Computing is of central importance to the work of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED).  Two computing labs, the digital commons and the Digital Fabrication and Print Center are all integral amenities to education at the CAED. 

Computing facilities, including laser cutting, plastics printing, plaster printing, large format color and black and white plotting are supported by CAED's I.T. coordinator, computing staff and faculty.  A full complement of software systems are available in the labs.  Network and notebook support is assisted by CAED and the university helpdesk support system. The Digital Fabrication and Print Center offers advanced resources and equipment such as 3D printers, robotic arms, and automated routers.


Rendering your Revit file can be done in minutes instead of hours using the interactions listed here.

Several new policies have been implemented that will affect everyone using the Digital Fabrication and Print Center. Please read them here.

Computer Requirements for the Architecture Programs

1st - 3rd Year Students 

The college highly recommends that students entering the Architecture programs have a mid-range consumer-grade laptop.  Students should consider using a laptop that is already owned or another existing computer if possible.  Some courses in the university may require a more robust system, so be sure to verify any class/software requirements before making a purchase.  The College will update these specifications on an annual or biannual basis to match advances in software and hardware requirements. Limited computer lab usage will also be available to students.

Example minimum specs for 2015/2016:
  • Intel® Core™ i7 –4th (Haswell-E) (4 cores recommended)
  • 8-12GB Memory
  • 500GB Hard Drive
  • 15.6" HD Widescreen LED Display
  • DVD±RW Drive
  • Dedicated ATI or nVidia video adapter
  • Wireless Network Adapter

4th Year and Graduate Students:

Students entering 4th year Architecture will begin rendering and using other resource intensive applications.  The college requires the purchase of a high-end desktop computer.  Many students choose to have these systems custom built to better fit their needs. 

Example minimum specs for 2015/2016:
  • Intel® Core™ i7 4th Generation (Haswell-E) (6 cores recommended)
  • 12 GB+ Memory
  • 2TB Hard Drive
  • Dual 20"+ monitors
  • DVD±RW Drive
  • Dedicated ATI or nVidia video adapter with at least 2-4GB memory
  • Wireless Network Adapter

Note: Autodesk provides a free online tool that recommends Graphics Hardware based on software you intend to run on your system.

Please go to: and run the tool with the following settings:

  • Graphics Hardware
  • Autodesk Revit 2013
  • Windows 7 64-bit

Click find and it will recommend a list of graphics cards Autodesk recommends for both laptops and desktops.

Software Resources:

Additional Software:

The following and other software may be required for certain classes.

  • Adobe Premier & After Affects
  • Rhino 3d
  • Autodesk Max Design
  • Autodesk Maya

Computer Requirements for the Interior Design Programs

The information listed below are the Interior Design laptop specs that will be required for 2nd year Interior Design Students.  It is highly recommended that you wait until the 2nd year of the Interior Design program to purchase a laptop.  You should consider using a laptop that you already own or another existing computer for your 1st year of the program.  Limited computer lab usage will also be available to students. 

Processor and Memory
  • A minimum 8GB (64 bit) of memory is required.
  • A minimum of an Intel i7 or high end i5  processor is required.
Display and Video
  • A minimum of a 15” display is required – 17” is recommended.
  • An external monitor is recommend for added desktop space.
  • A minimum of a 1GB dedicated ATI or NVIDIA video/graphics card is required.
  • A 10/100 integrated network card (usually a standard option) is required for wired network connectivity.
  • A wireless network card is required for wireless network connectivity.
  • A FireWire port is optional, but may be needed if you own a camcorder that requires one to transfer video.  Please check any devices that you own or plan to purchase in the future to see if this port is required.
  • An integrated web cam is recommended for students wishing to use Skype or other video chat applications. 
  • A minimum of a 500GB - 1TB hard drive is required.
  • A CDRW/DVD drive is recommended for software installation and data storage.
  • A 8-16 GB jump drive is required (Put your name on it!).
  • A 1TB or larger external hard drive is highly recommended. 
Optional Software

This and other software may be required for certain classes.

  • Adobe Premier & After Affects
  • Rhino 3d
  • Autodesk Max Design
  • Autodesk Maya 


In previous years, Macintosh computers were not recommended because the software packages and college print drivers used were only compatible with the Windows operating system. Apple has since started using Intel processors in the Macintosh product, allowing Windows and other operating systems to be run.  These operating systems can run exclusively, or in a "virtual" environment simultaneously with the Mac OS.  Because of the resources required to run certain software packages and the variance between a PC and a Mac, we are still not recommending the purchase of a Mac computer for school use. Keep in mind that if you have a Mac, we cannot support it or guarantee its compatibility with the required software packages, college print drivers, or classroom lectures.

Digital Fabrication and Print Center schedule

Device fees and information

To sign up for laser cutting or to color plot, please click here.  To view the waiting list, please click here.  

Networking | Print Drivers | Support