Members hone skills, create new detailing opportunities with Revit courses

Sheet metal detailing, which is using computer-aided design (CAD) systems to provide coordination between hardware fabricators and installers, requires knowledge of building information modeling (BIM) software as well as the skills of a commercial HVAC tradesperson. Thanks to Julie Fifield, a retired sheet metal worker from Local 104 in California and author of a new Revit curriculum, journey-level members and apprentices are gaining skills and knowledge on the Autodesk Revit software that will expand their abilities and career opportunities.

“We have created a path for all members who would like to become detailers,” Fifield said. “It requires them to invest in their education, which is something a detailer needs to be willing to do.”

There is still more work ahead to create a larger pool of members who are capable of detailing, as well as raising the level of detailing overall, according to Fifield. The strong candidates who have come through the program so far attest to the effectiveness of the curriculum. Fifield said she knows of 17 members who have become detailers after taking the Revit courses, several of whom were apprentices.

“Detailers have been drawing in 3D for more than 20 years, and Revit allows sheet metal detailers to draw duct in a fully 3D environment,” Fifield said. Those who have taken the Revit course have been able to see how well the software applies to sheet metal detailing.

“I feel I got a really good overview of the fabrication process in Revit, seeing things I haven’t in the field,” one student said in the survey following the March course. “As a newcomer to Autodesk products, it was presented in a way I could understand it.”

“I went into the introduction Revit class knowing very little about how modern sheet metal detailing is done,” another said. “I came out of the Fabrication in Revit class knowing a lot, but also I now know I have a lot more to learn.” 

Fifield worked as a sheet metal worker in California for 32 years and retired in 2014. Seeing a space for additional Revit training, and wanting to help those at the local she called home for three decades, Fifield took up the challenge and wrote this curriculum. Since then, she partnered with Kevin Catron, part-time Local 104 instructor and full-time detailing manager at Critchfield Mechanical Inc. (CMI), on curriculum updates.

Although the courses are open to any member who wants to learn, most of the students in the class were existing detailers looking to improve their skills in Revit, Fifield said. To date most of the detailers at ACCO Engineered Systems, CMI, Therma and Pan-Pacific Mechanical have taken the course to hone their skills.

If you would like to register for a REVIT course email Brian Lyon.