Sunday, 7 October 2007

Getting the Software

I looked at REVIT some time ago, before Autodesk got it’s hands on the product, I was also playing with SketchUp before google bought it.

I had created very basic 3D drawings in Cadvance, IntelliCAD and AutoCAD, but at that time as a Structural Engineer I did not see that the fee element in schemes would allow the funding to buy and learn another CAD program even if it was good at 3D.

Using Autodesk Architectural Desktop when it first came out was as near as I got to making any real move towards 3D. I bought ADT because at the time it was only about £300 more than Full AutoCAD.

With each version ADT was getting better, then after 17 years with the same company I moved to a new company and lost my access to Full AutoCAD and Architectural Desktop.

My new company had a seven year old (version 2000) of AutoCAD LT.

I was used to using full AutoCAD, I had all my lisp routines etc and missed the basic AutoCAD 3D element, however so humble it was.

So my mission was to create a business case for upgrading from AutoCAD 2000 LT.

I went to a REVIT open day help by one the UK dealers and found to my amazement that they were giving Full AutoCAD away with a copy of REVIT Structure Suite 2008.

After seeing how fast an experience user could create a model, and then finding that it could also be structurally analysed, as well as producing plans, elevations and sections it was a no brainer.

I managed to obtain a trial DVD from a UK dealer and installed it at home for the 30 days trial.

A week into my 30 days, my father was taken very ill, and I spent the next three weeks with him in the nursing home, until he finally passed away.

By the time life returned to what one may call normal, the 30 days were well and truly over. It’s got to be said that 30 days trial period for software better than nothing but only just.

Most people are busy and need to fit in the time to play with any new package they are considering purchasing.

If software writers could say turn the 30 days into actual hours playing with the software, that would be a hell of a lot better. Come to think of it if they could keep it active by the hours it was opened then they could even reduce that to say 100 hours.

Getting off the soapbox, and returning back to the plot. My directors had listened to me, considered my business case and had instructed our IT Manager to purchase Revit Structure 2008.

The company that supplied the software sent the disks but not the DVD box with the Getting Started manual, they had not arrived or something, so I contacted them and they sent me another evaluation copy with the Getting Started Manual.

I have found in the past there is always a delay in getting these trial disks and instruction guides in the UK. Also dealers can be a bit mean with them. But they are out there and they are worth obtaining.

The other great thing that has happened, is that Autodesk know acknowledge that you can’t be in two places at one time and you can apply for a home user licence if you are under subscription and have the software as outlined in their guidance notes.

Again ask your Autodesk dealer if this arrangement applies to you.

Our IT department finally installs the software, with security policies these days my company won’t allow anyone to install software themselves.

The Getting Started manual is really two tutorials in a small booklet format that fits neatly in the DVD case.

Work from one side and you have the Getting Started Steel Project, turn the book over and you have a Getting Started Concrete Project tutorial.

I don’t know if these tutorials get downloaded if you download the trail version off the Autodesk web site?

Perhaps someone who reads this post can let us know?

If not, then I will check it out, and answer the question myself.

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