A Guide to Free Autodesk Training and Certification Programs

Autodesk products are not designed to be simple, they aren’t like iPhone apps. You need to invest time in learning their capabilities. You must then learn the way your company and clients can use them to produce work output such as CAD (computer aided design) drawings, Revit 3D models, BIM models and CAM (computer aided manufacturing) precision.

As you can imagine, it is a big investment for companies to train employees. To help bridge the gap in quality training, there is a huge demand for free training and resources. If you are eager to learn and don’t have money to invest in further training, here are some resources you may not know about.

Free Autodesk Plug-in Training for Revit, AutoCAD and Inventor Developers

Are you into Revit, AutoCAD or Inventor for your design, engineering, or manufacturing tools? If you are, then you know there are many repetitive tasks in the design, modeling and documentation process. Did you know that you could automate tasks in Autodesk tools with “plug-ins”?

You can even code your own plug-ins, or download some from the Autodesk App Exchange Store (see the Chapter on the Autodesk App Store). If you think it is hard to learn how to use AutoCAD or Revit, it is even harder to program plug-ins for them! Get your IT guys to help you or hire an authorized Autodesk Development Network (ADN) member, like HingePoint, to help.

At HingePoint, we help automate the AEC design-build process to maximize efficiency and profit. But you can do it yourself. Check out this free training on how to create your very own first Revit plugin!

Visit the Autodesk Development Network’s My First Plug In Series for API Development training. API’s are Application Programming Interfaces. They allow you to write code to automate workflows and combine many steps into a “button click”.

Autodesk calls the training “A self-paced, tutorial for smooth introductions into the programming world. The series is a “one-stop shop” for users who know Autodesk products but are absolutely new to programming and are thinking about taking the plunge”.

Revit Plug-in Training

Going all the way back to Revit 2011, you can write your own Plug-ins for Revit Architecture, Structures and MEP. Check out these courses that can help you learn how to apply the Revit.NET API and the C# programming language to create your own plug-in.

My First Revit Plug-in Overview

If you need more Revit Training help, code samples and user documentation, there is a lot of information on the GitHub links below.

AutoCAD Plug-in Training

Are you more of an AutoCAD or Civil3D user? You can automate tasks with plug-ins in AutoCAD platforms as well! Check out these free training resources to become your very own AutoCAD plugin developer using the AutoCAD .NET Application Programming Interface (API) and the Visual Basic .NET programming language.

My First AutoCAD Plug-in Overview

Inventor Plug-in Training

Are you a product designer, industrial designer, or product manufacturer using Autodesk Inventor business? Then you have access to free training for writing your own Inventor plug-ins using the COM API and the VB .NET language.

My First Inventor Plug-in Overview

Additional Learning Opportunities

Paid Autodesk Training

Far better than figuring it out yourself is getting training quickly by an Autodesk Expert. There is no better place to start than Autodesk Certification Exams. Studying for the exams will teach you most of everything you need to know about Autodesk software. Below are some great sources for paid training.

Autodesk Certified User

You can get certified on the basics of Autodesk software here. Learn more from Certiport, who offers the certified training and exams.

Certification Detailed Roadmaps

Want to know exactly what is on each exam? This page offers a PDF download of every exam and a listing of the skills you need to pass that exam. Check out the Autodesk certification options for more details, then bookmark the following site for updates regarding all things related to Autodesk certifications/training.

Dev TV

Autodesk was trying to make videos for all developer tools. Apparently they never completed their vision but there are some helpful videos you can watch to learn more and get more free training for beginner developers with the Autodesk APIs and plug-in development.

The YouTube DevTV Channel

While this resource, YouTube Dev TV, is not a full recipe on how to use or develop, you will certainly learn a lot by reviewing these videos. The best part is seeing many of the Autodesk associates that actually work on the products in the videos.

“Go To” Resources for Autodesk Training

Go to this resource for each Autodesk Platform Technology. From this site, you can find an amazing amount of information on each Autodesk platform as well as free video training.

Autodesk Fusion360

Training documents and videos can be found at Autodesk Fusion360.

Find An Exam Center

Are you ready to take an exam? Use this powerful search tool from Certiport to find a certification center near you.

Trial and Error – Free Autodesk Trials

If you like to learn by trial and error, or hands on learning, then you should take full advantage of the free Autodesk Trials program. You can download any Autodesk product for free with a 30-day trail.

We recommend you really apply yourself during the 30 days, because 30 days in not very much time to learn how to use tools as powerful as the Autodesk suite of products.

People that use this software design world-class structures like the Panama Canal and 110 story sky- scrapers. They are not toys. When you download the apps they all come with the following.

Sample Files

Take a look at the sample files and see what they are, their data, what the screens and menus do. Most Apps come with beginner, intermediate, and advanced sample files to help you see what is possible and how to use the tools correctly.

Help Files

Extensive help on every feature and function and menu is inside every Autodesk App. Read the help! You’ll actually learn a ton.

Industry Support

Outside the app are many tools, blogs, and video tutorials from professionals that help you along. That is what we love about this industry. Everyone is willing to help you learn, even us at HingePoint.

Education (.edu) Domain Owners Eligible For Free Autodesk Software

At the 2014 Autodesk University conference, Autodesk announced FREE software for all of those in the education domain. This genius move by Autodesk eliminated all the difficulties that universities went through to get students the tools they need to learn the trade.

Let’s face it, who can afford Autodesk tools except successful firms that make a lot of profit? If you are teaching, or enrolled, in an educational institution take full advantage of this program!

Get more info including who is eligible and what is available from the Autodesk Academic Resource Center, Autodesk Software License Agreements and the Autodesk Education Product Offerings website. The reason these sites are so helpful is how specific they can be on certain topics. For instance, you may find a post or video explaining and troubleshooting the exact issue you’re having. This can be very helpful since user manuals have finite space to cover the most common issues only. Rather than pay for training, try one of these resources first.

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