CAD Manager's Newsletter (#261)

25 May, 2011 By: Robert Green

:: Have the BIM Truth Talk with Your Boss

Despite what your management team may have heard, implementing BIM isn't cheap or easy — so set them straight as soon as possible.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, you've heard the acronym BIM (short for building information modeling) quite often. And like other buzzwords before it, such as collaboration and paradigm shift, BIM has become so overused and overhyped that the term is losing its meaning — particularly among senior managers who don't really understand the technology.

In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I want to start an honest conversation about what BIM means from a managerial standpoint so you, the CAD manager, can understand all sides of the BIM debate. More importantly, I want to enable you to communicate with your management team clearly so that everyone knows what BIM is, what it isn't, and what to expect. Here goes.

Marketing Hype

Let's confront the irrefutable truth: Software companies want to sell you software, so they strive to create splashy advertising campaigns for their BIM products in hopes of piquing your interest. Another fact is that software companies know that CAD managers, while influential in the process, don't actually buy software — senior management teams do. Therefore, software companies create their advertising with those senior management members in mind. This is simply Marketing 101, and nobody should be surprised that it works. In fact, much of the reason that your boss is talking to you about BIM is precisely because these types of advertising campaigns are effective.

Realistic Expectations

Much of the marketing that BIM software vendors bombard us with revolves around concepts that senior management teams love, like "ease of use" and "higher productivity" — making it appear that adopting BIM will be an easy process. In reality, implementing BIM takes a substantial amount of time, money, and training, and the investment typically doesn't start returning a profit for years. Have you ever seen a BIM software ad that spells out the reality of what it'll take to get BIM working in your company's design environment? Me neither.

In that case, who will deliver the news to senior management that BIM — while a valid and worthwhile tool in the design and engineering of buildings — isn't magic, and won't be up and running in a matter of weeks? Who will establish realistic expectations about what BIM can do and how much it'll cost? The answer must be the CAD manager, simply because nobody else is qualified to do the job. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
Hunt Down Threats with Anti-Malware

Use Malwarebytes' tool in tandem with Spybot Search and Destroy to keep your users' machines safe.

Like the Spybot Search and Destroy tool I highlighted in the previous edition of CAD Manager's Toolbox, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware software is a great weapon in your battle against malicious computer worms and spyware.

The free version of Anti-Malware provides thorough scanning and removal tools, along with a constantly updated set of signature files to keep you current. The full version ($24.95 per license) adds automatic detection, scheduled scanning, and malicious site blocking based on the list of signature files. 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 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.

Winter 2011 BIMForum Presentations Available for Purchase
More than seven hours of presentations from the Winter 2011 BIMForum are now available online ($99). The event, held in February 2011, focused on real-world examples of projects where teams have used building information modeling (BIM) to address the challenges of building envelopes from design, fabrication, construction, and management.

Autodesk Updates SketchBook Pro App for iPad 2
Autodesk has introduced a new version of its SketchBook Pro for iPad app ($4.99), designed to take advantage of the new features and improved processing power of iPad 2. This update features a higher-resolution digital canvas; enhanced interoperability and portability between iOS devices; and 90 new brushes and brush controls.

:: Events

PlanetPTC Live
June 12–15, 2011
Las Vegas, Nevada
PlanetPTC Live in Las Vegas will include user-focused educational sessions, peer networking opportunities, and shared problem-solving. Read more »

CIMdata PLM Certificate Program: Massachusetts
June 20–24, 2011
Andover, Massachusetts
CIMdata's PLM (product lifecycle management) Certification Program prepares PLM technologists to address the challenges inherent in PLM implementations. This assessment-based program includes classroom experience, individual and team exercises, and individual evaluations of achievement. 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

High-Impact Set Design
Innovative Show Design gives Versus's Hockey Central a whole new look using CINEMA 4D and Vectorworks. Read more »

Tech Trends: On-Site iPads Change the Game
Tablet computers offer countless benefits for Clayco's mobile workforce, but have yet to replace laptops. Read more »

Cadalyst's Ron LaFon Dies at Age 63
Contributing editor reviewed hundreds of hardware and software products in his 17 years with the publication. Read more »

Bentley Reworks Geospatial Lineup
The new Bentley Map GIS platform for infrastructure applications offers three levels of functionality, united under one name. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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