Back to School Tech: Free tools from Autodesk #backtoschool

Autodesk has made their commercial software available for schools in the past, but it is often difficult to get students licenses so they can work from home. Since 2009 they have been releasing a series of “lite” design software apps and downloads that can act as an excellent suppliment for both in and out of classroom CAD work. Especially if your classroom is on a budget. Each one of the following tools is pretty cross-platform compatible, being offered as both web-apps, mobile-apps and downloads.

123D Design – Simple, yet effective, solid modeling software
(iOS OS X Web Win)

123D Catch – Fun for creating virtual models of real world objects
(iOS Web Win)

TinkerCAD – Web based solid modeling software with STL import! Great for working with models from Thingiverse

Autodesk 360 – Cloud based 2D CAD with DWG and DXF editing capability.
(Android iOS Web)


ForceEffect and ForceEffect Motion – Comprehensive free body diagram based design analysis
(Android iOS Web)


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1 Comment

  1. These are really not cross platform. With the exception of Tinker CAD, I have not been able to get any of the web apps to work with Firefox running on Linux.

    123D Design requires Windows 7 or Mac OS-X.
    123D Catch will not run in Firefox. It requires Chrome. I don’t use that.
    ForceEffect and ForceEffect Motion also require Chrome.

    I am not sure about Autodesk 360 as I have not signed up for an account.

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