CAD Manager's Newsletter (#258)

13 Apr, 2011 By: Robert Green

:: Just How 3D Are We? Part 4


In this final installment in the 3D CAD usage series, you'll learn how to select your first project and tackle other implementation challenges.

In the previous three editions of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I've been exploring the actual versus perceived usage of 3D systems, and drawing the conclusion that management support and realistic expectations are required for any company to implement and use 3D optimally.

In my last installment, I even assigned you some homework: defining your company's 3D implementation and usage. In this installment, I'll pick up where we left off, assuming that your homework is done and your senior management team is on board.

Get Started with IT Now!

3D software produces larger files than 2D does, and brings with it capabilities like animation, rendering, and clash detection analysis that all create large files too. In addition, the workstation resources required to perform these types of 3D tasks are well beyond those of a basic AutoCAD machine.

Bottom line: You're going to need better workstations and more network storage in a 3D environment than in a 2D environment, and that means your information technology (IT) department will need to get involved.

Given this bottom line, you've got to have a plan and a budget for your IT requirements. Of all the items on your checklist, this one requires the longest lead time — because workstations and networks aren't cheap — so you'd better start planning now! Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
Recommended Reading for CAD Managers

This guide is light on CAD, but heavy on management — and it contains some great insights.

I've never recommended a book in the CAD Manager's Toolbox column before, but this time I'm going to make an exception. Recently, I read a book by Jim Collins called Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don't — and it was great indeed.

While Good to Great is essentially a management book, not a CAD book, I found the viewpoint to be very relevant for CAD managers nonetheless. 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

HP Opens Graphic Arts Demo and Training Facility
HP has opened a 60,000-square-foot Graphic Arts Experience Center to showcase its graphic arts portfolio and educate customers about digital color printing solutions. The facility will include solutions for commercial, technical, and other markets, such as the HP Designjet T7100 printer and T2300 eMFP solution for technical printing applications.

Video Provides BIM and Vico Office Tutorial
Vico Software has produced "5D BIM for Dummies," a 15-minute video that demonstrates how a BIM (building information modeling) model can be published to Vico Office and have a complete quantity takeoff performed. This tutorial is intended for viewers who have started a BIM working group, have appointed a BIM manager, or who want to learn what general contractors are doing with BIM.

IMAGINiT Resources Support Autodesk 2012 Product Launch
Rand Worldwide, which provides engineering design and information technology solutions, has announced that its IMAGINiT Technologies division is creating a series of live events, blogs, videos, and webcasts about the 2012 portfolio of Autodesk 3D design software products. A video primer for the Autodesk Inventor 2012 interface enhancements is now online, and others will follow in the coming months.

:: Events

Autodesk 2012 Product Launch Virtual Event
April 20, 2011
8 a.m.–2 p.m. PT
During this online event, Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen will explain the new capabilities of AutoCAD 2012 software. Lynn will demonstrate her favorite new tools in AutoCAD, including model documentation, reality capture, and 3D conceptual design, and she'll share an overview of AutoCAD for Mac. Read more »

Webinar: Data Mining and Quantitative Analysis in BIM for High-Performance Architecture with Vectorworks Architect 2011
May 3, 2011
2 p.m. ET
In this webinar from Nemetschek Vectorworks, built-in tools, default reporting features, and custom worksheets will be demonstrated in Vectorworks Architect software. Read more »

Solid Edge ST4 Global Launch Event
June 15–16, 2011
Huntsville, Alabama
This event for new and experienced Solid Edge users comprises technical training and opportunities to meet and interact with the Solid Edge development team. 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

Optimize Your Workstation and Accelerate CAD Productivity
Visit a brand new blog from the editors of Cadalyst to find expert advice to get you on the road to greater CAD productivity through optimized hardware. Give your current workstation a boost or make the best choice for a new investment. Sponsored by Dell and AMD. Read more »

On the Edge Solid Edge Tutorial: Quickly Rename Parts and Features
Change the names of parts, assemblies, and features from the user interface. Read more »

Inventor Professional 2012: Little Things Mean a Lot
The seemingly small changes in this release can make a big impact on your productivity. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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