CAD Manager's Newsletter (#317)

12 Mar, 2014 By: Robert Green

An Open Letter to CAD Software Companies,
Part 2: An Overwhelming Response

Readers and CAD companies agree and offer further insight. So, what's next?

In the last edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I presented an open letter to CAD software developers written from the viewpoint of frustrated CAD managers. I expected to receive feedback and agreement from CAD managers everywhere, but the response I've received has been beyond anything I could have imagined.

In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll pass along some of the responses I've received and make some recommendations for how CAD managers can become more involved in the discussion concerning improving the CAD products we all use and manage. Here goes.

Who Responded

Here's who replied:

  • four vice-presidents at one small and three major software companies;
  • one director of workstation development at a major hardware company;
  • four software resellers from the United States and one from India;
  • two publishers (one from India and one from Russia) requesting permission to republish the letter translated for their domestic audiences;
  • six people from the software industry who asked not to be quoted;
  • 47 CAD managers (from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and South Africa) at last count; and
  • countless social media posts on Twitter, the CAD Manager's Unite! page on Facebook, LinkedIn and more.

Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox

New Candidate Screening Tools

I recently fielded this question on my CAD Manager's Unite! Facebook group about screening potential new hires for CAD/BIM competency:

Does anyone have a good suggestion for a CAD test to give to potential new hires for an architectural firm? Something that would be more hands-on drawing rather than just question and answer.

I love this question because it tacitly conveys that only a hands-on evaluation really lets you gauge CAD competency! I knew that the manager asking the question was using AutoCAD, so here was my response:

Give them a project to draw and include a title frame, plotting, and scale parameters in the task. They can capture to PDF for the final submittal. Give them something you could do in 10 minutes and if it takes them more than 25 minutes, that's a problem. Check for accuracy and, for AutoCAD, go backwards through the Command history to gauge their approach.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

ClearEdge3D Posts BIM Webinar for Online Viewing
In a free on-demand webinar titled "Better, Faster As-Built BIMs: Case Studies in Best-Practice Scan-to-Revit Workflows," presenters from PrecisionPoint, Bowman Consulting, and ClearEdge3D provide insights and lessons from as-built building information modeling (BIM) projects.

Bricsys Launches Online Portal for BricsCAD Videos
Bricsys, a provider of DWG engineering design software, has launched Bricsys TV. The new video channel for BricsCAD-related topics offers tutorials, stories, information about compatible apps, and more. The videos are produced by Bricsys and by BricsCAD users.

Bluebeam Software Offering Free Trial of New Revu Release
Paperless workflows solution developer Bluebeam Software is offering a free, 30-day trial of its new Revu v12 collaboration software. The program's new capture feature enables users to add multiple photos to any markup. Revu v12 also includes 3D PDF, a SketchUp Pro plug-in, AutoMark labeling feature, Batch Link document linking, and other new functionalities.

Engineers Can Try CivilCAD 2014 Free
Civil engineers can download a free, 30-day trial of CivilCAD 2014 road design software, which includes roads planning and design, upper and underground infrastructure design and pipes layout tools, earthworks calculations, and more. CivilCAD developer Sivan Design announced that the new release also supports ZWCAD+.

Free Trial of KeyMarkUp Multi-CAD Viewer Available for Download
Kubotek USA has made available a free trial of its newly released KeyMarkUp v12. The multi-CAD viewer enables users to view nearly three dozen file formats and aids in estimating, quoting, collaboration, and communication, without CAD software. Improvements include expanded multi-CAD viewing and export capabilities.

Windows Users Can Download Free Trial of New TurboCAD Pro 21
TurboCAD Pro 21 ($1,495) and TurboCAD Pro Platinum 21 ($1,695) are each available in a free trial version for Windows users. TurboCAD Pro, IMSI/Design's general 2D/3D CAD application for professionals, offers the ability to export data to IFC format and includes significant enhancements for 3D modeling and mechanical design.

:: Events

Take a Big-Picture Look at the Overall CAD/CAM CNC Process Chain
March 25, 2014
9 a.m. PT
At this webinar, Chris Pollack from Siemens Industry will demonstrate important components of this overall CNC process chain. Read more »

Spring 2014 BIMForum
April 23–24, 2014
Boston, Massachusetts
This spring forum will focus on design and engineering to showcase the best examples of collaboration, optimization, and sustainability. Read more »

PTC Creo Data Management
April 28, 2014
10 a.m. PT
This webcast will explore the latest releases of PTC Windchill Solutions for CAD data management. 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

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Uncoiling Inventor's Coil Command
Don't get twisted up over this easy-to-use tool. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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