CAD Manager's Newsletter (#238)

28 Apr, 2010 By: Robert Green

Programming for CAD Managers, Part 2


Don't be intimidated — online resources and starter projects will help you learn the basics of customization.

In the previous installment of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I began a discussion about programming for CAD managers, and I provided a short assessment quiz to help you decide where to begin building your skill set. If you haven't had a chance to review the last issue yet, I suggest you do so before proceeding further with this topic.

In this installment, I'll provide you with some helpful resources and ideas for customization projects you can use to practice your programming skills. Here goes.

Web Resources

Before we explore example projects, let me first suggest some resources that provide online help specific to particular CAD programs. (Please send me any useful links you find so I can add to the list!)

Autodesk Users: Create an account at and look in the Forum and Education sections for a wealth of resources on Autodesk products.

Bentley Users: Go to and use the Wiki tab to locate articles on customization topics. Read more »

:: CADMan's Toolbox: Finding Fellow CAD Managers with Social Media

Social networking sites can help you connect with your peers.

I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, but there are useful resources on these sites that CAD managers can use to correspond and collaborate with their peers through electronic chats, online comments, or even personal communication via e-mail. Social networking sites enable you to find other CAD managers that have the same problems you do so information can be shared. Here are a couple of resources you might want to check out, depending on which sites you belong to (sorry, but I don't do Twitter).


Create your profile (if you don't have one already), then use key phrases like 2D, 3D, and "CAD Manager" to search for groups of interest. Sort through the results to find other users who have the same kinds of issues you do; then you can send requests for connections to these users to build your network. 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

Free Video Tutorials Demo Use of 3D Mice in SolidWorks, CATIA
I GET IT, an engineering knowledge management portal designed by Tata Technologies, has added two series of videos with tutorials on using 3Dconnexion 3D mice in SolidWorks and CATIA. Design engineers can visit the site to sign up for a free account to access online training videos.

CIMdata Releases PLM Report on Dassault Systèmes' V6 Platform
CIMdata, a product lifecycle management (PLM) consulting and research firm, has released a free report entitled "Dassault Systèmes' V6 Platform TCO." This review presents CIMdata's perspectives on why the V6 platform from Dassault Systèmes is important in the current PLM market, and how it provides tangible and important benefits to — and lowers the TCO (total cost of ownership) of PLM for — companies that adopt V6.

AutoCAD Migrates to .NET; Visual Basic Module Available for v2011
As Autodesk phases out support for VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) in AutoCAD and transitions to .NET, VBA macros will not work in AutoCAD 2011 unless the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications Module is installed on your system or enterprise network. VBA components are available for AutoCAD 2010 and all industry-specific versions of AutoCAD as well.

Realistic Simulation Webinars Available on Demand from SIMULIA
SIMULIA, a Dassault Systèmes brand, is offering on-demand webinars to help users gain insight into solving challenging engineering problems, improving product performance, reducing physical prototypes, and driving products to market more quickly. Recently added topics include:

  • Simulation-Driven Design for Containers
  • Simulation Solutions for Spacecraft and Satellites
  • Accelerate Cost-Effective Development of Wind Energy
  • Abaqus for CATIA V5R20 Highlights.

:: Events

Autodesk 2011 Seize the Opportunity Seminar
May 4–6, 2010
Various cities
At these executive/manager-track seminars from MasterGraphics, attendees will learn how Autodesk 2011 building information modeling solutions can help users design more sustainable, innovative buildings. Read more »

3D Test Drive
May 6–14, 2010
Various cities
Stratasys and NextEngine are hosting a free 3D scanning and printing seminar at various locations around North America. Read more »

Be Together: The Be Communities 'Live' Conference
May 17–20, 2010
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This community-minded event will be built on the ideas of members of Bentley's Be Communities networking site, as well as of Bentley User Groups around the world. The event will promote career and professional development and provide networking opportunities. 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

Keytech Brings PLM within Reach of SMBs
Scalable, modular solution goes beyond document management, extending the value of CAD data across small and midsized engineering organizations. Read more »

The Future of Software for AEC? Autodesk's Direction Offers Some Clues
At an international media event, the company reveals insight and trends that are driving its product development. Read more »

AMD Strengthens Foothold in Professional Graphics Market with New ATI FirePro V8800
New card with ATI Eyefinity multimonitor technology supports up to double the display real estate with 2.6 teraflops of compute performance in a single card. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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