CAD Manager's Newsletter (#274)

11 Jan, 2012 By: Robert Green

:: 2012 Predictions for CAD Managers

Identifying important technology trends now will help you prepare for the year ahead.

The New Year is upon us, and we're all back to work with renewed focus. I've always used this time to consider the demands of the coming year's workload, and make a plan to meet those demands.

As a CAD/technology manager, I've found that preparing for the work ahead requires me to make some predictions about what might happen in the computer industry. I'll share some of these predictions in this issue of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, in hopes that you can use them as a starting point for building your own 2012 plan. Here goes.

Trends to Watch For

Identifying technology trends requires predicting the future — an activity I'm admittedly not perfect at! Regardless, I've taken my best (educated) guess, and I believe the following trends will have a big impact on 2012:

  • BIM (building information modeling) demystification
  • The cult of cloud hype
  • Great hardware values
  • Increasing CAD software upgrade momentum
  • The fusion of IT and CAD departments.

So how did I arrive at this list, you might ask? I used the following sources:

  • Interviews conducted with software industry personnel
  • Experience with my clients
  • Conversations with IT and CAD managers around the country
  • Conversations with hundreds of users at Autodesk University 2011
  • Good old gut feelings.

Next, let's dig into the predictions one by one. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Clean Up Your Network Drives

This is one resolution that will benefit everyone in your workplace! Just a few simple steps will put you on the road to better-organized shared drives.

Since it is the New Year, why not resolve to sweep out all the extraneous junk that you know is cluttering up your network drives? It may be tempting to just leave things as they are, but allowing a network drive filing mess to go unchallenged works against CAD managers because it sends a message to users that filing standards don't have to be followed.

Here's my basic, reliable process for organizing messy drives:

Alert. Notify your users that the cleanup will happen on a certain date and that they need to tidy their files before then.

Inform. Warn your users that during the cleanup, you'll be documenting projects that aren't using proper filing procedures.

Ruthlessly delete junk. By "junk," I mean that MP3 file collection, those eBay/Craigslist ads, the maps to picnics and parties, etc. These files have nothing to do with company projects and have no business being on a company server. Delete these and everyone will know you're serious. 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

Mercury Publishes Two AutoCAD 2012 Guides
Mercury Learning and Information, which publishes print and digital content on science and technology topics, has released two new AutoCAD titles by Munir Hamad: AutoCAD 2012 Beginning and Intermediate and AutoCAD 2012 3D Modeling. The former includes 50 exercises that cover small projects from concept through plotting. The latter explains procedures for creating and modifying 3D models, and more.

MAXON Relaunches Cineversity Training Web Site
MAXON, a 3D software company, has revamped Cineversity, its online training and education resource for CINEMA 4D users. The redesigned site provides users with an intuitive interface, improved search and filtering capabilities, the ability to create custom playlists, and an interface for teachers to interact with students. The new site also features new tutorials and webcasts.

:: Events

CIMdata PLM Certificate Program: Atlanta
February 6–10, 2012
Atlanta, Georgia
The CIMdata PLM (product lifecycle management) Certificate Program includes an intimate classroom experience, individual and team-based exercises, and individual evaluations of achievement. Additionally, the program provides participants with exposure to a team of CIMdata experts. Read more »

Fiatech 2012
April 2–4, 2012
Miami, Florida
The theme for Fiatech's Annual Technology Conference and Showcase is "Fiatech Heat: Innovation That Builds the World." Read more »

NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference 2012
May 14–17, 2012
San Jose, California
The third annual GPU Technology Conference will showcase breakthroughs in computational science with the GPU (graphics processing unit). 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:
Mobile vs. Deskside: CAD Workstations Don't Follow Conventional Rules

A disconnect has been emerging between the perception and reality of mobile workstation sales and usage. Read more »

CADspeed Blog Post:
Technology Makeover Supplies CAD Hardware/Software to Deserving Small Business

Autodesk awards Alan Mascord Designs with eight seats of Autodesk Building Design Suite 2012 and more. Read more »

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Recognize and Simplify Features
The Find Features and Simplify tools can improve your productivity in Autodesk Inventor Fusion. Read more »

User Profile: Designer by Destiny
Looking back, Dawid van Rensburg's unpredictable journey into architecture was always in the cards. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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