CAD Manager's Newsletter (#279)

28 Mar, 2012 By: Robert Green

AutoCAD 2013 from the CAD Manager's Chair

You've heard about some of the new features already, but how will this release affect your users and their workflows?

As you read this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, the latest version of AutoCAD is starting to ship out to customers. No doubt you'll want to read up on all the new features as soon as you can by going through through Bill Fane's comprehensive AutoCAD 2013 Cadalyst Labs review. For the purposes of this newsletter, however, I won't be concentrating on the nitty-gritty details. Instead, I'll focus on drawing some conclusions about how this release will affect CAD managers and their users.

So here, in no particular order, is a summation of what to expect in AutoCAD 2013 — from a CAD manager's point of view.

No User Interface Shock

Experienced AutoCAD users will feel right at home with the new release. Of course, there are some new bells and whistles in the status bar (Quick View Drawings and Layouts, and Annotative Monitoring) and the top border (which now includes Help, Exchange, and Autodesk 360), as highlighted below, but nothing that will require serious retraining. Longtime keyboard users (myself included) will like the new Command line enhancements, and may find themselves using the Command line more often as a result.

Bottom line: You won't need to make a major effort to get your users comfortable with the AutoCAD 2013 interface.

Although it has a few new bells and whistles, the user interface of AutoCAD 2013 is similar to previous versions. Note the floating Command line.
Although it has a few new bells and whistles, the user interface of AutoCAD 2013 is similar to previous versions. Note the floating Command line.

Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: New Software — Is It a Go?

Which new releases are worth the time and money to implement?

It is finally springtime, and you know what that means: new software releases! As a CAD manager you'll be one of the first to evaluate new software programs, and you'll be peppered with questions from users and managers alike.

So what is the best process for evaluating new and/or updated software? Here's a basic checklist I've used for years that continues to serve me well:

  • Read! Read web sites, read blogs, read anything you can find about the new software just to get ahead of the curve in terms of new features. The more you know before you get the software, the easier it'll be to evaluate.
  • What's new? Focus on examining the highly touted new features in the release, and in each case ask yourself the question, "Does this feature help us do things better?"

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

K2D-KeyToData Provides Free Trial of Kubotek KeyView CAD Viewer
Software provider K2D-KeyToData has released a free trial version of its CAD viewer, Kubotek KeyView v11.5. Highlights of the new version include exploded views of CAD models, new functions for the mold and die add-on module, and projected area and draft angle analysis.

:: Events

Lead the Way with Better Design
March 29, 2012
9 a.m. PT
In this free virtual event from Autodesk, Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen will be on hand to discuss Autodesk's software for building information modeling, digital prototyping, and digital entertainment creation. 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

Cast Your Vote in Cadalyst's New Poll
Do you wonder how much time your CAD peers spend working in 3D? Simply scroll to the bottom of the Cadalyst home page and vote in the latest Cadalyst poll to find out! You can even bookmark the results page and come back later, to see how the results change as more voters weigh in.

CADspeed Blog Post:
How Much RAM Should You Buy for a CAD Workstation?

Start with the minimum RAM recommendation for your primary software, then get a feel for how much more memory you'll get with incremental spending. Read more »

Luxology Launches Modo 601 and New CAD Loaders
Updates take the content creation solution to a new level of support for the 'CAD to ad' workflow. Read more »

Learning Curve AutoCAD Tutorial: Taking Another Look at 3D
FlatShot isn't the only way to generate 2D views from 3D models — try the Solid View, Solid Draw, and Solid Profile commands as well. Read more »

Webcast: Digital Signatures, Hosted by Cadalyst and ARX
John Marchioni, vice-president at ARX, leads attendees through the basics of digital signature technology for the AEC workflow and a look into the functionality of the CoSign digital signature solution. Read more »

Femap Tips and Tricks: View Femap Loads as Contour Plots
Verify the correct loading definition in a model by creating an output set and contouring it. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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