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!


Bevel GearBox


The part that I designed is an axle transfer gear box. It is a connecting and holding unit for bevel gears so that bevel gears can be better used to change the direction of axles by 90° or use it to split an axle into two going perpendicular to the original spinning direction either the same or opposite of one another, this can be used to reduce the number of motors required to run a subsystem on the robot which is crucial with only eight total motors. To mount the part on a robot you would use 2 ½ inch screws to hold the box together then use stand-offs on the end of the screws...

Wheelie Bar


    As a team we decided to create a wheelie bar to prevent any unwanted tipping or falling over, due to our robots instability.  In our most recent year as Vex Robotics competitors we consistently flipped over in competition which ended up wasting time.  This wheelie bar should help us score as much as possible because we won’t waste time. 

    A wheelie bar has been on our mind since last year when our team encountered this problem.  We have redesigned the wheelie bar so it would be both efficient and effective. ...

The Necessity of a Lift Brace


Hello, my name is Neil Griffin and am part of team 6446C in the middle school division. As part of the VEX Robotics Competition, I saw some teams with unstable lifts that would twist and turn. Since lifts are so high off from the main chassis, teams often have to create overbuilt structures that waste time and space. Angled one - bar mechanisms don't provide much support. Originally, our team had to create a whole back brace system which took up the whole back of the robot which wasted precious resources.

The solution? A dedicated device which has the ability to...

Components that speed up construction


We designed components are specially in order to build convenient, because when building a robot, we need to put every hole alignment of aluminium material, to make the robot's performance is the best, so we have come up with use a widget to make each hole alignment of aluminium material, so that you can need not eyes to alignment, can save a lot of time.

When we designed the parts again, we used Autodesk fusion 360. We designed them in two parts: 1. First of all, the strip is designed to be the same size as the small hole of aluminum material. Secondly, the handle is added...


cool stand


work under construction.

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New type of L piece

VS Puzzler

Dear Judges,

My name is Vineet Saravanan and I am a builder on team 37U, The Narwhal Navy. In our first competition just before the finals our robot broke. The chassis was really weak. We had to franticly rebuild our robot in 5 minutes. Ever since I encountered similar issues with the chassis of our robot and I have always tried to think of a way to avoid this situation and prevent this from happening again. It was...

Ultimate Axle-Plate Interface

This part, formerly known as the "fusion" of the shaft collar, lock bar, and bearing flat, is a combination of the best parts of all three of such components. It is now known as the "Ultimate Axle-Plate Interface". As that is its purpose, to allow axles to connect to plates, with the shape, bulk and grips of a bearing flat, the square central hole from the lock bar, and the ability to apply screws from the shaft collar, this device can replace giant gears with one simple part!

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Single Hole Bearing 2.0

VEX components were the reason I stayed in VEX robotics. Albeit, this is my second year, I think that the only reason that I stuck to VEX rather than FIRST was because of the element of creativity needed to utilize the given set of parts. Which is why, when asked the question “What part do you think should be made?” I had a hard time finding a part that fit both the multipurpose aspect as well as the practical aspect. Basically, whether this part would be used, and if used, will it have more than one frequent use to it?

When I looked at the what I though VEX...

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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High Strength Set Screw Collar


Throughout the 2018-2019 Turning Point season, our team encountered multiple issues caused by the high strength clamping collars. The steel set screw collar that we designed fits the high strength axle perfectly, prevents slipping, and is reduced in size to fit a regular 2-hole c-channel.

Please check our Final Report PDF document for more information.

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