CAD Manager's Newsletter (#262)

8 Jun, 2011 By: Robert Green

:: Have the BIM Truth Talk with Your Boss, Part 2

Readers share their struggles and successes with managing their managers' expectations.

In the previous edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, we talked about the realities of BIM (building information modeling) and how to convince your senior management team that despite what marketing hype might indicate, BIM implementation doesn't just magically happen. I hope that since reading that column, you've thought about how to present this information to your managers.

In this edition, I'd like to expand on a few of the comments I've received from readers. My goal is to broaden the discussion of what management expects from BIM, and explain how you can best manage those expectations. Here goes.

A BIM Reality Story

I received a very well-written response from a CAD manager who has taken a company through the grind of BIM implementation, and it perfectly illustrates how the process really works. G.S. writes:

"When we first started using Revit there were many obstacles, like learning the software, developing our library, and developing Revit elements to harness the power of the software, such as well-made schedules. This is why I really feel we have turned a corner in our development, but we have been working on this for over three years. Not everyone in the office is using the software, but we are getting closer each day. One obstacle to upgrading people's skills to include Revit is users resisting the change. For example, I worked for more than a year on a Revit project with the project architect saying, 'I will get into the program and learn it all through the process.' We finished the job and he has still not opened the file even once. He is too attached to how he has done it in AutoCAD, and has gone kicking and screaming through this project (almost literally). What has helped is management being there to back me up and say to him, 'This is what we are doing, and this is the future.'"

I love G.S.'s comments because they take us through the chronological progression of BIM implementation (learning, standards, customization) and the frustrations (user resistance, continued use of old tools), and the ultimate fallback strategy of having management back you up when times get tough.

Also note that in this example, the time frame cited is three years, and the implementation is still a work in progress! If your management team still thinks that the switch to BIM takes place overnight, use G.S.'s comments as a starting point for an honest conversation about a realistic BIM implementation plan. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
FileZilla Stomps Expensive FTP Utilities

This useful FTP program features a price point you can't argue with — free.

In this edition of the CAD Manager's Toolbox, I'll continue my series about cool, inexpensive utilities that I use. Today we'll explore the FileZilla FTP utility, which is 100% free.

If you ever use FTP to upload or download large files, you're already familiar with this type of utility. FileZilla only requires a download from and a simple installation, and you're up and running. 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

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. Recent posts cover reprogramming your mouse, what to do about OpenCL, and advances in mobility technology.

CIMdata Publishes Digital Manufacturing Paper
CIMdata, a product lifecycle management (PLM) consulting and research firm, has produced a free paper about a digital manufacturing solution that provides factory layout, workcell and line simulation, and analysis solutions that scales to the manufacturing planning needs of large as well as smaller enterprises. "Visual Components for Factory Simulation" reviews the solution suite of Visual Components.

Bentley Adds Free I-Model Drivers to iWare Apps Site
Bentley Systems has announced the addition of new interoperability offerings to the iWare Apps site it launched this past March. The new offerings include i-model drivers for Excel, Access, Crystal Reports, and Visual Studio, the Bentley DGN Reader for Windows 7, Bentley ODBC Driver for Windows 7, Bentley FlexUnits, and the AGS Toolkit. I-models are "containers" for open AEC information exchange.

:: Events

CIMdata PLM Certificate Program: Massachusetts
June 20–24, 2011
Andover, Massachusetts
CIMdata's PLM Certification Program prepares PLM technologists at several levels 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 »

AUGI CAD Camp 2011
June 21–July 29, 2011
Various cities
2011 AUGI CAD Camps are focused on helping attendees gain industry-recognized credentials through Autodesk Certification to accelerate professional development, improve productivity, and enhance credibility. This event includes training on Autodesk AutoCAD, Revit, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Inventor, 3ds Max, and Maya. Read more »

Autodesk Storm and Sanitary Analysis Course
June 22–23, 2011
9 a.m.–5 p.m. CT
This course is presented live online by Engineered Efficiency and includes live lectures, demonstration, hands-on exercises, and downloadable courseware. 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

First Look Review: Eurocom Panther 2.0 Mobile Workstation
New system offers many connectivity options, fast performance. Read more »

First Look Review: CadFaster|Collaborate for Autodesk Revit 2011
Also available for SolidWorks and coming soon for mobile use, new plug-in facilitates real-time, interactive model reviews. Read more »

Cadalyst Labs Report: 3D Scanning Is Flying High
Faster, more accurate, more affordable technologies are propelling reverse engineering and other applications to the forefront of design. Read more »

I Am Drafter!
Assume any job title you want; just don't forget your roots in a vital and respectable craft. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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