By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Evolution has given us waiters and managers with a sixth sense for poor timing. Whereas waiters’ genes lead them to inquire about a meal’s tastiness the moment you cram a forkful in your mouth, managers’ DNA draws them to pluck the worst possible date on your calendar for mandatory — and generally expensive — training. And if you have an autodidactic streak, a good bet for engineers, the regress to the lowest common denominator with the stand-up comedy routine of some perky trainer so bores you that you end up missing what you want to learn because you’re spacing out. If that sounds like you or your staff, then today’s Check It Out is something that you need to look into.
A really old guy I knew, Dave Colby, turned me on to 4D Technologies 10 years ago. They had a good idea then, and it’s grown well. The skinny is that 4D Technologies is an Autodesk Authorized Publisher who develops and produces CADLearning, a series of self-paced video tutorials on the Autodesk software line. And I mean on the Autodesk line, you name it: AutoCAD, Inventor, 3ds Max, Maya, Ecotect Analysis, Electrical, Vault, Plant, Civil 3D, Revit, even Autodesk Certification preparation. Their entire library includes more than 10,000 tutorials.
Now, a couple things make 4D technologies interesting. First, content is developed with the input of industry experts, professional CAD instructors and trainers, CAD consultants, and, the best part, experienced users. Take the AutoCAD course as an example. It’s presented by David Cohn, a DE contributing editor and all of those things. It’s also comprehensive: over 39 hours of training contained in 640 video tutorials. It has demos, exercise files, and assessments. And its suitable for beginning, intermediate, and advanced users, which also means that you can jump in at your level or revisit whatever topic you need.
Second, CADLearning is available as you like it. Courses for individuals and business are accessible online 24/7 through a monthly subscription or you can buy the CDs/DVDs. There’s even a new plug-in for AutoCAD 2012 that links you to videos of whatever you’re doing for on-the-spot training.
OK, a third interesting thing: Monthly online subscriptions range from $24.99 to $49.99, depending upon the level of access you need. Most of the DVDs are $279. And 4D Technologies also offers businesses, schools, and government agencies a hosted group learning solution called Virtual CADLearning Center. Essentially, that means you can set up a private learning management system customized with your own content and curriculum.
Training in the latest Autodesk application is essential to the growth of your career and enterprise. But training can also be a nightmare to schedule, a yawn for different levels types of users, and a blur for newbies. CADLearning from 4D Technologies could offer you a cost-effective solution to each of those problems. Check it out.
Thanks, Pal. " Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering