CAD Manager's Newsletter (#277)

22 Feb, 2012 By: Robert Green

A Mobile CAD Reality Check

There's a lot of buzz around the technology right now, but does it hold any value for your users?

It seems that every week there's a new press release about how you can open CAD files on your iPad or send viewable files to your phone. If this keeps up, I'll have building information modeling on my wristwatch soon.

But how widespread is the move to mobile CAD usage? Are users truly taking advantage of the new capabilities, or is CAD mobility simply more technology hype that doesn't reflect real patterns of usage? And, most importantly for us CAD managers, how might this development change the way we manage our CAD departments?

In this installment of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, we'll start investigating mobile CAD from a CAD manager's point of view.

Defining Mobile CAD

Before we proceed, let's rough out a working definition so we'll have a basis for our discussion.

Mobile CAD is:

  • An application run on a portable device (such as a phone or tablet) or a totally web-based platform.
  • Usually based on non-Windows systems such as Android, iOS, or OS-agnostic browsers.
  • Low-cost or free to download and use.
  • Usually based on cellular or Wi-Fi network connectivity.


Mobile CAD is not:

  • Your normal CAD program running on a laptop.
  • Fully functional (instead, it offers a small subset of CAD functions).


Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
ReadyBoost Update for 64-Bit Windows 7

Many users overlook this great utility, but all you need is an inexpensive memory card to improve disk access and performance in your CAD and database applications.

One of the greatest utilities added to Windows 7 (and Vista before it) is a performance-enhancing utility called ReadyBoost. I've mentioned it before, but this time I'll pass along some tips for making the best use of it with 64-bit operating systems.

What is it? ReadyBoost uses solid-state memory devices (such Memory Sticks or SD cards) to act like RAM buffers to speed up hard disk access. ReadyBoost isn't as fast as having more RAM installed, but it is considerably faster than using the hard disk. And ReadyBoost allows you to enhance your machine's performance even when you can't install more RAM — a plus if your RAM is maxed out already.

Setting it up: To make ReadyBoost work, simply insert your USB or SD device into your system. Now locate the device drive in File Explorer, right-click on it, and select the Format option. 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

GRAPHISOFT Publishes ArchiCAD BIM Whitepaper
"Get There Faster with ArchiCAD," a free whitepaper from BIM (building information modeling) software provider GRAPHISOFT, examines five critical areas users should explore before making a BIM software purchase. The whitepaper shares expertise and experience from six design leaders, who describe how ArchiCAD provides real-time collaboration.

:: Events

BIG I.D.E.A.S. Virtual Event
February 23, 2012
11 a.m. ET
Keeping information secure and having control over documents and data is critical to the continued growth and success of a business and it is the topic of this online conference from IMAGINiT. Experts will discuss data management, the Autodesk Vault Family, and improved vault management. Read more »

What's New in Aras EPLM for SolidWorks Enterprise PDM?
March 22, 2012
11 a.m. ET
Attendees can learn about the newest features and functionality in Aras EPLM for Solidworks during this product demonstration webinar. Read more »

CIMdata 2012 PLM Market and Industry Spring Forum
March 29–April 25, 2012
Various cities
These events will offer insights into the current PLM (product lifecycle management) economic climate and trends. CIMdata will also provide its analysis of 2011's PLM market results. 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:
Share Your FirePro Graphics Experience and Win a AMD FirePro V5900

Before you get to work performing all of those high-speed transfers of giant files, you have to consider security. Read more »

CADspeed Blog Post:
AutoCAD WS for Facilities Management, Part 4: Managing Your Move to AutoCAD WS

A look at AutoCAD WS from a management level, rather than an operational level. Read more »

Why Did You Hire Me?
How clearly a manager communicates a worker's responsibilities can affect everything from morale to company success. Read more »

IMAGINiT Technologies' Clarity Software Enhances BIM Collaboration
Autodesk Revit Server–based solution can provide dispersed teams and property owners with additional security, task automation, and reporting capabilities. Read more »

HP Z1 Breaks Out of the Workstation Mold
The industry's first 27" all-in-one workstation features pop-open access and a slew of options in a streamlined, space-saving package. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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Do you use social media — such as Facebook or Twitter updates, YouTube videos, or discussion forums — for work-related purposes?
Yes, I regularly use such resources for work-related purposes.
Yes, but on a limited or infrequent basis.
No, because my employer frowns upon or prohibits doing so.
No, because I don’t have the time or interest.
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