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Free 3D design software for your classroom

Design the Future - UK

Help pupils prepare for successful careers using free Autodesk 3D design software and curricula aligned to the U.K. Design and Technology national standards.
Access free software for your school or FE College today.


Your U.K. school or FE college is eligible to access free 3D design software products that are widely used by leading professionals in Engineering, Product Design and Manufacturing, Media & Entertainment, Architecture: Autodesk Inventor, 3ds Max, Revit, Maya software, and many others— in addition to free, easy-to-use mobile apps to introduce pupils to the world of design and technology.

And it doesn’t end in the classroom. Pupils and educators can continue working on their projects at home, too, by directly downloading the same free full version software for their home computer from the online Autodesk Education Community.


Free 3D design software

School use

(including FE colleges)

Unlimited number of license seats

Full version products

Current year release and two versions older

+40 professional products available

3 year network license validity with free yearly upgrade to the latest releases

Instant download and serial generation upon approval of eligibility

Online installation support

Access today

See FAQ or contact us


Home use

Full version products

Current year release and two versions older

Cloud computing services

Instant registration, download and serial generation

School email not required

+8 million registered users to date

Standalone license validity for 3 years

Parents can register on behalf of pupils under 13 years old

Download now

Tell your pupils

What U.K. teachers are saying

"The advice I would like to share with other teachers considering Autodesk design solutions is to grab it with both hands and run with it. To ensure we have a 21st Century Design and Technology and ICT curriculum and classroom, we need to teach with 21st Century software that is used in industries".

- Steve Taylor, Lead Professional Scientific and Technical teacher, Manchester Communication Academy

"This software will seriously enhance the quality of design and engineering in education and create designers and engineers more prepared for work in industry."

- Steve Parkinson, Archbishop Holgate’s School, North Yorkshire

"The software encourages experimentation without penalty. It enables a level of precision in the work that would not normally be achievable by students. The products produced are of a standard that would not look out of place in a shop - and that certainly was not the case in the past."

- Rhys Evans, Head of Technology, Ysgol Dinas Bran Llangollen School, U.K.

Press coverage

Partners

Events

**Free Autodesk education licences for in classroom use are only available for secondary academic institutions in the UK as per our EULA. A Secondary School in the UK is defined as a centre from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland that delivers compulsory education across either KS3 (11 to 14), KS4 (14 to 16) or both age groups.

D&T curriculum area:  3D modeling  |   3D architecture  |   3D animation

3D modeling

Products used

Mobile phone accessory

The project concentrates on the design and manufacture of a mobile phone accessory using a range of sketching and software, alongside laser cutting and 3D printing processes. Students will apply the tools in 123D Design to model the accessory, before manufacturing the product.

Download the lesson pack | Download the SOW


123D Design
123D Make (optional)
Inventor (optional)
3D printing (optional)

Curriculum Level 1 ― Entry
Duration: up to 6 hours

MP3 amplifier

The project concentrates on the design and manufacture of an MP3 Amplifier using a range of sketching and software, alongside laser cutting and 3D printing processes. Students will apply the tools in Autodesk Inventor and 123D Make to the challenging task of creating a small focused and detailed MP3 parts, before manufacturing the product.

Download the lesson pack | Download the SOW


Inventor
123D Make (optional)
3D printing (optional)

Curriculum Level 1 and 2 ― Entry and Intermediate
Duration: up to 20 hours

Desk lamp

The project concentrates on the design and manufacture of lighting using simple electronics but with complex and functional part modelling. Students will apply the tools in Inventor to the challenging task of creating a virtual lamp design in parts, before manufacturing the product, though some schools may wish to only model the lighting, and some may wish to constrain the manufacture to the equipment they have available.

Download the lesson pack | Download the SOW


Inventor
123D Make (optional)
3D printing (optional)

Curriculum Level 1 and 2 ― Entry and Intermediate
Duration: up to 20 hours

Scooter

The project teaches a range of fundamental Autodesk Inventor skills through a range of project-based activities and tasks. During each lesson, pupils will firstly complete New Learning tasks relating to parts and components of a scooter product. Following on from this, pupils will be given Apply tasks so they are able to demonstrate their learning in a different design context.

Download the lesson pack | Download the SOW


Inventor
123D Make (optional)
3D printing (optional)

Curriculum Level 2 and 3 ― Intermediate and Advanced
Duration: up to 20 hours

USB pen

The project concentrates on the design and manufacture of a USB flash pen drive using a range of sketching and software, alongside laser cutting and 3D printing processes. Students will apply the tools in AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor to the challenging task of creating a small focused and detailed casing parts, before manufacturing the product.

Download the lesson pack | Download the SOW


Inventor
123D Make (optional)
3D printing (optional)

Curriculum Level 1 ― Entry
Duration: up to 6 hours

3D architecture

Products used

Living area

The teacher takes pupils through a design project where the outcome is a living space for a client of their choosing. The living space will be designed using Autodesk Homestyler. The pupil must design a ground floor living space for a wheel chair user including outdoor landscape.

Download the lesson pack | Download the SOW


Homestyler
3D printing (optional)

Curriculum Level 1 ― Entry
Duration: up to 6 hours

School of the future

The teacher takes pupils through a design project where the outcome is a school of the future for their local community. The school will be designed using Autodesk Revit. Pupils should work in groups of no more than 4.

Download the lesson pack | Download the SOW


Revit
3D printing (optional)

Curriculum Level 1, 2 and 3 ― Entry, Intermediate and Advanced
Duration: up to 20 hours

3D animation

Products used

Dance routine

The project concentrates on the animation of a character created in Project Pinocchio. Students will apply the tools in Autodesk Maya to create a 10 – 15 second dance routine for the character and record their dance routine within Maya.

Download the lesson pack | Download the SOW


Maya
3D printing (optional)

Curriculum Level 2 ― Intermediate
Duration: up to 12 hours

Animation character

The project concentrates on the creation of an animation character and mapping it to a standard set of animation moves. Students will apply the tools in Autodesk Project Pinocchio and Autodesk Maya to create a character that copies a standard sequence available in Autodesk Maya

Download the lesson pack | Download the SOW


Maya
3D printing (optional)

Curriculum Level 1 ― Entry
Duration: up to 6 hours

Certification

Help your pupils market their skills by becoming Autodesk Certified Users. Learn more.

General free teaching resources and curriculum

Learn by doing with the Autodesk Digital STEAM Workshop
Our new innovative, highly visual curriculum delivers an engaging project-based learning experience for students and enables teachers to focus on teaching, rather than software expertise.

Sustainability Workshop
As a teacher you can incorporate free materials into a broad range of courses. We make it easy to fold sustainability into existing curriculum, and provide students with self-learning tools for extracurricular projects and design competitions.

Simulation Workshop

Green Literacy and Architectural Design Curriculum (GLAD) 
A program intended to introduce students in grades 5-9 to architectural sustainability.

Project ideas for your classroom
Additional learning resources and projects on the instructables.com website feature successful lessons by other teachers and advice on the use of technology in the classroom.

This comprehensive online video tutorial covers everything required to learn and start using Autodesk Inventor software for mechanical design with your pupils.  The full programme meets the requirements of the Autodesk Inventor ACU (Autodesk Certified User) Certification through the "Scooter" project classroom resources (see Curriculum Tab) making your pupils prepared for sitting the Certification exam and helping to promote their skills to potential employers.

If you prefer attending free in-person training near you, you can choose from the schedule of our partners: the Design and Technology Association and Teach Design.

What you will learn

  • Develop parts for a Scooter product;
  • Assemble parts into a complete and realistic Scooter;
  • Develop orthographic drawings of parts with information for third party manufacture;
  • Render visuals of the product for presentation in a portfolio;
  • Create presentation files for a pitch;
  • Explore driven constraints for controlling the animation of products;
  • Export CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) ready files for 3D printing, CNC machining, rapid prototyping;
  • Design a unique Scooter stand using sheet metal application;



Go to:  Part modelling  |   Assemblies  |   Drawing  |   Publishing outputs  |   Exporting for CAM  |   Sheet metal


Part modelling with Autodesk Inventor ― sketching and modelling techniques

We will use the creation of scooter parts as our means of learning about a range of sketching and modelling techniques available in Autodesk Inventor. The videos will illustrate the following: constraining & dimensioning, revolving, extruding, circular pattern, filleting.

Part modelling ― Tire

Video (6:11 min) | Download dataset

Part modelling ― Deck

Video (9:00 min) | Download dataset



Part modelling ― Wheel

Video (15:57 min) | Download dataset

Part modelling ― Fork

Video (25:12 min) | Download dataset

Assemblies ― constraining ready made, customised and content centre parts

We are joining parts in an X, Y and Z direction. If we remove any one of these axis of constraint, we allow movement, which is useful later on for animation of a product. See how constraints - mate, flush, insert, angle and tangent - add relationships between certain parts and sub-assemblies while still leaving enough freedom to allow the resulting assembly to mimic real life motion.

Wheel assembly

Video (5:23 min) | Download dataset



Full assembly

Video (13:10 min) | Download dataset

Producing orthographic drawings ― creation of 2D technical data

Produce orthographic drawings to build a portfolio of evidence students might use for a formal qualification. These include base view and projected views, isometrics, sections, auxiliary view, break-out views, parts lists. Attention should also be given to the shaded, non-shaded and hidden detail options while producing both parts drawings and assembly drawings.

Orthographic ― Wheel

Video (10:32 min) | Download dataset



Orthographic ― Fork

Video (7:43 min) | Download dataset

Orthographic ― Deck assembly

Video (9:02 min) | Download dataset

Publishing outputs ― renders, presentation files and driven constraints

Learn to produce rendered images, animated presentation files and using driven constraints to bring assemblies alive.

Presentation files

Video (5:18 min) | Download dataset



Driven constraints

Video (5:54 min) | Download dataset

Renderings

Video (5:10 min) | Download dataset

Creating physical models ― exporting to CAM

The ability to export .STL files will create dynamic links from the virtual world on screen to the real world through CNC outputs. Using a Makerbot to 3D print parts, especially those that have been uniquely designed or modified to improve the scooter, mean that users can effectively test the product out.

Producing .STL files

Video (2:08 min) | Download dataset



Sheet metal ― creating a unique scooter stand

It is very different from working with solid parts so there are new tools to work with in the ribbon. Then work through the video and create your own design. Try to use a range of different tools.

Sheet metal

Video (7:16 min)



Become an Autodesk Educator Expert

Join the Autodesk Education Expert Program and enjoy the benefits that come with your new status.

Join today


Tell your students

Inform your students about free Autodesk software for home use, by ordering free postcards and posters.

Order here


"I was pleased with how the software was helping students create physical outcomes from virtual models using the laser cutter and 3D printer, and how 123D Make encouraged them to consider manufacture in such detail. The improved development work submitted this year was a great result."

- Phil Holton, Head of Design and Technology, St Olave’s and St Saviour’s Grammar School

 Read the full case study

"This software will seriously enhance the quality of design and engineering in education and create designers and engineers more prepared for work in industry."

- Steve Parkinson, Archbishop Holgate’s School, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

 Read the full case study

"It is always a matter of great pride to see our students achieve and to hear their stories of what they have gone on to do when they move on to work, college and University. I still get a sense of awe and wonder when I see the results achieved."

- Rhys Evans, Head of Technology, Ysgol Dinas Bran Llangollen School

 Read the full case study

"The software enables students to quickly design products and product parts, even with no prior experience of the software. Our students thoroughly enjoyed using the program."

- Steve Taylor, Food Technology Teacher, Manchester Communication Academy

 Read the full case study

"The speed and enthusiasm that came from the students was overwhelming, the quality of their outcomes was second to none and the ability to order a 360-degree interactive view of a room that they had designed, decorated and furnished was just mind blowing. The amount of times since I have been asked if we can go back on Homestyler just enthuses me more."

- Steve Taylor, Lead Professional Scientific and Technical teacher, Manchester Communication Academy

 Read the full case study

"I still get a sense of awe and wonder when I see the results achieved. The things I see make me happy and I am confident I made the right choice when I made the decision to adopt Autodesk software."

- Rhys Evans, Head of Technology, Ysgol Dinas Bran Llangollen School

 Read the full case study

"Christian's great strength is his clarity of thinking, he has a gift for getting straight to the point and then developing a creative solution using the best tools and methods at his disposal."

- Rhys Evans, Head of Technology, Ysgol Dinas Bran Llangollen School

 Read the full case study

"Autodesk solutions may look complex when you start, but the benefits of using the software are overwhelming. Using Autodesk software in my first year of secondary school has enabled me to design and build things I could previously only have dreamed of."

- Regan Kelly, Kilmarnock Academy, East Ayrshire, United Kingdom

 Read the full case study

"The most enjoyable part of the project was designing and creating parts of a product, which everyone in my class is familiar with. I downloaded the software at home for free straight away and used tutorials from the student community."

- Student, Archbishop Holgate’s School, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

 Read the full case study

"As a teacher, it is key to see pupils enjoying and benefitting from a design project. Autodesk software provides a way in which design, simulations, and communication can be brought to life."

- Steve Parkinson, Archbishop Holgate’s School, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

 Read the full case study

Offer your pupils the Autodesk advantage

As the recognized leader in 3D design technology, Autodesk empowers innovative design, across numerous industries. For this reason, companies around the world seek out professionals with expertise in Autodesk software. To help you increase your pupils’ employability and career opportunities we have partnered with City and Guilds in the U.K. to prepare and validate entry level CAD design skills. The entry level Autodesk Certified User exam and certification now matches the City and Guilds QCF (ITQ) requirements for Level 3 allowing your pupils to be awarded both the Autodesk official professional certification and the City and Guilds corresponding qualification. 

Autodesk Certification

  • Increase pupils employability and career opportunities
  • Provide your pupils with official industry-recognized credentials
  • Equip your pupils with in-demand CAD design skills
  • Teach the skills using free secondary education curriculum resources mapped to the Autodesk Certified User exam requirements

  • Enhance the value and marketability of your education
  • Enhance your school’s credibility
  • Access free teacher training materials and free teacher certification

City and Guilds IT User Qualification

New Autodesk units have been developed in 3D Animation, 3D Design and 3D Design and Planning for the Awarding Body City & Guilds IT User qualification, available at Level 1 to Level 3. The qualification is approved by Ofqual and attracts Performance Measure Points for school league tables and funding. The new 3D units support the Autodesk Design the Future curriculum so learners on design courses can gain more than a Design or Engineering qualification alone, whilst learners on IT courses can gain important new 3D CAD skills as well. The registration process and assessment for the new qualification is carried out by Autodesk’s partner Londonlearning via the Schools Online Hub.

Autodesk Certified User

Professional entry-level certification
(Recommended for Level 3 of the City and Guilds QCF Units)

Autodesk Professional Certification starts with the Certified User level, recognizing basic proficiency in Autodesk CAD software products upon taking and passing the required exam. This certification is the first step towards pursuing an education in engineering, architecture, product design, manufacturing or digital arts.

The Autodesk Certified User certification and exam are available for the following software products:

City and Guilds QCF Unit

Autodesk Certified User
view sample certificate

Autodesk Inventor

3D design software
(level 3)

Autodesk Revit Architecture

3D planning and design
(level 3)

Autodesk Maya

3D animation
(level 3)

Autodesk 3ds Max

-

Available but not mapped to QCF

AutoCAD

-

Available but not mapped to QCF

Autodesk Design the Future certification
(Recommended for Levels 1 and 2 of the City and Guilds QCF Units)

For Levels 1 and 2 of the City and Guilds QCF Units we designed a custom certification offering Autodesk recognition and motivation to pupils who are at levels that do not yet reach the requirements of the Autodesk Certified User exam.

City and Guilds QCF Unit

Autodesk Design the Future Certification
view sample certificate

Autodesk Inventor

3D design software
(levels 1 and 2)

Autodesk Revit Architecture

3D planning and design
(levels 1 and 2)

Autodesk Maya

3D animation
(levels 1 and 2)



Steps for taking the Autodesk Certification

  • Choosing the software product
    Depending on the skillset and certification you are aiming to equip your pupils with, select from the available products listed above.

  • Reviewing the exam learning requirements
    The exam preparation roadmaps include information such as certification requirements, exam topics and objectives, and recommended preparation methods.

  • Getting the software at no fee
    Access the full version software products above for your school or FE college or for home use, at no fee to help your pupils prepare for the exam. Easily inform your pupils and school about the free Autodesk software available by ordering free printed posters and postcards.

  • Training and practicing
    Spending time learning, teaching and applying the skills taught in the curriculum and teacher training materials is essential in preparing for the exams. Both the Autodesk Curriculum as well as the Autodesk Teacher Training materials are freely accessible and have been developed together with U.K. educators to match the requirements of the Autodesk Certified User exams. The recommended minimum practice time for the Certified User level is 50 hours of hands-on experience with the software.

  • Taking the exam
    Reach out to our partner Prodigy Learning for details on pricing, buying, booking and organizing the exam for your pupils. Free certification is available to educators across the U.K. 

Autodesk Certification is delivered in U.K. secondary schools and FE colleges in partnership with:

*Free software available through Academic Resource Center (ARC) portal is limited to Autodesk approved education institutions in certain markets and subject to the applicable Terms of Use, software license agreement and eligibility requirements.  Any software provided through ARC may only be used for purposes directly related to learning, teaching, training, research and development that are part of the instructional functions performed by a qualified educational institution and may not be used for commercial, professional or any other for-profit purposes.  Autodesk software license agreements