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)


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 32,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — A paradigm shift

Wearables — Look sharp with this quick tip!

Electronics — Straw Diffusers

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: MicroPython 1.19 released and more! #Python #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF

Adafruit IoT Monthly — eInk Postcard, VR Spectrum Instrumentation, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Prods 6/22/22 Feat. ADS1115 16-Bit ADC – 4 Channel w. Programmable Gain Amplifier – STEMMA QT!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

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.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.