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!


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...


The PiLons' Wheel Inserts


An easier way to attach gears and sprockets directly to your drive train wheels.

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The Protective Motor Casing

The phone case for your motors. The best protection and stabilization for your motors so you never have to worry about them again.




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VEX Pneumatic Pressure Sensor CAD Drawing


An analog VEX Sensor designed to monitor the air pressure in a VEX pneumatic system. 

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Brain Connector


On our robotics team we have building rules when we build robots. One rule is that we use standoffs to connect the brain to the robot. The standoffs also help keep the wires organized.  HOwever, when we put the standoffs in the brain and then have to take off the brain or change wires the standoffs are hard to get back into the brain.  So we designed a piece that has standoffs  connected to the beam.  The standoffs are in the middle of the beam so that the top and bottom of the beam can be used to conenect the brain in a vairety of ways to the robot. 


"Necessity is the Mother of Invention": 2568K...


Submitted Upload of Description Word Doc, Pictures, Video, CAD file, STL file, and 3D prints.

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Tactical Track



Do you have trouble disassembling parts repeatedly while building a robot? Have you ever struggled to move numerous screws in order to adjust the position of a structure by just a unit? We had been meeting with such problems frequently while building robots and sometimes  having to re-install some of the most complex structures on the chassis over and over again, which is the reason why we designed this ‘Tactical Track’, that will help you move the parts on the chassis quickly. The structure we designed is quite similar to...

V5 Motor Holder



The purpose of this design is to better fix the V5 motors. According to the design of the vehicle, the motors are often installed where there lacks fixed surfaces. The motor frame we designed can be installed on the outside of the motor, and the frame itself has a number of holes that can be used to connect it with the main structure of the robots, so it could provide enough fixing points for a motor when the motor itself cannot be fixed due to the structure.

The inner wall of the motor frame fits the appearance of...

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...