We understand that school is expensive and we try to find the best options for students and limit the costs of textbooks and other educational supplies.
One of the things I get asked about quite often is “what type of computer should I get?”. So we wanted to put together this page with information about computer requirements and other supplies you need, including links for software available to students.
First, computers. The Interior Design world is based on the use of a PC. I always feel bad when a new student tells me that they just got a mac for use in the program. I hate to tell them that they’ll be struggling with all of the AutoCAD programs. Unless they install software to run windows in a “parallel” format – but you need to use Windows 10. There is a “CAD for mac”, but it doesn’t work the same way as you will be learning it in the classroom and it doesn’t have all of the functionality of the CAD program.
Most students with a mac will 1) install the “parallel”, if possible, and work on it like a pc, 2) do all of their CAD work on campus, or 3) get a pc. COD provides me with an hp – Z book (like the image above – but mine is older 😉 It’s good.
The 3dsMax program is probably the program with the highest level of requirements. This is the software used in the 2213 – Computer Aided Interior Design III. This program will not run on a mac. If you get a computer that is able to run this program, it will handle any computer class you want to take. Here are the requirements that Autodesk recommends for it (click the image to go to the website):
One of the most important components of a computer used for Interior Design modeling and rendering is the Graphics Card – it must be of the highest quality. When getting a new computer, you can usually tell the person who you are ordering it from that you will be doing 3D modeling and need a gaming quality graphics card. If you need more information, click PC Requirements-Graphics to see all options and recommendation of graphics cards.
All Autodesk software (AutoCAD, Revit, 3dsMax) can be downloaded for free HERE. You must register with Autodesk. They are one year licenses that is renewable as long as you are a student.
- INTER 1212 & 2212-Computer Aided Interior Design I & II: AutoCAD
- INTER 2213-Computer Aided Interior Design III: 3dsMax
- INTER 2215-BIM for Interior Design: Revit
Adobe programs are used in many classes, and is the most pricey. It is $19.99/mo for a student one year subscription. We will mostly use Photoshop and InDesign, but all Adobe programs are included in the package.
- INTER 1135-Visualization Techniques
- INTER 2135-Advanced Visualization Techniques
- INTER 2212-Computer Aided Interior Design II
- You will use it for all of your “studio” courses
- INTER 2710 Portfolio
Sketchup is introduced in INTER 1135-Visualization Techniques. It is available for $55/yr. Many students elect to take the 2135 Advanced Visualization Techniques class to improve their 3D modeling and rendering skill for studio projects and their portfolio.
V-Ray is a rendering software that is used with Sketchup to create very realistic renderings. It is used in the INTER 2135-Advanced Visualization Techniques class. A one-year student license is available for $99/yr.
Chief Architect is taught in our INTER2515-Kitchen & Bath Computer Applications class, as it is a leading software in the K&B industry. But this class covers more than Kitchen and Bath projects – students draw and render an entire residence and create a full set of construction documents.