AutoCAD 🔵 🟢

What's Available

Autodesk offers students and educators free access to nearly all of their software tools. These include:

  • Revit
  • AutoCAD
  • Fusion 360
  • Inventor
  • 3DS Max
  • Maya
  • Civil3D
  • Robot Structural
  • And many others!
Accessing the Software
  • Autodesk allows you to install their software on your personal computer and continue using it for FREE for the time that you are registered as a student.
  • Some software tools (for example, Revit) require the Windows operating system. Others (for example, AutoCAD) are available for both the Windows and Mac OS.

Step 1: Sign Up for an Autodesk ID
  • If you already have a student Autodesk ID from another class, you’re all set.
  • If you haven’t created a student Autodesk ID (or if you’re currently using one that created for your workplace), sign up for a new student Autodesk ID by following these steps:
  • Notes about Autodesk IDs
    • Most students use their Stanford email address as their Autodesk ID.
    • If you already have a student Autodesk ID from another school, you can continue to use it or sign up for a new one.
    • You can create as many Autodesk IDs as you like -- but if you use an email address that is not recognized as being from an educational institution, Autodesk may ask you to provide additional documentation of your student students (for example, an image of your student ID) to confirm that you are eligible for their free education offerings.
    • If you need to create a second Autodesk ID, you can create an alias to your Stanford email address and then use this alias to create another Autodesk ID.

Step 3: Install the Software
Step 4: Activate Your Software
  • When you open the Autodesk software for the first time, you will be prompted to login using your Autodesk ID to confirm your eligibility to use the software.

Options for Computers with Limited Resources
Running Parallels or VMware Fusion from an External Hard Disk

If your Mac has less than 45 GB of free space available on the internal disk, you can setup and run Parallels from an external hard disk.

You'll need to have this external hard disk attached to your Mac while running the Windows-based software, but you can disconnect it when not using Windows.

The key to using this strategy successfully is to get the fastest external drive that you can reasonably afford. Since you'll be accessing the files on this external drive continuously while using Windows, the speed of the drive has a very big impact on the performance of the Windows software.

Here's a link to some USB-C external SSD (solid state) drives on Amazon.

  • The key is look for a speedy drive (one that says "up to 1050 MB/s" or "USB 3.2 Gen 2" or faster).
  • The size of the drive is up to you and your budget. I'd recommend a 500GB or 1 TB drive (available for around $69) or larger.

Use a Windows virtual machine on the Stanford Network (Apporto)
Using a Windows 365 Cloud PC