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!


Rotating Ratchet CAD Design


Made using Autodesk Inventor Professional 2016 -- Student Version .

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90-Degree Standoff

90-Degree Standoff by Theo Frost - Team #3023 "Seahawk Metal"



The 90-degree standoff is mainly for additional stability that serves as an alternate stabilizer other than manipulating metal or making a complicated structure.  The need for this standoff comes from the need for additional stabilization; usually, the regular VEX materials that we use to build our competition robots lack enough stability, forcing us to make additional structures...


Laser sight


We have designed a way of sighting up where the robot is pointing at the start of a match, this helps in setting up the robot for autonomous at the start of a match. The design is a laser marker, which eventually develloped into a twin beam marker so a precise locaiton on the field could be marked.

Entry by Jonathan Reading of 6023S

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L-Bearing Flat

I created a L-Bearing Flat. It will be used for sending axels through them where a normal Bearing Flat would not be able to fit. I used Inventor 2017 and altered the Bearing Flat to an L-shape. I learned how to cut and add pieces of a part to create new ones. I am planning on using Inventor in the future to create 3d parts for personal projects. It helps our robotic team because we can design the entire robot before building it. I believe learning Inventor will aid in my path of becoming an engineer because I will use it to design more intricat parts. 

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VEX Motor Bearing

We have created a bearing specifically for motors, called the Motor Bearing. The distinguishing factors between the Motor Bearing and normal VEX bearings is that the Motor Bearing has a square insert for shafts in the center hole. In addition, the other two holes have been threaded to allow tighter friction for the attaching screws. The Motor Bearing will provide better attachment between the shaft and the motor, thus allowing the motor to be more efficient.

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Make It Real Engineering Challenge

Make It Real Engineering Challenge

Team 7983F

The part we have created is a rounded 90 degree gusset. It has two areas which allow it to be connected to other vex pieces and the middle helps it function as a smoother way to connect two parts at a 90 degree angle. We felt this part was a necessity for all robots that in any way involve rolling a ball, as many did in last years competition. It is also a much sleeker option of surrounding any chains with metal around them. Say your robot was to scoop up a cube, or ball from last...


Battery Box

When designing our robot we came across the problem of what to do with the robot's battery. Despite all the VEX provided parts there is no specific battery holder. Early on in the prototyping stage we develped our own out of c channels and l channels. The problem with this early experimental part was that it was very heavy despite making it out of aluminium. Thus when it came time to design a part for this challenge the decision was simple. We designed a plastic battery box that retains our original idea of an arm that swing shut and keeps the battery from falling out. Also to make...

Locked In and Fired Up!

One of the aspects that sets apart VEX as a company is that all of its parts can be used in different ways. For example, if you were to take apart the claw from a standard clawbot kit, you would find a small spring. Something that seems so small and insignificant has been an integral asset of this design. Through the hard work and dedication of team members Jacob Thane: Head Designer and Austin Florence: CoDesigner from Team 7110B: Fired Up! They have been able to create a non motorized locking mechanism entirely out of VEX parts, Autodesk inventor and good old fashioned...

Multipurpose Wire Pin Protector



Team 8926, Combined IQ, would like to suggest the production of a new part for VEX VRC called the Multipurpose Wire Protector.  Our experience with storing and using VEX products with exposed pins including motors, sensors, motor controllers, and wire extensions has demonstrated that these tiny pins are very fragile and can easily break or bend.  These pins can be caught between pieces of metal while storing a partially assembled robot, allowing them to be inadvertantly broken when the team retrieves the...

HS-LS Shaft Converter


High Strength hardware is one of the most useful Vex products, allowing for extremely high torque applications that would turn low strength gears into wheels and low strength axles into drill bits. However, the greatest flaw of high strength hardware is that it requires low strength hardware to be used. As high strength shafts cannot be driven directly, they must be driven by a high strength gear driven by a gear driven by a low strength axle, which is a cumbersome workaround which introduces a weak point into the system. In addition, this increases the space required to use high strength...