Hi there,

Please note this is not a product plug or placement – but just a flag up that this may be useful for schools.

As another year draws to a close – I was speaking with my Head of Design Technology about CAD software and what would be the best way forward. I have come from an era when ProDesktop was the go-to software at one stage, as it was free and with some work reasonably easy to utilise and teach to students. Then came SketchUP which I still think has its place especially for rough modelling and ideas – although its links to produce .stl files for 3D printing can be troublesome. Many schools have invested in Solidworks which is an excellent piece of software has many tutorials and resources, although some teachers and students find it is a little tricky. Solidworks is also not the cheapest option – especially when you are looking for something for free on limited International School budgets.

So suddenly and maybe this has only just come to my attention – Autodesk who I have known for many years as the AutoCAD people (I was once an Architect) have now a wonderful package/suite of software that is free for Educational use and this means it is free to install in schools and for students at home! Wow – this includes Maya, Revit, AutoCAD etc. Just go to their educational website to check it out. Downsides the download and install is mighty large, and the learning curve to their products is quite steep. However it may be useful for students who wish to push themselves further in DT IB and if the school has the software installed could be utilised at both home and school.