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!


Team 7121D | Make It Real Challenge


Attatched is our report for the Make It Real Challenge, including screenshots of the part design and pictures of the finished, printed out part in use on our robot. You can access the file by clicking the first arrow in the "Files" box. Alternatively, you can view the report here. Our design was made using Autodesk Inventor 2016.

Dropbox Link: 

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90 Degree Coupler


2017 Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge Report

Why This Part Was Created

For this year’s online challenge Make It Real CAD Engineering, our team decided to create a piece that would be simple and efficient, a 90-degree c-channel coupler. We created this part because it is simple yet effective and can be used in multiple ways. The issue we are solving is that when you try to combine two c-channels to form a 90-degree angle there is a gap in between the c-channels when they connect. Every part that counters our part throws off...

The Standoff Slide Truck


The Standoff Slide Truck



The standoff slide truck is a simple, compact, and lightweight method to create linear mechanisms. Especially for passive linear mechanisms where linear slide rails are commonly used, the low profile standoff slide truck provides a significantly lighter alternative for linear motion.

How the Part Would be Used

A standoff sits in the hexagonal channel and moves back and forth...

AutoCAD Robotics Piece Design: Clamping Gear


Over the course of the three years I have done Vex Robotics, one problem that has consistently plagued my team is shaft collars. Maneuvering them into tight areas is always difficult, its hard to tighten them down in the exact right spot, and then just when you need them to hold that last gear for the drivetrain in, you either run out or cant find one. Thats why my team and I decided that the best design we could think of is one that combined the shaft collar and and the object which you are trying to hold,  the gear. This model was made to have any normal...

VEX Spring Piston- Team 91C

The spring piston brings the functionality and versatility of springs to the VEX robotics system.  The piston as drawn, utilizes a compression spring that can force arms apart and can be used to power catapults  . The design could also be modified to use an extension spring that would tension linkages and replace rubber bands that break, wear out and lose tension.

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Talking the Torque


We have designed a Continuously Variable Transmittor unit that can alternate between a 1:4 and 4:1 gear ratio, with every possible ratio in between. This unit means we can achieve a maximum torque ratio, but allows us to smoothly and quickly change to a high speed ratio, without the need for extra motors. 

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High Strength Motor

Team 1264D

Dunwoody High School

High Strength Motor

                          Make it Real CAD Engineering Challenge

            The high strength axis has been added to the list of vex parts for a couple of years, yet they are barley ever seen in a team’s robot. In many VEX composition axis are placed under a great deal of stress. By the end of the season nearly every team’s robot has a bent or twisted axial....

Angle Brackets () 6135K Make It Real CAD Challenge


Idea Creation

I created the angle bracket off of working with our robot and how we use angle iron to try and make a really specific angle off of it. We bend and measure then bend and then measure over and over again making a tedious task which then could lead to the piece being bent or broken and us spending more time on the one small 5 inch long angle iron.

Part Explanation

I made a simple angle bracket for c-channel that bends 135 degrees but this could be innovated to popular round angles such as 15, 30, 60, etc. This...

Hanging mechanism

In this project was realized a piece in 3D which aims to achieve the objective High Hanging.
Designer Arturo Aguilar Santes 

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Interchangable Slip-Gear


Slip Gear Final Render

This is a slip gear with removable teeth. The need for a slip gear was first presented to us during the previous season of VexU (Nothing But Net). We required a slip-gear to operate our catapault, so we designed a basic slip gear to meet our requirements. Upon transfering this slip-gear to our new robot this...