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How long would it take me to learn Revit?

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How steep is the Revit learning curve? If I were thrown into an office that used only Revit, how long might it take me to become reasonably proficient with it?

Some background info:

I started out computing playing Zork with a trs-80.

I've built my own machines, networked entire small offices, setup/troubleshot many a plotter and configured/ran daily print production on a Cannon CLC with a Fiery RIP.

I've worked in both Mac and Pc based environments.

On the software side I have worked professionally with Microstation, AutoCad, 3d Studio Max, Quark, Pagemaker, Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and Acrobat Pro over the course of the last 15 years.

Recently I picked up Sketchup and it was scary simple

Any ideas on a Revit learning time frame?





 
Oct 26, 09 10:33 am

Quickly.

But then you will hit a wall

As you realize that the intuitive way the interface is designed is good for nothing as you move into actual construction documents for large buildings (assuming you are working on them) *Residential projects are perfect for Revit's out of the box setup*

But you'll get over that quickly, and learn a lot more

and then hit a wall again

As you learn the intricacies of the very specific rules that govern custom parametric families

Hopefully you will have other people around who can ask you stupid questions and as you explain to them the twisted logic it will start to make fuzzy sense in your mind.

And then you will become a Revit zen master, able to diagnose any issue with a magic wand, this point (for myself) took about two years.

PS. I work as a 'BIM Specialist' and have trained over 50 architects who now use Revit in a production environment.

Oct 26, 09 10:39 am
Alexi

You'll be fine. I teach Revit and similar software for a living- just know it's not CAD ( you have to assume a different workflow) and pay attention to your parametric constraints and element properties.

Download Autodesk's free 30 day trial and do all the tutorials- don't wait until you get to the firm to open up the program. Familiarize yourself with the tools, views, and general navigation. When you get to the firm, you'll learn how to work collaboratively in the file with others, interface with consultants, and scheduling. Practice modeling now, play with the parameters, and you'll be fine.

The amount of time it takes to learn Revit varies from person to person. I would do the tutorials maybe one or two a day and then when I feel like I've got it, I would take it easy and then do a refresher before I started working.

You're not going to be an expert revit user until you've done a project in it with a team of people, but you'll be familiar enough with the tools not to look like you don't know what you're doing.

Oct 26, 09 10:47 am
Alexi

oh yeah- and then it's on and up to zen master

Oct 26, 09 10:50 am

yes good practical advice there.

Oct 26, 09 10:57 am
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Thanks loremipsum and Alexi

I contemplating being thrown into a production environment doing CD's for 50,000 sf manufacturing and distribution centers, 300,000 sf mixed use master plans and an 700 acre residential master plan.

I would like to avoid being the guy with all the stupid questions!!!

I will be given a week max before I'm expected to start being productive.

Am I going to be throwing myself to the wolves (or whatever the correct euphemism would be) and pulling out my hair in frustration?

Is it possible to blow through the free tutorials over the course of a weekend?

Oct 26, 09 11:06 am

50,000 sf manufacturing... alright!

300,000 sf mixed use master plans... great, unless you are doing the architectural infill...

700 acre res master plans... wouldn't do this in Revit. (issues with importing CAD files from consultants that are more than 2 miles in diameter).

Given your experience you probably won't have 'stupid questions' but you will have a lot.

The art comes into play in deciding whether to model or draft, it's a game of compromises where every drawing decision either saves you time or makes your file unmanageably large. In a perfect world with a perfect computer everything should be modeled, in my office with 64 bit boxes running 8 GB RAM, quad core processors (which Revit cannot take advantage of) and stellar video cards we have to make a lot of sacrifices to the parametric gods.

That said we are doing mainly 200,000-1,000,000 SF mixed use residential/commercial and hotel projects. The key to doing these successfully is understanding linked files.

You will be able to do the tutorials in a weekend, sure (do the ones that come with the program) after that you should do google searches for specific issues that come up while you are working (replicate a project that you have done in CAD).

Oct 26, 09 11:15 am
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Hey guys thanks for the encouragement!

It's just a temporary contract gig until my wife starts a new job and we relocate.

But, it will be good that I'll be forced to learn something new.

Oct 26, 09 11:39 am
liberty bell

I just want to give a big gold star to loremipsum and Alexi. What helpful, generous, non-snarky advice!

Archinect at its best.

You guys make it sounds like this old dinosaur shouldn't be so scared of BIM.

Oct 26, 09 12:00 pm
liberty bell

(The old dinosaur being me, not you, dash-line screen name, just to clarify.)

Oct 26, 09 12:01 pm
randomized

[2ct]the snarkiness is mostly directed towards people who never heard of a library or google, not towards people with genuine questions that want to engage in a discussion.[/2ct]

Oct 26, 09 12:12 pm
Alexi

haha lb- you can definitely learn BIM -It's really the thought process you have to pay attention to, it's a different way to work.

Firms I know who are unsuccessful are trying to use Revit like autoCAD, when this happens the file gets bulky and you lose half or more of revit's functionality. Once you've learned to work within Revit's rule-based system life becomes a little more awesome.

dash-

You'll be able to blow through a lot in a weekend, but the longer you take the more you'll learn.

Just remember that Revit requires less mindless clicking (when used properly)- so pay attention to what you're doing, read the warnings and try to understand what they mean.

You're definitely going to ask questions!!! Read up on Central files and worksharing before you go and definitely ask the questions you have (online first, of course) because if you don't know what you're doing and you don't ask- people will be more pissed if you screw something up.

Oct 26, 09 12:18 pm
Alexi

Everyone's subject to snark or get snarked on archinect. That's why hitting the "SUBMIT" button is so exhilarating- hehe

Oct 26, 09 12:19 pm
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Haha liberty bell.

I sure feel like an old dinosaur.

I would not have taken offense if you were referring to me. :)

Oct 26, 09 12:29 pm
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Well, if the job works out I'll be sure to post my questions, frustrations and screw-ups regarding learning BIM for all to see.

Thanks again.

Oct 26, 09 12:46 pm
c.k.

I think that people who learn revit fastest are the ones who have no assumptions about how it's supposed to work, as in, resist the urge to compare and expect it to behave like a previously learned software.
I think the functionality is actually organized very clearly and once you get familiar with it you can get better on your own but you have to constantly consider the consequences of every little decision which some people find a bit hard.
It seriously helps to learn from the mistakes of others and to have someone located not too far away to as questions.

Oct 26, 09 12:51 pm
postal

judging from your experience, you shouldn't have too much trouble.

the time frame I always say is: 1 project

over the course of a project you should learn how to do learn and meet most of your everyday needs. you will hit walls as the zen master said, but if you know where to search for the answers, you will have no problems. the issue with revit is, you have to learn how to do everything individually, a wall is different than a floor, is different than a roof, instead of acad where everything is a line.

crazy custom families are definitely beyond what you need, but will improve your project's efficiency and accuracy.

...and I prefer the term guru, not zen master.

lorem, curious if you've trained MEP engineers yet. I'm having trouble breaking their mold and getting them to really explore and improve the software and their workflow.

Oct 26, 09 1:33 pm
postal

... i started that post this morning... all good advice from the above.

...i think you can definitely tell Revit's maturity and depth has grown from the advice and threads on archinect. it's good to see (that our competitive advantage is quickly disappearing)

Oct 26, 09 1:39 pm
c.k.

ahem, crazy custom families are you friend, why aren't more people accepting that this is the power of revit?

Oct 26, 09 1:39 pm

I have.

Revit MEP it definitely the toughest to train because there are so many different sub-disciplines in there. I think that once they start seeing how integrated the process is and get used to it, they utilize the program better than arch or structural.

Most of the time a portion of the class is taught to everyone and then they're broken into their sub disciplines as to not waste peoples time and to keep them attentive.

Oct 26, 09 1:47 pm
postal

ckl, indeed. immensely powerful.

but you need to walk before you run. and crazy custom families can be a tripping hazard. tracking parameters is probably the most difficult thing in revit, and it still gives everyone headaches. solving visibility problems is always a huge ordeal with beginners. same can be said for strings of families within families.

Oct 26, 09 1:48 pm
c.k.

you're absolutely right. I just brought it up because the conversation very often steers towards the idea that revit is for standard structures and buildings and you can't make anything out of the ordinary - I just wanted to dispel the myth.
my experience has been the opposite and I realized that families are really very useful, even you you want to have more flexibility for something very standard.

Oct 26, 09 2:28 pm
some person

Here is my personal experience (I'm neither an old geezer nor just out of school); perhaps you can relate:

I found out that I needed to build a 3-D massing model of a building for which we had AutoCAD plans. Not knowing Sketch-up very well, I decided to come in on a Sunday and teach myself enough about Revit to build the massing model. It took me about 5 hours, but I managed to create a model that was sufficient for the task at hand.

From that point forward, I proceeded with the program, creating a list of questions until I could go no farther, then I asked those questions of a colleague-guru. Then repeated.

It's really not so bad, as long as - as others mentioned above - there is someone in your office (which it sounds like there will be, given that everyone uses the program) to whom you can ask questions.

My company also sent me to a formal 4-day Revit training four months later, which was beneficial in understanding the intricacies of the more powerful tools within the program.

Oct 26, 09 7:23 pm
TaliesinAGG

Yes, you will surely hit a wall....frequently....with your fist....if you are doing CD's in Revit. It is obvious that Revit was not intended to produced accurate drawings with quality graphics.

Oct 27, 09 7:21 pm
TaliesinAGG

But seriously, having worked exculsily on Revit for about 6 months...I can see this taking about a year and a half to really rock on it....I am still in the heavy drinking, fist through wall stage...but its getting better...sorry for being snarky.

Oct 27, 09 7:36 pm
niro

revit is probably the best thing today after using cad for 16 years.

but

if you are starting revit from scratch, you better work on a project that you can do in your sleep, since you will be struggling to do simple things that you do in cad that doesn't go your way in revit.

Oct 27, 09 9:28 pm
HouseCat3rd

myLiebermeisterAG,

You are so totally wrong about Revit not intended to produce accurate drawings with quality graphics!

I've taken 6 projects through CD in Revit. Sometimes I complain about it being too accurate. Half the things we import from CAD result in warning about accuracy (lines off by 0.1 degree etc.). Most things can be customized to create quality graphics. There are very very few things that you CAN'T adjust. The flip side is that I now have created hundreds of custom families. But as stated above, custom family is why Revit is powerful and much much much superior to CAD.

There are ways to make the graphic look good. Don't readily accept the default.

Oct 28, 09 3:58 pm
Naazi

Hello,

Is it possible to learn Revit basic within 1 week or less? I have worked with AutoCAD, SketchUp. Photoshop, 3D MAX. However, I need to learn Revit ASAP and I know to get proficient it will need like 1 month, but if I wanna learn using it regarding my background, Is it possible within this time period?

Thanks!

Feb 6, 17 3:25 pm
Non Sequitur

You can certainly trick yourself in believing you've learned it... but really, proficiency in software will only get you that far. Technical building detailing will be the proficiency benchmark.

Feb 6, 17 4:17 pm
Xenakis

Some places give you a Revit test

 

Technical building detailing will be the proficiency benchmark.

This separates the architects from the BIM modeler/drafters - 

Feb 6, 17 5:28 pm
Naazi

How does the test look like? What do they ask you to sit and do on Revit?

Feb 9, 17 5:21 pm
Xenakis

At one large office, you login to their website to take the test - multiple choice and you have a Revit file to do the work in order to answer the questions on the vignettes - lots of questions on view depth - also codes

Other places, you do an assignment such as create structural details, set up sheet and print out. Coordination with structural mostly.

the big offices have tests such that you better know Revit inside out -

Feb 9, 17 8:13 pm
siphospowndebele

was wondering if anyone has useful links to kickstart a self-taught Revit course!

Jul 15, 17 3:48 am
archinine
Siph - As mentioned in one of the earliest posts on the thread, the best tutorials are provided by autodesk which include the relevant files...you can also hover over many of the ribbon buttons in the program, which will explain their functionality. Also google, YouTube, Lynda...

Xenakis - curious what roles and within what sectors are large firms requiring the testing?

I haven't come across any testing for intermediate roles...so far. Just do I know it, how many years, various semi-technical conversations (but not really questions) that reveal this to be true. Mostly worked at medium to large firms.
Jul 15, 17 3:49 pm

btwn 0-52 years

Jul 15, 17 4:31 pm
archiwutm8

3.50

Jul 17, 17 10:58 am
s=r*(theta)

Decades times decades, and by that time some new tool will be available.

Jul 17, 17 11:29 am

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