CAD Manager's Newsletter (#285)

27 Jun, 2012 By: Robert Green

Take a Balanced Approach to Managing BIM

Are you falling victim to BIM obsession? Don't let one technology overwhelm your other CAD management responsibilities — no matter how much hype surrounds it.

Have you seen the DirecTV commercials that have been airing lately? The protagonist undergoes a chain reaction of events that rapidly moves from an innocuous beginning to a far more serious situation. As a CAD manager dealing with BIM (building information modeling), you may experience something similar:

When your management hears the buzz about BIM (building information modeling), they'll ask you lots of questions about it.

When you're asked lots of questions about BIM, your conversations become all about BIM.

When your conversations are dominated by BIM, your entire CAD world starts to revolve around BIM.

When your entire CAD world revolves around BIM, you become a victim of BIM obsession.

And when you fall victim to BIM obsession, your non-BIM responsibilities spiral out of control, resulting in CAD management chaos.

Don't make yourself — or your company — suffer because of BIM obsession. Once you put BIM in perspective, you can balance it with all your other projects and technologies.

I've become increasingly fascinated by the persistent hype and spin around BIM, and the resulting tendency to think that BIM is the only CAD technology that matters. In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll do my best to bring a balanced perspective to this issue using plain language, common sense, and past experience. I'm sure I'll annoy some of the BIM intelligentsia by doing so, but I welcome the chance to have an open discussion.

I hope you'll find this article worthwhile, even if you aren't a BIM user. Here goes. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Make Workplace Frustration Work for You

Avoidable project snafus can leave you steaming — or provide the motivation to change things for the better.

If you're like most CAD managers I know, you've experienced days where everything seems to go wrong: standards are violated, files go missing, clients hit you with unexpected deadlines, etc. And, like any normal human being, you eventually become frustrated and exhausted from dealing with those problems.

What if I told you that channeling your frustration in the right way could actually help you solve problems — would you be interested? Give me a chance to convince you by sharing a four-step frustration strategy that I find useful.

Isolate. When a frustrating problem arises, isolate the underlying source of the problem. If a standard was violated, why did it happen? If an unexpected deadline was dumped on you, why didn't you know about it earlier? In the isolation step, you have to continue asking "why" until you finally arrive at the root cause of the frustration. 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

Autodesk Offers Free Mobile Engineering App for Android
ForceEffect, Autodesk's mobile engineering app for simulating design concepts, is now available for the Android platform. The app supports freehand sketching of elements and construction lines, and provides real-time solving capabilities and immediate feedback on simulation performance. Users can download ForceEffect from the Android app store.

:: Events

Introduction to Bricscad v12
July 11, 2012
11 a.m. PT
This free webinar, presented by Novedge, will demonstrate the Bricscad 12 Pro interface in the 2D environment as well as its new direct modeling features. Read more »

Solid Edge Fundamentals
August 14–17, 2012
Huntington Beach, California
Geared to the mechanical designer, this course introduces the concepts of part, sheet metal, and assembly modeling in the design process. Read more »

Capture 3D Measurement Innovation 2012
August 21–23, 2012
Costa Mesa, California
Capture 3D's fifth biannual Measurement Innovation Conference will focus on how companies are improving their design, production, and manufacturing with innovative 3D measurement technology. The goal of the conference is to provide tips, techniques, and solutions to improve internal processes in order to maximize return on investment. 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

Q&A with CADspeed: Hardware Upgrade for 3D Modeling
Question: I am the CAD manager for a design group of eight. We are looking into upgrading our computers to be able to accommodate our 3D modeling needs. We primarily use AutoCAD and CADWorx for piping and vessel design. Read the CADspeed blog post »

Faster, Better Transparency Mode Rendering in Creo Parametric 2.0 is Result of Efforts by AMD and PTC
GPU-optimized technique was on display at Planet PTC Live in Orlando. Read more »

Use PDFs in AutoCAD Drawings
So you need to turn a PDF file into an AutoCAD drawing — but where to begin? AutoCAD 2010 added the valuable capability to bring a PDF file into AutoCAD as an underlay, so you can easily snap to the PDF and recreate the drawing. This method is so much easier than starting from. Watch the video »

AIA 2012 Comes Home to the Capitol
The American Institute of Architects holds its annual convention among the nation's most iconic buildings. Read more »

All-in-One CAD Tip #7:
AutoCAD Layer Controls, Object Names in Civil 3D and Social Networking

Three great CAD tips in one video! AutoCAD's layer controls are more powerful than ever before and can be changed on a per viewport basis. Civil 3D users can improve internal documentation by naming AEC objects. Build your CAD network by attending a local user group, meeting some other CAD professionals on Twitter, or joining some groups on LinkedIn. Sponsored by the HP Z1 All-in-One Workstation. Watch the video »

Malware Circulating in Peru Reportedly Was Sending AutoCAD Drawings to China
Security software developer ESET claims it has stopped file transmission and offers free cleaner for public use. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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