CAD Manager's Newsletter (#232)

26 Jan, 2010 By: Robert Green

Make Your CAD Resolutions Stick, Part 1

Are you determined to establish new standards in the New Year? Here are the strategies you need to see your plans through.

In the last edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I made some predictions for the coming months and shared a few resolutions to help guide CAD managers through 2010. In the next two installments, I'm going to focus on strategies that will help you keep those resolutions. I hope you'll find the process thought-provoking. Here goes.

CAD Standards
Among the resolutions I've advocated for 2010 are two that address CAD standards:

Resolution 1: Use standards and standardized work procedures to get all users on the same page and reduce rework.

Resolution 2: To garner senior management support for standards, stress that standards equal savings.

So how can we meet these resolutions with minimum effort, get users to follow standards, and have management help us enforce those standards? These are the key questions that have vexed CAD managers as long as I've been in the business. Allow me to share some strategies that have worked for me over the years.

Step 1: Get Users to Gripe
Encourage your users to complain about the CAD problems they have on a day-to-day basis. Listen closely to that griping to discern which complaints are actually standards problems in disguise. Read more »


:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Standards Enforcement Tools

The Batch Standards Checker is an underused utility that can detect standards violations in DWG files.

No matter what kind of software you run, you probably have a copy of AutoCAD on your machine for one reason or another. And I bet you also have to deliver DWG files to outside firms, receive them from outside firms, or use them in your own company.

So how do you know whether the DWG files you're using actually conform to standards for elements like layers, line types, dimensional styles, and text properties? The Batch Standards tool is the answer. 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


:: Resources

CAD/CAM Site Offers Free Software Demos, Webinars
BobCAD-CAM, a CAD/CAM software provider, offers English and Spanish-language demos of many of the company's software products, including Mill Standard, Mill Pro, BobNEST, and BobART ProX. The BobCAD-CAM web site also includes an archived webinar library, which includes information on BobCAD Basics, BobART Basics, Predator Editor, 2 Axis Lathe, and more.

Research Paper Discusses the Russian MCAD Market
LEDAS and upFront.eZine Publishing announced their first co-published research paper, "The Russian MCAD Market" ($126). The content of this 126-page research paper was collected by upFront.eZine editor Ralph Grabowski during his eight-day tour of Saint Petersburg, Moscow, and Novosibirsk in fall 2009. The research paper is available as a PDF via e-mail.

CIMdata Releases Autodesk Program Review
CIMdata, a product lifecycle management (PLM) consulting and research firm, released a new program review entitled "Autodesk's Evolution as a PLM Solution Supplier." This review provides CIMdata's perspective on the transition that Autodesk is executing to transform itself from a supplier of individual PLM-focused point solutions to a supplier of industry-focused solutions. Copies of the CIMdata review are available at no cost.

View Live Training Sessions from SolidWorks 2010
On February 2, 2010, those who can't attend SolidWorks World 2010 can watch live technical training sessions streamed from the conference through Blue Sky Broadcast. Choose from up to four technical training sessions, including: Ten Essentials You Must Understand to Use SolidWorks Effectively; SolidWorks Crashes and Slowdowns — It's Not Always the Software; Visualization 101 — Basics of Appearances, Materials, and Rendering; and Assemblies — Building Better Models.

:: Events

SolidWorks World 2010
January 31–February 3, 2010
Anaheim, California
Attendees of SolidWorks World 2010 will explore the latest 3D technology offered by more than 100 exhibitors in the SolidWorks Partner Pavillion. Read more »

Pro/ENGINEER Technology Day Workshop Series
February 2–March 16, 2010
Various cities
Attendees can test-drive software, network with peers, win prizes, and "design without barriers" in this workshop series from PTC Software. Read more »

CIMdata PLM Certificate Program
March 8–12, 2010
Andover, Massachusetts
The CIMdata PLM Certificate Program is the flagship offering of CIMdata PLM Leadership, an education and training offering for PLM professionals. 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

What a Difference a D Makes
When it comes to conveying the vision of a building design, Selser Schaefer Architects found that 3D can succeed where 2D fails. Read more »

AU Online Offers GIS Learning on Demand
Autodesk University's online incarnation lets you catch classes at your convenience. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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