by Martha Hollowell
Last week Elvis posted some thoughts on Teaching CAD so I thought I would add my two cents worth on teaching Building Information Modeling (BIM). Teaching BIM has its own variations and complications. One of the biggest challenges is moving people from 2D thinking to 3D thinking. I must admit I was part of the problem for a while. I knew 2D AutoCAD inside and out and could do everything I thought was needed. Then I took the time to really understand 3D and my drawings were never the same. Moving from 3D modeling in AutoCAD and even AutoCAD Architecture to total building modeling in Revit was also a revelation. This one didn’t take me as long to grasp because a lot of it “just happens”. I was thrilled to have my schedules automatically populate and for elevation views to automatically apply the changes from the plan.
But that is still not all there is to BIM. I was still thinking in a 2D Construction Document way. I was looking at the output rather than a new way of working. A lot of people coming into Revit fundamentals classes will feel the same way. They might be comfortable with how they have done things and don’t want to change. Even more experienced users might be focusing on the 2D views and not caring about the full features of the program. Our job as instructors is to get them excited about the full world of BIM in Revit.
There is no question that people need to know the basics to be able to work successfully in Revit. If you don’t know how to sketch a linear element you can’t get too far. So, how do you take the basics and help people see the whole model? By working back and forth (or side-by-side) in 2D and 3D views. It is critical to get 3D views up in front of people from the very beginning because it shows the whole “building model” rather than just a floor plan or elevation.
Tip: When you want to see more than one view on the screen close all views that aren’t needed and type WT (Window Tile) to show the views evenly on the screen.
How do you help your students understand Building Information Modeling? I invite you to tell us your insights on teaching BIM. If you have any ideas you want to share through this blog that would be great. You can post replies in the comment section below and we will incorporate your ideas in future posts on this blog.
I am also leading an “unconference” (discussion) class about this at AU 2011 in Las Vegas this year. It is titled “The Brainy Bunch: Teacher Training Tips for Revit Architecture, MEP, and Structure”. The class is scheduled for November 29, 10:30 am. Right now it is full but you can list it in “My Interests” and check back later to see if any openings have come up.