A post that I made in the "custom curtain wall" thread this morning got me thinking about offering some advice that may be useful to others, especially those that are self contained (employed) or are interested in being so. I have been drafting (board, then AutoCAD) since 1969. I have been actively using Revit for 7 years now (will be 8 years in May). I was mentored in Revit by Alfredo Medina, a great man and a wonderful teacher. He taught me to discover, to go down roads that may not seem like the easy path and along these lines of thinking my current business model has changed considerably over the last couple of years. I have flowed into a new, exciting, form of Revit detailing. You see, and most all of those here know this, learning to use Revit "effectively" for whatever your purpose is a steep, steep learning curve. Sure, one can pick up a book, or take a beginner class at the local junior college and start to "model" in Revit. But to really know Revit and be able to breeze through the family editor and create modeled content with a purpose takes time, commitment, energy, and the willingness to learn. OK, anyway, the point of all of this is, there are 100's, maybe 1000's of companies that still produce submittals, shop drawings, fabrication drawings, etc using CAD. They do not see the writing on the wall, they do not want to expend the time, money, or energy to have their employees learn to have 3D modeling capability, regardless of what program might be used. On the other end, more and more current construction projects in the USA are requiring that each subcontractor provide a 3D model of their scope of work for clash detection (and many other purposes). So, using the screen shot that I posted in the curtain wall thread as an example, I work for a commercial glazing subcontractor. That subcontractor gets bids for ACM wall panels for their project. A part of their bid review process is to determine if the companies being reviewed can provide a product meeting specs and submittals and models as required by the project BEP. If they can't do the modeling part my customers choices are to either not use that supplier or figure out how to use the low bid supplier and still get the 3D modeling accomplished. Starting to see where I'm going with this? 90% of my current workload is creating Revit models from 2D CAD drawings provided by suppliers. So, again using the project posted in the other thread, my customer saved $25 to $30k by selecting a supplier that could meet all specified requirements except the 3D modeling portion. Then they hired me. I charge $150.00 US per hour and my total hours on the project we are talking about was 32 (32 hours at $150 = $4,800.00) resulting in a net savings to my customer of $20 to $25k. Do you think that I'm a popular guy? You bet, and for every project that I do I turn down 5 or 6 others just due to time constraints (there's only so many hours in a day).
This scenario can be applied to any trade for any construction project that has a BEP in the USA. Whatever trade is your specialty, if you need more work just call all of the subcontractors that specialize in that trade (not just at home but all over the US) and tell them that you are a 3D modeler and offer to provide 3D models for projects that have suppliers that cannot do so. I guarantee that your workload will increase in the future (this seems like a good time to sell you my best selling book, LOL!)
I hesitated to post this information thinking maybe it might seem a bit forward. I am certainly not the most knowledgeable Revit user on the planet (I am in my home town though as I think that I'm the only one here). What I am is driven. I am a Revit crazy person. I can't get enough. Oh, did I mention that I retired on 1/1/2017? That was the plan anyway, I lasted one day and then was back at it. So now the plan is to retire May 1. But the new Revit 2018 will just be out. How's that going to happen. Saga to be continued, I'll keep you all apprised.
In closing I'd like to thank all of those regular posters in RFO that offer their time and great expertise on an hourly basis without benefit of remuneration. Without this forum I'd be years behind where I am today. Happy New Year everyone!!