2020 "Should I learn Dynamo?"
Updated: Sep 6
Well, first of all, I assume if you’re reading this, here you have a decent understanding of what Revit is and what Dynamo is. Heck, I assume you’re using Revit on a daily basis.
This year so far has been very sketchy.
Corona madness, Brexit happening, protests in Europe and USA... you name it.
Many people lost their jobs. Including highly qualified professionals.
AI is doing lots of things now and there are several tech startups that bring it to the architecture world through programs that solve (some of them in 3d) the fitting of space in a building. You might have seen it already - drawing the property boundaries and the allowed height an AI-enabled algorithm fits in all the apartments with furniture and everything. You can control it with different parameters.
Those programs are not really robust yet. But bear in mind they’re mostly developed by individuals or small companies. I’m pretty sure the big players are there observing and choosing which one to purchase and develop.
My prognosis is that in 5 to 10 years the vast majority of apartment buildings is going to be designed by these algorithms. Where we needed 10 architects before we’d only need 1 now.
*** Terminator music playing in the background ***
Or I might be wrong, but still, technology is going forward. And here’s another thing to wrap your mind around.
A big chunk of contemporary technology is a direct (or indirect) result from the research made 50 years ago with the goal of sending humans to the moon.
Now we’re trying to send people to Mars, which albeit pointless in my personal opinion, might help develop new technologies.
Ok ok, all that sounds poetic and futuristic and technophilic, but what about Dynamo? Is Dynamo still valuable or did everyone become a developer, making add-ins for Revit?
Well in the bigger picture I see Dynamo as a democratic way to benefit from the available technology as much as possible.
By democratic, I mean that it is available for everyone (everyone with a Revit licence at least).
To be able to use Dynamo you don’t need to be a developer. You just need to know Revit well and to be willing to learn something new.
Can you do the automatic fitting of apartments the way the developing programs are doing it with Dynamo?
Probably not. Even though you can do similar things with it and Refinery, but definitely not as robust as the product of a team of developers that took them years to make.
But you can still do a bunch of cool things (useful in the everyday work makes them cool right?). And you learn at the same time the computational logic, you learn how Revit works internally.
You solve problems quickly in an agile manner.
That’s why even big companies that have their own plugins and sometimes their own developers still hire people who can use Dynamo.
The picture is clear: when every Revit user is also a Dynamo user they can efficiently work and create custom tools and automation for the requirements of each different project.
Then someone, for example, the BIM Coordinator can sort them and repurpose them for other projects and if something is shown to be useful across multiple projects it could be handled to developers to create an add-in to fulfil that task. Or if an add-in is not viable they can tell you you’re better off doing it with Dynamo (many operations involving geometry are indeed better done with Dynamo).
But you all know Dynamo is crap, don’t you?
And on top of that, it is very difficult to learn.
Dynamo has some limitations, of course. And the same is valid for pretty much every software out there, Revit being the elephant in the room.
The first versions of Photoshop didn’t even have layers, believe it or not.
The good thing is Dynamo certainly goes beyond many of Revit’s limitations.
Is it difficult to learn?
That’s a tough question since everybody has a different way of learning and some people learn some things with more ease than others.
I would say with the proper training learning Dynamo is fun and simple.
I’m a strong believer that when you approach learning something, thinking it is difficult to learn, you’re putting the spoke in your own wheel.
But when you approach it with the “if somebody else did it, I can do it too” it becomes easy.
As you might have seen already, I created a Dynamo course and released it with the perfect timing this year in May during the COVID pandemic when people are not really buying anything (except for toilet paper).
On the other hand, the pandemic made online courses more attractive than on-site courses (the latter being literally banned in many places)
It has a 30 day no questions asked money-back guarantee from Udemy
you don’t risk anything
When I was planning to create the course I had two options to choose from:
To make a cheap short course that gives just the basics or helps with a single problem like everyone else
To create something special.
I went with the latter. And I hope it was for your best interest.
It would have been much easier to release short 1.5 hour long courses costing $20 that you just get and forget.
Instead, I made a complete course, over 10 hours long, containing everything you need to continue using Dynamo successfully on your own after you finish it.
What’s in the course:
1. Learn (or refresh) the Basics. Lists, functions and logic. - Beginners courses are anywhere between $20 and $50 on Udemy and much more if you get an on-site workshop.
2. Various multi-purpose examples, mostly built from scratch - over $300 if sold separately on Udemy and, again, much more if actually taught in person.
3. Over 10 hours of video - most Dynamo courses on Udemy are between 1,5 and 3.5 hours long.
4. Work files and materials - you get the finished files shown in the videos and also templates to start the exercises.
5. A unique problem-solving section that teaches you how to approach and solve a real problem with your newly obtained skills. - This could be a separate course actually and it has a great value. I guess someone's gonna copy this from me soon.
6. Break down of complex Dynamo graphs used in real projects. Here you'll see how it all adds up
7. Access to a private Facebook group where you can ask questions.
And as a bonus: claim any paid download on my website and I’ll send it to you for free.
That’s just a quick summary though.