CAD Manager's Newsletter (#264)

13 Jul, 2011 By: Robert Green

:: Have the BIM Truth Talk with Your Boss, Part 4

The final installment in this series discusses reader experiences with training personnel, IT obstacles, and other aspects of implementation.

In the last three editions of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I've encouraged you to have "truth talks" with your management and users about the realities of implementing BIM (building information modeling) in your company. Based on the reader feedback I've received, I see that many of you have had experiences similar to mine, and have found the advice I've given useful.

In this edition, I'll finish the series by sharing some reader feedback and my recommendations for progressing through the test project phase to implementation.

Reader Feedback

I received a great letter from a reader who teaches Revit MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) software to a variety of corporate clients. T.K. touched on many facets of executing a test BIM project, which I'll present in sections, along with my responses. I think you'll find T.K. has a firm grip on the situation, and provides a fresh perspective as an educator. (Note that although T.K. is a Revit instructor, his advice is applicable to other BIM products as well.)

Test Project Personnel

Regarding my assertion that you should select the most motivated and computer-savvy users for your BIM test project, T.K. says:

"When it comes to the 'perfect test project,' it almost never happens that way. When I teach Revit MEP, most of my students are in class because they already have a project on the table that's due on Monday and are told by management that they have to learn Revit. Almost all of my students are 'chosen' because they aren't busy or are the only ones knowledgeable of MEP at the firm. They get thrown into the mix whether they like it or not, and management rarely thinks about your criteria for selecting the staff. In my opinion the reason is that management has no idea what it's getting into."

Like T.K., I've seen these issues play out as well. The primary reason these types of training sessions happen is lack of planning on the part of senior management, which almost always means that the CAD manager wasn't pushing hard enough for the right BIM staffing in the first place, or that management simply wasn't listening. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Turn Your Phone into a CAD Management Emergency Kit

Your mobile device can serve as a traveling toolbox if you stock it with the files you might need to install on a workstation.

More and more frequently, I'm called on to take care of non-CAD concerns such as removing viruses and malware, and updating the tools that detect these sorts of problems. Of course I also get asked about new plotter drivers, cool utilities, and all manner of other CAD issues as well.

When I visited clients' offices without my computer, I was often limited in my ability to address these types of problems because I lacked the files I needed. Of course, I carry a memory stick with all my emergency files in my laptop bag, but when I didn't have the bag, I was out of luck. What inevitably ensued was a frantic search via the Internet, and lots of time-consuming downloads. 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

CADspeed Blog Provides Workstation Optimization Insights
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. The newest posts explain collaboration with AutoCAD WS and how to avoid common mistakes when setting up Vectorworks. Sponsored by Dell and AMD.

Tata Technologies Offers Tuition-Free Inventor and Simulation Training
Product lifecycle management (PLM) firm Tata Technologies has announced that its annual CAD Geek Summer School Tour will be held July 20–August 18 this year. The 13-city tour will offer training in Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Simulation. Advance registration is required.

:: Events

Through November 17, 2011
Various cities
Rand's IMAGINiT Technologies division will sponsor these events across the United States and Canada. The 2011 AUGI CAD Camp series helps professionals gain industry-recognized credentials through Autodesk Certifications. Read more »

Improving Time to Market
July 14, 2011
7:30 a.m. PT
This Geometric webinar will explain how reducing design iterations for manufacturability can help take a product to market faster and save costs of rework. The webinar will be led by George Lawrie of Forrester Research, an independent analyst firm. Read more »

From Point Clouds to CAD models with PC-DMIS Reshaper
July 20, 2011
10:30–11:00 a.m. CT
Hexagon Metrology will hold this free, live webinar on reverse engineering techniques using PC-DMIS Reshaper software, a standalone software product specializing in point cloud collection, processing, and meshing tasks. The software coverts 3D data into usable formats for CAD design, rapid prototyping, and other forms of 3D manipulation. 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

User Profile: The Utility of 3D
As a multi-discipline designer of water treatment plants, Bob Beatty bridges the gap between 2D and 3D every day. Read more »

On the Edge Solid Edge Tutorial:
Save Printing Supplies with the Display as Printed Option

Save time, ink, and paper by checking your final level of detail on screen before you plot your drawing. Read more »

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial:
Prepare Semi-Unintelligent Parts with Suppression and Sculpt Wrapping

When Shrinkwrap doesn't provide enough control for your needs, other Autodesk Inventor tools can simplify your designs for downstream use. Read more »

Autodesk Suites Are More than the Sum of Their Parts
New product packages offer powerful programs at great discounts — but do they make sense for you? Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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