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What is the best way to learn Revit, ArchiCAD or any other BIM software?

A large amount of resources available on the Internet makes easier to learn how to use a software

Software - Hardware Strategies Protocols
Published: 11/07/2018

First, a brief introduction of the concept of BIM

Learning BIM or any other new discipline can be overwhelming in the beginning. As you might know, BIM it is not a software but a methodology, and to be honest, not the newest one. It gets back to 1985 when the term was used in relation with architecture design software for the first time. By using BIM, professionals could create a new virtual image of the project during its whole life-cycle which helped by improving collaboration between different parts, reducing delays and clash detections. Nothing like that had been done before and of course, it changed the paradigm of the construction forever. The new models created with BIM were able to provide detailed information about MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing), FP (Fire Protection) and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning).  

Nowadays, the construction industry has grown to a whole new level and so the professional opportunities too. New technologies and trends such as 3D modeling, AR/VR or blockchain, have promoted the urgency to push the digitalization of the sector.  Therefore, it is not rare to see that a lot of companies are now requiring the services of qualified BIM staff. If you're interested in working in any BIM field, it is mandatory to have a degree related to the AECO sector and of course, a certain familiarity with BIM. This means to feel comfortable working with different BIM software but also to do it in a collaboratively way. In today's article, we will provide a few tips to learn any BIM software. 

Getting along well with any BIM software

The good thing about some software like Revit, for example, is a large number of resources available on the Internet. Starting with the Autodesk website itself, where you will find the Forums. It is the perfect place for Autodesk users in trouble. So if you have a particular doubt or you just feel curious about a certain aspect of the software, feel free to post there before going any further. You will get qualified responses. In addition, Autodesk provides free training for their users in their Autodesk Design Academy. This service includes educational resources in manufacturing, construction and production, including self-paced online courses, webinars, etc... You can try CADLearning too, a very interesting website with a large catalogue of on-demand Revit tutorials. 

Although getting familiar with the theory is awesome, it's always better learning by doing. It will be tough but will let you familiarize with any software or program in a closer way. Try to start a very simple project, a house for example, from the concept to the plan set. You can always get assistance from tutorials too. There are plenty of them on Youtube, like these ones from SDCPublications, and you also have more resources in our Technical Area. Another proposal from the Architectural Designer, Vanessa C. is 1-2-1 tutoring with an experienced user for your starting project. This method is better than independent learning because it provides a better understanding of the software and a personalized attention while your learning. 

Make sure you pick one software and master it. Nowadays, it is so easy to learn the basics of any software that nobody is impressed when you list of packages in your résumé. By knowing how to use a software makes you stand out from your competitors. 

What about open source BIM software? 

Like in any other sectors, you also have the possibility to work with open source BIM software. Although they will never have the potential as the regular software like Revit or ArchiCAD, they provide their own sets of benefits too. For example, they typically use open standards in their design and interfaces, making easier to exchange BIM data with customers, partners and suppliers. You can also personalize the user interface or add special functions. BIMx, OpenBIM: Open ToolBox For BIM or Dynamo are good examples of open source BIM software. 

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