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!


750R - Adjustable T-Bearing


Brief Introduction:

  • While designing and building our robot for the 2018-2019 season, Team 750R ran into a problem that we believed could be solved by creating a new part. For the Turning Point game, we built an angle adjuster to expand the capabilities of our linear puncher. While building the adjuster, we realized that if we wanted to have the shooter pivot freely, we would need to have a hinge that could both attach a vertical C-channel to a horizontal C-channel and have the latter pivot to make itself parallel to the former. To resolve this...

V5 Motor Mount


The introduction of the new V5 System has required a shift in building techniques to best utilize the powerful V5 Motors. Two primary challenges came with the new motors - building around their larger size compared to the old 393 Motors, and building strong assemblies to handle to increase in power output. 

The V5 Motor Mount addresses these two concerns with a 3D printed piece, designed in Autodesk Inventor, that is well suited for a variety of uses on Team BLRS' robots current and future.

More details can be found in the...



We’re from TechnoLions and will be presenting our new part idea, Omni-tracks.

Omni-tracks are a very convenient way to get over obstacles they’re not really meant for speed, they’re more meant for agility. The Omni-track is very much like a track, just with Omni-track characteristics. For this year’s game it is also very helpful for going over the blue bars, or if you can think of any other obstacles. Different robots probably struggle in different places. For example, our robot isn’t fast, but it is able to move...

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...

V5 wire clip


With the transition into the new V5 system, there was one thing I thought was missing that the V4 system had, a form of wire management. The v4 system had the cable retaining clip but with the addition of custom wire lengths this would be unnecessary to design and submit, so I came up with the idea of something that clips on to any length two hole c-channel with the proper spacing to allow an official v5 cord to be snugly fit against the c-channel. the purpose of this clip would be to help with wire management and get rid of the dreaded bird's nest of wires.

For the software...

Locking Mechanism


In Vex Robotics The CAD software that I used was Fusion 360 v2.0.5278. First, I started out by drawing a 2D trapezoid. Then, I extruded it into 3 dimensions. Next, I added 3 spheres on each side of the trapezoidal prism. I then made a rectangular prism and used the trapezoidal prism as a cutting tool to create the inverse shape. This gave me 2 parts that would fit into each other. Then I added 3 holes on opposite sides of the rectangular prism that we can push the spheres out of the divots and detach them from each other. The spheres stick out of the trapezoidal piece so that they lock...


Cap Flipper - 65145A


The online challenge that I decided to tackle was creating a custom part consisting of two pieces that can be used in the robotic competitions. My part is a cap flipper for this year's VEX Robotics game. I was hoping to tackle a way to make a light, effective, and simple mechanism for flipping caps over. To accomplish the 3-D design, I used the AutoCAD application of Inventor Pro 2017. In Inventor, I made the parts individually, assembled the parts in the assembly file, and made 3 different views in the drawing folder. This project served as a learning experience for me...

V5 to VersaPlanetary Multiple Motor Adapter



With the release of the 2018-2019 VEX game Turning Point, changes to the VEX U rules allowed for the use of VEX Pro components. This allowed us to use the Versaplanetary gearboxes in the VEXPro product line, but there was no easy way to drive these with the V5 EDR motors. The V5 EDR motors only receive square shafts while the VEXPro shafts are hex. This created the need for a way to adapt V5 motors to the Versaplanetary gearbox. This is the solution we created. Using a Versaplanetary and a 180 degree drive kit, we were able to create a motor gearbox...

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...

Rawr Woo Vex Part


This is a part that was created by the whole team Rawr Woo and put together for this Online Challenge.

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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...

Directionally-Reliant Ratchet


     We designed a ratchet-gear combination for the “Make It Real” CAD Design challenge. Early in our VEX season, we came across an issue where we already used seven of the eight allowed motors, but needed two more motors in order to create an efficient and reliable system. Using the principle of a ratchet, we were able to perform different tasks when the motor spun in opposite directions, essentially eliminating the need for one motor.

     While we created and implemented a ratchet system with existing VEX...

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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Dox Rox Plate Locks


As a team, we have identified that an issue with our previous robots design was a lack of efficient and professional vertical license plate holders. This has led us to zip-tying plates to the side of our robot, bolting them to bars and even creating stands to mount them on. With all of the various designs attempted there was always a compromise that had to be made that left us all in doubt about the perfection of the design. Then we realized there is no perfect design for the plate holders we set out to cad our own.


Our custom part is a...

Standoff Angle


Standoffs are an extremely useful part of the VEX Robotics Design System. They serve as the intermediary between screws and C-Channels, and are perfect for a whole variety of situations. The Standoff Angle is a peice designed to help increase their flexibility and power.

For example, see the attached assembly, which demonstrates a model of a prototype ball uptake. The Standoff Angle allows for easy mounting of the Polycarbonate component of the uptake, and securely holds it in a simple mechanism

The Standoff Angle allows you to attach any two standoffs, at any mounting...

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...

Low Friction Flywheel and Ratchet Design


    This part was created with the goal of producing an efficient flywheel design that will outperform all other competing flywheels, which decreases power draw, allocating more power to other systems on the robot. This low friction ratchet gear fabricated out of a VEX winch drum replaces the VEX ratchet gear from the winch and pulley kit for the flywheel on our robot. The disadvantage of using the VEX ratchet gear it has exceedingly more friction. The standard VEX ratchet gear acts like how a square shaft in a square hole stops spinning sooner compared to a round shaft...

Continuously Variable Transmission


A common problem in the VEX robotics competition and lots of engineering applications is finding the ideal gear ratio to minimize time taken to actuate a mechanism. First, calculations must be done to find the ideal gear ratio for the perfect speed-torque balance. Next, the correct size gears have to be purchased or fabricated. This is where VEX teams are limited. There are only four sizes of gears, limiting teams to 25 gear ratios. Sprockets and chain add 12 more options, but chain cannot be used in some applications, such as high torque applications. 37 might seem like a lot of options,...

Flywheel-Ratchet Mechanism


We are the Puerto Rico Robotics Association, a team from the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez. During this season we designed a Flywheel-Ratchet Mechanism. Here's why and how it works.

Why did we design this part: After the release of 2018-2019 VRC Game, Turning Point, we realized a flywheel mechanism might be one of the best choices to launch the balls in the game. This system accelerates a rotating component and when in contact with an object it spins it causing it to  be launched at full speed. In VEX some people use wheels as this...

7842F - Improved Ratchet Gear



The new V5 system has brought many new and useful features with its smart motors; however, with the motor limit decreased to eight (8) per robot, power transfer systems are much more valuable now. Through external mechanical systems, the number of powered outputs available on the robot increase, allowing a team to make better use of its motors. Ranging in difficulty, there is a multitude of ways to do this. For example, a double ratcheting system was one of easiest transmissions to implement but was proven to be a challenge to construct with the...

Single Gear Ratchet and Pawl



The reason we created this part was to improve the functionality of the current ratchet on our robot. In Turning Point, an extremely popular design is a flywheel that allows for variable aiming and other benefits. With our specific robot design, we decided to power the flywheel and lift with a singular motor for more efficiency. In order to do so, we needed a ratchet that could power different parts with different rotations, and would also help decelerate the flywheel in order to cause less stress upon the motors. To solve this problem, we designed...

High Strength Specialty Parts 


Team 6007R  High Strength Specialty Parts 

We at team 6007R, Quantum Flux, have noticed VEX's efforts in converting to the high strength shaft. We have also observed that VEX has not yet converted every part, thus we used both fusion 360 and Autodesk inventor 2017 to recreate some of vex's existing parts and give them the high strength treatment.

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3D Printable Airless Wheel for VEX


Have you ever wished you could have a cool suspension on our robot, but didn't have the parts to build one? We created this airless wheel to solve that problem. This versatile tire is compatible with exisiting parts, and can replace normal 4" rims. It is great for keeping screws from wiggling out, making your gyro sensors more accurate, going over bumps, and making your robot drive smoother in general. It has a unique one-peice design we belive we are the first to create. It is designed to 3d print well.

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Vex Robotics Strong Grip Wheel


    Throughout the several years that I have been in VEX robotics most of the time we stayed relatively grounded due to having to interact with other objects on the field, however within the last few years there have been more obstacles that require our robot to climb over or on top of. With the current wheels that are available  which would be either be the 2.75in diameter wheels or one of the few 4in diameter rail or omniwheels. The 2.75in are generally way to small to climb anything let alone  the 4in pole that VEX has been using as an obstical to climb, while...

3D Printable Vex Ratchet


This year for the 2018-2019 Vex Online Challenge I created an all-in-one 3D printer friendly Vex ratchet. This ratchet restricts the rotation of an axle to one direction and can be useful in many different robot designs.

See The Attached Documents for CAD files and more information.

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Vex Locking mechanism


In Vex Robotics The CAD software that I used was Fusion 360 v2.0.5278. First, I started out by drawing a 2D trapezoid. Then, I extruded it into 3 dimensions. Next, I added 3 spheres on each side of the trapezoidal prism. I then made a rectangular prism and used the trapezoidal prism as a cutting tool to create the inverse shape. This gave me 2 parts that would fit into each other. Then I added 3 holes on opposite sides of the rectangular prism that we can push the spheres out of the divots and detach them from each other. The spheres stick out of the trapezoidal piece so that they...

9364X: VEX Extendable Modular Bearing


The VEX Extendable Modular Bearing is a simple but elegent way to fix the bearing sizing problem so that cutting bearings is no longer nessesary. This piece is a single unit that can be connected multiple times to create whatever sized bearing is needed.

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Varying Support Beam


 Our Problem

Supporting our arm is a 2x20 beam. It is only supported at one end, near the the base. This, combined with our heavy arm, causes the supports to bend, often causing the arm to snap off the base completely. This, as you can imagine, is a problem for our team.

The Solution

Our solution is a reinforced 2x20 beam. However, a solid support in the form of a rectangle on top of our beam is unnecessary. So, we created a 2x20 beam with a triangle support. We chose a triangle because It saves material and weight, while providing plenty of support...

VEX Flipper


Before the V5 system, sparing a motor for little moving parts was no big deal, as teams could use up to 12 motors. However, now with the V5, teams can only use 8 motors, which limits the amount of moving parts a robot can have. But, a robot can have more moving parts if those parts do not need to be powered by motors. This passive mechanism, nicknamed “The Flipper,” allows parts to be held within an 18” cube for measure-in, but flip out once the robot moves.

This unique-looking part is a small leg that is best used with a pivot point and...


Detachable Spacer


The detachable spacer consists of two identical parts, each being a semi-circular ring with two ends, one concave and one convex. This spacer can added to or removed from shafts without pulling the latter ones out from motors or other machine parts. It also minimizes the time of installing spacers in narrow places where fingers or tools can hardly hold old-style spacers in the correct spot. The detachable spacer can be placed onto a shaft by pressing one of its parts against the shaft, then position another on top of it and click the two pieces together. 

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V5 Motor Clip


The motor clip is piece for the new V5 motors, similar to Vex 393 motors, changing out the gears and cartridges can take too long. Currently many teams take out the screws holding the motor together and use zipties. Zipties still take a long time to replace, so I designed a motor clip to hold the motor together and allow people to remove it quickly and change out cartridges. The motor clip can also be printed in different colors to show which cartridge is in the motor.

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Pneumatic Piston


       This is a pnematic piston with a threaded hole in the back for a valve to control air pressure. On each side are threaded mounting holes to provide easy placement. The end of the piston rod has a rectangular prism with a threaded hole to allow mounting parts.

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790X - VEX Locking Insert


All information is in the PDF

Version Used: Autodesk Inventor Professional 2017 Build 142

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38211A's Planetary Transmission Gearbox



This years’ game, Vex Turning Point, is the first year for V5 system to be put through its paces. In a competition where speed and power is key, high drivetrain power is key to success at every competition. Our team has observed that V5 drivetrains have an overwhelming amount of both speed and torque compared to equivalent 393 drivetrains, and we have searched for a means of combating this lack, for we only have access to Cortex hardware. Enter transmission gearboxes, which allow for both high speed and high torque, the qualities we...

Metal Conveyor Belt Insert 4073B


Metal conveyor belt insert. This part is the same as the normal rubber inserts, but it is metal, therefor, it will not bend. The metal insert will work with all other already made parts.

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Hook Channel


We created this part because we were thinking of a part that would benefit our robot, and that might benefit others as well. The piece created is similar to a 30 x 3 channel except for the extended hook at the 90 degree angle. This would be useful for making claws and also launch due to the claw being able to attach to a claw on itself. We used Autodesk inventor 2018 to model this part. We used functions such as the rectangular pattern after we had made the first sketch of one of the holes. We learned from this project how we can model a part and the possibilities of modeling in a program...




helps worm drive

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Expansion Wheels


These wheels were created to solve some of the problems presented in the 2018-2019 VEX Robotic Competition, Turning Point. Some of the game components of includes  2.4 in. and 4.9 in. parking platforms, flags about 18.25 in. apart from each other, and the 18 by 18 restraints. When extended outwards. these new wheels would provide a height advantage and be harder to move. This makes it easier to go over the parking platforms and stay on the platform without other robots pushing your robot off. Extending or constricting the wheel would also improve how we angle the the shooter, and...


90 Degree C-Channel


We created this part to solve the problem of our robot not fitting together. We had to attach a second C-Channel so we could actually atach our tower to to the base. It took us a good while longer to atach our tower because there was no piece like the one we created. If we had this part our life would have been so much easier and our tower would have a more secure connection. This part should be used to usually atach a flat piece to a vertical...

Cut C-Channel


1.0 Introduction

The key component of any VEX robot is its metal. While the 2, 3 and 5 by c-channels are very versatile and strong, the full pieces are often not needed. This means that teams are adding unnecessary weight to their robots which can slow them down. Recently our team has cut some of our c-channels in half in order to reduce weight where the rigidity of a full piece is not needed. However, this process can be very time consuming because one must file down all of the sharp corners. In addition, not every team has access to a Dremel and so this...

VEX Screw Joint by 8838D

Robohawks- Coach Lund

Why did we create and model this part?

We chose to model this part since screw joints are a very important aspect of robots.  Screw joints tend to be a leading factor in functioning lifts. They allow for various linkages and can be used to even replace axles in specific cases.  In the most common screw joints, spacers, a screw, and a lock nut are used. However, this method and variation of screw joint is not the most effective. The most effective variation uses a screw, a spacer, a kep nut, and a lock nut.  This method has less friction than the...

Vex Z Brace


The Vex Z Brace is a multiangular adapter that is designed to connect to C Channels and change the angle of connection. Resulting in freestanding structures being supported and stronger. Designed by Rahul Gupta (8th Grade) on half of Team #99567C

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Improved Standoff Joint


I created this part because I saw flaws in the way standoff lifts were being made before. To connect a standoff to an axle, the common way to do this previously was to screw a coupler into the standoff and then to screw that into a collar on the shaft. There were a few problems with this, for one the length of the connection was only a few millimeters which made the connection weak and limited the use of the lifts that used standoffs to low loads only. The other problem was that this required a lot of adjusting to make sure the coupler wasn't in too far that there would be excess...

Custom Slip-Gear


So with this gear you can slide this section out of a gear and will be able to cut the gear easier. Another option is to have pre-cut sections so you dont have the hassle of cutting the gear too short. Instead of throwing the whole gear away you can just throw this section away. It inspires others so they can truly design their gear and it saves money!

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VEX Latch


A useful part in order to either keep motor cables organized  or if you ever need to latch onto a game object in future games

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Adjustable Standoff


               The part created was an adjustable standoff, and it was created to make the process of sizing standoffs easier. Since Vex sells pre-measured and pre-cut standoffs, they have set sizes. But, the need arises for our team and other teams where a standoff is needed in a place where the set sizes do not fit perfectly, usually from 1-2 inches. Using this standoff, teams can change the size of their standoffs without having to purchase multiple standoff sets or use too many set screws to connect standoffs. This...