CAD Manager's Newsletter (#263)

22 Jun, 2011 By: Robert Green

:: Have the BIM Truth Talk with Your Boss, Part 3

BIM implementation may be challenging, but tools such as this checklist will help keep things moving forward.

In the last two editions of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I encouraged you to have a "truth talk" with your management team about BIM (building information modeling) implementation. I also outlined some of the expectations (both realistic and not so realistic) that you'll have to manage as you prepare to undertake BIM.

In this edition, I want to expand our truth talk by sharing a BIM implementation technique that is virtually identical to what I've used for my mechanical CAD customers for years. The more I look at implementations, the more I've come to believe that managing that process for BIM is really no different than it is for any other 3D software. The BIM guys may call me a heretic for making it sound too simple, but here goes.

Expectations and Reality

As stated in the last two "truth talk" editions, management personnel must be educated so that their expectations align with the following truths:

  • BIM doesn't just happen
  • BIM implementation requires planning, training, and a financial investment
  • It takes years to change to a BIM culture.

On the other side of the equation, CAD managers must understand that management is guided by certain firm convictions:

  • We can't shut the company down for BIM
  • We'll convert to BIM when our customers require us to
  • We won't switch to BIM if it causes us to lose money
  • If BIM doesn't give us an advantage over our competitors, we won't implement it.

Even if it makes sense to implement BIM in your company, you'll have to do so within the confines of the above expectations. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Dropbox for File Sharing

Store files and share them with others or among your own devices.

Reader James Klob wrote in to share his experience with Dropbox, a file storage and sharing service.

"Dropbox is the easiest way that I have found to share files not only with myself, but with subcontractors and vendors. When I need details from an outside vendor, I can put the files in a Dropbox folder and share it with that person. He or she can open the file and, if need be, add information to it. This way, I know that everybody is working on the same information.

"I also use Dropbox when I work from home or a job site. I can access all the files from my home computer, laptop, or Android phone. If I need to answer a question on a job site, it is much easier to look up the drawings than to guess and potentially give the wrong information. I can also attach files to an e-mail right from Dropbox on my phone." 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

ZCorp Webcast Presents 3D Scanning and Printing Case Study
ZCorp is offering registered users an on-demand webcast that answers the question, "Can a Car Maker Deliver Mass Customization?" The webcast explains how Local Motors uses mass customization and micro factories (local manufacturing cells) in its manufacturing and design. By combining 3D scanning, 3D printing, and reverse-engineering software, the company can build limited productions of vehicle models.

Luxion Releases KeyShot Plug-In for Creo Users
Luxion, a developer of rendering and lighting technology, has released a free plug-in for all Creo customers that will connect Creo directly with KeyShot. This announcement was made at the same time as the company's release of KeyShot 2.3, which features native support for Creo Parametric.

New Tab Provides App Marketplace Access in AutoCAD 2012
Autodesk has made direct access to download and purchase companion apps available in AutoCAD 2012. Users can immediately browse, download, and purchase more than 100 apps using the new Apps tab within AutoCAD software's in-product support feature, Autodesk Exchange. Apps and content can be downloaded for free, as a trial, or for a fee.

CAD-Related Hashtags for Twitter: Here's the List!
If you use Twitter, you know about hashtags are those sometimes-cryptic tags that pepper tweets, always set off by a hash sign (#). Whether you're sending an update from an event such as #SWW11, spreading the word about a new #BIM or #PLM tool, or seeking #AutoCAD advice, understanding and using hashtags can bring a good deal of professional value to Twitter. Help Cadalyst build a central resource for the CAD community here.

Bentley Summarizes 2011 User Conference Keynotes
Bentley Systems has published a summary of the keynote speeches given by CEO Greg Bentley, Senior Vice-President Bhupinder Singh, and the Bentley Software team at the Be Together conference held May 23–26, 2011, in Philadelphia. The report also includes an overview of the LIVE Zone exhibit area.

:: Events

BIG I.D.E.A.S. Virtual Conference
June 23, 2011
11 a.m.–5 p.m. ET
Rand Worldwide's IMAGINiT Technologies division will host the inaugural BIG I.D.E.A.S. (Increase your Design & Efficiency Advantage) virtual conference to showcase ways that manufacturers can innovate through simulation, analysis, and better design processes. Read more »

Experience the Power of tsElements for SolidWorks
July 6, 2011
11 a.m. PT
This webinar introduces tsElements for SolidWorks, a new add-in that enables designers and engineers to transfer designs from Rhino and subdivision surface modelers to SolidWorks. Read more »

Chicago BIMForum
July 19–21, 2011
Chicago, Illinois
This BIMForum will explore the theme, "When Does Design End and Construction Begin?" 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

Twitter Chat with Lynn Allen Tomorrow!
Join Cadalyst for a Twitter chat with Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen (@Lynn_Allen). We'll discuss mobile design collaboration and the latest tools for editing, viewing, and sharing AutoCAD files on the go. The chat will occur on Thursday, June 23, at 4 p.m. ET. Follow the conversation at #dellcad and jump in! Read more »

Bentley Unveils AECOsim Family of Information Modeling Software
Interdisciplinary applications aim to improve building design, analysis and simulation, and LEED compliance management. Read more »

Circles and Lines: A Perfect View
After years of requests, AutoCAD users' wishes come true with the Transparency property for objects and layers. Read more »

Revit Technology Conference Crosses the Pacific
The "by users, for users" event arrives in North America — and brings some Australian traditions along with it. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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