3D Design Challenge: Crowd-Sourced 7th Axis Design for Universal Robots

Win up to $1,000 in prizes by designing the best 7th axis for a collaborative robot used in palletizing operations using Vention.

Maxime Lavigueur Mechanical Engineer / Mar 14th, 2018

April Design Challenge: Cobot 7th Axis for Palletizing Operations

This design challenge involves the design of a range extender (i.e., often called 7th axis) for a UR10 collaborative robot, undertaking a palletizing operation.

Collaborative robots are used for simple light-duty and medium-duty applications such as palletizing. At full arm extension, the UR10 robot from Universal Robots has a reach of 1.3 meters. To extend beyond the reach of the robot, 7th linear axes controlled in conjunction with the robot arm trajectory are often used. Such a configuration enables the design of a “palletizing workcell,” where a collaborative robot can palletize one or more pallets, in a completely automated fashion.

For this design challenge, participants must design a 7th axis on which a UR10 robot arm will be mounted. The 7th axis will enable the UR10 robot to unload boxes from a conveyor and reload them onto two distinct pallets located in the same workcell as the conveyor.

Design Requirements

  • Positions of the two pallets, 7th axis and conveyor inside the workcell are to be defined by the participant, with the intent of optimizing workcell productivity.
  • 7th axis design must sustain the weight of the robot operating at maximum payload (i.e., 10 kg) and arm extension (1.3 m).
  • Each box has a dimension of 250 x 250 x 200 mm and maximum weight of 7 kg.
  • Pallet dimensions are 1220 x 1016 mm.
  • A total of 48 boxes must be palletized on each pallet.
  • Pallet could be loaded/unloaded from the palletizing workcell using a fork lift or pallet jack.
  • Design should minimize robot arm displacement as a means of keeping palletizing cycle-time short.
  • Total design cost should be below $15K USD, including all necessary structural, motion and control components. Total cost limit excludes the cost of the UR10 collaborative robots.
  • UR10 Robot from Universal Robots must be imported into the design. 3D model of the robot can be found here.
  • Two pallets must be imported into the 3D design. 3D model example for a wooden pallet can be found here.
  • Gravity conveyor can be designed using Vention components. Alternatively, a 3D model of an automated conveyor can be imported into the workcell.
  • External parts can be imported into the design to ensure completeness (e.g., safety light-curtain, end-of-arm tooling, UR10, pallet).
  • All questions can be submitted to:


Prizes will be provided to the winner in the form of unique promotional codes as followed:

1st Place: $750 credit on
2nd Place: $250 credit on
3rd Place: Free shipping on your next Vention purchase

Judging Criteria

  • Workcell completeness and realism
  • 7th axis design robustness
  • 7th axis design cost
  • Design simplicity


Contest Rules

  • The challenge is open to everyone, except employees and families of employees of Vention Inc. Multiple entries are welcome. Team entries are welcomed.
  • All entries must be submitted by Saturday, April 27th, 2018.
  • By entering the contest, you:
    1. Accept the official Vention Terms & Conditions.
    2. Agree to be bound by the judges' decisions.
    3. Warrant that you are eligible to participate.
    4. Warrant that the submission is your original work.
    5. Warrant that neither the work nor its use infringes on the intellectual property rights (whether a patent, utility model, functional design right, aesthetic design right, trademark, copyright or any other intellectual property right) of any other person.
    6. Warrant that participation shall not constitute employment, assignment, or offer of employment or assignment
    7. Are not entitled to any compensation or reimbursement for any associated costs.
    8. Agree that Vention has the right to promote all entries.
  • Designs must be completed on Vention 3D MachineBuilder using at least 75% of Vention parts to be eligible
  • Design properties (i.e., name, description, category, tags) and design thumbnail must be defined for the design to be eligible.
  • Design properties must include the tag April Design Challenge to be eligible.
  • Designs must be published to Vention’s public library to be eligible.
  • Designs must be started from scratch and cannot be customized from an existing design available on the Vention website.

Participation Steps

  1. Create your Vention account and complete your Profile. Make sure to turn on "Public Profile" in the "About Me" section.
  2. Start a new design and give it an interesting title and discerption. Be sure to add tags and design a great solution to this month’s challenge.
  3. Publish your design to the Vention library.

Concept Schematics

About Universal Robots

Universal Robots believes that collaborative robotic technology can be used to benefit all aspects of task-based businesses – no matter what their size. Their robot arms are advanced tools that can be used by all levels of production staff to help increase productivity, reduce injury, and boost morale. With a Universal Robots robot arm, you can automate and streamline repetitive or potentially unsafe processes, so staff can be assigned to jobs that provide them with new challenges. Universal Robots believe that the latest collaborative robot technology should be available to all businesses. The nominal investment cost is quickly recovered as their robotic arms have an average payback period of just six months.

About Vention

Vention is the 1st digital manufacturing platform dedicated to Machine Design. Vention provides a fully-integrated 3D MachineBuilder™ and modular component library that let users design, order, and assemble custom industrial equipment directly from a web browser in just a few days.

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