CAD Manager's Newsletter (#229)

10 Nov, 2009 By: Robert Green

Straighten Out Multi-CAD Mayhem

A systematic approach will bring order to the chaos of supporting a mixed bag of 2D and 3D applications.

Over the past couple of years I've noticed a growing trend toward what I like to call "multi-CAD mayhem." More and more offices are running a mixture of 2D CAD (typically AutoCAD or Microstation) and a variety of 3D applications (which vary depending on the discipline of the work being done). These days, it isn't unusual at all for a CAD manager in a manufacturing facility to support AutoCAD, Solidworks, and Revit, or for a CAD manager in an AEC firm to support AutoCAD, Microstation, Civil 3D, and Revit. Of course, supporting all these applications can lead to chaos.

Through the next several issues of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll pass along management strategies for optimizing usage, staff training, and file portability with multiple CAD applications. I hope you'll find inspiration to help you deal with your environment, and that you'll share your ideas with me so I can forward your tips along in future editions of the newsletter. Here goes.

What's Changed?

You may be thinking to yourself, "I've been dealing with multiple CAD systems for a long time, why consider the situation mayhem now?" This is a reasonable question, and it has a one-acronym answer: BIM (building information modeling). Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
Free Utility Makes Defragging a Delight

If you're dissatisfied with your disk defragmentation process, IObit's Smart Defrag may be a smart choice.

Is it just me, or has the Disk Defragmenter utility provided with Windows become less robust in Windows XP and Vista? It seems that the utility runs so slow that I don't want to wait for it to run, and I don't want to leave my machines in a powered-on state to let it optimize in an overnight setting mode. Consequently, I haven't been optimizing my hard drives as often as I'd like.

That has changed with a really cool, free utility from IObit called Smart Defrag, which I've been using on my XP legacy machine and Vista laptop for the past month. You can download Smart Defrag directly from IObit. Read more »

Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

:: Resources

Can't Attend AU 09? Be Part of AU Virtual Instead

Not everyone can travel to Las Vegas to attend Autodesk University (AU) 2009. So this year, Autodesk is introducing AU Virtual, a web-based event that originates at the AU 2009 Conference in Las Vegas. By streaming select classes and content from AU 2009 directly to your desktop, AU Virtual offers a way to obtain practical skills, industry knowledge, and professional contacts.


Roland DGA Creative Center Opens

Roland announced the opening of the Roland DGA Creative Center in Irvine, California. This gallery of innovative applications is on display in the company’s headquarters. The Center brings together the work of screen printers, sign makers, label makers, fabric decorators, product designers, fine artists, engravers, jewelry makers, gift designers, vehicle graphics designers, movie and television set designers, and others whose work demonstrates creativity and craftsmanship.

:: Events


Webinar: Elevate Information Management Throughout the Lifecycle

November 10, 2009
11:00 a.m. EST
In this webinar from FIATECH, case studies will be delivered highlighting Woodside, one of Australia’s largest publicly traded oil and gas E & P companies, and Mustang Engineering, an engineering, design, project, and construction management services company. Read more »

Webinar: Using CAD Data to Smoothly Deliver S1000D-Compliant Documentation

November 11, 2009
9:30 a.m. CST
In this webinar, hosted by Cortona3D, viewers will be shown Cortona3D's Rapid family of tools producing S1000D compliant materials for product maintenance and support. Read more »

Webinar: Mastering Coordination and Constructability in a Hard Bid

November 13, 2009
12 noon EST
This webinar from the Fridays With Vico series is for you and your firm if you want to develop hard bid strategies quickly, but might not have time to develop a BIM.
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

Dedicated Computing Power Improves Rendering Efficiency
When an Indiana AEC firm struggles with a cobbled-together rendering farm, Avatech Solutions prescribes new hardware and software. Read more »

Indian Utility Taps Modeling Software to Solve Water Crisis
Drinking water flows again to 17 million thanks to quick action and a suite of applications from Bentley Systems. Read more »


About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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