CAD Manager's Newsletter (#319)

8 Apr, 2014 By: Robert Green

AutoCAD 2015 Designed to Fine-Tune Workflows

Updates to AutoCAD 2015 are geared toward optimization — helping you do your job, not trying to change how you work.

I'm aware that CAD managers support a variety of software, so I usually keep the CAD Manager's Newsletter product-agnostic. But, because so many of us have to manage AutoCAD to some extent, I'll make an exception for the introduction of AutoCAD 2015.

You can read more about AutoCAD 2015's new features here if you want to get a broad idea of what's in the release. For our purposes, I'll focus on how I expect the new release will affect CAD managers. Here goes.

Initial Impressions

When a new version of AutoCAD is unveiled, you never know what the focus will be. So, when I finally got my hands on AutoCAD 2015, I had no idea what I'd find. I did wonder if the emphasis would be on cloud technology (that many aren't using yet) or collaborative functions (based around messaging systems that haven't been widely embraced). In short, I questioned whether the new AutoCAD would hit the mark with users.

Now that I've worked with the new release for about a week, I am impressed. It isn't a bold release packed with a bunch of startling new commands, but rather a welcome optimization release.

AutoCAD 2015 is geared toward refining the user experience rather than changing how the user operates. In other words, Autodesk seems to have focused on making their tools work in ways that support how users actually work. I'm pleased that Autodesk is listening to its users! Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox

Give Your CAD/BIM Systems the Dog Food Test

I recently sat in on a presentation by Joanna Cook, Autodesk user experience director, where she talked about the concept of "dog food-ing" your software. When pressed for details about the phrase, she relayed the story of pet food manufacturers that make their engineers and production staff eat the dog food they produce. The mantra is, "If we won't eat it, we don't expect your dog to eat it either."

While I can't fathom eating a bowl of kibble, I do think there's value in the CAD/building information modeling (BIM) equivalent for CAD managers: using your own software configuration in production.

Follow this approach to see things the way your users do when they utilize your software systems: 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

Free DataNumen Software Repairs Damaged DWG Files
DataNumen has released DataNumen DWG Recovery v 1.1, a free Windows application that repairs corrupted or damaged DWG files created by AutoCAD and similar software products. DataNumen DWG Recovery can fix more than 50 types of objects in DWG files, and can recover deleted objects. This version includes support for files in formats from AutoCAD Release 2004 through 2006.

:: Events

Solid Edge University 2014
May 12–14, 2014
Atlanta, Georgia
Those who register for Solid Edge University by March 28 can save $50 on their registration fee. A three-for-two deal is also available. Read more »

The Big M
June 9–12, 2014
COBO Center, Detroit, Michigan
The Big M, a manufacturing event organized by SME, is designed as a springboard for organizations and potential new partnerships in business. Read more »

North American Revit Technology Conference
June 19–21, 2014
Chicago, Illinois
This fourth annual, three-day event will offer an opening plenary session and keynote address and multiple concurrent sessions. 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

MicroStation Video Tutorial:
Link Data Between MicroStation and an Excel Spreadsheet

In this lesson, author Peter Mann walks viewers through the process of importing data from Microsoft Excel into a Bentley MicroStation project. Read more »

MicroStation Video Tutorial:
Annotation Scaling in Bentley MicroStation v8i

In this tutorial, Professor Peter Mann shows how to use MicroStation's Annotation Scale functionality, which can automatically manage the size of your text in relation to your drawings as they are modified. Read more »

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial:
Sketched Symbols in Autodesk Inventor — Follow the Leader

Keep quantities callouts and other sketched symbols attached to the balloon — that way, everything stays put when you adjust views. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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