Registered forum members do not see this ad.
Q: I'm a student, can I get AutoCAD and other Autodesk software for free?
A: Yes, you can.
You can download free full-working versions of Autodesk software from the Autodesk Student Community site provided you are a registered student at a recognised college or university.
In order to prove you are a registered student, you will need to sign up at the Student Community site using your college or university email address.
Getting the software
To get your free software, follow the link above to the Student Community site and sign-up using the email address given to you by your college or university.
Your log-in details will be sent to the email address you used to sign-up. Once you have them, you can log-in and go to the Software Downloads page. There, you will find a long list of downloads. Try them all if you want but make sure you have a fast internet connection; some of the downloads are over a gigabyte!
Although the available applications are full working versions, they are student editions and are not the same as commercial versions. For example, they can only be used for 12 months - that's fine if you are still a student in 12 month's time because you can just download a newer version. Also, some of the applications may have overprints. AutoCAD will print a border around any print that says "PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT ". Saved DWG files will also be marked as the same and will cause an alert if opened in a commercial product.
Do bear in mind that the educational license for these products does not allow their use for commercial purposes.
At the time of writing (May 2009), the following are available for download:
Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional
Autodesk Navisworks Manage
Green Building Studio (web based service)
AutoCAD Civil 3D
AutoCAD Inventor Professional
AutoCAD Map 3D
AutoCAD Raster Design
Autodesk 3ds Max (30-day trial only)
Autodesk Alias Automotive
Autodesk Maya (30-day trial only)
Autodesk Mudbox (30-day trial only)
Autodesk SketchBook Pro
As of the 2010 versions, vanilla AutoCAD is available and not just the vertical products.
When your software is installed, you will need to register it using the serial number provided to you at the time of download. Don't worry if you lose your serial number, it can be found against the software you downloaded any time you log-in. Further instructions can be found at the Autodesk Student Community site.
Don't forget, you will also find lots of helpful support materials at the Student Community site in addition to the downloads.