CAD Manager's Newsletter (#245)

11 Aug, 2010 By: Robert Green

Cloud-Based CAD, Part 3

CAD can find a home in the cloud — under certain circumstances. What scenarios favor this technology over conventional software?

I'm receiving a lot of feedback regarding this cloud computing series, and it continues to be overwhelmingly anti-cloud. I can now understand why CAD and other software providers are having such a hard time selling their products in the cloud.

In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll delve into some applications where cloud-based solutions could be a great alternative to conventional software, and justify my conclusions while doing so. Here goes.

Where Could the Cloud Work?

Is there any situation where it would be preferable to have the cloud deliver CAD? I can see real use for the following cloud-based applications:

Software I run only occasionally. What if I need to do an injection mold analysis just four times a year, or an extremely high-resolution rendering once a month? Could using this type of software via the cloud offer a cost-effective way to use the latest software technology without having to buy it, configure it, and maintain it? Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
Stopping Viruses Spread through Social Networking

Educate your users to help prevent infection from image-sharing applications.

Many CAD managers are responsible for general IT duties, and as such, they have to cope with virus problems. I'd like to pass along some advice to those of you who fit this description.

In the past six months, I've seen more reports of virus problems on office computers than in the previous 20 years. The reason is almost always image-sharing or survey-style applications embedded in Facebook, Photobucket, or Flickr.

To avoid these types of problems, you'll need to do the following: Read more »


Do you have a helpful tip or item for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at If I use your tip in the newsletter you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!

:: Resources

Cadalyst Updates Benchmark Test for AutoCAD 2011
The latest version of the Cadalyst Benchmark Test, C2011 v5.3b, is available for free download at Developed by Art Liddle, a former editor of Cadalyst magazine, the Cadalyst benchmark is designed to test and compare the performance of systems running AutoCAD. The latest version includes minor adjustments to ensure proper operation with AutoCAD 2011, but can be used with versions dating back to 2000. The test supports full, basic AutoCAD only. Full details are included in the ReadMe file that accompanies the download.

Autodesk Offers Visualization Screencasts
Autodesk's Buildings Media Center offers free educational materials for architects and designers, including archived webcasts. Featured screencasts available to registered users include Tips and Tricks for Visualization in Renovation and Retrofit Projects and Better Design Decisions with Visualization.

Z Corp Webcast Presents Architectural 3D Printing Case Study
An on-demand webcast available from 3D printing and scanning technology provider Z Corp explains how 3D printing works. Users must register to view the complimentary webcast, which also describes how UK architectural firm Gilberts has reduced architectural model-making costs.

OptiTex Creates Wiki Resource
OptiTex, which provides CAD solutions for textile-related applications, has launched OptiTex Help. The wiki offers access to the entire OptiTex knowledge base, including technical information regarding OptiTex products and services.

Pfeiffer Publishes Benchmark Reports for Maya, 3ds Max
Autodesk has announced the publication of four research reports from technology research institute Pfeiffer Consulting that quantify performance, productivity, and efficiency gains of Autodesk Maya 2011 and Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 software over earlier versions. The reports include ROI studies and user-workflow productivity studies.

Khronos Releases Updated OpenGL Specification
Industry consortium the Khronos Group has announced the immediate release of the OpenGL 4.1 specification, the sixth update to the OpenGL specification in two years. This version of the royalty-free specification maintains full backwards compatibility, and integrates OpenGL ES functionality for desktop and mobile platform portability.

Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

:: Events

Webinar: ArchiCAD 14 — Open Design Collaboration
Through September 14, 2010
Various times
This webinar from Graphisoft will explore how ArchiCAD 14 turns IFC technology into full-fledged workflow solutions enabling collaboration with engineers. Read more »

Webinar: Lifecycle Assessment and BIM for Sustainability
September 14, 2010
10–11 a.m. PT
Robert Middlebrooks will lead this webinar from Autodesk, which will address the need for architects, engineers, construction professionals, and building owners to focus on the best decisions during conception, design, construction, and operations in order to support sustainability objectives. Read more »

Capture 3D Users Group Conference and 3D Metrology Workshop
October 6–7, 2010
Newport Beach, California
The goal of this fourth biannual conference is to provide tips, techniques, and solutions to improve internal processes in order to maximize return on investment. Topics will include 3D scanning, quality control, inspection, reverse engineering, and more. Read more »


For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to

:: What's New at

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Keeping VBA Alive in AutoCAD
Autodesk is ending its support for VBA soon. But what if you haven't migrated to .NET yet? Read more »

Cloud-Based CAD, Part 2
CAD managers have no shortage of opinions about cloud computing — but what are the reasons for their skepticism? Read more »

Cadalyst Labs Review: NVIDIA Quadro 5000
NVIDIA's incredibly fast Quadro 5000 graphics card has 2.5 GB of GDDR5 memory and performs approximately three times faster than its predecessor, the Quadro FX 4800. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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