CAD Manager's Newsletter (#341)

15 Apr, 2015 By: Robert Green

Despite Marketing Hype, CAD Users Adopt New Technologies Cautiously


Find out which technologies are being adopted at a faster rate.

I often participate in conversations with other CAD managers about the adoption of new technology. One of the topics that often comes up is exactly how far along everyone is with implementing new tools such as cloud-based CAD, building information modeling (BIM), pay-for-service software, etc. After all, we all read about these trendy technologies, so we logically wonder how widely adopted they are.

The interesting thing about these conversations is that they invariably lead us all to agree that the euphoric hype we read about doesn't match the reality we see in our offices. We are often left scratching our heads, wondering why the companies we work with seem so far behind the market buzz. Is it just that our companies that are slow to adopt new technology, or is the phenomenon more widespread?

Market Data

In the past two weeks, two very interesting pieces of industry news came out that validate the theory that technology adoption occurs much more slowly than PR agencies and software companies would have us believe.

The first is the Business Advantage Group's 2015 Worldwide CAD Trends Survey report (see also Business Advantage CAD Trends Survey Results). CAD professionals can download a freely accessible, high-level report of the results using this link.

The survey evaluated professionals' awareness and use of various technologies including 3D modeling, BIM, and 3D printing. Image courtesy of the Business Advantage Group.

According to the company, the survey was completed by 635 professionals from around the world in various disciplines during late 2014. It covers 15 technology categories, including 3D modeling, BIM, cloud-based CAD, simulation, 3D printing, open-source CAD, and augmented/virtual reality computing. The topics are ranked by awareness, importance, and current and intended adoption to reveal their trends and growth potential, including comparison to the prior year's survey results.

As most of my CAD manager acquaintances and I have discussed, the types of technologies we see being adopted (as seen in the first column of the table below) are shown to have above-average adoption rates in the CAD Trends 2015 survey. But the really interesting things to note are the highly hyped technologies that aren't enjoying widespread adoption, as seen in the right-hand column below. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox

Business Advantage CAD Trends Survey Results

Since CAD managers are responsible for reporting technology trends to their senior management teams, it always pays to have good statistical information on hand with which to do so. One such source is the Business Advantage Group's 2015 Worldwide CAD Trends Survey.

In this report a wide range of technology trends that affect CAD users (such as building information modeling (BIM), product lifecycle management (PLM), 3D printing, and cloud-based computing) are ranked in terms of market awareness and actual adoption. In essence, this report shows the disparity between marketing hype — which often inflates or exaggerates rates of adoption — and reality. Read more »

Do you have a helpful tip, recommendation, or question for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at If I use your tip in the newsletter, you'll receive a Cadalyst prize!

:: Resources

AMD Publishes Guide for Customizing Enduro Workstation Graphics Settings
Computing hardware developer AMD announced the release of an online guide for users who want to customize their AMD Enduro switchable graphics mode settings on mobile workstations. According to the company, AMD Enduro technology was developed to boost graphics performance when users need it, while consuming very little power when not in use.

Wohlers Associates Updates Annual 3D Printing Industry Report
Wohlers Associates, an additive manufacturing and 3D printing consulting firm, announced the publication of its Wohlers Report 2015. According to the report, the market for additive manufacturing grew 35.2% to $4.1 billion in 2014. The industry expanded by more than $1 billion in 2014, with 49 manufacturers producing and selling industrial-grade additive manufacturing machines. The full report is available for purchase from the Wohlers website.

3D Hubs Offers Monthly 3D Printing Trend Reports
3D Hubs, a company that connects 3D printer owners with potential customers, has released its April 2015 3D Hubs Trend Report about the 3D printing industry. The report, available on the 3D Hubs website, includes information on the most popular 3D modeling software as well as the highest-rated 3D printers. Those who enter their e-mail address can receive these reports from the company every month.

:: Events

3D Scanning for CAD
April 21, 2015
11 a.m. PT
This NextEngine webinar will demonstrate the workflow of scanning and converting mesh scan data into editable CAD solids using RapidWorks software. Read more »

SolidWorks Top-Down Assembly Design Webinar
April 22 and 30, 2015
Various times
In this 25-minute SolidWorks webinar by SolidProfessor, attendees will learn how to control the display of components in Edit Part mode. Read more »

COE 2015 Annual PLM Experience and TechniFair
April 26–29, 2015
Charleston, South Carolina
This COE event offers education, training, networking opportunities, and best practices presented by and for the users of Dassault Systemes suite of Product Lifecycle Management software solutions. COE (formerly the CATIA Operators Exchange) is an international, professional organization dedicated to uniting the users of Dassault Systemes software solutions. Read more »

Wire / Harness Design Automation Basics II
April 29, 2015
2 p.m. ET
This Zuken webinar will discuss the physical aspect of the wire harness design process. Read more »

CIMdata Simulation & Analysis Knowledge Council Workshop
April 29–30, 2015
Peoria, Illinois
At this event, CIMdata users will share the ways in which they have deployed simulation and analysis to facilitate product and manufacturing system development. 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

First Look Review: BOXX APEXX 2 2401
Powerfully configured workstation features service, support, and attention to detail that justify the price tag. Read more »

GTC 2015: NVIDIA Serves Current CAD Computing Models, Builds Out New Options, Part 2
NVIDIA is not alone in pursuing virtual workstation technologies, which promise to make large projects available at any time to team members around the globe. Read more »

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Inventor's New Joint Connections
Inventor's Joint Connections are easier to use and have more flexibility compared to Constraints. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

Add comment

Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition