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What is the best way to get experience with technology programs for architecture?

I would like to start an internship and be prepared for my freshmen year in college. I've heard that a lot of architecture students already use pretty impressive programs. What is a good way that I can get started? #architecture #programs #college

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Natasha’s Answer

When I saw your question, the first two things that came to mind were AutoCAD and the products of Autodesk. Yet, there are several options to select from, depending on your learning objectives (and prerequisites for courses in college).

Please review this article below, make note of the top two or three software options to research further. Please absolutely talk with your parents before subscribing and contact your college/professors to inquire about software that is compatible with their programs and courses.

Perhaps you can sign up for trial versions where applicable (see article): https://all3dp.com/1/best-3d-architecture-software/

Software Price OS

SketchUp Free / Commercial $299 Windows 7 and later, macOS
FreeCAD Arch Free Windows, macOS, Linux
Dynamo Free Windows 7 and later
B-processor Free Windows, macOS, Linux
TAD (The Architect's Desktop) Free Windows Vista or later
AutoCAD Architecture Free for Students / $1,575 Windows 7 and later
Revit Free Educational Licenses available / $2,310 Windows 7 and later
ArchiCAD Free version available / $300-$6800 Windows 7 and later, macOS 10.9 or later
Vectorworks $2945 Windows 7 and later, macOS 10.10 and later
MicroStation Free Educational Licenses available / $5,627 Windows 7 and later (64 bit)
Allplan Educational Licenses available / $9,500 Windows 7 and later (64-bit)
Rhinoceros Educational $230 / Commercial $800 Windows 7 and later
BricsCAD BIM Free Educational Licenses available / $2,405 Windows 7 and later (32 and 64 bit), macOS 10.9 or higher, Linux

Keep learning and Stay well,

Hello Natasha, Thank you so much for the help! I'm excited to research programs and talk with my teachers! Looking forward to it! Elizabeth W.

@natasha, you're response is so great and comprehensive. I work at Autodesk, and feel like you've covered it here. Angela Yee

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Paul’s Answer


I think the answers you've received so far do a great job of suggesting some next steps and software packages to do some more research on.

As far as training goes, there are many resources out there, a few of which I'll list below.

1. Currently Autodesk is supporting distance learning with free access to software for students, and free training and educational content - https://www.autodesk.com/education/covid19

2. Lynda, now owned by LinkedIn, has a huge platform of software training and offers a 1 month free trial.

3. Udemy is another online resource where you can search for courses by software, experience level, and filter for free courses.

4. Lastly, you can find some good content on YouTube.

Paul recommends the following next steps:

Autodesk Distance Learning - https://www.autodesk.com/education/covid19
Lynda - https://www.lynda.com/
Udemy - https://www.udemy.com/

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Anna’s Answer


Congrats on the decision to go to architecture school! I has been about 10 years since I graduated, but there are definitely technology classes that will help you polish your skills in architectural software. The first year of school where I went concentrated on modeling and hand drawing so software wasn't used much until sophomore year. If you do want to try some programs out before you start in school I'd recommend getting comfortable with adobe programs like photoshop, illustrator and indesign if you aren't already. Play around with sketchup for quick modeling ideas, but the more robust software that we are using in our office is rhino. When it comes to documenting our buildings we use revit and it sounds like students use that primarily for documentation in later years in school. I work with some professors at NCSU so I'll ask around and see if I'm missing any major software. Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions!

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Don’s Answer

I think you need to think about the step and stage to learn and proceed. You need to think about how to design a building from inside to outside. This will be your first step . For example, the exterior design of the building, what is the style of the building and it can be out of traditional. The most important things is what is your strength as architecture include different kind of things. To get started, I think you can choose Civil engineering as your major. In the program, you can learn all the things that you need to know.

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Brianna’s Answer

Hi Elizabeth! Great question, as someone who studied architecture, worked in the industry, and now works for Autodesk, I would highly recommend you learn Revit specifically. Revit has become the industry standard and the following softwares are often used in a supportive role: AutoCAD, Navisworks, FormIT, Dynamo, Rhino, Grasshopper, and SketchUp.

Autodesk also offers FREE educational licenses to students here: https://www.autodesk.com/education/edu-software/overview?sorting=featured&page=1

I would encourage you to download that software first and try to build the house/apartment/dorm you live in for practice. If you have questions, look for YouTube videos, surf the Autodesk Knowledge Network or Forums. I hope this helps!

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Kriss’s Answer

Make sure you have a portfolio of examples of your work. For example, blueprints for buildings or houses you drawn, sketches of designs you,ve created. Make sure each example has an explanation page to go with it. That shows your way of thinking about the project.

Hello Kriss, Thank you very much for your answer. I feel so new to all of this stuff and responses help me know how to get started! I'm going to practice blueprinting ;) Elizabeth W.