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!



1X2X1 C Channel Joint


The C channel Joint allows for two 1X2X1 C channels to merge on the part at a 90 degree angle. this resolves the issue of not having a perfect box when bolting 4 C channels together. 

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1X2X1 C Channel 2.5in Chassis Box Joint


This joint allows for a 2.5 inch gap between two 1X2X1 C channels. Very useful for specific sizes on Chassis. 

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1X2X1 C Channel 3.0in Chassis Box Joint


This joint allows for a 3 inch gap between two 1X2X1 C channels. Very Useful for getting your sizing right for a chassis.

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1X2X1 C Channel 4.0in Chassis Box Joint


This joint allows for a 4 inch gap between two C channels. Resolves the issue of not getting a perfect chassis on your robot. 

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Vex Wheel


I designed a new wheel with a skid resistant surface to improve traction and to make wheels used to propel objects more powerful. Our robot this year uses wheels to propel balls at the flags. I thought a wheel with a skid resistant (like fine sandpaper) coating would shoot the balls with more power.


The new skid resistant wheel would be used in the same location as other wheels, just in a way to improve traction. This wheel conatins the same .25 inch hole for the axle as a standard wheel. I also redesigned the interior of the wheel to be solid plastic with no...

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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Controlled Passive Motion Beam


Allows for passive lateral movement that can be controlled with thin sheet attaching pins.

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2775J: Autonomous Selection Knob

Autonomous Selection Knob by Team 2775J

The Autonomous Selection Knob is a simple and elegant solution to the problem of switching between autonomous functions. It can be utilized by VexU teams as well as MS and HS teams.

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Alignment Bearing


We noticed that the square holes in the VEX EDR pieces allow clearance between it and the screws, allowing the part to move relative to the part it is fixed to. This flaw causes inconsistency. To fix this problem, we designed an alignment bearing to keep the screw in one place.

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