Well folks, I thought I'd take the time to mention some (legal) ways and where to get some of the popular professional CAD software available. ================ How to get AutoDesk Inventor: What you need: A valid .edu Email address (ie firstname.lastname@example.org) Where to get it from: Autodesk Student Portal All you need to do is just register and activate your account. As a student, you can get access to pretty much all of the Auto Desk products, including: Autdesk Inventor Pro Autodesk Revit Autodesk Maya * Autodesk 3ds Max * AutoCAD etc. For the modder's the most useful will be Inventor for design and Maya/3DS for rendering. The software is fully functional for 15 months. How ever, the software denoted by an Astrix (*), are limited to a 6 month license. The only real limitation is that when printing stuff out, it will put in a watermark indicating it was generated by an Educational version of a product. How to Get SolidWorks: What you need: A valid email address. Where to get it: SolidWorks Engineering Stimulus Package What you get is a fully functional version of SolidWork's Student Design Kit. The software is fully functional for 90 days once activated. Like on the educational version of Autodesk products, print outs will have a watermark. How to Get Google SketchUp: All you have to do is head here: SketchUp 7 Download The free version has limited functions compared to the full version, however there is no expatiation date. =============== Here are my Recommended Minimum system to run Inventor/SolidWorks decently: A good Dual Core (or better) CPU At least 3GB of RAM At least a 120GB HDD A non IGP graphics card from nVidia 8xxx series or a ATI 3xxx series with at least 256MB RAM A Windows OS (x86 or x64) Windows XP and up My Recommended System to run Inventor/SolidWorks Quad Core CPU or an overclocked Dual core from the Core 2 Duo or better era. 8GB of RAM (or more) 500GB HDD Windows x64 (Windows 7 x64 recommended) A good graphics card above a ATI 4650. OR a similar/better workstation card. Note: Workstation cards are recommended, but not necessary unless doing very complex stuff (as in 100+ part assembly with lots of complex features,patterns,etc). For normal modding related CAD work, not much use for a workstation card. Also, realize, if you have an old nVidia 8xxx card, you can softmod it in to a Quadro.