Autodesk Inventor Free Student Edition

Hi, I’m Tyson from team 5413 I normally work on CAD for our robots so I wanted to upgrade to Inventor 2021. The only problem is that now for some reason I cannot get a free student copy that Autodesk normally provides. Ever since 2017 I have been using the free student copy of whatever current year it was, but this time when I went to upgrade it prompted me with a new message I haven’t seen before. It was asking me to “verify your eligibility to access Autodesk products with an Educational license”. This is problematic because the rest of my team hasn’t gotten this message and has upgraded to 2021. When I go to verify my eligibility it takes me to this screen where I have to upload something showing proof that I am enrolled and or work there. In previous years or even a couple months ago this was not a thing to my knowledge. I have seen that “First Robotics” is one of the options you can pick for an institution but I still have to verify myself. In past years I have used my teams name and that worked perfectly fine. Getting down to what I need to know is if anyone else has had this problem and if so how did you go about fixing it or working around it?!

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I’m having the same problem but I’m not sure what to do. Supposedly Autodesk is going to email me about it later today(I contacted them a few days ago and they said they would get back to me today).

Yep, also ran into this a couple of weeks ago. This new higher barrier to getting students started with CAD was the final straw that convinced 401 to switch over to OnShape.


If you don’t mind when they get back to you let me know what process they put you through, it would help out a lot!

That’s interesting thanks for letting me know!

Yeah, I haven’t got a response back yet but I will let you know what they say.

Don’t overthink it. When it asks you to upload a document, just upload a picture of your student ID. Autodesk will give you full access after a few minutes.

Im part of a 4H team and homeschooled. So im pretty stuck there too.


Not sure how that’ll work for mentors in industry. :man_shrugging:


5413 is not affiliated with a high school.

Yeah this happened to me a few months ago. All I did was upload my high school transcript and in an hour or so they emailed me saying I got access.

It doesn’t matter if your team is affiliated with a school or not. Assuming you attend a high school, all you have to upload is proof that you go there. You just have to prove you are a student.

Exactly. Mentors almost always need software access too. Not to mention things like installing it on team shared machines. It seems like with this change, teams are going to be better off switching to Solidworks (which just gives the team as a whole X number of licenses) or Onshape.


You don’t keep your college student ID around for 30 years to continue getting discounts? The one that conveniently doesn’t have a year or expiry on it.


No dice- Autodesk requires that the documentation be dated.

So a lot of current student IDs wouldn’t be sufficient for this, much less my 1995 one. :upside_down_face:

I ran into this problem at the beginning of the build season. Since I’m not a school employee nor do I have any school issued ID/email, I ended up just emailing AutoDesk and explaining the situation with them. Took a round of back and forth but they did at the end renew my account (only for 1 year though).

I think FIRST going to need to work something out with AutoDesk so that they can find a way around their current ‘new’ overly restrictive system.

Maybe the team roster would work. A little painful since you have to get someone with rights to print it with just your name checked. A letter from the team coach on team letter head stating you are a mentor should work. Last time I renewed Autodesk software it was a two year license. I sure hope they have not changed it to one year licensing.

I use Inventor, but if any team doesn’t particularly like it, Solidworks is still an option. You can’t go get it from the student angle unless your school buys access, but through the Virtual KOP you can request a “sponsorship” which if I recall gets you as many licenses as you need.

Autodesk did end up responding.

They said that they are now taking eligibility more seriously by using SheerID and that I must contact SheerID to handle any verification issues.

I am doing that and will relay what they have me do.

I have an existing (institutional) Autodesk Account, and have previously been validated by SheerID.

All I had to do today was login to Autodesk, verified the information they already have on file (name, institution, etc), and I was automatically approved via SheerID verification.

Pretty painless.

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