Set up a lab to teach engineering classes with Autodesk


This article references features available in lab plans, which replaced lab accounts.

This article describes how to set up Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Revit software for engineering classes in Azure Lab Services.

Autodesk is commonly used in both universities and K-12 schools. For example, in K-12, AutoDesk is included in the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum.

To set up this lab, you need access to an Azure subscription. Discuss with your organization's administrator to see if you can get access to an existing Azure subscription. If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.

License server

You need to access a license server if you plan to use the Autodesk network licensing model. Read Autodesk's article on Network License Administration for more information.

To use network licensing with Autodesk software, AutoDesk provides detailed steps to install Autodesk Network License Manager on your license server. You can host the license server in your on-premises network, or on an Azure virtual machine (VM) within in an Azure virtual network.

After setting up your license server, you need to enable advanced networking when you create the lab plan.

Autodesk-generated license files embed the MAC address of the license server. If you decide to host your license server by using an Azure VM, it’s important to make sure that your license server’s MAC address doesn’t change. If the MAC address changes, you need to regenerate your licensing files. To prevent your MAC address from changing:

  • Set a static private IP and MAC address for the Azure VM that hosts your license server.
  • Create both your lab plan and the license server’s virtual network in the same region. Also, verify that the region has sufficient VM capacity to avoid that you have to move these resources to another region later.

For more information, see Set up a license server as a shared resource.


You must enable advanced networking when creating your lab plan. You can't enable advanced networking for an existing lab plan.

Lab configuration

Once you have an Azure subscription, you can create a new lab plan in Azure Lab Services. For more information about creating a new lab plan, see Quickstart: Set up resources to create labs. You can also use an existing lab plan.

Lab plan settings

This lab uses a Windows 10 Pro Azure Marketplace images as the base VM image. You first need to enable this image in your lab plan. This lets lab creators then select the image as a base image for their lab.

Follow these steps to enable these Azure Marketplace images available to lab creators. Select one of the Windows 10 Azure Marketplace images.

Lab settings

  1. Create a lab for your lab plan:

    For instructions on how to create a lab, see Tutorial: Set up a lab. Use the following settings when creating the lab.

    Lab setting Value and description
    Virtual Machine Size Small GPU (Visualization). Best suited for remote visualization, streaming, gaming, and encoding with frameworks such as OpenGL and DirectX.
    Virtual Machine Image Windows 10 Pro
  2. When you create a lab with the Small GPU (Visualization) size, follow these steps to set up a lab with GPUs.

    The Small GPU (Visualization) virtual machine size is configured to enable a high-performing graphics experience and meets Adobe’s system requirements for each application. Make sure to choose Small GPU (Visualization) not Small GPU (Compute).

Template machine configuration

Once you create a lab, a template VM will be created based on the virtual machine size and image you chose. You configure the template VM with everything you want to provide to your students for this class. For more information, see Create and manage a template in Azure Lab Services.

  1. Start the template VM and connect using RDP.

  2. Download and install Inventor and Revit using instructions from AutoDesk.

    When prompted, specify the computer name of your license server.

  3. Once the template VM is set up, publish the template VM. All lab VMs use this template as their base image.


This section provides a cost estimate for running this class for 25 users. There are 20 hours of scheduled class time. Also, each user gets 10 hours quota for homework or assignments outside scheduled class time. The virtual machine size we chose was Small GPU (Visualization), which is 160 lab units. This estimate doesn’t include the cost of running a license server.

  • 25 lab users × (20 scheduled hours + 10 quota hours) × 160 lab units


The cost estimate is for example purposes only. For current pricing information, see Azure Lab Services pricing.

Next steps

The template image can now be published to the lab. For more information, see Publish the template VM.

As you set up your lab, see the following articles: