CAD Manager's Newsletter (#239)

11 May, 2010 By: Robert Green

Programming for CAD Managers, Part 3


Learn how to create command shortcuts with this simple introduction to AutoLISP.

In the last two editions of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I discussed the topic of programming for CAD managers and provided you with skills-assessment criteria and a couple of video-based tutorials about customization. If you haven't had a chance to review the previous installments, I suggest you do so now to gain the proper context.

In this final installment, I'll walk through the all steps of a simple project to introduce you to AutoLISP programming. As you'll see below, AutoLISP is a great way for anyone using an AutoCAD-based program to get started in his or her programming quest. Here goes.

Why AutoLISP?

I know I'm going to receive queries on this subject, so let me provide my answers to the following questions before I dive into the example.

  • Why AutoLISP instead of .NET (Visual Basic)?
  • AutoLISP is specific to AutoCAD — what about other languages?

Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
CAD Managers Unite on Facebook

The lesson is, if you can't find the social networking forum you're seeking, make your own!

I received a good deal of feedback in response to my recent advice to use LinkedIn or Facebook to network with your peers. However, to my great surprise, there was no CAD management-specific group on Facebook.

That's not true anymore!

You can now join the "CAD Managers Unite!" group on Facebook and participate in my social media experiment. 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

Wohlers Industry Report Analyzes Additive Manufacturing
Consulting firm Wohlers Associates has published Wohlers Report 2010 ($475), a 250-page analysis of the newest developments and trends in additive manufacturing (AM) worldwide. According to the report, annual unit sales of AM systems worldwide grew by an estimated 13.9%.

GlobalSpec Economic Survey Finds Tech Sector Optimistic
GlobalSpec, a specialized search engine, information resource, e-publishing, and online events company, has conducted an economic outlook survey of more than 2,000 engineering, technical, manufacturing, and industrial professionals in the United States. The results are available in a free research report, "2010 Economic Outlook Survey: How Industrial Companies Can Succeed in the Current Economy."

Bentley Publishes Information Management Whitepaper
Bentley Systems has released "Interoperability Platform," a whitepaper examining an information management strategy that enables infrastructure project managers to achieve seamless information flow among siloed project information management systems and applications.

Autodesk Updates Sustainable Design Center
Autodesk has relaunched its Sustainable Design Center, which provides information about clean tech development, green manufacturing, sustainable urban development and design, and green consumer products, as well as sustainability challenges facing Autodesk customers, and Autodesk products and solutions that address those challenges.

:: Events

Accelerate 2010: Riverbed Performance Summit
May 19–21, 2010
Las Vegas, Nevada
This event comprises education about wide-area network optimization, partner marketing and sales training, and a cloud performance track. Read more »

PLM Road Map 2010
September 28–29, 2010
Plymouth, Michigan
At PLM Road Map 2010, attendees can join the Collaborative Product Development Associates team to learn which issues are confronting end users in design and engineering. Read more »

Capture 3D Users Group Conference and 3D Metrology Workshop
October 6–7, 2010
Newport Beach, California
The goal of this fourth biannual conference is to provide tips, techniques, and solutions to improve internal processes in order to maximize return on investment. Topics will include 3D scanning, quality control, inspection, and reverse engineering. 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

Building a More Sustainable Print Paradigm
With help from Océ, HGA Architects and Engineers is reconciling its demand for large-format printing with its commitment to environmental stewardship. Read more »

Newforma Project Center Seventh Edition Beefs Up E-mail Support, Server Power, and Remote User Functionality
Project information management solution works with any CAD or BIM option to facilitate integrated project delivery for AEC. Read more »

GIS Gets Civil — Civil 3D, That Is
Easy import of AutoCAD Civil 3D data into a geographic information system (GIS) using FME from Safe Software is the key to cleaner, richer data for the Township of Langley. Read more

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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