This is a quick overview of how to get a hold of some free copies of Autodesk Software – they make it available for students and teachers at no cost.
There are a whole range of titles available such as Revit, 3DStudio Max, Inventor, and AutoCAD.
Autodesk make a huge range of software and are supporting schools and students in a variety of ways. If you are a school looking to get hold of software for your suites then they are able to provide you with various packages at no cost. To get started with that you should go to the Autodesk Academic Resource Centre.
If you are a student, or a teacher who wants to use Inventor at home then you can download it through Autodesk’s student portal. I’ll run through the steps here. First, though, check that your computer can meet the minimum system requirements.
First you will need to create an account at the Autodesk Software for Students website. Follow the link to ‘Create new account’ on the right hand side – you will need to enter the URL for your school’s website. For Hawick High school it is hawickhighschool.co.uk – you will also have to enter a valid email address, it doesn’t need to be your school-provided one but it does have to be one you can access as they will send licence codes and other information there. There are detailed steps on how to sign up on Autodesk’s support site.
Once you have created and validated your account you need to choose which software you want. You can pick and match software, downloading any titles you like. I’ll look only at Inventor as this is the one that most people ask me about, and is most commonly used in Scottish schools at the moment. Whichever software you choose you get a free 36 month licence – and you can go and get the most up to date version when it comes out.
To get started click on the relevant blue button (either for Secondary school students, or students at college/university. From there you can choose the title – Inventor Professional is one of the ‘Popular’ titles so is easy to find.
At Hawick we use the Inventor Professional 2013 version, you will need to pick the correct version for your Operating System – to check which version of windows click on your Start button, go to Computer and choose System Properties. Look for System Type and it will say either 32bit or 64bit.
With the software selected you can choose to either ‘Install Now’ or ‘Download Now’ and install later. It is a large download that will take time so I recommend the Download Now option.
Once the download has completed navigate to the download folder and run the Setup application file, choosing Install on this computer. You will be prompted to check and agree to the Terms and Conditions make sure you change the Country to United Kingdom. Next you need to enter your licence information. When you downloaded the file you will have been sent this information via email. If you can’t find the email you can log in to the student portal on the Autodesk site and find it via Your Account.
You will also be asked about which software to install – I would just stick to the defaults but it you are struggling for space on your PC then you might deselect a few. The installation will take a little bit of time – why not do some sketching while you wait?!
You might be prompted to close Windows Explorer during the installation, this is normal, just click OK. After a while you will have Inventor fully installed, there are a few things you can do to tweak the default settings – these will be largely down to your own preferences, but if you want a few other pointers then email me or ask me in school.