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Pascal Van Den Berg’s Revit Journey (And Five Tips for Getting More from the Software)

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Pascal Van Den Berg’s Revit Journey (And Five Tips for Getting More from the Software)

The rise of Building Information Modelling (BIM) has seen Revit become one of the essential digital design software packages. Discover how one student used Archistar to improve his skills and what you can do to achieve similar results.

The architectural and engineering sectors move at a fast pace. As new technologies come to the fore, entire methodologies change.

Such is the case with the concept of Building Information Modelling (BIM). Though a concept for many years, it’s only recently that BIM has come to the fore. The rise of cloud computing and software designed especially for the methodology have allowed this to happen.

There’s also a move within the industry towards BIM. Many governments now mandate its use in state projects. And a lot of private clients wish to move towards BIM as well.

Simply put, you need to understand both the methodology and the software packages that support it.

Pascal Van Den Berg found himself in just such a position. In 2016, he’d developed his design skills to a certain point. But with BIM gaining so much prevalence, he needed to learn about Revit to be competitive in the sector.

Pascal relied on the Archistar platform to help him develop his skills.

Pascal’s Story

Pascal found himself in a similar position to many graduates when he left school. While he had learned much about architectural theory, his digital design skills weren’t up to a high enough standard.

That was particularly true when it came to the Revit BIM software package. Pascal only really knew two things about it:

  • You can use it to create 3D models.
  • You can input data from various sources to create a BIM model.

Unfortunately, he didn’t have any practical experience. Despite this, he managed to land a new job and things were looking up.

But Pascal recognised the industry was heading towards a change. That became crystal clear when he saw several of his colleagues working with the Revit and Dynamo software packages.

He needed to keep pace with them. And he needed to do it in a short period of time.

The Challenge

Pascal set himself a simple challenge:

Learn Revit and Dynamo as quickly as possible.

But like many simple ideas, the execution was far more difficult than the concept itself.

Pascal initially used the learning techniques that he’d employed while at university. He studied every night by watching videos on YouTube and he spent as much time as possible watching seminars.

But the results weren’t coming quickly enough. While he received good information, he wasn’t receiving it in an optimal fashion.

Pascal needed to find another way and he found it while browsing on LinkedIn.

It turned out that one of Pascal’s contacts had used Archistar to develop his skills. Moreover, he’d become something of a Revit BIM software guru in a short period of time due to the platform.

Pascal decided to take the Archistar Revit BIM software skills test to see where he stood. He achieved a good result, but he didn’t manage to get 100% on the test.

He needed to develop his skills further and Archistar held the answers.

The Solution

Archistar provided Pascal with quick learning frameworks for both Revit and Dynamo. With specific courses to work from, as well as plenty of educational material, Pascal’s skills improved tremendously. Results came at a much faster rate than they did when he tried to link together unrelated YouTube tutorials.

His skills in Dynamo progressed quickly. He began automating as much of his work as possible. Pascal created scripts that allowed him to automate view and sheet creation, as well as scripts for filling in the parameters of elements. His skills progressed to such a high point that he could build script that automated XML file creation for his employer’s models.

All of that came through what he learned using the Archistar platform. And the more he automated using Dynamo, the more time he could spend developing his skills in the Revit BIM software.

Eventually, he used Archistar to learn how to use Dynamoscript to speed up Revit processes. All of the while, he kept developing his abilities in the Revit BIM software.

The End Result

The script for XML file creation turned out to be one of the last scripts that Pascal produced for his employer.

He received an opportunity to start working with a company that was much closer to home. The skills that he’d learned through Archistar helped to create this opportunity.

And he got to put his skills to the test almost immediately. When he started his new role, he came across a colleague who had a problem with his Revit BIM model. Specifically, his colleague struggled with an aspect of Revit’s Temporary Hide feature. He couldn’t find a way to turn temporarily hidden elements back on via selection.

Pascal used his skills to create a script that did it for him. The script turned all of the elements on when activated. Those that were previously temporarily hidden received a red hue to highlight them. And once the user deactivated the script, the elements went back to their initial state of either hidden or visible.

Immediately, Pascal used the skills he developed with Archistar to prove his worth to his new employer.

But his journey hasn’t stopped there. Since his initial exploration of the Archistar platform, Pascal has registered for the Elite Package. Today, he continues to spend his spare time learning as much as he can about Revit, Dynamo, and other digital design software packages. He also regularly takes part in a number of LinkedIn and Facebook groups for both software packages.

What Can You Learn?

Pascal’s journey started with his desire to learn as much as he could about Revit BIM software. But along the way, he found himself developing skills in other design packages and programming languages.

So, what can learn from his journey? Here are five tips on how to get more out of the Revit BIM software.

Tip #1 – Learn How to Use Dynamoscript

The Revit BIM software offers a lot of functionality. But like all digital design software packages, it’s not perfect. There are features that may frustrate you or may not even be present in the software.

Such was the case for Pascal’s colleague when he started his new job. Revit couldn’t do what that colleague wanted it to do.

But Dynamoscript provided the answer. Revit allows for users to create scripts of their own so they can add functionality to the basic package. This makes Dyamoscript an extremely useful tool when you’re developing your skills in Revit. Learning it allows you to overcome some of the restrictions of the software, which makes for a more efficient working experience.

One could argue that Pascal’s Dynamo skills became just as important as his developing Revit BIM software skills. The key takeaway is that you understand that other programs and languages can support your Revit work. Learn what they are and how to use them. You’ll create a more efficient Revit BIM model that’s tailored to your needs.

Tip #2 – Join Appropriate Social Media Groups

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The rise of social media has presented a slew of opportunities to the sector. Various platforms, such as LinkedIn, allow for the creation of groups focused specifically on the issues that you have an interest in.

Pascal took advantage of social media during the early part of his journey. When he discovered the YouTube videos weren’t working for him, he took to LinkedIn. There, he discovered a key influencer in his field. Moreover, he learned about the platform that this influencer used to achieve his status – Archistar.

That new information completely changed the way that Pascal learned about Revit. Furthermore, he continues to use social media platforms to further his skills. It’s an ideal way to find likeminded people who have the skills that you don’t have. Social media platforms help you to learn as well as build connections.

If you want to learn more about the Revit BIM software, join the many Revit groups you’ll find on platforms like LinkedIn. Pay attention to the key influencers in those groups and follow in their footsteps. Often, they’ll shed light on opportunities or ideas that you wouldn’t come across on your own.

Tip #3 – Ensure You Have the Right System

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The BIM aspects of Revit make it one of the more demanding digital design software platforms. The software also produces very detailed models, which become more complex as you add more data to them.

Without the right computer system in place, your efforts to learn more about the software may falter.

There’s a practical aspect to this. If you have a system that’s at the lower end of the specifications scale, you’ll experience performance issues. Your Revit BIM model may run slowly, especially when handling a lot of data. Plus, you may find that you don’t have the memory needed to store your models. A typical Revit model can be as large as 700mb. A small hard drive limits the number of them that you can create before you have to start deleting things.

All of these issues slow your progress and make it more difficult to learn more. Invest in a suitable system to speed up your outcomes.

Tip #4 – Close Your Unused Views

As your work progresses, you’ll find yourself opening a lot of views.

Over the course of the day, these views can start to clutter the Revit user interface. You’ll find yourself spending more time switching between views than needed.

But too many open views causes another problem. It lowers the performance of the software itself. The more views that you leave open, the harder that Revit has to work to keep itself working. You’ll experience longer loading times and a slower workflow.

The solution is to take periodic stock of the views that you have open. Click the “Switch Windows” option in the toolbar and then select “Close Hidden”. This will get rid of the views that you haven’t used for a while, thus improving the software’s performance.

Tip #5 – Nail Down Your Learning Structure

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Pascal’s initial struggles came because he didn’t have a structured learning environment.

He tried to get everything that he needed from YouTube tutorials and other individual sources. While such tutorials may prove useful for specific issues, they don’t form a cohesive whole. Before discovering Archistar, Pascal worked from a patchwork of information that had no structure.

That lack of structure was responsible for the slow learning outcomes that he achieved. It meant that he wasn’t learning the basics before moving onto more complex subjects. It also meant that he struggled to set specific goals as he never knew which tutorial he’d come across next.

The right structure is key to any educational experience. If you go the route that Pascal initially took, you’ll have to spend a long time compiling different materials. And even then, it’s unlikely that you’ll find quality materials.

Of course, there is another option…

Take Advantage of Archistar’s Academy

Pascal’s fortunes turned around when he discovered Archistar Academy. Upon registering, he had access to an array of courses that helped him to build the foundations of his burgeoning skillset. From there, he could develop the skills that he deemed most important to his career trajectory.

Archistar offers structured learning with defined outcomes. Moreover, the information provided on the platform comes from experts who’ve spent years developing their own skills. On top of all of that, you receive supplementary videos and educational materials to help you achieve your desired outcomes.

The platform also offers downloadable project files and regular tests that you can use to achieve practical insight into the development of your skills.

All of this is at your fingertips and accessible at any time.

Archistar can help you to learn more about digital design, emerging technologies, and even digital fabrication. And our Rapid Learning Methodology allows for efficient learning that equips you with the skills you need quickly.

All that’s left now is to get started. Contact an Archistar representative today or visit the Archistar Academy website to learn more. We’re here to guide your education and help you make the right decisions for your studies.

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Posted on 20 Jan 2020

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