CAD Manager's Newsletter (#253)

26 Jan, 2011 By: Robert Green

:: CAD Management Game-Changers

BIM, video training, cloud-based software, and point clouds will all make waves this year.

Well, we've begun the new year and for the most part, we've returned to the regular grind. But before we settle into the same old routine, shouldn't we take the opportunity to plan for the technological changes we'll see in the coming months? After all, if you don't map out a strategy for 2011, you'll just continue on the same path — and you may get blind-sided by industry trends that change how you need to manage CAD.

So what might these game-changing trends be, and how can you position yourself to not only survive the changes, but stay ahead of them? These are the questions we'll explore in this issue of the CAD Manager's Newsletter.

What's Changing?

This year, I expect the following four technology trends to have the biggest impact on CAD management:

  • Interaction with BIM (building information management) platforms
  • Video-based user training
  • Cloud-based software rather than WAN (wide-area network)-based software
  • Mainstream adoption of point clouds.


BIM Interaction

BIM continues to be heavily hyped by CAD companies and industry analysts, yet the actual implementation of BIM isn't as far along as you might think. For every project executed in BIM, there are many performed in traditional CAD systems like AutoCAD or MicroStation, with many still being done in 2D. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Windows 7 System Restore

A simple system setting could be to blame for your mysteriously full hard drive.

I've had a number of questions about a strange problem occurring on Windows 7 machines: The hard drive would mysteriously fill up, with no known cause. I'd never seen the problem in person, so I didn't have advice to offer. Recently, however, that all changed: A Windows 7 update on my trusty old Sony laptop made me very familiar with the problem.

When I updated from Vista to Windows 7 it seems that the system protection setting was mistakenly set to essentially unlimited. So as my applications ran, my laptop took all the hard drive space that it could find to backup files and set system restore points. After I reset the disk allocation for system protection, the problem went away and never returned. Read more »


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

:: Resources

OptiTex Makes Past Fashion-Design Webinars Available Online
OptiTex, a developer of fashion design software, is now providing selections from its second series of webinars on its web site. On-demand offerings include Introduction to OptiTex, Guide to Pattern Making in OptiTex CAD, and Guide for the Technical Designer: Converting Patterns, Correcting, and Fit.

PTC Videos Answer Creo Questions
PTC is continually updating its YouTube channel with details about the Creo family of CAD applications launched last fall. In the brief videos, Mike Campbell, PTC's divisional vice-president, Creo Product Development, addresses questions such as:

  • Will Creo be available on Apple platforms?
  • Will Creo work with Windchill ProductPoint?
  • What is the future for Creo Elements/Direct Model Manager?


Design Learning Community Offers Five Free Webinars
After completing a free registration process, visitors to the CGschool's web site can view on-demand recordings of one-hour webinars by various industry experts. Each class provides an overview of a course currently offered at the CGschool. Topics include Texture Baking in 3ds Max, mental ray, V-Ray 2.0, Architectural Photography, and Photoshop Advanced.

:: Events

Webinar: How to Manage MicroStation Drawings & Views
February 3, 2011
2 p.m. ET
This 45-minute webinar from First Trace will discuss how MicroStation users can effectively manage their DWGs, DGNs, metadata, and reference files. It will also introduce additional engineering document management (EDM) capabilities enabled by First Trace's Kinnosa system, including the ability to manage unique file versions, property sets, Views, and business processes. Read more »

Webinar: Accelerated Engineering, Analysis, and Simulation
February 3, 2011
12–1 p.m. ET
This free webinar will discuss how hardware solutions from Dell and AMD can accelerate 3D mechanical design, visualization, and simulation. Read more »

Webinar: The Five Biggest Mistakes in Engineering
February 15–17, 2011
Various times
Webinar topics will include the most common breakdowns in CAD management, manual engineering activities that can be automated, and how to standardize engineering design, review, and release processes. Read more »

Hagerman Autodesk Technology Showcase
February 15–17, 2011
Various cities
Hagerman & Company, an Autodesk value-added reseller, will host a series of Technology Showcase events featuring Autodesk software demonstrations, including sessions for architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC); manufacturing; and plant design. Read more »

Cloud Connect
March 7–10, 2011
Santa Clara, California
This technology event produced by UBM TechWeb will focus on technologies, strategies, and innovations within cloud computing. 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

Equip Yourself for Global Competition
Industrial designers and engineers compete in a global market. In Cadalyst's free Accelerated Engineering, Analysis, and Simulation webinar, you'll learn how increasing the speed with which you work can make your work more valuable worldwide. Sign up now!

On the Edge Solid Edge Tutorial: Navigate the Design Window with View Manipulation Shortcuts
Try these mouse-and-keyboard command combinations to navigate around your 3D design without interrupting your workflow. Read more »

CAD Clinic Civil 3D Tutorial: AutoCAD Civil 3D and Pay Items, Part 2
Learn the ins and outs of the formula file, the last of the three files that create a master pay items list. Read more »

Revit Tutorial: Making the Switch — AutoCAD to Revit, Part 2
Building design firms transitioning to Autodesk Revit should plan for setup and troubleshooting before anything goes wrong. Read more »

FME 2011 Clears Up Point Clouds
Safe updates its spatial data transformation software, adding support for laser-scanning data and cloud-computing formats. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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