Manufacturing

MCAD Tech News #161

15 Dec, 2005


Cadalyst MCAD Tech News

A Tale Of Two CAD Books

Third-party CAD software guides on KeyCreator, SolidWorks are worth your time, money

OK, I’ll admit it: I like to read technical and engineering books. As a matter of fact, I prefer these types of books over fiction, biographies and most other more popular choices. I especially like instructional CAD books because I can appreciate how difficult they are to write. They usually must appeal to a broad range of readers with widely varying needs, expectations, skill levels and work requirements.

I recently received review copies of two new CAD books: Doctor Walt’s KeyCreator 5 Introductory Guide and SolidWorks for Dummies. Both are intended primarily for new users and are well-priced, but each has a different focus and approach. It’s also interesting to note that the authors have different backgrounds and current positions: SolidWorks for Dummies is written by Greg Jankowski, a SolidWorks employee, and Doctor Walt’s KeyCreator 5 Introductory Guide is written by Walt Silva, an independent producer of a variety of books and training materials, including a SolidWorks book. I do prefer the slightly more objective approach usually taken by independent authors.

Are training books such as these really necessary, given that most CAD products are fairly well documented with online Help, tutorials, user guides that ship with a product and so on. I usually answer yes, especially for new users, because the documentation that comes with CAD products is usually not in-depth, doesn’t cover tips and tricks well, can be difficult and confusing to navigate, is sometimes incorrect, and overall, often doesn’t provide adequate answers to questions you have.

On the other hand, third-party CAD books are usually written by authors who have a lot of practical experience with the software, often allowing discussion of nuances and problem areas. These books are usually step-by-step, procedural texts meant to be read cover to cover, or references intended to be used as needed. That’s exactly what we have here – the KeyCreator book is an introduction and the SolidWorks book is a reference.

So, let’s take a look at these two new books. Read more >>


MCAD Modeling Methods: Mechanical CAD Checkup

by By Mike Hudspeth, IDSA

The tendency in assessing the state of the mechanical CAD industry is to focus on numbers – how financially healthy are the companies that provide design tools. This information comes in handy when trying to decide whether to stay with your current program or jump to something else. But users are interested in more than dollars and market share – they want to know about the mechanical design tool themselves. What can we expect today in terms of current and planned features, ease of use, cost and other factors?Read more >>  


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events
LMS Conference Europe
March 22-23, 2006

Munich, Germany
Presented by LMS International, event is designed for manufacturing engineers. Keynote speakers and other presenters will share innovative views on product development and functional performance engineering.

LMS Conference U.S.
April 4-5, 2006

Detroit, Michigan
Presented by LMS International, event is designed for manufacturing engineers. Keynote speakers and other presenters will share innovative views on product development and functional performance engineering.

LMS Conference China
May 31-June 1, 2006

Beijing, China
Presented by LMS International, event is designed for manufacturing engineers. Keynote speakers and other presenters will share innovative views on product development and functional performance engineering.

LMS Conference Japan
September 13-14, 2006

Nagoya, Japan
Presented by LMS International, event is designed for manufacturing engineers. Keynote speakers and other presenters will share innovative views on product development and functional performance engineering.

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here>>


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Online Archives:Click here to view an online version of this newsletter and past issues of MCAD Tech News.

Cadalyst's Latest Quick Poll -- Do You Expect a Pay Raise in 2006? Take our poll now -- go to any Cadalyst Web page (Quick Poll appears near bottom). Then see the results in the January 2006 edition of Cadalyst magazine's "Cadfidential," our behind-the-scenes look at the world of CAD.

PLM Strategies -- The SMB Serenade: PLM for small and midsize businesses.

Inventor In-Depth: Inventor's tricks for zooming, creating new parts, switching geometry and sharing your files may feel familiar.

Alibre Options: Create custom symbols in Alibre Design.


AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a different AutoCAD feature in every edition of her popular "Circles and Lines" tutorial series. For even more AutoCAD how-to, check out Lynn's quick tips in the Cadalyst Video Gallery. Subscribe to Cadalyst's free Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!
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