CAD Manager's Newsletter (#313)

7 Jan, 2014 By: Robert Green

The Peer-to-Peer CAD Manager

Even if you lack the official title, you can still positively influence your workplace if you make the most of interacting with your users.

One of the most frequent conversations I have with CAD managers revolves around serving as a CAD manager in an unofficial capacity. That means facing all the day-to-day challenges of CAD management, but without the benefits of the title — or the authority to do the job.

To help those who are caught in this predicament, I've been thinking about strategies for CAD management conducted solely via peer interactions. In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll pass along some ideas for "peer-to-peer CAD managers" that I've used personally. Here goes.

Be the Go-To Resource

There's an old saying that people only go to a well where there's water. The CAD management analogue to this saying is: Users only to go a CAD manager who knows how to solve their problems. Establishing your technical credibility by making sure your peers understand your expertise is the number-one way to achieve CAD management success, be it peer-driven or not.

Remember, your upper management team will not advertise your skills, so it's entirely up to you to do so. And since they also aren't empowering you with a formal CAD management role, you'll need to do your advertising in a way that requires no authority (and very likely, no budget). Let's take the plunge by exploring some possible methodologies.

User Groups

Wouldn't it be great if you could share tips, ideas, and time-saving work methods with other power users in your company? Furthermore, wouldn't it be great if you could do so in an unofficial way, without time pressures? Of course it would! But how can you pull it off? By creating a user group, that's how. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox

A Guide to Building Rapport

I don't often recommend books, but when I find one that has a strong value for CAD managers, I want to share it. I think Influence and Leadership: Building Rapport in Teams by Michael Nir fits the bill nicely. Read more »

Do you have a question or tip 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!

:: Resources

Online Video Discussion Explores Virtualization Solution
Citrix, a developer of cloud services that enable mobile work styles, has released a video that reviews the benefits of its XenDesktop with HDX 3D Pro for desktop virtualization. Experts from Citrix, NVIDIA, PTC, and IMSCAD (an Autodesk reseller), discuss the technologies for CAD modeling and other high-end graphics applications.

Four New Solidworks and Inventor Plugins Available for Free Trial
Engineering software developer ProtoTech Solutions is offering Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor users a chance to try out four new plugins: OBJ exporter for SolidWorks, WebGL exporter for SolidWorks, Sketchfab Publisher for Solidworks, and Inventor to Sketchfab. Users can download a free six-month trial of each by clicking the link at the bottom of each blog post and submitting the form.

:: Events

Plant Electrical and Raceway Design with Cable Management
January 9, 2014
9 a.m. ET
Viewers of this webinar will learn about the advantages that promisoe and Bentley Raceway and Cable Management (BRCM) offer in the creation of single-line diagrams and cable schedules for plant design. Read more »

SolidWorks World 2014
January 26–29, 2014
San Diego, California
This user event will feature presentations from customers who have been using the new SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual in production environments since June 2013. Read more »

GPU Technology Conference 2014
March 24–27, 2014
San Jose, California
Along with opportunities to learn how to harness the latest graphics processing unit (GPU) technology, this conference will offer face-to-face interaction with industry luminaries and NVIDIA experts. 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

Femap Tutorial: Reverse Entity Visibility in Femap
Switch which entities are displayed and hidden with a single mouse click. Read more »

Femap Tutorial: Move Coincident Nodes in Femap
The Move Only, No Merge option will help you move nodes to be coincident within a tolerance. Read more »

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: iLogic Tools for the Rest of Us
Autodesk Inventor's premier automation tool offers value for nonprogrammers, too. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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