CAD Manager's Newsletter (#225)

9 Sep, 2009 By: Robert Green

What's the BIM Deal? Part 2

Readers have questions about building information modeling, and CAD management expert Robert Green has answers.

In the last issue of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I began my series on deciphering BIM (building information modeling), learning its key terms, and understanding how to prepare for a BIM transition. It turns out that a lot of readers were wondering about these topics, as I received a great amount of reader feedback. The reader questions I received were so good that I've decided to make them the focus for this issue.

What are readers wondering about when it comes to BIM? Here goes.

About BIM Hype

Several reader questions were along the lines of this one:

"I see an awful lot of information about BIM, but I see very few real BIM-based projects being completed. Is BIM a reality, or is it just marketing hype at this point?"

There's no doubt that the companies that produce BIM software are trying to create an atmosphere of excitement and interest by saturating the market with advertising. On the other hand, I've worked directly with a number of firms that are using BIM software to complete projects, so BIM is a reality at this point — just not a widespread reality.

Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Laptops and CAD

Can a laptop replace a workstation? For some CAD users on the move,
the answer is yes.

Every so often I'll get a question about the feasibility of running CAD on a laptop. For example, I recently received a reader query about the possibility of equipping the more mobile members of the design staff exclusively with laptops or mobile workstations, thus eliminating fixed workstations.

Before I answer, let me clarify the difference between a laptop and a mobile workstation, as there can be some confusion between the two. Laptops are smaller, lighter, and less costly than their workstation brethren, and are generally restricted to 4GB of RAM or less, 32-bit operating systems, lower-speed hard disks (typically 5,400 RMP), and less-powerful graphics cards running at lower resolutions (generally topping out 800 vertical dots). Mobile workstations, while more expensive, can load in more memory, have much more powerful graphics systems and hard disks, and can run 64-bit operating systems. As you may suspect, all the power one gains in a mobile workstation means it won’t run very long on batteries, which means you won’t get much done during an airplane ride!

Read more »

Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green


:: Resources

Ideate Expands Civil 3D Course Offerings

Ideate has added three new AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010 eLearning Courses to its training roster. Transportation Update 2010 will review the most recently updated Civil 3D Transportation–related features. Survey Update 2010 will cover the new Civil 3D 2010 Survey features and functionality. Land Development Update 2010 will cover improvements to Civil 3D Land Development functionality. Each of these courses is available for $99; eLearning courses are available to Ideate Premium Support subscribers free of additional cost.

Doc Walt Online University Adds SolidWorks Training

Conceptual Product Development has announced the opening of the SolidWorks College at the Doc Walt Online University. The university comprises three colleges — SolidWorks, KeyCreator, and the general math college — and plans to add CADKEY and Solid Edge colleges soon. The lessons are formatted in the style used by Walter Silva, author of Doctor Walt training manuals and Doc Walt Tips and Tricks, in his CAD teaching method. Free courses are available on the website for evaluation.

:: Events

T-Splines for Rhino Training

September 15, 2009–December 3, 2009
Various Cities
In each one-day class, attendees will learn the basic properties of T-Spline surfaces, multiple approaches for modeling with T-Splines, and how to integrate T-Splines with Rhino and NURBS in a production workflow. Read more »

Solid Edge Huntsville Area Regional Meeting

October 14, 2009
Huntsville, Alabama
This event from PLM World offers Solid Edge users an opportunity to sharpen design skills, learn about Synchronous Technology, take home some new tips and tricks, and meet the Solid Edge support team. 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

ArchiCAD 13 Makes Ground-Breaking Leap in BIM File Sharing
Introducing a bounty of new tools for the ArchiCAD user, version 13 allows multiple users to work in the same model simultaneously, as well as share updates and communicate in real time. Read more »

The Cost of CAD Software Today
You won't find many bargains right now, but you will find some vendors that are being flexible regarding lapsed maintenance contracts. Read more »

The World According to BIM, Part 3
Careful assessment and planning can position your firm for a fool-resistant transition to building information modeling. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

Follow Lynn on TwitterFollow Lynn on Twitter

Do you use any augmented or virtual reality (AR or VR) technologies in your workflow?
Not yet, but we are planning to implement it.
No, but we think these technologies could hold value for us.
No; these technologies do not hold value for us.
Submit Vote

Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition