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!


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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