CAD Manager's Newsletter (#259)

27 Apr, 2011 By: Robert Green

:: Keep Ahead of the Learning Curve, Part 1


A CAD manager's job demands an up-to-date skill set — which in turn requires a carefully planned training program.

As a CAD manager, you train all your CAD users and make sure they're productive, but how much time do you spend training yourself? If your answer to this question is zero, then you're allowing yourself to become outdated — not a great career plan for a technology manager.

In the next two issues of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll motivate you to update your skill set, and I'll pass along some ideas for aligning your desire to learn with your company's needs. Interested? Here goes.

Getting Started

First things first: Before you begin the training, you've got to make a plan. Any good CAD manager syllabus must include, at minimum, the following elements:

  • A list of topics you need to learn about
  • The resources you'll need to learn about your topics
  • Financing required for your training resources
  • Time allocated to actually do your learning.

Now let's work our way through the plan step by step, and we'll draw some conclusions as we go. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Answer CAD FAQs via E-mail

Rather than redundant rote responses, try answering frequently asked questions with e-mail blasts.

Ever feel like you answer the same question over and over again? Of course you do — because you do!

The fact is that many users ask you the same question and you gamely answer them, most likely verbally, without ever documenting all that helpful advice you give out. But, you may ask, who has time to document everything?

Recently I began working with a new client company that has about 50 CAD users, and found that many people there had the same questions as their coworkers. So every time a good question came up, I sent out the answer in "tips-and-tricks" format via an e-mail blast to all the users. The only criterion for sending out an e-mail is that I must have been asked the question more than once! 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

New Blog: Optimize Your Workstation and Accelerate CAD Productivity
Visit CADspeed, 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. New posts coming daily throughout April! Sponsored by Dell and AMD.

CIMdata Publishes PLM Whitepaper
PLM consulting and research firm CIMdata has published a free whitepaper titled, "The Power of Partnership." This paper describes the challenges manufacturing companies are facing, and how IBM and Siemens PLM Software have teamed to form an alliance to help technology-enabled businesses work smarter by deploying environments that maximize flexibility and responsiveness for rapidly changing business needs.

Autodesk Launches New Simulation Resources
Autodesk has launched the Sim Squad portal, providing access to experts and resources focused on computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis, all things mechanical, and plastic injection molding simulation. The Sim Squad's mission is to explore trends, issues, and developments in simulation to help users and analysts gain knowledge and experience from fellow industry gurus.

:: Events

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, built-in tools, default reporting features, and custom worksheets will be demonstrated in Vectorworks Architect software. Read more »

Bluebeam International Rally Conference
June 14–17, 2011
Ranas, Sweden
This conference, Bluebeam Software's first international user event, will include educational sessions focused on Bluebeam's PDF platform and technologies, a rally car racing experience, and networking with Bluebeam developers and experts. Read more »

Meridian Systems 2011 User Conference
October 11–13, 2011
Huntington Beach, California
This annual customer event will bring together project-based organizations from several infrastructure-intensive industries to share best practices and customer case studies for Meridian's two primary product offerings, Proliance and Prolog software. 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

HP's New Workstations Span a Range of Sizes, Prices, and Portability
The energy-saving, penny-pinching Z210 desktop comes in two form-factor flavors, while the 8460w, 8560w, and 8760w offer power and mobility. 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. Read more »

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. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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