Thursday, May 2, 2013

Getting STEAMED about Training...on Autodesk Products

I've been riding the high horse about training for years. but one of my biggest complaints was that the education community wasn't keeping up with the technology. I know, it's tough...usually they move at the speed of government...

While I was cruising around looking for some online materials about energy analysis and simulation for the 2014 release (here's a great link, by the way -, I came across the Autodesk Digital STEAM Workshop.

This site is gear towards the Education community, and demonstrates how new technology, from AutoCAD to Revit, Inventor, Maya and 3D studio, can be integrated into a core curriculum from the high school level and beyond. It works in 3 levels:

- Level 1 provides the overview of working in a 3D world, reviews the industry and careers, and the relevant Autodesk software. Other resources cover emerging technology and packages such as Mudbox, Sketchbook, and videos on design and teaching. A section on sustainability covers what this means from the industry side, so students gain perspective and common sense on the importance of designing smart. A list of core competencies is included, so the instructor and student know what to expect, and what's important to understand in the software packages. Certification and skills testing is also provided in this level

- Level 2 gets into the expectations of the course, providing project examples that are sorted by software, subject, difficulty and time. By providing real-world project examples, the students and instructors get an idea of the effort involved, and the endgame results.

- Level 3 is the meat of the course. The students can produce their own projects, from a 30 hour individual project to a 90 hour team project. Putting real-world examples and work in front of the users is critical to retention.

The beauty of this is that it provides education institutions that are still mired in providing board drafting, basic  AutoCAD, or 3D modeling training on packages that are most likely not related to what the student will use in the real world, a clear path forward using the most widely recognized design tools. It's a shame that some schools refuse to do this - for example, one of my former schools still only offers Solidworks training for the engineering curriculum, including civil, mechanical, electrical and other programs that focus on building design.

So check out this website:, and see what you think. If you want to position your students to have the greatest likelihood of getting a job, and be prepared to use the most common tools, then start here...

thanks - David B.