CAD Manager's Newsletter (#272)

9 Nov, 2011 By: Robert Green

:: What CAD Cloud?

Latest CAD Manager's Survey verifies that CAD in the cloud, for the most part, isn't happening yet.

In "Your Own Private CAD Cloud" in the last installment of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I discussed the option of building your own cloud to share resources within your organization instead of leasing Internet-based cloud resources. I hope you had a chance to ponder the concept of a private cloud and draw a few conclusions of your own.

In this edition, I will examine the issue of Internet-based cloud use from a statistical point of view, using recently obtained data from my 2011 CAD Manager's Survey. In addition to the survey data, I'll include a few conclusions and further refine the case for a private cloud, as opposed to the Internet cloud model.

Survey Says

The feedback I've been getting from CAD managers over the past year or so with respect to cloud use for CAD applications has been lukewarm at best. Many are skeptical about security, provider stability, and even version control of cloud-supported CAD systems. To quantify these concerns (and not simply rely on my gut feeling), I included a number of questions about the cloud in my CAD Manager's Survey this year.

I started by simply asking, "Do you run CAD software in the cloud?" I figured that cloud use might be low, based on my aforementioned impressions, but I was surprised by how low. Of the 276 unique responses, here's how the data breaks down:

No: 85%
We're interested, but not yet: 9%
We're testing it now: 4%
Yes: 2%

Or, put another way, those not using the cloud for their CAD implementations outnumber those who do by 16 to 1! Not exactly a ringing endorsement of cloud adoption, is it? Read more »


:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Take Control of File Translation

Verify file translations before your project kicks off!

With more and more CAD projects containing traditional CAD tools (AutoCAD and MicroStation), as well as new building information modeling (BIM), mechanical, and civil engineering tools, I'm seeing more and more need for data format translations during the lifecycle of the project. And as these translation requirements grow more complex, the likelihood grows that you may have problems.

Now, of course, entire books could be written about this process, but here's a short and simple way to get on top of your translation requirements. This has worked for me over the years. 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

ITI Releases CATIA Migration Whitepaper
Interoperability solutions provider ITI TranscenData has released a free whitepaper titled, "Managing CATIA V4 Obsolescence: Five Strategies for the Last-Minute Migration." The publication outlines five migration strategies and illustrates methods for opening, viewing, and editing models in the absence of CATIA v4 licenses.

:: Events

Aras EPLM for SolidWorks Enterprise PDM Demonstration
November 15, 2011
11 a.m. ET
This webinar demonstrates product features of Aras EPLM for SolidWorks Enterprise PDM. Attendees can learn how to turn SolidWorks CAD BOM into an item-based engineering bill of materials that's ready for release to manufacturing. Read more »

Introducing the New Alibre Design 2012
November 23, 2011
11 a.m. PT
Alibre Design 2012 is the latest design software release from 3D Systems and Alibre. Presenter Max Freeman, vice-president of marketing at Alibre, will discuss ways to improve the design process with the 3D and 2D design software during this webinar. Read more »

2011 Autodesk University User Conference and Exhibition
November 29–December 1, 2011
Las Vegas, Nevada
This event will include more than 800 technical classes and hands-on labs, free Autodesk certification exams, and a Design Computation Symposium for exploring and extending the limits of digital design technology. 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

CADspeed Blog Post:
Sustainability and the CAD Workstation: Heat, Noise and Power Consumption

Price and performance generally increase as you climb the workstation ladder, and so do heat, nose and power consumption. These metrics, which were of low or no concern years ago, are top of mind today. Read more »

First Look Review: TurboViewer
Use this handy app to view 2D and 3D DWG files on your iPad or iPhone. Read more »

The Sky Is Not the Limit
Advances in BIM and software interoperability are helping propel a boom in supertall building construction. Read more »

Do We Need a CAD Manager?
Memo to senior management: A CAD manager is a valuable ally in your efforts to achieve business goals. Read more »

How Do You Learn AutoCAD? Take Our Survey!
Cadalyst and Axiom are conducting a survey of AutoCAD users. Please take a few minutes to help us understand your main challenges with AutoCAD and the training tools you use. Thank you! Click here to take survey.

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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