Autodesk Student Download

April 16, 2014

How To Take Advantage Of Your Autodesk Student Download Today?

If you follow this Autodesk Student tutorial, you will determine the best student Autodesk offer for you and sign up to take advantage in less than 10 minutes.  When I first starting using Revit, I was not aware that this program existed and it cost me $350 more for the same Autodesk student software.   Students interested in the field of design and computer modeling must take advantage of the Autodesk Student Download offer.  Let’s get started, I want to show the 2 most important options while you have “student status”.  

1. First, go to  You will need to create an Autodesk account which includes the information in the form posted below.  It does not require much detailed information.  I do recommend using your .edu e-mail address because it does make it easier for Autodesk to confirm your student status, but I know that many students do not use their own academic e-mail addresses and it is not a problem.  Just understand that proof of education (transcript, course schedule, etc) be requested in order to confirm your Autodesk account which includes access to all Autodesk Student Download capability as well as Autodesk 360.


2. Sign in to your Autodesk account and select the appropriate education level- Secondary or College/University.  This first Autodesk Student Download option includes a 3-year software license of any student software selected.  It is renewable for as long as you remain in student status.  Although this post focuses on the student Autodesk download, there are many other educational resources available here.

autodesk-student-download-23.Next, you can use the different software selection filters seen below to view the Autodesk student software most applicable to your Industry and career path.  We will view the software in the Building & Design communities which includes Revit as well as many other applications also utilized in the architectural field operations (but I would recommend exploring over a summer since it’s free) or architectural visualization such as 3DS Max Design.  Although I primarily used Revit, AutoCAD student download is still most popular because of it is most familiar across the drafting industry.


4. After the software product is identified, then you will need to specify the version and other details listed below.  Then the final section will provide you with the product key and serial number information necessary as well as an INSTALL button.


5.Lastly, I want to share a second Autodesk Student Download option that allows student users to buy a perpetual student license of Autodesk Student software for only $150.  The end of the video tutorial in this post explains exactly how to navigate to the menu below.  From my experience, I believe this is an excellent option for students to obtain a personal copy of their software for future use even when they are no longer in “student status”.  It requires some thinking ahead, but if you are laid off or possibly even have a career shift- it becomes extremely difficult to remain proficient in Autodesk software which you no longer have access.  It may not be the most current version of the Autodesk Building Design Suite, but you would still be able to make portfolio project changes at a later time.  Just another option to consider!


The Smarter Architect YouTube video below demonstrates this process from beginning to end so you have the basic understanding of exactly what the Autodesk Free Student Software and low-cost Perpetual license options.  


Revit Viewer

April 7, 2014

How Do I Use Revit Viewer?

In this Revit tutorial, I will quickly share what the Revit Viewer is all about with the Smarter Architect community.  In less than 5 minutes, you can get a basic understanding of exactly what the Revit file viewer can and can not do to help you in Revit by watching this video:


1.  From the Start menu, locate the Autodesk program folder.  The full installation of the current version of Revit will appear as well as the Revit Viewer.  No separate Revit Viewer download is necessary.  If you download the 30-day Autodesk Revit trial here, this installation will automatically be reduced to operating solely as the free Revit Viewer capability once your trial period is over.  (If  you are working on network license, I would recommend downloading a stand-alone desktop trial version and using it as your main Revit Viewer without checking out an unnecessarily checking out one of the commercial Revit licenses.)


2. Open the Revit Viewer.  The above menu will appear to confirm that you have opened the read-only Revit Viewer.  For this Revit tutorial, I am opening one of my projects in the Revit Viewer 2014.  The Viewer mode does not appear any different than the full version in action aside from stating VIEWER MODE in the banner at startup as shown below.



3.  The main advantage to using the Revit file viewer over Autodesk Design Review is for real time viewing of any Revit model progress.  DWF files are great for periodic documentation and marking up production drawings for record, but it is outdated as soon as the modeling continues.  The free Revit Viewer allows the ability to print Revit To PDF or export to DWF, but only if no other model changes have been attempted.  In the event that a Revit user attempts to make edits, the menus below will be displayed and even the printing/exporting capability of the Revit Viewer will not be available any longer.


    So if you realize that printing and exporting functionality has been removed, then use Undo from the Quick Access Toolbar (shown below)  in Revit and reverse any changes.  Then it will be restored.


5.Lastly, if you find that you use the Revit Viewer often – remember that you can create a desktop shortcut following the image below.  I find the Revit Viewer to be perfect for supervisors or clients who want to observe the construction model or track the teams’ progress without the unwarranted expense of commercial license.




Do not worry if you do not even know what a  PDF is or why you should use it.  I will explain it all for you here.  For starters, PDF stands for “Portable Document Format”, but I want to show why PDF is the preferred  format for presentation documents.   Have you ever created a document in Microsoft Word or another familiar software package and the format of the final result somehow adjusted differently than you intended?  What if you need to forward information to another person, but would like to retain all editing rights?  Well in this Revit Tutorial PDF, I will quickly share the steps necessary to move directly from Revit To PDF with the Smarter Architect community.  


RevitToPDF-PrintMenu (1) 1. Go To File menu which is shown by the “R” icon.

RevitToPDF-PrintMenu (2) 2. Select the name of the printer.  Although we are not creating a physical print created, the Revit PDF will be a snapshot in time that can be printed at a later time or viewed in the free Adobe viewer by anyone you wish.  I use Adobe PDF as my e-Printer, but if you watch the Revit To PDF video tutorial included in this blog post – I show you how to download CutePDF which is a free pdf print driver compatible with this Autodesk Revit software.  No matter what PDF driver is loaded, the process of creating a PDF is similar.

3. Next, Select properties to take a look at the document properties and modify any settings of the Layout, Paper/Quality or Adobe PDF Settings (which primarily controls the quality of the e-Revit print in process.  The screenshots below you show the specific printing choices at hand.

RevitToPDF-PrintMenu (3)

RevitToPDF-PrintMenu (5)
RevitToPDF-PrintMenu (6)









4. After adjusting the above printing preferences to meet your desired output, I want to point out that in the Print Setup menu, found under the Settings category, many of the same options can be adjusted such as orientation and paper size so it is not necessary to modify those items in both places because it should reflect the changes made in the previous step.

RevitToPDF-PrintMenu (7)

5.  In the File section shown in the middle of the Print menu below, there are 2 different options for the Revit PDF being generated.  The first option creates a single file with multiple sheets in the document if applicable while the second option will provide a separate PDF file for each Revit view and/or sheet selected in the set.  I encourage you to produce multiple sheet document PDF files especially if you plan on attaching the entire set to an e-mail.  I have utilized Revit PDF in full screen mode for presentations and saved the time necessary to move it into Powerpoint especially in my time as a Revit student. Do not forget to type a file path and name in this section as well!

RevitToPDF-PrintMenu (8)

6. Next, in the View/Sheet set menu, I highly recommend creating a new Set which includes the Revit views and sheets you will likely repeatedly print for PDF or to a printer.  It will save you time – not having to go through the list every time you need to make a progress print.

RevitToPDF-PrintMenu (9)

7. Hit Print to complete the PDF process.  Lastly, do not forget to preview the final Revit PDF.  This is a very important step to identify any possible graphic display conflicts that may have resulted from compatibility issues between the particular PDF driver and the version of Revit software running on your machine.

This Revit Tutorial PDF will save you time and paper!  A paper trail is critical to the architectural construction documentation of any project, but there is no reason why PDF cannot be a green alternative that meets our needs!


How To Present Like A Lawyer

March 1, 2012

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Professional Certifications: What’s Worth It?

February 3, 2012

In the field of architecture, there seems to be a certification for just about everything.  Many employers will offer incentives for achieving specific professional certifications that they believe will ultimately increase your productivity and the profitability of the firm.   What’s In It For You?                 1.  Develop a better understanding of the necessary content […]

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