Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge Sponsored by Autodesk ®

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!


Wire Strain Relief with SmartWire Holder


I built a strain relief to fix the wire problems specifically to protect the brain from breaking. This piece would be put right next to the robot brain to hold the download cable in place using friction. It also can fit various sizes of wires including a smartwire for wire management. For example it can prevent the wires from getting in the wheels. Lastly, the strain relief can help keep the robot legal by holding the smart wires back. The strain relief fixes all of the wire issues.

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Insert Lock

Why the Insert Lock?

This year, we have spent a lot of time working with flywheels. We’ve done our best to minimize our flywheel’s footprint and friction in order to make it best work with the rest of our robot. However, the spacing necessary to fit the required gears was more than we would have liked, so we explored ways to decrease the amount of spacing needed between gears. The insert lock does just that, while tightly holding the gear tight so that there is no slippage between the axle and the gear.

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Snap On Spacer


Andrew Lowy


Vex Online Design Challenge

14 January 2019


                                                             Snap On Spacer


     The part I’ve created, the Snap On Spacer, is quite simple. Out of all the ideas my team and I considered, we decided that this was the most useful and innovative idea: a spacer that could be...

Snap On Spacer


Andrew Lowy


Vex Online Design Challenge

14 January 2019


                                                             Snap On Spacer


     The part I’ve created, the Snap On Spacer, is quite simple. Out of all the ideas my team and I considered, we decided that this was the most useful and innovative idea: a spacer that could be...

Singular Hole Axle/Screw Joint Insert

Team 2496N CAD Challenge Submission

Singular Hole Axle/Screw Joint Insert


Our team had an issue with bearing flats being three holes long, as we needed a single hole to be one circular without the surrounding holes being affected. 

The singular hole axle/screw joint insert allows for a screw joint or axle to be fit on what is a one hole bearing flat. This singular hole insert is extremely space efficient and can be put into the sides rows on...


Caster Wheel for VEX IQ


//---------------Brief Introduction---------------

Team 1313A - RoboRunners (Elementary VEX IQ)

In many beginning level VEX IQ workshops and classes, we have helped kids build their first robot. An easy beginning design is the VEX IQ Speed-Bot. We made this part because when kids drive a VEX IQ Speed-Bot on carpet, or play this year’s “Next Level” IQ game, the “standoff and connector” that sticks down gets stuck on carpet or blue barriers and drives jerky. This is a problem if you want to use the Speed-bot on anything other...

Cable Anchor


In late summer of 2018, I began my first iteration robot for the VEX IQ Next Level Challenge. I made a list of parts that I needed. I thought that I remembered seeing a cable anchor for VEX IQ, but I couldn’t find it on the VEX IQ website. When my mom called to place the order, we asked VEX Support if there was such a part, and they said there was a cable anchor for EDR, but not IQ.

As my team worked through the iterations of our robot, the cables were a constant problem. The robot’s arm needed to be long in order to pick up the bonus hubs from the pegs. We needed to...


V5 Mounting System


V5 Mounting System

CAD and Report by Devin Ho

3D Printing and .stl Conversions by Alan Onuma


The V5 Mounting System is an extension of the existing parts used to mount V5 Electronics. There is no way to mount the V5 Brain, Battery, Vision Sensor, and Radio in ways other than what the flanges, battery clip, or existing screw inserts allow. This means that teams must use bulky and inconvenient metal structures to mount these parts in different orientations. These parts allow teams to mount their V5...

Vex Snap-In License Plate Holder



This license plate holder was created to allow you to quickly remove and replace VEX license plates, while also providing a slim and spatially conservative holder. By providing small ridges in the sides of the holder, it allows you to snap the license plate into place much more quickly than screwing or rubber banding it onto the robot, and hold it so it will not fall out like it would if you had hung the plate over a piece of metal.

On the Robot

This part is used in a VEX robot to hold license plates in a convenient...

Vex IQ ball bearing holder

I created a Vex IQ Ball bearing holder to allow robots to have faster more precise turns. Since Vex IQ robots turn a lot during their runs this will allow them to accomplish tasks much quicker, and more accurately. The bearing and holder act in place of a robot's two back wheels and has 2 holes at the top where it attaches to the robot by axles. I first drew a diagram of how I believed it should look. I then designed it using Tinkercad version 4.4. I designed it by merging a sphere with a rectangle then using a hole that is the right size to fit a 2 cm diameter ball bearing...


VEX Linear Actuator


VEX Linear Actuator


The VEX Linear Actuator converts rotational motion into linear motion. The linear actuator is designed to substitute the pneumatic system. With the linear actuator, only one motor is required to create linear motion as opposed to the two motors lost with use of pneumatics in the VEX competition rules. The design of the linear actuator is focused on compactness, which results in the VEX V5 motor being placed beside the linear motion...

Universal Ratchet and Pawl Mechanism


Why did we design this part:

In the 2018-2019 vex game Turning Point, an extremely important task that the robot has to be capable of accomplishing is to shoot balls at the flags. We knew that a ratchet and pawl system would be extremely beneficial for a very common shooting mechanism, the flywheel. We realized that with currently available vex parts, we could only implement this system with an 84 tooth free spinning gear along with some other unconventional parts. Therefore, we decided to develop a more simple and universal ratchet and pawl system that could...


V5 Scuff Controller Add-on

Jasper Kosa

MCC Robotics


The Goal:

The motivation to create this part was simple, to increase the number of buttons accessible on the V5 controller while simultaneously maintaining control of the joysticks. By default, there are only 4 buttons that can be pressed with the user's index fingers on the front face of the controller. I have always disliked the lack of rear buttons on most controllers, why would you not want more inputs accessible at any time? So to...

Customizable Slip Gear Set


Introduction and use:

The slip gear, which only has some of its circumference filled with teeth, allows a mechanism to be driven for only part of its rotation. This could be useful in many scenarios. For our team, and many other teams across the globe, a slip gear is used within the gearing of our catapult. This means when the motor is activated, and the slip gear begins to rotate, the section with teeth will mesh with the driven gear, rotating the arm of our catapult backwards. Eventually, there will be no teeth left to mesh with the gear connected to the...

8871Z - CAD Make it Real Challenge "Jack...


Why was it made? (Introduction)

The Jack Intersection is a specialized six-way standoff that is created in Fusion 360 for the purpose of aiding in more complex connections and joining of VEX robot structure parts. The issue was inconveniences of joining two parts together at arbitrary and unlikely angles, and this solves it by being a utility and multi-purpose component in structure building.

How would it be utilized?

The part would be used to aid in connecting structure parts of a robot in a cubic and grid fashion (As...

Ball Scooper

We created this ball scooper because we noticed that it is really hard for a robot to pick up a ball and launch at something during a Vex competition. The ball scooper can help the robot to pick up a ball faster and launch them in a more accurate direction. The part that we’ve designed can be used during a Vex competition to pick up circular objects and launch them to hit flags. The design will be fitted with two 12 tooth gears and one of the 12 tooth gear will be connected to a motor, which will make both scoops spin at a 90 degrees angle in opposite directions. There are...

VEX 90-degree C-channel Coupler by VRC Team 3674R


When we started the construction of our robot this season, we struggled to make stable 90-degree joints on our chassis. We tried using the 90-degree gussets that VEX offers, but they were too big and did not give our chassis the stability we desired. This caused us to ask, “Why isn’t there a better way?”. While we eventually were able to get the stability we desired on our chassis through a series of bracing, it left us wishing for a better, more compact, and lighter solution.

After looking at the CAD Challenge for this year, a light bulb lit up and the idea for...


The VEX Clip-On Spacer


The VEX Clip-On Spacer is the solution to the struggle of spending hours attempting to fit a spacer in a tight corner. This simple, yet innovative spacer can be slipped on without removing the axle from the part. No more having your entire gear assembly fall off the axle while you are trying to fit on a sixteenth!

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

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Exterior Double Beam Connector


The Circuit Breakers (VEX IQ Team 47A) are excited to introduce The Exterior Double Beam Connector, which is a versatile piece that will be beneficial to all VEX IQ users, if implemented. Resolving the problem of the lack in stability when two beams are linked together, the Exterior Double Beam Connector ensures that beams do not snap off of the robot, which is fundamental to successful and sturdy VEX IQ robot designs. In other words, with this new connecting piece, users will be able to strengthen the quality of their robots and explore more complex designs, while ensuring their robot...

Vex iq support beam/x drive chassis piece

Logan Weekes and Jack Estes (team 31337D)

James Salvant

Robotics 6th Period


AUTODESK Design Challenge

For this years CAD Engineering Challenge, my team and I decided to a peice that although looks very simple, it has many uses and is a multifunctional piece. By making this piece, we are improving the structural support on robots as well as making it simple and more efficient to create and x-drive chassis. For example, if you have two vex iq two by x(any value) beams that intersect at a 90 degree angle, then this piece can be used to...