CAD Manager's Newsletter (#260)

11 May, 2011 By: Robert Green

:: Keep Ahead of the Learning Curve, Part 2


You've got your training plan in hand, and now you need to show management why funding that training is a smart financial decision.

In the previous issue of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I challenged you to come up with a learning plan to keep yourself technically current — and more valuable to your company. If you haven't thought about your learning plan yet, you may want to take a look at that column before proceeding.

In this issue, I'll show you how to prioritize your list of learning objectives in a way that'll get your boss's attention and convince him or her to approve your training plan. Here goes.

Getting Started

In order to get the training process rolling, you have to identify your company's training needs, then try to align your learning objectives with those needs. In my example case, I related the story of "Lois," who needs to bring Revit into her company, but must become more knowledgeable about the software to do so. In evaluating Lois's company's needs, we determined that the following Revit-based objectives were critical:

  • Being able to send/receive Revit-based files to/from various clients
  • Having a plan for eventually using Revit on in-house projects
  • Having to control the expenses associated with Revit implementation.

To meet these needs, I recommended that Lois pursue the following training objectives:

  • Acquire specific skills to send/receive Revit files to/from customers.
  • Acquire more general Revit skills that would be key for the company's future usage of the software.
  • Study how other companies have implemented Revit to learn what works — as well as what doesn't.
  • Study how to best train company users so adoption of Revit will go as smoothly as possible.

The payoff for the company is that Lois will be able to meet its Revit needs, while the payoff for Lois is her greatly expanded knowledge of Revit — and her enhanced value as an employee. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
Destroy Malware with Free Spybot Utility

Your coworkers use their workstations for more than just CAD tasks — which means you must be prepared for virus outbreaks.

Do you ever have to "fix" a machine after one of your users contracts a computer virus or worm? For those of you who have these responsibilities, the problem seems to become ever more vexing as more malicious code makes its way into Facebook, Photobucket, and other social media outlets.

To make the ongoing battle a bit easier, consider using a great piece of free software called Spybot Search and Destroy. 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

MecSoft Launches Social Networking Site for FreeMILL Users
MecSoft, a computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software firm, has launched FreeCADCAM, an online community for FreeMILL users. FreeMILL is a free, fully functional Windows-based program that enables users to import 3D models in STL, Rhino, VisualMILL, VRML, and Raw Triangle formats, generate toolpaths, and post out G-code programs to their CNC equipment.

OptiTex Publishes Fashion Design Software Webinars Online
Fashion design software developer OptiTex has added three recorded webinars to its online archives, covering topics including Grading Made Simple, 3D Samples, and OptiTex Pattern Design. The webinars are free to view.

:: Events

CBD Gears Up with Geomagic Wrap
May 17, 2011
10 a.m. ET
During this webinar, attendees can learn how Geomagic Wrap's functionalities can be used to enhance and complement CBD digitizers' features and performance. Geomagic Wrap integrates with and processes data from 3D scanners, providing tools for point cloud and polygon mesh editing. Read more »

EASTEC Exposition
May 17–19, 2011
West Springfield, Massachusetts
EASTEC Exposition, organized by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, is an annual precision manufacturing event where manufacturers gather to learn about new innovations and upgrade their equipment and capabilities. Read more »

NAFEMS' World Congress 2011
May 23–26, 2011
Boston, Massachusetts
This biennial event from NAFEMS, the International Association for the Engineering Analysis Community, compiles analysis and simulation-specific papers in one independent, international event. Read more »

2011 Americas HyperWorks Technology Conference
June 22–23, 2011
Orlando, Florida
Altair Engineering's 2011 Americas HyperWorks Technology Conference will center on product lifecycle management technology and its effects across a variety of manufacturing sectors. 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

Solid Thinking Tutorial: Customize SolidWorks for Efficiency
You can implement these simple adjustments quickly, and start seeing the benefits immediately. Read more »

On the Edge Solid Edge Tutorial: Control Sheet Metal Designs with Material Properties
Adjusting parameters like bend radius and relief depth gives you ultimate control over your designs. Read more »

On the Edge Solid Edge Tutorial: Customize the Solid Edge Ribbon and UI
Access the tools you need quickly with command ribbon shortcuts and customized panels in the Fluent user interface (UI). 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 social media — such as Facebook or Twitter updates, YouTube videos, or discussion forums — for work-related purposes?
Yes, I regularly use such resources for work-related purposes.
Yes, but on a limited or infrequent basis.
No, because my employer frowns upon or prohibits doing so.
No, because I don’t have the time or interest.
Submit Vote

Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition