VexCAD Updated

The entire library of Vex Robotics part models has now been posted at in three different file formats; SolidWorks, Inventor, and STEP.

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FYI folks - If you are as thick-headed as I am, you might not notice that the page where John posted the CAD updates is NOT the page to which you are taken if you click on the VexCAD and/or user’s CAD contributions links found on the Vex Forum’s Portal page.

Click on the link in John’s message, or manually enter into a browser, to see the extensive newly available library of models.

These links have now been updated, FYI.

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Thanks JVN and everyone who helped put the parts in Solidworks format. good work

Please note,
The Autodesk Inventor CAD files for all Vex parts have been added to


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Am I wrong or is the chassis rail wrong? In the Inventors guide it shows 16 holes and in the kit it has 16 holes but in these cad files it only has 15 holes. We are trying to assemble the square bot chassis in Inventor but it will not work I do not think because of this error.

Let me know if there is an updated file or something that I am missing.

You’re not missing something.
Good catch. I’ll get that fixed as soon as I can.


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Thanks for fixing it. We are trying to use these components to prototype some ideas for this year and need to move on. We really appreciate all the hard work on them though.

Everything is fixed now.
We updated the rail itself, the Hardware & Metal Kit, the Vex Starter Kit, and the Vex 15x16x2 Chassis.

Sorry for any inconvenience!


I’m loving using the solidworks library. Thanks so much for the templates to get rolling. However, at this point, I do want to emulate what the team is doing - which means taking a 5-25 plate (12.5" long) and cut it down to 9" long (so-called 5-18 plate). If I open the sldprt file, I just cannot seem to figure out how to “lop off” 3.5" from the length. Can you help? This would be helpful for all “cuttable” parts as well, but if I get the plate, I think I’ll get the rest.

When I need to do this, I do the following:
-Copy the part file, and rename it.
-Make a cut-extrude sketch which encases the sections of the part which I will be cutting off. (Draw a big square which is bounded 3.5" from the end of the part.)
-Cut-Extrude, through-all.

This will trim off the piece which would be cut off in real life.

Does this make sense?

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You rock John! It worked. now I can successfully cut pieces down to size.

Now for part two…if I’ve got a rail (which of course has two mirrored bent-over ends), and I want to effectively make it shorter, I do this in the physical world by lopping off a length, cutting into the l-bracket that’s left, bending over an appropriate amount and cutting off the excess from the ‘short side’ that sticks out.

Now - can I do that easier in Solidworks by removing a “chunk” of the center of the rail? :slight_smile:

P.S. I’ve added an axis down the middle of all the shafts and down the screws. It helps a TON so that you can do MATING CONCENTRIC into a bearing sleeve. I can’t seem to figure out how to easily mate working axles without the axis down the center.

I think you should try to cut the chunk out of the center.

Here is the easiest way I know of to do this.
Make 2 versions of the part a “right” and a “left”. These 2 parts should be drawn as the 2 end sections you are going to join. (i.e. one of them is the chunk which would be remaining on the left side, after you cut out the center chunk, and the other part would be the chunk remaining on the right side. Got it?)

Open up one of these parts in Solidworks.

Drag the other part from the windows folder it is in, directly into the open Solidworks window. SW is going to ask you if you want to make a “Derived Part”. Say “yes”.

Now it will give you the option to mate this new part into place. Mate it into position next to the other part, so that these 2 “end chunks” now form the final part you want.

You can then merge these 2 solid bodies together using

The menu (Insert -> Features -> Combine)

Select the 2 bodies to merge them together.

Save the part with a new file name.

There are other ways to do this, if you find another feel free to let me know. This is the easiest one I can think of.

That is the same thing I do. It works great. I also add axles at the center of each square Vex hole I’m going to use.


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I’m having a problem importing the STEP files into Pro Engineer Wildfire 3.0 (schools edition).

I don’t suppose anyone else is having a similar problem or knows the solution?



Sorry for the thread revival… :wink:

Here’s an alternate way of doing the above is less steps. You can also open the chassis rail part, create a sketch, and Extrude-Cut the part in half. Then add a plane perpendicular to the part where you cut it in half, and mirror all part features across the plane you just drew.

You can also cut out more or less than half in your initial Extrude-Cut to alter exactly how much shorter of a chassis rail you want.

Does still exist? I tried visiting it to no avail. Or has the library been moved, I am trying to find a comprehensive SolidWorks library

Right here:

Here is the Solidworks library I created about a year ago. It has all the STEP files converted to .sldprt and .sldasm files. I also reorganized all the folders and parts so it was easier to find things.


Nick, I downloaded your library after looking around a bit earlier today. Just a note, the assemblies that you converted (wheels, motors, and such) do not work for other people because the reference parts for those assemblies have a directory that is on your personal computer, not the same as the very well organized dropbox folder. A quick remedy for anyone using it is to open the assembly, locate the referenced part and resave. There are also build errors on the power expander and 4" omni-wheel, that is all that I found. Thank you Nick for providing this library!

Yeah when you open an assembly for the first time, you have to find one of the parts in the “reference parts” folder for that assembly, and then the rest will follow suit on their own.

What kind of rebuild errors did you encounter? I’ve used them multiple times (including re-downloading the files from dropbox on a new computer) without an issue.