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Would you intern at a Cad only firm?

levifingerer

Hi all,  I was just wondering what your opinions are.  I'm going for a M.arch in September and the firm I'd intern at is a Cad only firm.   Is it worth spending my time Advancing my Autocad skills or should I ask if i could be placed in a Revit team.  I feel like revit is more beneficial for grad school since it's 3D and the construction documents are easier in addition to Revit being the go to in the future whereas Cad is being phased out.  

I could stay at the firm and work on cad or request a revit team.  If they say no to revit should I look for another internship? 

Thank you for your help

 
Apr 13, 21 6:24 am
monosierra

I doubt Revit will be relevant to most grad school curriculum though it will be helpful to future job searches to have had professional experience with BIM. You can ask what kind of CAD work will you doing exactly. Learning how to detail in CAD is still an important lesson that can be applied to other software in the future. So set the software aside for a minute and figure out what exactly will your work entail - a Revit monkey wouldn't be as valuable a team member as one who is proficient in drawing all kinds of details, whether in CAD or Revit.

Apr 13, 21 8:17 am  · 
2  · 
levifingerer

That's interesting. What programs do you think will be most beneficial for grad school?

Apr 13, 21 6:50 pm  · 
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monosierra

Depends on which schools you're going to but I think Rhino is used pretty much everywhere. Sci-Arc is into Maya/Cinema4D IIRC.

Apr 14, 21 10:23 am  · 
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rcz1001

CAD stands for computer aided design (CADD stood for computer aided design & drafting). In practice, CAD/CADD is used interchangeable. BIM also is a type of computer aided designing. You are using computers and software to aid designing.... period.... from conceptual to technical drawings for construction. At different stages of the design process, you may use varying types of tools. Typical CAD tools were for drafting oriented. BIM based tools uses a 3d model approach. If you think about it, even Microsoft Paint can be a tool for computer aided designing. The question is, are you designing at a very sketchy conceptual level or are you needing to prepare technical drawings. Most companies that bills themselves out as CAD only is likely to be highly focused on preparing construction documents and work in that later more technical oriented stages of the design process. Some of the tools used are for visualization like fly-by animations and such to 'sell' the design concept by 'wow'ing the client who doesn't know squat and depending on the ethics of the professional can be great design or at the worst end.... total crap polished up in a shiny animation but the design sucks for a lot of reasons. The tools are just what they are. How they are used is important. The original question is whether or not, would you 'intern' at a CAD only firm. Depends on what is meant by 'intern'. For many, 'intern' means slaves working for no money doing everything the company bills for but doesn't get a single penny for the labor.... FREE labor and likely to fall into the realm of illegal labor practice. Who wouldn't be willing to have someone working 2000+ hours a year for $0.00 a year? Someone with any shred of ethics. However, too many just wants volunteers. Sorry, unless it is a legitimate non-profit organization... don't ever volunteer yourself to work for nothing. Get paid. Therefore, make sure it is paid internship where you are paid no less then minimum wage. Ideally, it should be commensurate to the role and duties assigned and responsibility. Short, don't work for free..... PERIOD. If they are paid for the work you do for them, you better be paid for your work and labor.... ALWAYS and on-time without failure without very good legitimate reasons which should be A) rare and seldom, B) never a frequent or regular situation. There is nothing particularly wrong with working for such a firm if they are paying you and you need money to pay the bills and all. However, you may or may not get AXP hours depending on the factors. If you want to become an architect or a building designer then you will need experience in designing not just drafting. You don't want to be pigeon-holed.

Apr 24, 21 5:25 am  · 
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randomised

Go where you can best advance your architecture skills...good luck!

Apr 13, 21 8:30 am  · 
1  · 
levifingerer

Thank you! I wish there were more design built firms. I love construction.

Apr 13, 21 6:51 pm  · 
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Revit is going to have way more to do with your post-grad school career than it will grad school itself. If you think the work will be interesting and that you'll learn a lot, even if it is AutoCAD only, go for it. 

Plus you can always just buy a tutorial book, download the student version and go to town on it in your free time to learn Revit anyway.

Apr 13, 21 8:47 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

Revit is useless if you don't have strong construction and detailing experience.  Look for work experiences and learning opportunities relevant to building design, not software.  Anyone can learn software, it's not hard.

Apr 13, 21 8:49 am  · 
11  · 
RJ87

I was just having this conversation with our principal the other day. If you're knowledgeable about construction & detailing it doesn't matter what happens to software long term. There will be a little bit of a lag as they get up to speed with a new program but the real skill is in knowing "what" your drawing, not "how" to draw it. So go with whatever office you'll get the most exposure to CD's with, don't worry about the software.

Apr 13, 21 10:11 am  · 
7  · 

Close thread

Apr 13, 21 11:15 am  · 
2  · 
mightyaa

Yep.. "Intentional lines" What you use to make those lines isn't nearly as important as knowing what each line represents.

Apr 13, 21 12:33 pm  · 
3  · 
midlander

interning in an office is mostly about understanding how office work gets done and seeing the process as it really happens. You won't learn software skills in any depth during an internship.

Apr 13, 21 8:58 am  · 
4  · 
thatsthat

A lot of firms still use CAD in some capacity. My professors 10+ years ago said that BIM was the future and CAD will be totally phased out, but I've yet to see it happen 100%. Honestly knowing CAD in addition to Revit is beneficial; having both on your resume could potentially expand the number of firms you could apply to post-grad. Personally my firm does not hire new grads who don't have some level of CAD on their resume.

Apr 13, 21 10:01 am  · 
1  · 
levifingerer

That's interesting. I wonder why. Do they just use cad for modifying existing plans or buildings? I'm assuming they wouldn't do a ground up on cad

Apr 13, 21 6:49 pm  · 
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midlander

my office uses cad all the time on concept stage work where you need a clean plan or section but can't commit the time to build a model. also often on international work where the local industry isn't set up to work with bim models.

Apr 13, 21 7:46 pm  · 
1  · 
levifingerer

That's surprising. Sometimes making a section takes as long as modeling a building and with that you get all plans and sections

Apr 14, 21 5:46 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

Drafting a wall section in CAD is definitively faster and easier than making it in revit if starting from scratch. This is one of my pet-peeves with the junior revit people. The software might "give" you plans and whatnot good enough for a average studio project while in school, but what it spits out is utter garbage unless you have drafting staff competent in construction in the real world with real clients.

Our office is mostly 50/50 between CAD and Revit.  Small jobs still get the CAD treatment while the large stuff goes BIM however, we have no senior staff, other than myself, capable of high-level revit stuff & well experienced in CD/CA... so production quality varies significantly.

Apr 14, 21 7:35 am  · 
4  · 
levifingerer

I'd agree. I just love revit in terms of construction. I call it the most architecture program compared to rhino and such. My goal is to eventually transition into development/ construction. I grew up in a development/ construction family and its what I truly love. I don't mind reviewing drawings but drawing personally gets boring.

Apr 14, 21 8:30 am  · 
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thatsthat

We use CAD & Revit about 50/50 also. We pick the tool that makes the most sense for the scope of the project and level of documentation required. If we are doing CDs for a roof replacement, it doesn't make sense to build it Revit when we have an office library of CAD details for roofing. If we are doing a full building renovation, we use Revit because it is much easier to coordinate information with consultants. We often do presentation drawings in CAD because it is much easier to control the lineweights without taking it into Adobe.

Apr 14, 21 10:22 am  · 
3  · 
RJ87

Certain project types just don't need a model either. Unless there's a heavy MEP component, coordination isn't that complicated & making the model is more hassle than it's worth.

Apr 14, 21 11:16 am  · 
3  · 
atelier nobody

People've been saying BIM is the future and CAD (or at least 2D CAD) is on it's way out for as long as I've been in the profession, since before any very usable BIM systems even existed yet. I'll believe it when I see the 3" or 1:5 details actually connected to the model, instead of being the same 2D details I used to draw with a pencil.

Apr 14, 21 2:51 pm  · 
3  · 
mightyaa

We primarily use CAD, however have started a shift to Sketchup Layout; but all of our work are details and repairs to existing structures, so its pointless to build a model, and Revit is not the best tool for clean detailing; unless you do 3d details... which is why Sketchup is gaining traction here because it does it too which is imported to Layout. Primarily the 3d is for those hard to draw 2d details like saddle flashing and break-away showing the proper lapping. Sort of crap I used hand draft in isometric or isometric on CAD since I can now build that interface model and modify it to my hearts desire.

Apr 14, 21 5:00 pm  · 
2  · 
levifingerer

Interesting. I've been hearing many firms use sketchup. Why use sketchup over revit when you have to import it to CAD to get drawings?

Apr 15, 21 6:09 am  · 
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thisisnotmyname

Sketchup is significantly less expensive and much easier for for most people to learn.

Apr 15, 21 8:19 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

Levi, everyone and their grandmother can learn sketch-up within about 30mins. It's dirt cheap and ridiculously forgiving. Revit is neither and when a client is paying for your time, they don't want some junior tech wasting 2 and a half days making custom families for a one-off detail when a quick sketchup 3d view can do the job.

Apr 15, 21 8:54 am  · 
3  · 

Our firm uses Revit for nearly everything. We don't use AutoCAD for anything other than linked civil and landscape drawings. We're a bit of a special case though as we're smaller (ten people) and one of our partners is a 'master' at Revit. As such we don't have the issues of people being 'dumb' with modeling. Even with the the expert level of Revit use we still use sketchup and hand drawings in various stages of the design process. Like anything, Revit is just a tool. The importance is the skill and experience of the person using said tool.

Apr 15, 21 9:18 am  · 
3  · 
SneakyPete

I'm not a tool, you're a tool!

Apr 15, 21 11:58 am  · 
2  · 
Jay1122

Just want to piggy back on Mightya's comment. I prefer drafting details in Revit over CAD any day. The thing about Revit is you have to have a solid office standard templates and libraries to get the most efficient speed. You don't want to spend hours creating families, parameters, etc. before you even touch the actual CD. Even with Draft view details, I am too used to the drafting with detail component approach. In Revit drafting, the stud is a stud, with preset standard sizes, the sheetrock is a sheetrock you can stretch, with predefined thickness. If you have actual model, you overlay the draft component over it. You do your detail just like how you imagine you will construct it, which component to use first, where it goes. As in Autocad, it is just lines and hatches. You can draw a 3 7/8" stud that does not exist and think your detail works. Of course these are just tools, but I just prefer Revit drafting if you have the library of full drafting components of standard products. The virtual construction using actual product representation for modeling and drafting is just better to me.

Apr 15, 21 12:30 pm  · 
2  · 

Sneaky - You wish you were a tool!

Apr 15, 21 12:59 pm  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

I want to be a hammer!

Apr 22, 21 12:36 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

I want to be an old rusty smoothing plane.

Apr 22, 21 12:38 pm  · 
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atelier nobody

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pey29CLID3I

Apr 22, 21 1:40 pm  · 
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Jaetten

If you do intern in a cad office, look at CAD/BIM certification. If you get AutoDesk certification in either revit or autocad, you 'could' improve your career prospects later down the line. 

Apr 14, 21 4:07 am  · 
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SneakyPete

Design first firms don't generally care about certs, and putting them on your linkedin will get you pursued by production firms with less design cred.

Apr 14, 21 12:10 pm  · 
6  · 
Jaetten

Good point, I've been looking through job adverts and a lot of companies want certified staff, want them to produce .rfa files of their building products!

Apr 22, 21 4:56 am  · 
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quasi-arch

Revit is ultimately where you want to be, but I say go for it. My first firm out of school was CAD only w sketch up for 3D stuff. Sometimes hand sketches over the sketchup model to dress it up. Anyways, CAD will teach you how to do everything manually, how to cross reference views, notes, etc. Yes, it is more time consuming than revit but you learn to be thorough in the right areas. I think a lot of new grads that only might know Revit take things for granted as being “automatic” in revit, without understanding how important information needs to be linked and reviewed between multiple sheets or views in a drawing set.

Apr 24, 21 12:14 pm  · 
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