EQUIPMENT GUIDE – School of Design – 3D Digital Design

School of Design – 3D Digital Design
2024 Freshman Equipment Guide



The following is a list of equipment that will be used throughout your time as a 3D Digital Design student at RIT.  This list is not meant to be a shopping list, but rather suggestions for items you will want to consider bringing with you or obtaining at RIT. Do not buy new items if you already own them. Additionally, do not feel like you need to purchase all of the items cited below by the first day of classes. We can help you determine what will best suit your needs and help you identify the correct items for the things you are not familiar with. You will, however, utilize most of these items by the end of the first year.


The School of Design does not require the purchase of a laptop or desktop computer. Students have access to multiple computer labs, equipment and software while at RIT to complete assignments and projects.

Don’t own a computer? No problem. You can use the lab computers for your 3D work.

Already own a computer? Bring it with you and get the most out of what you already own.

Want to travel light? Get a tablet or thin laptop for notes and research and use the lab computers for 3D work.

Game (work) on the go? Get a gaming laptop with a discrete graphics card, like Nvidia RTX or AMD Radeon RX. These gaming laptops are good enough to do preliminary 3D work. An external monitor, mouse and full keyboard for your dorm will increase your productivity.

Building a workstation? We don’t recommend this early on, but if you must, stay modular, allowing you to replace parts in coming years.

Mac or PC? Our classes and most of our 3D work is done on computers with Windows operating systems. Some 2D and light 3D work can be done on MacOS computers. If you have a MacOS computer or an iOS tablet, you can still use it for your preliminary work.


Headphones with mic for video conferencing. Required

These allow you to conference, watch videos or just help focus in the computer lab. All lab computers have USB and headphone/mic inputs, or you can use headphones with your mobile phone.

USB 3.0 portable SSD hard drive with a minimum of 256gb of storage. Required

Managing digital files and storage is inherent to 3D work, and you should have ample storage space for your projects. In addition to a portable USB drive, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive are provided to enrolled students.

Camera (on device or external) for use with video conferencing Optional

For project work, cameras on modern smartphones are adequate. More advanced cameras are available for students to check-out from the CAD Equipment cages for projects.

USB input devices like ergonomic mice or a small drawing tablet. Optional


Our lab workstations have a wide array of software applications that you will use for your coursework at RIT.  For academic use on personal computers, the following software is available.

  1. Autodesk Entertainment Suite: free
  2. Adobe Creative Cloud: discount
  3. Google Docs and Drive: free
  4. Blender: free
  5. Unreal Engine: free
  6. Microsoft Office: free

Art Kit: (Freshman Year)

During the freshman year students will be enrolled in several foundation art courses. These art courses do require materials that can be purchased at the RIT bookstore, Barnes and Nobles @ RIT individually or as a complete kit. It is important to note that the 3D Digital Design program does not require a full year of foundation courses and therefore it may be more cost effective to purchase art materials as needed.


If you have any questions on the hardware or materials listed above please contact:
Gary Jacobs, Director of 3D Digital Design:

NOTE: All of this equipment will be used throughout your career at RIT.