Is there a free CAD program download?

I have heard that there is a free CAD program (maybe Inventor) for download from the FIRST site. Is this correct? And where can I get it from?


This is correct.

However your lead teacher or mentor must sign up on what is called Firstbase

This is/was available for teams who were involved with the inventor and animation competition. You could download 10 versions of inventor and 5 copies of 3D Max.

Good luck

As a side note, if you are a PLTW school, you can get free Inventor through your teacher.

Thank you :slight_smile:

Also, SolidWorks will give free student copies of their software to any FRC or FTC teams who ask.

For SolidWorks software go to

Click Apply.



Hi Joe,

You can obtain a free copy of Pro/ENGINEER for you and your team by going to:

From this page, you can register for a free collaboration protal that would allow you to collaborate, share and review your teams design project online. In addition, you can download Pro/ENGINEER and Mathcad for your team.

Good luck.

Mark Fischer
Director - PTC Education

I am not totally sure but there is also an inventor site… It is There is a free educational purposes. The program has a free one-year license, every year the license is renewed. You can get the Inventor there as well…

AutoDesk has a web group that you can join if you have an .edu email account and they allow you to DL full versions of their software for free, the only catch is that when you print there is an AutoDesk water mark around the perimeter. Most of this software is good for one year or until they get the next version released. 3ds Max is only a 30 trial however. They also have tutorials and more.

My team’s having difficulty with downloading ProE. So do we have to register for windchill before downloading proE?

You may also ask a teacher to register and they can send invites to non .edu emails.

Also, I realize this is asking about CAD programs that are presumably for modeling robots but for visualizing spaces (like the playing field) let us not forget the free Google Sketchup ( It is pretty easy to pick up. It is also cross platform (Windows/Mac, sorry no Linux) I have used to help us visualize the field.

Also, drawing it by hand is free as well. I think being able to do that is a good skill anyway.

Yes you do. The download of Pro-e is located inside of your windchill project, so you need to get access to that first. Once you sign up it only takes a day or so to get your windchill setup.

For personal use there is another free CAD download available. Try . First 30 days you get all professional features for free, then the program will revert to what they call “Alibre Xpress”, which has a slightly reduced feature set.

Thanks… we’re a rookie team and were trying to get everthing we can going before the big kickoff…

I have become quite handy with Sketchup, and while it might not be good for the final product or accurate simulations, it can help get points across faster than some CAD programs take to load up.

Also with the plugin Sketchyphysics, you can get a little farther in displaying ideas, like this Mechanum wheel demo I set up a while back

How would I go about getting SolidWorks in 64bit for my team.


Hi Chris
We will not have a 64 bit SolidWorks Student version until summer 2009. Marie

Thank you for the quick reply.