Computers and Software


We do not require students to purchase a computer, nor do we recommend any particular brand.  The Department provides five 24-hour labs for ME student use which are accessible with your Cal Poly ID card.  These labs provide PCs with over $100,000 worth of Math and Cad programs that are used in ME classes.

If you are interested in buying a computer, DELL provides a student discount on the Cal Poly Dell website and Hewlett Packard provides discounts to Faculty, Staff, and Students on their website.

When you're down to deciding between two similar computers, go for the one with more memory as opposed to a faster processor. For example, a 3 GHz computer with 16Gb ram would be better than a 3.3 GHz computer with 8 Gb ram (8 Gb ram is the minimum and 16Gb is recommended.) We suggest the newest Quad Core and Solid State Drives (SSD).


Get your very own Woofer Tester 2 for only $125 regularly $159 from To order, contact Larry Coolidge.



  • The renewable six-month product license is free. It provides access to versions of ANSYS Multiphysics, ANSYS CFD, ANSYS Autodyn, ANSYS Workbench, ANSYS DesignModeler and ANSYS DesignXplorer that are limited only in the size of the problems that can be solved. The product can be installed on any supported MS Windows 64-bit machine.
  • Visit the new ANSYS Student webpage

Engineering Equation Software (ESS)


  • To install, log into your portal and in the left column select Technical Service Request > Software Requests > New > search on Software Title Matlab > select and fill out the form

Microsoft MSDN Academic Alliance (MSDNAA), (Dream Spark)


  • Download the 365-day Student Design Kit School by logging onto your portal, then on the left select Technical Service Request > Software > New and search Solidworks. 
  • Be sure to download the same version as in the labs because if you get a newer version the files will not be compatible with the version in the labs. 
  • The product will run for 365 days or end on Nov. 30th. whichever comes first.  It is intended for installing ONE time, i.e. you would have to reload windows if you wanted to install it a second time once it expired or to get the next years version. 
  • To run Solidworks on a mac login to your mac online app store and search on remote desktop and install the free remote desktop app provided by microsoft.  Once the remote desktop app is installed on your mac connect to the terminal servers (with the instructions below) and run Solidworks from there.
  • Visit and select Technical Service Request, Software, New and search on Endpointl. There you will find free Symantec Endpoint Anti-Virus software.


  • Free VMWare download
  • One to Two-year licenses to create virtual computers, emulating a PC on your MAC etc.
  • Login with your Cal Poly email address. 

Terminal Servers for Remote Access

  • We have set up two terminal servers for Remote Access so you can use these programs from anywhere 24/7. Click here for instructions. 
  • Abaqus, AutoCad, Adams, Ansys Workbench, DesignBuilder, EES. LS‐Dyna, Maple, Mathcad, Matlab, Mathmatica, Solidworks, and TrueGrid.

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