CAD Manager's Newsletter (#231)

12 Jan, 2010 By: Robert Green

New Year, New Resolutions for CAD Managers

When setting your goals for 2010, be sure to take the economy, hardware and software capabilities, and BIM into account.

It's a new year, and that means that it's time to make resolutions to perform better in the workplace. As is my tradition, I'll pass along my predictions for the months to come, along with some resolutions I think will help most CAD managers. I base my opinions on my interactions with CAD managers over the past year, as well as my own judgment based on past experience.

So, in no particular order, here goes.

Little Change on the Economic Horizon
Prediction: Most of the companies I talk to now are somewhat optimistic about the future, but most U.S. firms have a "wait and see" attitude as far as hiring is concerned. That attitude is due in part to several pieces of legislation (including health care mandates and energy taxes) moving through Congress that could have major tax implications. Things may get a little better, but the safest approach is to plan for the same economic environment we're in now, and be pleasantly surprised if things improve.

Resolution: To continue managing your CAD resources with a keen eye on cost control, while planning for any new projects that may come your way. After all, nobody ever got fired for adhering to the budget. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
Archiving Installation CDs and DVDs

Maintaining backups in case of disaster is a chore, albeit an essential one. Make it easier by storing just the files, not the disks themselves.

I recently experienced a machine crash that made me very glad I had the backup disks I needed to recover. After some thought, however, I've decided that I've been spending way too much time and effort keeping track of disks when I could have digitally archived those backup files. I'd like to share my method of archiving disks with you, in the hopes that you too can clean house and manage all your installation disks this way.

Step 1: Locate the original disk (CD or DVD) and the required product installation key information provided with it.

Step 2: Place disk in drive.

Step 3: Use your CD writing software (I use Roxio CD Creator because it came preinstalled on my machine, but you can use whatever you like) and find the Save/Create Image task similar to what I've shown below. Read more »

Do you have a helpful tip or item for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at If I use your tip in the newsletter you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!


Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green


:: Events

Webinar: ArchiCAD 13 — A Revolution in BIM Collaboration
January 21–March 11, 2010
Join Graphisoft for a free webinar showcasing ArchiCAD 13 and building information modeling (BIM). This informational session is designed to introduce architects working in 2D CAD to the basics and benefits of BIM. Read more »

Webinar: Simulating and Optimizing Reaction Forces
January 27, 2010
2 p.m. EST
During Mentor Graphics' complimentary 45-minute webinar, presenter Nate Hanlon will discuss the complexities surrounding the design of a water pump. Read more »

WinEst 2010 User Conference
March 1–3, 2010
Seattle, Washington
Conference attendees can learn more about estimating and industry topics including building information modeling (BIM), and can meet one-on-one with technical support experts. 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

Announcing the Return of Cadalyst Magazine
Longitude Media, the new publisher of Cadalyst, is proud to announce the return of Cadalyst magazine. The great content you expect from Cadalyst is available again in the print format you enjoy. Read more »

Event Report: Autodesk University 2009
In a year when canceled events were not uncommon, Autodesk presses forward and draws nearly 6,000 to Las Vegas and 19,000 to AU Virtual for learning opportunities and technology updates. Read more »

Virtual Clay Turns 3D Modeling into Child's Play
Toy design firm Hot Buttered Elves uses SensAble's FreeForm to create greener decorations for nurseries and children's rooms. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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