Upgrading to new software, especially technical software like AutoCAD can be a tough transition. If you’re a few versions behind, it can be quite daunting and frustrating when dealing with the new tools and interface. I know of at least five firms that I work with that are making the leap from older versions of AutoCAD (2005, 2006 and 2008) to the current 2013 version of AutoCAD and two are taking the leap into Revit.
With such big leaps comes big learning curves and unfortunately many will opt to just get it back to how it looked before rather than take on learning the new tools and features that the software offers. There are productivity gains to be made for those that take the time to learn them and I hope the firms I know and the many others out there that are making similar upgrades try to learn about some of the new tools available.
As I put together training material for our staff, I will also post some of it here, at least on major things that might help others along with their journey. Some items I foresee I will post about will be on the interface, customization, menu conversion from older versions, and new tools and tricks.
I am not sure on the suspected release of the 1st service pack for 2013, but I typically don’t recommend making the full move to production usage until it is released. Each new software has bugs and you don’t want to be the one discovering them on active projects.
Some Training Videos:
Below are three videos that I currently recommend for anyone making the transition to the new AutoCAD or Revit MEP software. These videos are all distributed by the same company (Infinite Skills) but are by a couple different authors.
The first is AutoCAD 2013 by Brian Benton. Brian is another old-timer in the CADD community, and is very well known for his technical skills. Brian is a fellow member and contributor to AUGI, maintains a blog, has written multiple books and has done a variety of training videos.
You can learn more about Brian here. This video covers the latest version of AutoCAD, version 2013 and is written in such a way that it benefits both the novice AutoCAD user and someone who just needs to get familiar with the new features of 2013 and possibly a refresher for commands you have long since forgotten. For those that use AutoCAD LT, he does a version for that as well. – $99.95 / $9.99 for IPAD streaming **
Advanced AutoCAD Techniques
Advanced AutoCAD Techniques The second video, also by Brian Benton is written based on the 2011 version of AutoCAD, but the topics covered are useful in almost any version. Although I have used many of these techniques and tools myself over the years, the reminder and refresher on some long since forgotten was great and the detail on some that I have never used was very helpful. This is another good deal to add to your reference library for only – $99.95 / $9.99 for IPAD streaming **
Remember – no matter how long we have been doing things and how much we think we know, we can still learn about tools and techniques that make us more productive by stretching and enhancing our skill sets. Sometime we just need to re-evaluate how we’ve always done it.
Revit MEP 2013
The third video is on Revit MEP 2013 and is by Simon Whitbread. I stumbled on this one while searching for MEP training videos for the electrical engineering company I currently work for. To stay competitive and keep up with the current business trends in our industry, our company is diving into Revit MEP. Although the company has been doing AutoCAD since its inception over 17 years ago, Revit is another beast entirely.
In order to get up to speed quickly, we are doing a multifaceted approach to training that combines formal classes through our local reseller – (Imaginit), videos and written reference material. After watching some of the sample videos, this one made the cut and will be added as another training tool in our arsenal. If you’re getting in to Revit and video training is an option, $99.95 is a very good deal for something you can watch over and over. With dual screens and headphones, this is a good way to get your feet wet as you follow along.
These are just a few resources I found and as I find new ones I will follow-up.
For those that are making the move, feel free to share your experiences here by posting in the comments section or putting out some questions or issues that you are having. Remember that you have to register to post and if you are wanting to keep up with future posts via your email, subscribe to the blog or follow me on Twitter.
** 08-11-12 Note – When I originally wrote this article, I was looking at the Infinite Skills store through their IPAD app and did not put it together that the $9.99 version was IPAD only and the downloadable video was $99.95. Thank you Brian, for straightening me out. Sorry for any confusion or inconvenience. Savings like this for the streaming content make an IPAD even more worth while.