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Ansys Discovery Student - Free Software Download

Ansys Discovery Student offers free access to our simulation-driven design tool that combines instant physics simulation, proven Ansys high-fidelity simulation and interactive geometry modeling in a single user experience. This is the perfect product for a student just getting started with simulation—it lets students learn about physics without the time investment required to learn how to use a complex simulation tool. Students can perform structural analysis, fluid analysis, topology optimization, thermal analysis, geometry modeling, modal analysis and parameter studies.

Terms of Use: Free student downloads are for educational use only and may only be used for self-learning, student instruction, student projects, and student demonstrations.

(Built-in license valid until 07/31/2023)

To perform the Ansys Discovery installation, follow the steps below.

  1. Save all data and close all Windows applications before continuing.
  2. After downloading the installation zip file, uncompress the file to a new temporary directory.
  3. In the temporary directory, locate the setup.exe file. Right-click the setup.exe file and select Run as administrator. The license agreement appears.
  4. Read the agreement, and if you agree to the terms and conditions, select I Agree. Click the Next arrow, located on the right side of the screen.
  5. The directory where you want to install the ANSYS, Inc. products is shown in the Install Directory field.
  6. You can install the products into any directory you want, but you must have write permissions to the directory you choose. The default is C:\Program Files\Ansys Inc\Discovery. Click the Next arrow to continue.
  7. The installation progress screen displays a status bar towards the bottom of the installation window. You will not be able to interrupt the installation process. Please be patient while the installation completes.
  8. The installation program will first check your system to determine if you have the additional requirements (described above). If the prerequisites are not already on your system, the prerequisites will be installed automatically.
  9. Once the installation is complete, click Exit. By default, the Launch Ansys Discovery after exiting checkbox is enabled. Ansys Discovery Live will open when you close the installation program by clicking Exit. If you do not want Ansys Discovery Live to open, disable the Launch Ansys Discovery after exiting checkbox.
  10. To access Ansys Discovery at a later time, click Start>Ansys Discovery >Ansys Discovery or click the Ansys Discovery desktop shortcut created during the installation.

Supported Platforms and Operating Systems:

  • Microsoft Windows 10, 64-bit (Professional, Enterprise and Education), supported builds: LTSB and CBB (CB not supported)

Minimum Hardware Requirements:

  • CPU: Pentium® 4 2.0 GHZ or Athlon® 2000+ or faster, 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 4 GB hard drive space
  • Ansys Discovery Student relies on the latest GPU technology to provide its computation and visual experience. To run the software, you will require:
    • Graphics Card: A dedicated NVIDIA GPU card (Quadro recommended) based on the Kepler, Maxwell or Pascal architecture. Maxwell 2000 or better is strongly recommended. Most dedicated NVIDIA GPU cards produced in 2013 or later will be based on one of these architectures.
    • At least 4GB of video RAM (8GB preferred) on the GPU. Please ensure that you have the latest driver for your graphics card, available from NVIDIA Driver Downloads. The Discovery Compatibility Utility can be used to determine if your current graphics hardware is capable of supporting Ansys Discovery. Performance of Discovery is less dependent on machine CPU and RAM. A recent generation 64-bit CPU running Windows, and at least 4GB of RAM will be sufficient. If you do not have a graphics card that meets these specifications, the software will not run.

Download Times and Supported Browsers:
These are large files. Your internet connection speed and connection overhead will determine how long the download will take. Here’s a rough guide:

Download Speed (Mbps)

Average Download Time for Ansys Student Product

Supported Internet Browsers

10 Mbps (10Base-T)

55 mins

  • If you are using Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer (7 or higher), you will be given the option to download using a Download Manager that will appear as either a pop-up window or a new tab in your browser.
  • If you are using Google Chrome, the file will download directly, with no option to use a Download Manager.
  • Note that Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 (or earlier) and other browsers are not supported.

25.6 Mbps (ATM25)

25 mins

51 Mbps (OC1)

15 mins

  • No geometry export.
  • Can only save in Discovery(*.scdoc) format.
  • Academic terms of use.
  • Refine mode:
    • Structural Physics: 128K nodes/elements
    • Fluid Physics: 512K cells/nodes

Renewable, twelve-month lease.

Bundled Applications:

Ansys Discovery

*Note: Users who previously used Ansys AIM Student will be able to use that functionality and more with Ansys Discovery Student.


Physics and Features:

  • Ansys SpaceClaim-based geometry modeling
  • Instantaneous structural, thermal and fluid simulation


Geometry Import:

  • ACIS, AMF, Autodesk Inventor, CATIA V4, CATIA V5, CGR, Creo, DWG, DXF, ECAD, IDF, IGES, NX, OBJ, Parasolid, Rhino, SketchUp, Solid Edge, SolidWorks, STEP, STL, VDA-FS, VRML, XAML



  • Structural Analysis
  • Fluid Analysis
  • Topology Optimization
  • Thermal Analysis
  • Geometry Modeling
  • Modal Analysis
  • Parameter Studies

(Built-in license valid until 01/31/2023)

(Built-in license valid until 01/31/23)

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Getting Started with Ansys Discovery Student

Get started building 3D designs with Ansys. Designed to help users of our Ansys Discovery Student product understand basic functionality and usage, this set of videos includes tutorials to support your learning across the many capabilities. Topics include key features, setting up simulations and performing analyses.




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