All of the software that will be needed for this course is installed in our classroom (computer lab Design Building 260) as well as on most of the IT computer labs (e.g. in the library).

If you have a laptop that you can bring to class, or would like to have a copy of the software for yourself, you can download and install free copies of the CAD software we’ll be using. There is no need to purchase software.

Autodesk AutoCAD:

Go to and register there using your UMASS.EDU email address. You can then download a free 3-year educational license of the latest version of AutoCAD. (educational licenses are full-working versions, but any printouts/plots contain the Autodesk Education watermark.)

The AutoCAD version installed in our Design Building 260 lab is 2018.  The version installed in IT computer labs is also 2018.

Please note that AutoCAD is also available for the Mac on the Autodesk Education site.

Trimble SketchUp Make / Pro:

Go to and download the most recent free version of SketchUp – called “Make”. The version installed in our lab is SketchUp Pro 2017

You can also download the Mac version from the same site.

For an enhanced toolset in SketchUp (includes drafting software and expanded modeling capabilities), you can purchase the Pro version on this site for roughly $50 as a student.

Optional software:

  • Adobe Acrobat – You can use this free trial to merge multiple PDFs into a single PDF.  Very useful for your homework assignments and the midterm/final: Adobe Acrobat Pro Trial
  • CutePDF Writer – This is a free “PDF writer” that allows you to print from any software to PDF. Download here. Another free alternative is: PrimoPDF
  • PDF Xchange Viewer – this is an alternative PDF viewer to Adobe’s. It also features revisions (comments etc.) and measuring, which is great for exchanging plans. Download here.
  • 7-ZIP – You may want to use this free software to compile multiple files into one compressed file.  Here’s a link to the download: