CAD Manager's Newsletter (#309)

8 Oct, 2013 By: Robert Green

Stand Up for Job Satisfaction

If CAD management frustrations have pushed you to the breaking point, you can face the problem head-on — but understand the risks first.

In the previous edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I addressed the trend of CAD managers questioning their career choice and having second thoughts about dealing with increasing expectations and decreasing resources. For more perspectives on this decline in job satisfaction, I posed the question, "Are you frustrated with your CAD management career?" on my CAD Managers Unite! Facebook group. Here are some of the responses I received:

Yep! Over that last 3 years, with the rise of the mighty IT departments, a decline in customization requirements, frustration with the lack of understanding or forethought from upper management, and a steady but not booming economy, I've changed my career to focus on technical project management, training, and integrated design. I'm not even certain I can call myself a CADD manager anymore?! — J.B.

Frustrated with being charged with setting and supporting the standards but lacking the backing to enforce them. — T.S.

A few years back I was frustrated, disheartened, and disappointed with my CAD career. Having studied long and hard and then applied what was learnt to everyday work. Felt let down by the lack of support and understanding from senior management in the companies I worked for. Much better now since starting my own outsourcing company. We have correct software/hardware/training and CAD standards that enable us to do our jobs properly. — M.P.

I also got frustrated with decision makers not realizing how important CAD managers are. I started my own outsourcing company as well. I have real satisfaction now in providing great service to my clients, who appreciate it. — J.P.B.

I also have been frustrated by my CAD management career, to the point to where I have gone back to school for a career change. The continued lack of support from management and the end users is too much. Users and management are not staying with the times, and expect you to do wonders with very little time and support and resources. To further the problems, when they decide they want to upgrade and create standards, they usually do not have a clue what they are actually asking for, or even what the software is capable of doing. — C.A.

Having read through the comments, there's little to add as everyone seems to have a similar experience — charged with standardizing and streamlining drawing production but given little time to prepare or configure, and little or no buy-in from the end users. Frustrating!! — M.A.Read more »

:: Resources

Free E-Book: Engineering Survival Guide
What does the future hold for engineers? One thing we know for sure: It will change! A free 40-page e-book from Lifecycle Insights, Engineering Manager's Survival Guide, outlines the trends and technologies that are shaping engineering and what you can do to support your future in the field. To get it, simply complete this 20-minute survey on Simulation Driven Design.

:: Events

Let's Go Design: Sheet Metal and Weldments
October 14, 2013
2 p.m. ET
This free webinar from Fisher/Unitech will demonstrate how SolidWorks can be applied in the sheetmetal and weldments field. Topics will include managing structural members with weldments and managing formed parts. Read more »

Westec 2013
October 15–17, 2013
Los Angeles, California
At Westec, sponsored by The Society of Manufacturing Engineers, attendees will meet experts who can help apply cutting-edge equipment, make sense of lean methods, and manufacture with composites, titanium, and other advanced materials. Read more »

Autodesk University 2013
December 3–5, 2013
Las Vegas, Nevada
This annual conference is designed for users of Autodesk software, including architects, engineers, and designers. The event comprises more than 650 classes, networking receptions, and an exhibit hall featuring more than 150 Autodesk authorized developers, solution providers, and strategic partners. 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

Do You Know a Noteworthy User?
Do you know of a CAD user whose work and life story are inspiring — or are you one yourself? Nominate someone by sending a brief biography to Cadalyst. Selected users will be featured in a Cadalyst User Profile.

Prepare Perfect Polar Arrays in AutoCAD
Join Lynn Allen as she finishes off her trilogy of array video tips by showing you the ins and outs of polar arrays. Watch the video »

First Look Review: Autodesk ReCap
Powerful pair of tools easily turns laser scans and photographs into quality visualizations and high-resolution 3D models. Read more »

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Using Joints in Autodesk Inventor 2014
Don't get bent out of joint about the new tool on the Assemble tab — learn how to use it to your advantage. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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