tube has a rgb light strip to personailize your robot with a colorful light show. They are an effective and protective solution to the organization of wires.

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6135H CAD Challenge Entry


This is team 6135H's entry for the Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge. It is a battery holder for the VEX 7.2V Robot Battery (3000mAh). We got the idea for this part when the drive began stalling because the standard VEX battery clips were dragging on the ground. This battery holder should be more discrete and space efficient. It is a rubber strap with two holes in the center to allow it to be screwed to a c-channel. On one end of the strap is a hard plastic peg and on the other is a hole. The peg snaps into the hole to hold the battery in place. This part was made in Autodesk...


VEX 3D parts design


We are trying to use autodesk inventor to create new parts for VEX.

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