CAD Manager's Newsletter (#287)

7 Aug, 2012 By: Robert Green

Does Social Media Belong in CAD Applications?

It's time for a reality check. Social media has its place — but that place is not in your users' CAD software.

In the past, I thought that the CAD tools I used every day were there to help me design buildings, machinery, subdivisions, circuit boards, and other creations. I always believed that great CAD tools enabled me to design more quickly, with higher accuracy, so I could produce better results.

But recently, I've come to understand that I was wrong. It turns out that the CAD tools I use are simply launching pads for the social media content delivered to me via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Socialcam (which was recently bought by Autodesk). At least, this is what the CAD software companies are trying to make us believe, as they push more and more social media feeds.

It seems that every time there's a new fad in the computing world, CAD software vendors hop on the bandwagon. A dozen years ago, they were hyping Internet-enabled CAD. Now, they're trumpeting the value of social media tools for CAD users, and incorporating shortcuts to social media sites in their software products.

As a CAD manager, my concern is that as social media has expanded, I've noticed less work getting done. And based on feedback from a number of CAD and senior managers, it appears I'm not the only one.

In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll address the "social CAD" hype, explore how it affects users, and provide suggestions about how CAD managers can best deal with the situation. Here goes. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Have You Heard Any Good Management Books Lately?

You know that your reading list can affect your job performance — but how can you find the time to keep up with it?

I know you're a busy CAD manager, with an equally busy life outside of work, and you don't have a moment to spare — I have the same problem. But if you don't have any free time, when will you read the management books that will expand your horizons and help you become better at your job?

My answer to this dilemma is simple. Don't read those books — listen to them! Read more »

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

:: Resources

Free Design Viewing Site Now Supports 2D DWG and DXF Files, a free online 3D model sharing and visualization service, now offers 2D DWG and DXF visualization using the SVG (scalable vector graphics) web standard along with a collaborative markup tool. According to the site's developer, VisPower Technology, engineers rely on both 2D and 3D data to complete their design projects.

Quick and Easy All-in-One Video Tips: Something for Every CAD User!
Cadalyst's All-in-One video tips, sponsored by the HP Z1 All-in-One Workstation, combine three useful tips into one quick video. Host Curt Moreno, the Kung Fu Drafter, shares advice on topics ranging from resumes and training to xrefs and sheet sets. Watch the videos »

:: Events

Solid Edge Fundamentals
August 14–17, 2012
Huntington Beach, California
Geared to the mechanical designer, this course introduces the concepts of part, sheet metal, and assembly modeling in the design process. Read more »

ArchitTrek — Project Management Made Easy
August 22, 2012
11 a.m. PT
In this Novedge webinar, presenter Caleb Morrow will examine ArchitTrek Project Management — Option for 1 Project 100 Users, a cloud-based project management solution for the AEC industry. Read more »

CAD Americas Training Days
September 6–October 25, 2012
Various cities
At CAD Americas' 2012 training events, users of Autodesk software products can build their professional skills for architecture, manufacturing, civil engineering, Revit, 3D design, or management applications. The product training comprises best practices, tips and tricks, 2013 product features, and more. 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

AutoCAD 360, Part 3: Collaboration Between Fixed and Mobile Locations
In Part 2 of this series, I showed you some of the functionality of Autodesk 360. We are now going to look at how we collaborate using Autodesk 360, using a fixed location (PC on a network) and a mobile location (iPad on a remote site with Wi-Fi). Read the CADspeed blog post »

Tech Trends: CAD Around the World
Software developers set their sights on China, Brazil, Turkey, and beyond as infrastructure investments spur an increasingly global market. Read more »

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial:
Accurately Report the Factor of Safety in Autodesk Simulation Multiphysics

Adjust your reports to display the simulation results accurately. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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For Mold Designers! Cadalyst has an area of our site focused on technologies and resources specific to the mold design professional. Sponsored by Siemens NX.  Visit the Equipped Mold Designer here!

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