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!


44691X Rotating License Plate Mount

The Problem:

When it comes to mounting license plates, there are many options. A majority of teams seem to utilize a fairly common system: screw the blue and red plates together using ¼” standoffs, and attach two 3” standoffs to a metal plate/channel onto which the plates can slide. While this system is relatively quick, simple, and secure, it relies purely upon the outward force the standoffs apply to the plates, which will eventually result in warping of the metal and the standoffs.

An alternative system involves attaching the...

Revised Threaded Coupler

The biggest reason for the creation of this piece was to improve the threaded couplers two simple issues. One being that when screwed together it occasionally nests to far into a standoff and not evenly into the other one, the second issue being that the section where the standoffs meet is a breakpoint. We have witnessed the breakpoint being snapped during a competition. The new part will be treated as a normal coupler in every way, shape and form. The advantage would be that the standoffs would be evenly distributed and protected by the outward shield around them. In Autodesk...

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...

Cube Connector

The robot part we created is used for connecting robot pieces and beams together. Our piece is designed to have five peg holes on each side of the cube. It allows connection from all sides. It comes in different sizes but we mostly would use the 1" size. A piece like this is needed because sometimes we had trouble forming 90 degree angles. This problem makes our robot wobbly and not sturdy. We used Autodesk Tinkercad 2018 version. Even though we did not actually print this piece out, we have used Tinkercad in the past to create a robot. We took Tinkercad and 3D printing...

Panel Claw

I decided to build this custom vex claw in order to more easily allow robots to grab the panels associated with the Vex: Turning Point competition. The combined usage of two or more claws would allow the user to generate a simple lightweight claw to lift and flip panels while allowing space for a ball launcher and collection device.

My device has been designed to function in place of the standard green Vex claws and through the use of four simultaneously. This design when used with two claw bases geared together would allow the user to grab the panel...

vex clip on motor


I just want to say best of luck to all and that may the best CADDER WIN!

 I designed a clip on motor so that instead of removing a motor from the robot you can simply just on clip it to do repairs and clip it on the drive

I also 3D print and entered the bonus challenge

Writen Report:

My name is Nathan Mckissick from Gulfport Mississippi, and I designed a part to solve the problem of long motor repair times.  I am improving installation, repairs, and accessibility by making a clip-on motor so that instead of hard-to-get to screws you have...


Helical Gears

January 10, 2019,

Helical Gears 

The parts I have designed and created on Autocad are known as Helical gears which are used in transmissions, high torque operations, and continuous use components. These gears over the general Spur gears are they almost always create contact with another tooth and causes the gear to slip less and support more torque and forces. The gears could be implemented in scissor lifts, Arc lifts, 2-bar lifts, 4-bar lifts, winches, claws, shooters, drivetrains, and so on. The gears would be in a...

VEX IQ CAD Engineering Challenge

My new part is a twelve long by three wide piece that can be part of a claw or used as a wheel guard, it is not a solid piece but rather a one wide making a wide U with a stick coming off of the side. If you put two of these on two different 36 tooth gears facing opposite directions, they can be used for a claw that fits well around the hubs for the 2018-2019 game Next Level. It can also fit around a wheel on the side or the top to cover a wheel so that it does not get stuck on a game/field element during a match. The piece I made can also be used to hold back the wires on a robot, so...