1) External hard drive of at least 250 GB. Since all of your projects will be created digitally, you’re bound to run out of space on the network. I use and recommend Western Digital’s My Passport.  If you can afford it, I suggest buying a 500GB or 1TB drive.  Here’s a link to the Western Digital hard drives that are available on Amazon.

2) Headphones — please bring these to class so that you’ll be able to watch video tutorials during open work time.


Hours of clicking can be hard on your wrist, and an ergonomic mouse can help prevent tendonitis. Click here to link to the 3M ergonomic mouse that I use. (Note that this is a small version– if you have large hands then you may want to consider purchasing a large version of this mouse)  Alternatively, a gaming mouse and wrist rest can also be a good combination. Gaming mice are more responsive than basic mice, and they have built-in adjustments of tracking speed, which can be handy when modeling.  This is the setup I just bought for my computer, which I’m quite happy with: Logitech Optical Gaming Mouse G400, and 3M Gel Wrist Rest

Not needed, but good to have:

License of Rhino 5 for your personal PC computer.  The cost to a student is $138.  Follow this link to learn more.  If you have a 64 bit computer then be sure to purchase the 64 bit version of the software.

If you purchase Rhino 5 for your personal computer then, as a student, you can download an educational license of the T-Splines plugin for free.  Follow this link to learn more. has some excellent tutorials on Rhino that could be a useful reference for you during the first month or two of working with the software.  A 30-day subscription to Lynda’s site will cost you just $20.  Here’s a link: Rhino on

If you do a lot of 3D modeling, it can also be handy to purchase a 3D mouse which can help with navigation of 3D space.  I use the Space Navigator by 3Dconnexion.  I’m not sure that we’ll be able to hook these up in our lab because there is some basic software that must be installed on the associated computer.  Check with me first if you’re thinking about ordering one and I’ll bring mine over to the lab and test it out.