CEE 120A/220A:
Software Tools to Install
CEE 120A/220A:
Software Tools to Install

CEE 120A/220A: Software Tools to Install

Please install these software tools on your personal computer, so you can work on the class modules and design projects from anywhere.

Follow these steps to set up your computer to use all the software tools that we’ll be using in class.

PC Users

To use the building modeling tools on your computer, you’ll need a 64-bit version of Windows 8 or newer.  You can check the properties on your computer by right-clicking on the "My Computer" or "This PC" icon in Windows Explorer, then choosing Properties from the pop-up menu.

If you already have a 64-bit version of Windows 8 or newer on your computer, you do not need to download a newer version.  Skip to the next step.

Many Students Can Download Windows for Free

Stanford students

Mac Users
Prepare to Install Windows on a Mac

If you work on a Mac computer, you’ll need to install a 64-bit version of Windows on your Mac to use software that requires Windows.

The process will vary based on the type of processor your Mac computer uses. The steps below outline installation guidelines. If you have problems with the installation, please reach out to your course's teaching team.

Understanding your Mac and which Windows install process to use

Refer to the below PDF to determine your computer's processor type, RAM, and hard drive space. The flowchart at the end will then help determine how you should install the Windows environment.

Mac Revit Install Guide - Mac Computer Info.pdf2013.3KB
For Mac computers with Intel processors
Step 1: Download a copy of Windows 10 EDU
Step 2: Create a partition to run the Windows environment

You have two options for creating the Windows partition:

  • subdividing your Mac hard disk to create a new physical partition
  • using a virtualization environment to create a virtual partition file that can be located on any disk drive
Option 1: Create a Bootcamp physical partition to use a separate boot environment for Windows.
  • On your Mac, go to: Applications > Utilities > Boot Camp Assistant
  • Follow the prompts to repartition your Mac hard disk, giving at least 45 GB to the Windows partition.
  • Navigate to the downloaded Windows ISO file when prompted by Boot Camp Assistant.
Option 2: Install a virtualization environment -- for example, Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion -- to run Windows as a virtual machine within the MacOS.

For Mac computers with M1 processors

Refer to the below PDF for step-by-step instructions of installing the Windows 11 ARM Insider preview in a virtual machine on a Mac with an M1 chip.

Mac Revit Install Guide - M1 Guide.pdf10051.6KB

Bootcamp vs. Virtual Environment — Which option should you choose?
  • There are advantages to each approach, but the essential tradeoff is typically:
    • Bootcamp is only available on Intel-Based Macs. If you have a newer M1-Based Mac, you'll need to use a virtual environment.
    • A Bootcamp partition can only be created by using free space on your Mac's primary hard disk. That space will be dedicated to the Bootcamp partition, and won't be available to the Mac file system.
    • Virtual environments are more convenient to use (no need to reboot).
    • Virtual environments require more RAM memory:
      • To use the virtualization option, you’ll need at least 8 gigabytes of RAM on your Mac (so you can allocate 4 gigabytes of RAM to the virtual machine when it is running).
      • So, if your Mac has less than 8 gigabytes of RAM memory (and an Intel-based processor), you’ll need to use the Bootcamp option.
  • Both options require at least 45 GB of free disk space on your computer to install Windows and the software that we’ll be using in class.
    • A Parallels partition can be created on an external hard disk if space on your Mac's primary hard disk is very limited.
    • Running Parallels from an External Hard Disk

      If your Mac has less than 45 GB of free space available on the internal disk, you can setup and run Parallels from an external hard disk.

      You'll need to have this external hard disk attached to your Mac while running the Windows-based software, but you can disconnect it when not using Windows.

      The key to using this strategy successfully is to get the fastest external drive that you can reasonably afford. Since you'll be accessing the files on this external drive continuously while using Windows, the speed of the drive has a very big impact on the performance of the Windows software.

      Here's a link to some USB-C external SSD (solid state) drives on Amazon.

      • The key is look for a speedy drive (one that says "up to 1050 MB/s" or "USB 3.2 Gen 2" or faster).
      • The size of the drive is up to you and your budget. I'd recommend a 500GB drive (available for around $69) or larger.

Configure Your Parallels Virtual Machine

After creating your Parallels virtual machine, you must configure it to provide at least 2 GB of RAM (preferrably 4 GB or more if available) to the Windows partition:

  • Open the Parallels application.
  • Select the virtual machine from the Parallels Virtual Machines window.
  • Open the Virtual Machine menu and choose Configure…
  • Drag the Memory slider to the right to allocate at least 2 GB of RAM memory to the virtual machine (preferably 4 GB or more if available).
All Users
Sign Up for an Autodesk ID
  • If you already have a student Autodesk ID from another class, you’re all set.
  • If you haven’t created a student Autodesk ID (or if you’re currently using one that created for your workplace), sign up for a new student Autodesk ID by following these steps:
  • Notes about Autodesk IDs
    • Most students use their Stanford email address as their Autodesk ID.
    • If you already have a student Autodesk ID from another school, you can continue to use it or sign up for a new one.
    • You can create as many Autodesk IDs as you like -- but if you use an email address that is not recognized as being from an educational institution, Autodesk may ask you to provide additional documentation of your student students (for example, an image of your student ID) to confirm that you are eligible for their free education offerings.
    • If you need to create a second Autodesk ID, you can create an alias to your Stanford email address and then use this alias to create another Autodesk ID.

Install Autodesk Revit 2022
  • Go to the Windows OS environment on your computer:
    • On your Windows computer
    • In Bootcamp
    • Or in your Parallels virtual environment
Activate Your Software
  • When you open the Autodesk software for the first time, you will be prompted to login using your Autodesk ID to confirm your eligibility to use the software.

Install the Autodesk Sample Content Libraries

Revit 2021 and newer releases DO NOT install the Autodesk Sample Content Libraries as part of the default installation, so you need to install the sample Revit families separately.  You can do that two ways:

If your disk space is limited, you may want to download these Revit families as needed -- one at a time. To to that:
  • Open Revit Application.
  • Switch to the Insert tab in the ribbon, and open the Load Autodesk Family tool (Insert > Load from Library > Load Autodesk Family).
  • Browse or search for the Revit Family that you’d like to load, then click the Load button.
If you have disk space available, it’s typically more convenient to download and install the entire Autodesk Content Library (which includes all the sample Revit families) on your computer all at once. To do that:

Install all Updates to Autodesk Software

After installing the Revit application,  be sure to run the Autodesk Desktop App from the Autodesk folder in your Start menu to install the latest product updates.

  • Close the Revit application.
  • Open the Autodesk Desktop app.
  • Go to the Updates tab and click ALL of the Update buttons to install ALL of the Revit-related product updates and Revit extensions.
  • If your software is already up-to-date, the list of available updates may be empty.


Revit Installation