CAD Manager's Newsletter (#246)

25 Aug, 2010 By: Robert Green

:: Cloud-Based CAD, Part 4

Readers around the globe weigh in with their own experiences — and their predictions for the future of the technology.

I must admit I've been surprised by how much interest there has been in this series of newsletters exploring CAD in the cloud. Clearly there are many CAD managers out there who see cloud computing heading their way, yet there appears to be little agreement on how our CAD lives will be affected. Throughout the series, the only thing I've seen that remains consistent is that most CAD managers hold negative attitudes toward cloud computing — by a margin of roughly 4 to 1.

In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll share some reader feedback with you that brings up valid points, answer questions, and pose a few conclusions from our discussion about running CAD in the cloud. My hope is that everyone will have a better frame of reference when we're done. Here goes.

Software Speed via the Cloud

In the last installment, I made the argument that document management (DM) or product lifecycle management (PLM) systems for CAD machines are one area where the cloud might be a good option. My logic was that the administration required to keep software and servers up-to-date would be eliminated with a DM/PLM software system deployed via the cloud.

Well, not everyone agreed with my assessment. J.S. from South Africa writes:

"We are running PLM in a cloud-type scenario and it's hell. The cloud is a no-go for many areas, especially PLM/PDM. Under the cloud scenario, your best computer in your organization will be the one with the slowest link (you're only as fast as the slowest person on your team). Some countries like mine operate on kilobits per second across many services like SAP and e-mail and so on. Backboning the Internet because it looks cheaper will cost you more in lost productivity over a period of time."Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
Help Shape the CAD Manager's Survey

Soon it will be time for the 2010 survey. What questions and topics would you choose to include?

In this CAD Manager's Toolbox, I'd like to ask for your assistance in helping me craft my annual CAD Manager's Survey in a way that will generate useful information for you. To deliver results of maximum value, I need to know what you think should be in the survey. 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

GrabCAD Launches Free, Cross-Platform CAD Library
GrabCAD, an open-source library where CAD engineers can share 3D models, has launched the beta version of its library platform. Members can set up a portfolio, interact with others, rate and give feedback, and solicit help with projects. The company also intends to develop a CAD engineering marketplace and charge brokerage fee for services ordered through the site.

Alibre Unveils Social Media Site for 3D Designers
Alibre, a developer of professional 3D design solutions, has announced, a new social media website for 3D designers, digital fabricators, and do-it-yourself enthusiasts. Users can share their Alibre designs, announce new product launches, ask questions, and publicize their products within the community.

Cohn Consulting Study Compares Two Versions of AutoCAD
Autodesk has announced the results of the AutoCAD 2011 software Productivity Study. David S. Cohn Consulting compared the productivity of AutoCAD 2011 to AutoCAD 2008 on typical AutoCAD design processes in a variety of industries, and predicted an average productivity improvement of 31 percent for users who upgrade from AutoCAD 2008 to AutoCAD 2011.

Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

:: Events

Webinar: Manage Spaces, People, and Assets with FaciliCAD
August 27–September 10, 2010
2 p.m. CT
Bill Kilp, CEO of faciliCAD, will walk webinar attendees through a standard facility management day: adding data, editing people and assets, and publishing that data to an online portal for users to view and query without having to install any other new tools. Read more »

2010 FLOW-3D World Users Conference
September 23–24, 2010
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
This conference is open to FLOW-3D users and those interested in learning about the software. Training sessions will be held September 22, the day before the conference. Read more »

Autodesk University 2010
November 30–December 2, 2010
Las Vegas, Nevada
This learning and networking event, intended for Autodesk product users and design professionals, will include classes, hands-on labs, and free on-site Autodesk Certification Exams. Please note that the registration dates have changed; general registration now opens September 14, with advance registration for AU members beginning September 7. 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

3D Design Turns Shipping Containers into Lifesavers
With the help of the nonprofit C2C and volunteers armed with ArchiCAD, steel boxes are transformed into health-care facilities for resource-strapped communities. Read more »

Australian Utility Maps Meters with Customized GPS Software
A made-to-order handheld application helps Goulburn Valley Water's field workers collect data quickly and accurately — without becoming GIS experts. Read more »

Avatech Tricks Tutorial: Using Design Review with Autodesk Inventor Files
A paperless review process enables designers and reviewers to electronically measure, mark up, and track changes to 2D and 3D designs. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

Add comment

Note: Comments are moderated and will appear live after approval by the site moderator.

AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

Follow Lynn on TwitterFollow Lynn on Twitter

Do you use any augmented or virtual reality (AR or VR) technologies in your workflow?
Not yet, but we are planning to implement it.
No, but we think these technologies could hold value for us.
No; these technologies do not hold value for us.
Submit Vote

Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition