CAD Design and Animation

This page contains information to help FRC teams with the implementation of CAD (What is CAD?) and 3D animation software for use in the FIRST Robotics Competition.  

Disclaimer: Some of the links below may lead to external web sites that are not endorsed or controlled by FIRST, and may contain outdated or inaccurate information about FIRST programs. For official information about FIRST, please consult

Autodesk 2013 Software 

Autodesk Inventor Toolkit

  • Looking to design your winning robot with Autodesk® Inventor®? Then don’t miss our video training series. Created for FIRST students by FIRST students, the Built by Design series of videos aims to teach students how to effectively use Autodesk Inventor Professional and other tools.
  • Autodesk Cloud Documents - Every FIRST team member and mentor can subscribe to receive their 3G of storage space for free, compliments of Autodesk. Check out the videos for what you can do with this storage. The Autodesk Single Sign-On (SSO) that you used to get into the Autodesk Education Community will get you access to this powerful resource. Access it here.
  • Autodesk® Design Review desktop, which is part of the Autodesk Inventor Professional download, and mobile viewers, which are available for iOS and Android, will come in handy. Check it out here.
  • 2013 FRC Kit of Parts modeled in Inventor.

Autodesk Mobile Apps

  • iPad becomes a powerful conceptual simulation tool with Autodesk® ForceEffect®,and Autodesk® ForceEffect® Motion a free application from Autodesk. Check out these introduction videos on ForceEffect and ForceEffect Motion to see how your FIRST team can use these powerful tools.
  • Sketch on the go! Autodesk® Sketchbook Express is a donated app that lets you capture your ideas anywhere on your mobile device. Check out this video on how you can draw over a photo to brainstorm and share with your team members.

Additional Resources

  • Throughout the season Phil Dollan will be offering a webinar and blog series providing tips and tricks on Autodesk software. Check out Phil’s blog from 2012 for information. Please keep an eye on the Autodesk FIRST site for future announcements.
  • Free resources and webinars for both students and mentors are available on the Autodesk FIRST site.

PTC 2013 Software   

PTC ( is excited to continue our support to ALL FIRST teams by donating Creo (CAD), Windchill (Product Lifecycle Management software) and Mathcad (Engineering Calculation & Documentation software). For more information, visit under Teams.

PTC has modeled the 2013 FRC Kit of Parts in Creo and has made it easily accessible on

More free PTC training opportunities are available on the web and in-person. Check out the PTC FIRST site for more information.

Finally, we also would like to announce the launch of Robotalk. Robotalk is a weekly webinar series that will run from now through March 2013. We will focus on topics such as Improving Program Management of your team, Quick Conceptual Design Tips, Documentation and Calculation Tips, etc.

Register for Robotalk here.


An extensive library of parts used in past competitions is available here: FIRST CAD Library