CAD Manager's Newsletter (#314)

22 Jan, 2014 By: Robert Green

The Peer-to-Peer CAD Manager, Part 2

To improve your relationship with your CAD users, become a reliable resource for technical solutions and interdepartmental collaboration.

In the previousCAD Manager's Newsletter, I defined the term "peer-to-peer CAD manager" and gave some helpful strategies for those who fit the description. If you haven't had a chance to read through it, you may want to do so before you proceed.

In this expansion on the topic, I'll give some additional tips for CAD managers — peer-to-peer or otherwise — who want to build a better rapport with their CAD users. After all, even if you do have the authority to function as a CAD manager, there's still no better way to operate than by gaining the respect of your users. Here goes.

Become the Hub

In the last edition, I talked about being the go-to resource for your users. Obviously you want people to view you as a credible source of solutions for their technical problems, but to expand this reputation to your advantage, you should become the hub of all workplace knowledge. This means that you're not only viewed as the provider of solutions, but also as a key figure in cross-departmental coordination. What I've always striven for is this reaction: "I don't know how he figures all this out, but somehow he does."

The challenge is to find someone within every functional department who thinks this way about you. Then you can start encouraging all those people to see you as the obvious choice for a cross-departmental liaison. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox

Try FreeCommander, the Free File Manager

The subject of this CAD Manager's Toolbox was suggested by Wes Webber via the CAD Managers Unite! Facebook group, in response to my request for cool utilities and low-cost programs to help CAD managers do their jobs.

FreeCommander is a file management tool that uses a side-by-side display that (as Mr. Webber noted) reminds me of XTree Pro from the old DOS days. Many things I used to be able to do with XTree (like making snapshots, creating Favorites folders, running batches, etc.) I can now do again with FreeCommander.

Free Commander

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

TraceParts Teams with IronCAD to Launch Online Portal
Digital engineering 3D content company TraceParts and IronCAD, a provider of design productivity solutions, have launched a free online parts library for users of IronCAD software. The new portal is directly accessible through the IronCAD 2014 interface, and features more than 100 million parts.

:: Events

AeroDef Manufacturing Summit and Exposition 2014
February 25–27, 2014
Long Beach, California
This Society of Manufacturing Engineers event, dedicated to aerospace and defense manufacturing, will feature an additive manufacturing/3D printing resource center. 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 »

SPAR International
April 14–17, 2014
Colorado Springs, Colorado
The 11th annual SPAR International conference will introduce attendees to the latest tools and information for using the newest 3D technologies to drive efficiency and mitigate risk. 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

Autodesk University 2013, part 3: Autodesk Shores Up BIM Offerings
Company highlights acquisitions, other efforts to bridge gaps in building and civil engineering workflows. Read more »

AutoCAD's Valuable Oops Command
The Oops command has been in AutoCAD since the very beginning — but few users know how to take advantage of it. Join Autodesk Evangelist Lynn Allen as she shows you just when the Oops command can come in really handy! Watch the video »

HP Builds Touch Capability into Second-Generation Z1 Workstation
Nearly two years ago, HP unveiled the Z1, an all-in-one professional workstation whose design eliminated the distinction between computer and monitor. Today, HP launched the second generation of that space-saving form factor, with the addition of touch capability and Thunderbolt peripheral connection ports. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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