laptop keyboard

Contact architecture tech support with any questions.

Computing Administrator

Computing Support

Laptop Specifications

Carnegie Mellon Architecture students are required to have their own laptop computers that are powerful enough for, and compatible with, the software required for their coursework. The university has shared computer labs on campus with software, however access is not guaranteed. Therefore, it is imperative that students have access to their own computer.

Please refer to the following specifications prior to purchasing a laptop. Computers must meet or exceed the following specifications or else students will be unable to complete computing-related tasks in their coursework. Contact architecture tech support with any questions about these recommendations or purchasing a laptop.

The following laptop specifications have been provided for the 2023-24 academic year:

  • CPU: Intel latest 13th generation i7 or i9, AMD Ryzen 7 or 9
  • Memory: 16GB minimum, 32GB recommended
  • SSD: 1TB+ recommended
  • Monitor: 15 inch minimum recommended
  • GPU: RTX 4060 minimum, 4070+ recommended
  • Operating System: Windows 10 or 11 
    • Note: PC with Windows is required. Apple Windows support is not currently adequate.*
  • Warranty: Recommended 3 year warranty with accidental damage coverage

*Students with a Mac or a system that does not meet the above recommendations may be unable to complete coursework.

Architecture Software & Access

The following software is available through Carnegie Mellon Architecture. To learn more about other software packages offered by the university, refer to Carnegie Mellon's complete software catalog. Contact architecture tech support with any questions about software. 

  • Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office software is available free of charge through Carnegie Mellon University. Visit the Microsoft 365 page for more information. 
  • Adobe Creative Cloud: Carnegie Mellon’s Eberly Center grants licenses to Adobe Creative Cloud software and Carnegie Mellon Architecture facilitates the licensing. As long as you are enrolled in a course that requires Adobe Creative Cloud software, you will automatically receive a license at the beginning of each semester. Please note that licenses are revoked at the end of the semester, therefore you will not have access in the time between semesters. To install, navigate to the Adobe Creative Cloud page. Under the “Eligibility” section click “Installation.” 
  • Autodesk: The Autodesk suite of software is free for all students. Visit Autodesk for more information. You must register for an Autodesk account and indicate that you are a student. For issues, visit Autodesk Education Support.
  • Miro: Miro is available at no cost to students. To install, navigate to the Miro login page and click “Continue with Google." Select your Andrew ID account and then click the button "Continue to SSO.” 
  • Rhino: Architecture has free Rhino licenses available for students. You will receive an email with instructions on how to license this product prior to the start of the semester. 
  • V-Ray: V-Ray for Rhino is available to all students. Similar to Rhino, an email will be sent out with instructions.
  • Keyshot: Keyshot is currently available on a course-specific basis and is only granted if the course’s faculty require the software. Installation will be communicated as part of the course.
  • Google Suite: As long as you are part of the Carnegie Mellon University community you receive an unlimited amount of storage via Google apps/Google Drive. It is highly recommended that you download Google Drive for desktop and configure it to back up your entire computer. This can ensure that you don’t lose important data in the event of a drive failure. 
  • CMU VPN: Some software requires the use of a CMU server, including Rhino and V-Ray. To use these software packages while away from the CMU network, you must use the CMU VPN (Virtual Private Network). Visit the CMU VPN Installation page for more information. Contact the Computing Services Help Center if you need help installing and using the VPN.

Use of Unauthorized Software
All use, copying, distribution or solicitation of unauthorized or pirated software is expressly forbidden and punishable by law. Fines can exceed $100,000 and jail time per incident.

Printing, Copying & Scanning

The following equipment is available to Carnegie Mellon Architecture students:

  • Color laser plotter in CFA 
  • Color laser plotter in MMCH 327
  • Black and white laser plotter in MMCH 327
  • Large scanner located in MMCH 327
  • Black and white printers in the CFA 214 hallway, MMCH 327 and MMCH 408

Follow these instructions to load paper into the CFA/MMCH Pagewide XL Plotters.

Printing Policies

Carnegie Mellon Architecture’s printing and scanning facilities are for use by architecture students, faculty and staff only. Use by non-architecture students is only permitted by permission or by enrollment in courses offered by the school. Please report any unauthorized use to architecture tech support. Violations of any rules or policies may result in disabling of access to the equipment.

  • Printing multiple copies is forbidden. The printers are not copiers and should not be used as such. If students require multiple copies of a document, they must print only one copy and then make copies at a copy station on campus. Students who print multiple copies can be suspended from equipment use.
    • Tartan Ink, located in the University Center, provides the following copy and printing services:
      • Black and white and color copies
      • Single- and double-sided copying
      • Assortment of colored and textured papers, including cover stock, specialty papers such as gloss paper, résumé quality paper, etc.
      • Binding and finishing options, including cutting, lamination, folding, padding, stapling, tape binding (thermal binding), collating, comb binding and coil binding
  • Large print jobs over 50 pages are not permitted. Students who print large jobs can be suspended from equipment use.
  • Students should print double-sided whenever possible to conserve paper and ink resources.
  • Transparencies, sticky back paper, and all other personally supplied media are expressly forbidden in the studio laser printers because these materials will damage the equipment.
  • Please recycle print paper once it is no longer needed.
  • Food and drink are expressly forbidden near all equipment. 
  • Please contact architecture tech support if ink or toner is low in any architecture printer.
Studio-based Media

Carnegie Mellon Architecture’s large-format, high-speed black and white and color laser plotters are located in MMCH 327. Both units are 36 inches wide. The school also has black and white laser printers adjacent to both the CFA and MMCH studios. The school provides laser toner cartridges and paper as well as plotter ink cartridges and paper. Plotter paper is provided in limited quantities. If the free plotter paper privilege is abused, students will be responsible for providing their own paper at their expense. 


Copiers are located throughout campus. Only faculty and staff are permitted to use the Carnegie Mellon Architecture copiers in CFA and MMCH. Public printers and copy machines, including a color copier in Hunt Library, can be used with payment via Campus Xpress, Plaid Ca$h cards or cash.

Report an Issue

Students must report all issues with printers, plotters, scanners and equipment by emailing architecture tech support. Please provide in the email a detailed and specific description of the issue, the task being performed when the issue occurred and any other relevant details.

Multimedia Equipment

Multimedia equipment, such as video camcorders, DSLR cameras and many other devices, is available to borrow in Hunt Library at the main circulation desk. Visit the Equipment Lending webpage for more information.

CFA Multimedia Computer Labs

The College of Fine Arts (CFA) multimedia computer labs are located in CFA 317, 318, 321 and 323. Computing Services and the CFA Dean’s Office jointly maintain the computer labs, which have both PC and Mac stations. The CFA computer labs are available to all architecture students. Staffing hours change throughout the year. Visit the CFA Computer Labs webpage for up to date information. Contact a support specialist with any questions about these labs.

CMU Computing & Resources

CMU’s office of Computing Services maintains and supports computing resources for the campus community, including the campus wired and wireless networks, printing, computer labs, file storage, email and the software catalog.

As members of this community, we are all responsible for the security of these shared resources. Please review the Secure Computing and University Computing Policy webpages for more information. Additional resources are available on the Computing Services website. For assistance, contact the Computing Services Help Center or call 412-268-4357.