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EV3 Education vs EV3 Home software

While there has been a lot of discussion and questions around the differences between the Home and Education versions of the EV3, there hasn't been a lot about the differences in the software.  I'm going to try and summarise as best I can here.  If I miss anything, please let me know.


The most important thing to note first up, is if you ignore all the marketing / packaging of each software, then the actually programming language (unofficially called EV3-G) is exactly the same for both the Home and Education editions.

The biggest difference is probably in the Lobby area. The Home edition is definitely marketed towards Boys, aged 8-14 with quite bold and dark colours and slightly menacing looking builds. The Education Edition is far cleaner, which will appeal to teachers and (stereotypical) girls.



  Education Edition Home Edition
Cost US$100 Single licence
US$400 Site Licence
Free Download
Programming Language           EV3-G EV3-G
Content Editor YES YES
Datalogging Software YES NO
Tutorials Generic tutorials for all aspects of the EV3 device Tutorials specific to each particular build
Building Instructions EV3 Core Base
Colour Sorter
Robot Arm H25
Download pdf's here
as well as links to other bonus models
Sensor Support Supports both EDU and Home sensors     

Supports both EDU and Home sensors
(you need to download the EDU blocks)


There will be additional education modules you can purchase (the Design Engineering module being the first) which I believe you can only load into the Education version.

Conclusion:  They are actually pretty close.  If you are just looking to program your robot, and not concerned about the very 'boy' focussed lobby, then the Home version will suit you fine.  If however, you're looking to roll this out in a classroom, where you'll likely have a mix of ages / genders, then the Education edition is certainly worth looking at.  If you're going to be using your EV3 for more than just 'robots' and are going to delving into some *science*  (which I strongly recommend everyone does!), then you can't go past the Education edition software.

Did I miss anything?


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Reader Comments (47)


Is there a difference in the software on the brick between education and retail?

October 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAswin

You can have both edition installed on the same computer. The icons are different and gives you two choices of "lobby" and materials.

October 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterQuoc

Aswin, The firmware is *slightly* different as it has the on-board Datalogging capability that the Home edition doesn't have.

Quoc, you are absolutely right, you can have both versions installed on the one computer at the same time :)

October 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

we are looking at buying the education set, and maybe some extra such as the extension set, infrared sensor. Is there anything else you think is worth getting? That design engineering module is bit too advance for a 9yo boy, is it?

October 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrebecca

Hi Rebecca,

If you get the Education version, then the IRSeeker and Beacon would certainly make good additions, as would the extension set. The Engineering module is pretty good, but probably a little expensive for just the one student.

October 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

Can you explain how the data logging software works and its performance capablities (e.g. data field formats) and whether it remembers the data when the brick is turned off or whether it can record its data log to the SD card? thanks

November 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWalter Lee

Thanks or the info ! mmmm but i have a question ! how can i download edu sensor blocks ?

November 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterzaid

Walter, I'm going to do a post about that soon (hopefully by th end of the year!!) :)

Data will be remembered when turned off, but unfortunately cannot be written to the SD card automatically

November 9, 2013 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

Zaid, you can download the EDU sensor blocks for the Home edition here -

Look under EV3 blocks.

November 9, 2013 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

Is there anywhere where I can download the ".ev3" project files for the Education Core and Expansion robots? That would allow me to load those project files into the home edition of the software and then download those programs to my EV3 brick. I have bought the retail (31313), education core (45544) and education expansion (45560) sets, so it would be great if I can access the ".ev3" project files for all the education robots as well as the retail robots.

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRob

I'm really sorry Rob, but you cannot get the Education model .ev3 files from anywhere other than an official copy of the Education software :(

November 16, 2013 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

Hi Damien,
Does the home version work with NXT devices as well? Do you have any tips for using the NXT with EV3 software (the Mindstorms software originally for the NXT has not been maintained and does not work with Mavericks for the Mac or many PCs either).

December 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua A

Hi Damien, we just got the EV3 education set. Very cool indeed. I bought it from the US site and have friend sent it over here. It comes with a rechargeable battery, can I use that rechargeable battery charger here though since we run on 220V and US runs on 110V?
Thanks very much for your help,

December 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrebecca

Hi Josh, The Home edition will work for the NXT but, you'll want to download the additional blocks (Ultrasonics, Sound etc) from the EV3 website so you can use those sensors.

A 'NXT on EV3 software' post is on my (admittedly very long) 'to-do' list :)

Damien Kee

December 28, 2013 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

Hi Rebecca, that is great that you have got your kit. The rechargeable battery will work fine so long as the charger you have is capable of accepting 24V. Have a look at the sticker on the charger itself to see if it does.

Damien Kee

December 28, 2013 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

Thanks for your assessment of the two versions. Do you happen to know with the single purchase of a license ($100 education), if one is allowed to do both the teacher and student software installations for Lego EV3 Education core set? I started the installer and stopped because I was stumped on which fork in the road to take: Student or Teacher, or if it is possible to install both... We're using the software at home for our two kids to use with the EV3 and will not likely be setting up any curriculum


December 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDan O

Dano O,
I *think* that a single licence means that you can only have it installed on one computer at a time. The Teacher / Student versions are almost exactly the same, save the slight difference with the Content Editor. If you're not likely to be using any Curriculum, then the Student intallation will be fine.

Good luck!

January 3, 2014 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

Hi Damien,

I love your blog! Thank you for all your fabulous information. I am a middle school science teacher and just bought the EV3 Education Core Kit only to realize that the building instructions and models for the Core kit are not the same as the home edition. I really wanted to build the models from the home kit. Do you know if the EV3 Education kit is capable of building the home edition models? (Does it have the same pieces?) thanks again

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Hi Damien,

I just purchased an EV3 home edition and love it! I've been looking at some of the educational projects/lessons and would like to add the necessary parts to my set so I can build any of the educational projects. Short of buying the EDU core pack (45544) and an expansion pack (45560), do you know if there are any sets that will effectively turn a home edition set into an EDU set?



January 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTerry C.

Terry and Melissa,

Unfortunately there is nothing that I know of, that will *easily* convert a 31313 (Home) edition to the 45544 (Education) edition. Laurens Valk did a nice comparison here that outlines the differences -

There is also a very nice table here that shows exactly what is in each kit (as well as the expansion pack).

The expansion set (45560) does a good job of bridging the gap, but it's not perfect and you do need to supplement it with the odd extra part. Bricklink might be your best best for these random pieces.

Hope this helps! :)

January 7, 2014 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

Hi Rebecca and all... Please note that the US charger only does 110-120VAC 60Hz and will not work on 220V even with a converter as the US is on 60HZ and a converter won't change that to 50Hz :(

The 220V charger on the other hand does both 100-240 VAC 50/60 Hz and so with a plug converter will work worldwide!

February 23, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbaz

Thanks for the note Damien.
Well, we bought a converter a few months ago, so far we used it half a dozen times and it seemed to be ok. Does that mean the rechargeable battery might be damaged or not charged to its optimum power?

February 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Rebecca, Baz may well be right. Take a photo of the sticker on the charger you have, and email it through to me. I'll see if it is ok.

February 24, 2014 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

Using the list from, I was able to get the pieces to bridge the different between the retail and core sets directly from Lego and it was fairly easy. The customer service pages on have a Bricks & Pieces area when you can buy parts as well as ask for replacement parts. It is easy because they prompt you for the set number and then provide that set's parts inventory list for you to use to fill up your shopping cart.

March 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDMClarke

I have downloaded the ultrasonic sensor block Ultrasonic.ev3b but don't seem to be able to see it in LabVIEW to use it. Am I missing something?

September 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKarina

Are you using the EV3-G language? If so, you'll need to 'import' the block. Go to Tools -> Block Import Wizard and follow the prompts.

September 24, 2014 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

I have to do a demonstration of the h25 arm for my library on Monday. I've built the arm is there anywhere that has a sheet of programming instructions I can follow for the arm? thanks

October 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSimone


Go to the EV3 Education version software and click on Model Core Set -> Model Instructions -> H25. This will open up the project. In the content editor, click past the video and the building instructions and the Demo program for the H25 will open up.

Hope this helps.

October 20, 2014 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

When I loaded the Educational Software on my PC the icons and text are too small to read. Changing the screen resolution did not change this. Not sure if there is a way to change the sizing in the EV3 software. Thanks

April 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Hi Steve, I'm really sorry but I'm not sure how to fix that problem. If you do figure it out, please share with the rest of us!!

April 20, 2015 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

As far as licensing for the software. Can the Home edition be installed on multiple computers in an educational environment without violating the licensing or do you have to purchase the Educational edition?

November 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTim


I'm not sure on the official answer, but 'un-officially' I've been told that there is nothing to stop you from installing the Retail software on multiple computers. Purchase of the EDU sets do not require a specific programming language to be used with them. You can use RobotC, LeJos, EV3 Basic etc, so there is no reason why this couldn't be extended to EV3-3 Retail edition.

November 21, 2015 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

Hello damien,
Can i ask you please what the defferent between the single licence and the site licence ?
Thank you

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTareq nawaiseh

Hi Tareq,

A single licence permits you to use the software on a single stand alone computer. A site licence allows you to install and run simultaneously on multiple computers within a 'site'. A 'site' might be a whole school campus, but you'll need to talk to the LEGO Education distributor in your region as to the exact definition of a 'site'

December 9, 2015 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

My son has had the EV3 retail edition for some time. He just received the EV3 Educational Core Set. Since we already have the EV3 freeware installed on our iMac is it necessary to install the EV3 Education software too? Can these "Brains" of these sets be used interchangeably with the sensors or do the sensors need to be specific to the brain they came with?

December 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJim

Hi Jim. The 'brain' is exactly the same in each kit. There is no need to specify which one to use :)

You can use the Retail version or the Education version interchangeably.

January 6, 2016 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

Anyone looking for a Linux programming environment should check out the ev3dev project. It provides a complete Linux system booting from the EV3's SDcard, kind of dual-boot, the original firmware stays intact (very cool!).

Links to programming resources (Python, Node.js, C++, Java, Ruby, ...) can be found in the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Comparison project on GitHub.

January 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Hi Damien,
I bought a 45544 Lego Mindstorms EV3 Education Core Set in 2013, but the kids stopped using it a year later. Now I'd like to sell it, but I guess it would have to be without the software. I cannot figure out how much the software would cost, so can't work out how much the realistic price of a near new set would be. Would you help me out please?
Thank you.

February 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAniko

The software is now free for Education and Retail versions. Just go to, and sign up for a free LEGO ID to get your copy. Price will depend on which country your're in, so check out the local suppliers to see how much they are currently selling them for.

February 27, 2016 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

Hi Damian, Can you explain how to install both versions (student and tutor) at the same time please. I installed tutor education version, but when I then try to install the student home version it says download already complete. Many thanks

March 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRowland

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