CAD Manager's Newsletter (#265)

27 Jul, 2011 By: Robert Green

:: A CAD Manager's Letter to IT

Educate your IT department about what you really need to do your job right.

The following is an open letter from a frustrated CAD manager who is experiencing some common IT headaches. Although the CAD manager is imaginary in this case, these problems are all too real; I get letters from readers about them quite often.

I tried to have a little fun with this, while giving you some talking points with which to approach your IT department if these problems are plaguing you. I realize that many of you also serve as IT managers, so you might not face these issues — but you may enjoy reading through this anyway. I also realize that most folks working in IT departments want to do a good job, but simply don't understand CAD — thus the letter.

Here goes.

Dear IT Department:

It's me, the CAD manager. You know, the guy — or gal — who's always dealing with plotters and printers and screaming users. The one who slows our wide-area network (WAN) to a crawl by sharing all those 40-MB scanned aerial images with our branch offices. The one who has to juggle 2D, 3D, BIM (building information modeling), schedules, budgets, senior management demands, and software licensing. Yeah, that's me.

I've got a few things I'd like to explain about my job and how you could help me to help you (with apologies to Jerry Maguire), if you'll just hear me out and try to feel my pain. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Recommended Reading for Better Presentations

Become a more concise — and less boring — technical presenter with these killer tips.

This is only the second book I've recommended in the "CAD Manager's Toolbox" column, but I feel very strongly that you should take the time to read this little gem. Joey Asher's 15 Minutes Including Q&A: A Plan to Save the World from Lousy Presentations should be required reading for anyone who picks up a PowerPoint clicker, as far as I'm concerned.

Although the book is written for sales professionals, not CAD managers, the concepts here are rock-solid:

  • Answer your audience's questions
  • Enthuse your audience
  • Don't bore your audience
  • Demonstrate expertise via Q&A

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

SPECapc Releases New 3ds Max 2011 Performance Benchmark
SPEC's Application Performance Characterization (SPECapc) group has released two versions of a new benchmark for evaluating systems running Autodesk 3ds Max 2011. The professional version of SPECapc for 3ds Max 2011 ($495) contains 58 tests for measurement of modeling, interactive graphics, and CPU and GPU performance. The personal version ($20) generates a single number from a subset of those tests.

Users Can Evaluate DansMark DWG-to-LISP Conversion Tool for Free
Registered users can download a free demo version of Drawing2Lisp_Converter.lsp ($20) to view a sample of the tool's functionality. The DWG-to-LISP tool, which was developed by Dan Flemming of DansMark Software Solutions, converts AutoCAD drawing entities directly into AutoLISP code.

:: Events

August 7–11, 2011
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
SIGGRAPH 2011, the 38th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, will bring computer graphics and interactive technology professionals together for technical and creative programs focusing on research, science, art, animation, music, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web. Read more »

3D Insiders' Summit 2011
October 11–12, 2011
Westminster, Colorado
Summit attendees can learn more about Spatial's products and deepen their technical understanding of CGM, ACIS, 3D InterOp, and other Spatial-provided components. Read more »

GPU Technology Conference (GTC) 2011
October 11–14, 2011
San Jose, California
NVIDIA's GTC 2011 will feature more than 240 hours of technical sessions, tutorials, panels, and moderated roundtables, presented by senior programmers, researchers, and thought leaders from a range of fields. 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 SolidSmack's Josh Mings!
Join Cadalyst for a Twitter chat with SolidWorks blogger Josh Mings of @SolidSmack. We'll be talking about improving the performance of SolidWorks. The chat will occur on Thursday, July 28, at 4 p.m. ET. Follow the conversation at #DellCAD and jump in!

Event Report: RTC 2011 North America
The Revit Technology Conference made its U.S. debut in California, where attendees experienced extensive BIM education opportunities and a little Australian-style hospitality. Read more »

First Look Review: Dell Precision T1600 Workstation
Entry-level workstation offers great performance at a low price. Read more »

Earthmine Extension Brings New Perspective to AutoCAD Map 3D
Users who manage infrastructure can visualize their assets in a real-world context — without leaving their desks. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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