Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge Sponsored by Autodesk ®


First Prize in overall challenge, and Top Winner in College/University category:

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

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

Fourth Prize in overall challenge, and Top Winner for Elementary School category:

Each of the above winners earns an invitation to VEX Worlds 2018 if part of a registered VIQC, VRC, or VEX U team.

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 or VIQC.

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™, Autodesk® Inventor®, or Tinkercad™ 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.

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!


The Advanced Linear Motion Kit



Do you think your linear mechanisms run smoothly? It’s space efficient? How about virtually zero friction? Well, think again. Engineering Freaks proudly presents: The Advanced Linear Motion Kit.

The linear motion kit offers superior parts for all your linear motion mechanisms, providing very low friction, ultra-light weight, and easy assembly design.

For more information, check out the full PDF report below!

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Shock Absorber


This is the Autodesk CAD Challenge Entry by Central Hardin Robotics Team 6135W. The report for our entry is listed as a word document in our files.

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Better Motors


Our team saw that the motor might be able to be smaller. We were going to see if the motor could be smaller but mantain the same power

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L Pice


Our team came up with this idea because we were looking for a simple way to make a cornor without blocking any holes.

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9364X: VEX Adjustable Tension Tether


     The VEX Adjustable Tension Tether is a multifunctional system designed to replace typical rubber bands by increasing durability, being more reliable during competition, and lasting longer than standard rubber bands in order to enhance the torque and speed robot mechanisms.

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Amazing Multitask Piece


Hello my name is Jack Schopp and I am a 5th grader on the Roborunners team 1313A.  I have been in VEX IQ for 3 years now.  I have enjoyed designing, building, and testing my ideas through TinkerCad and SnapCad for the past 2 years. I have been the lead builder on my robotics team for the past 2 years as well.  I have sometimes found it difficult to create a strong vertical support for my robot base.  One that is strong enough to support the robot and any arm attachments to the robot.  I have often thought it would be great if VEX IQ could make a piece that I...

Wire Tubing


The part was created by Issac Magallanes, from the team 6526E of La Verne, California.  The part was a type of tubing in which it can be attached and tightly fastened to the c-channel so that the wires can move freely throughout the tubing and still be organized and have the connections available to switch.  The functionality of this part was improved upon the ideal situation to give free wires the slack to move along the robot but not be in the way of moving parts and gears.  This tubing would very efficiently improve wiring for many teams with limited...


Make in Progress


Currently engineering models

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VEX Helical Gears


Helical Gears

By 8110R "The Knights"

Why it was made:

The reasoning behind the creation of these helical gears was the need for easily transferring axle power 90°. While there are some ways of doing this already through either a complex series of gears or a few universal joints, using the helical gears would save a lot of resources and space. A new gear that can cut down greatly on space is extremely useful for vex teams by helping them keep their robot small and also by...


New Vex Controller


A redesign of the Vex Controller with the same internals, but lighter, sleeker, easier to use. 

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Stable and self tight

When we move our houses, we need to pack our things. But first, if you are going to live in a high floor, when you need to get those packages to that floor. In Korea, there is a aerial ladder truck. And in that aerial ladder truck, there is  a outrigger. It places the ladder truck so that it doesn't move when it's lifting. This is what I have though about. To use it on the vex robots. When it is lifting or placing a cone, it will place it on the ground so that it can stand from any distractions. For the self tight, sometimes, the bolts tend to get loose. So when it...

Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge


Make it Real CAD Engineering Challenge           


          When completing this challenge, our group had to make a decision that would decide which part we created. It was a tremendous choice between many good ideas. When we finally found a part that was effective and solved a problem that we were having as a team with our robot, we went to work. Our part is shaped as a large “X”, with holes evenly placed across each leg of the...

Vex IQ Extraction Driver


Problem Statement

While working with Vex IQ Robots we always struggle with detaching various connectors from the beams. Gears etc. Often time we our hurting our fingers, our thumbs while disconnecting connectors.

We have often also found ourselves in a situation where we are not able to eject/detach the battery from the brain.

We have a Vex IQ battery back, which uses AA battery, and often the back lid is stuck, and it’s a pain to get the back lid, and then the batteries from the VEX IQ battery pack.

Following are main...


New Easy Field Assembly Design 4154A


After coming up with thoughts, we came up with making a clip that would help attach to parts of the field and would still be as sturdy. We used tinkercad for making this 3D field.


How it works:

Instead of having to screw the field together, which takes for ever and is a huge pain, we thought why not use clips to put the field together. These clips are 3D printed onto a piece of plastic, they can either be glued onto the field pieces or drilled through and screwed on. We haven't come up with a way to do the corners of the field but we...


the big battery holder


this part allows the big blue battery to stay in place and prevents it from falling during movement. Instead of using zip ties that are then cut when replacing the battery. i believe this would help reduce tge need for zip ties being wasted and wasting plastic.

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Battery holder


This piece allows the battery to be held in place without the need to use zip ties.


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Shift Trapezoid


     The shift trapezoid is a new piece to help with the problem of spacing. In Vex there are 2 wide c-channels that have holes that make it so you can put axles half a space over. All of the other sized c-channels, 3 wide and 5 wide, only have the holes at 0.32 inch intervals. The shift trapezoid makes it to where you can have a stand off, shaft, or screw between the normal holes. In this year’s competition every inch counts with having to squeeze a mobile goal lift and a vertical lift to get cones into an 18”x18”x18” space.


Vex Gear (918D)


VEX Gear:

When we started the VEX Robotics Competition, one of the first problems we had with out robot was that we didn't have a gear that would be able to hold together all of the robot with just one of this gear. Therefore, we have designed a new VEX part that solves this issue. The intent of the spikes attached to the main body is to allow a axle to connect through a small hole at the tip, which would allow for maximum tension. There would be 3 of these spikes, in order to have more space for more parts to be connected. Since the tension is high, the robot would be held...



The IMB Presented by PUJ1

Simple and useful.

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Vertical Hinge


Our team used hinges and we had to use extra peices to secure it, so we came up with the idea for a vertical hinge.A verical hinge would be useful for many things. It would hold onto certain parts beter than a normal hinge. It would also be able to attach to another vertical style peice withou ends haning of akwardly.

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Multi battery holder


It a battery hollder that can hold multiple batteries


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Make it Real CAD Engineering Challenge...


by Danny Li from Jerry D. Hollnad Midde School From Baldwinn Park  Team number 68689A

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Make it Real CAD Engineering Challenge...


by Danny Li from Jerry D. Hollnad Midde School From Baldwinn Park  Team number 68689A

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Vex iq


Putting into the front of the robot is a claw like a cran 

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Porta Gomas L AND Porta Gomas


What is the purpose of the PGL?

  This piece was created with the purpose of preventing the rubber from being cut, this piece is useful especially in robots with heavy joints, which fall by themselves due to the inertia of gravity.

How is the piece constituted?

  The piece consists of a wavy surface, in addition to having 6 holes for the screws, it serves to be able to leave the piece stable in the robot in a simple way.

How is it used?

  This piece is...

Geneva Gear | 1961N Neon


A Mechanism that allows for step motion, adjusted for VEX dimensions and spacings. Uploaded as .stl as opposed to .f3d even though I used fusion because I had issues uploading.

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Two Motor 1:1 Gearbox with Optical Shaft Encoder...



Team YNOT created a 2-motor gearbox that incorporates an integrated quadrature (quad) encoder for use on Vex robots.  The function of the gearbox is to decrease the amount of space needed to provide 2 motor  power and sensing ability on a single wheel of the drive train. 

Design Explanation

Our strategy in designing this year's robot required a drive train capable of both speed and strength.  In order to maximize speed, we chose turbo motors. In order to maximize torque, we used a total of...

Square C-Channel Screw



The Vex Robotics competitions force teams into difficult problems, requiring them to quickly create and communicate designs, repair parts on the robot, and create the robot itself.

When communicating designs, building a prototype is the most effective way of testing the efficiency and reliability. However, building a prototype can take a bit of time, with the hassle of tightening temporary screws, nuts, and structural supports. The square c-channel screw eliminates the need of the hex keys, because the screw holds on to the c-channel. The square base...

Pneumatics resevoir holder


I made this part to make it easier to hold the pneumatics resevoir. You can attach it with 2 screws and the resevoir snaps in to the clips.

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Axle-Screw Adapter


Axle-Screw Adapter


When building our lift, my team found that we had two options for joints: axles and screws. We found that there is no way to transition between axles and screws, which would have been very helpful for creating new joints. Also, there was no way to attach parts directly to the end of an axle without a large apparatus. We have always needed to resort to large mechanisms using gears and metal to attach parts to axles. Lastly, screw joints could not be attached to a motor, potentiometer, or optical shaft...

The VEX One-hole Wide C-channel


Have you ever had trouble with the design of your lift or base? Is it too bulky, heavy, and space-wasting? My team has seen many robots struggle with a lift or base that weighs too much, including us.

The one-hole c-channel is a revolutionary piece that is slimmer and lighter than a conventional two-hole c-channel. It can be utilized in creating more effective bases, lifts, and intake systems.


Please look below to see more information in our final diagram, report, and pictures.

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Ingenious Elzing-Kup


Our part is a wheelie bar. We designed this part because our own robot kept flipping over, so this piece will help prevent that from happening. This part should be added to the side the robot flips onto, because when the robot goes to flip it will hit the bar and prevent this from occurring. We used the Tinkercad 3.7 software to make a bar with two holes that attaches to the robot at a 45 degree angle. From this project, we learned how to engineer things more effortlessly. We will probably use 3D design software in the future for other projects such as this one because it helps us to...



Our first robot model had a scissor lift for the “In the Zone” game. We quickly realized that bringing the scissor lift up and down evenly was a difficult task for drivers. We designed this shock to absorb some of the energy and balance the scissor lift.

Our shocks mount on the middle of the long bar of the base with the bracket straddling the bar. The ball on top of the shock fits at the first intersection of the scissor lift from the base. Once the scissor lift completely descends, it bumps into the shocks. The shocks even out the pressure thereby evening out the...

Chain Tensioner


Throughout many designs for VRC competitions I have consistently run into the problem of having too much or too little amount of tension in chain. Whether it’s chaining the drive together, powering a flywheel, or using a conveyer belt style intake, getting the right amount of tension in the chain drastically changes the quality of the design. To solve this tension problem, I’ve designed an adjustable roller bracket that will change the tension with more precision than simply changing the number of chain...

Pneumatic System Mounting


Pneumatic system mounting brackets for Vex Robotics

Software used: Fusion 360 Ultimate, Student (version 2.0.3800)


Why did we design this part:

When the 2017-2018 Vex Robotics game In The Zone was released we felt that pneumatics would be an important role in our robots design. We spent months developing different intakes for various game elements using pneumatics and we quickly realized that there isn’t a great solution for attaching various pneumatic components to a robot;...

Improved 4 inch Omni Wheel. 8757C


Why we designed it

The Improved 4 Inch omni wheel improved design I have modelled in Autodesk Inventor Professional 2018 was created to improve the functionality of drive trains. We noticed there is a slight amount of slop between wheels, sprockets and gears on normal sized axles which added with other slop causes results in a large collective slop throughout a drive. This project was set out to help minimise a part of this collective slop and provide more options on a driven wheel.

How it would be...

Square hole shaft


This is a tool for aligning square and square holes in a VEX part. Its design inspiration comes from a series of problems that appear when the machine parts are assembled with the parts with poor accuracy. The size of this tool is the same as the inner diameter of the square hole on the VEX aluminum part. The square shaft and the square hole are in a transition fit relationship. In this way, the square shaft penetrates into the square hole of the two parts at the same time, The other square holes in the part maintain a high degree of accuracy in the coaxial relationship.

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Getting the Shaft


Last year, my robot used a reinforced shaft to drive its lift. If I had used a normal shaft, it would have bent under the immense torque produced. However, it is currently impossible to legally connect a reinforced shaft to a potentiometer. My custom VEX part would solve this problem, allowing reinforced shafts to link into normal shafts in an extremely compact and efficient way.

My part would be used to transfer torque between different types of shafts through c-channels. It is shaped similarly to a bearing flat, and functions similarly to one as well....

VEX motor case


Motors are probably the second most important equipment for a Robot, only behind the VEX ARM® Cortex®-based Microcontroller. However, when we took up this challenge, we realized that they were in a defenceless state, not only because the cable could easily be pulled out, but also because it could easily get a hit. Our last year’s Robot (when we were playing Starstruck) had its picking system designed in a way that when it had to collect stars or cubes it collided with the front wheels Motors. Because of that, some of our motors currently have the marks of...

The Binding Screw


                                                                           The Binding Screw

The thin screw’s purpose is to take up less space. Sometime the nut makes it hard for you to screw a screw. The binding screw will make it easier for you to screw in areas where you can’t put in a wrench to hold the nut. I created this piece because my team experiences this problem all...