CAD Manager's Newsletter (#393)

10 Oct, 2017 By: Robert Green

Don't Be Penny Wise and Workstation Foolish, Part 1

Professional, powerful CAD workstations are cheap when you realize how much wasted time they can help avoid. Here's how to determine their true value to your company and make a case to your boss for better equipment.

Editor's note: This article, the first in a series, is the written counterpart to Robert Green's webinar, "Don't Be Penny Wise and Workstation Foolish," presented live on October 4, 2017.

Don't Be Penny Wise and Workstation FoolishThere's an old saying that goes, "Don't be penny wise and pound foolish" — meaning, it's unwise to save a little money today if it results in a lot of wasted money over the long run. In the CAD world, we'd be well served to co-opt our own version of this phrase, "Don't be penny wise and workstation foolish." It describes one of the worst yet most common trends I see: expensive employees weighed down by old computers that would work better as boat anchors than as CAD support.

Do you have trouble getting your company to update your old computers to modern workstations? In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, we'll begin a series that makes the case that "saving" money by using old, clunky computers actually costs more over the long term — particularly when the cost of CAD and engineering labor is considered. Interested? Here goes.

When Is Spending Cheaper Than Not Spending?

Believe it or not, there is a scenario where spending really is cheaper than not spending, and that's when you save enough money over time to more than compensate for the up-front cost. How can this be possible? Think about a few real-world cases:

  • Getting a $100 tune-up on your car to save $150 a year in gas.
  • Replacing old light bulbs with $3 LED bulbs to save $7 in electricity each year.

Do the tune up and light bulbs cost money? Yes. But does the expense make sense given the long-term savings? Absolutely!

When you think about the savings to be gained with some small investments, another old saying applies: "A penny saved is a penny earned." Read more »


Tools and Resources

Live Today at 2 p.m. ET: Autodesk Presents Product Design & Manufacturing Collection Tour
Hosted by Cadalyst and sponsored by Autodesk, this presentation will feature Autodesk product marketing manager Jim Byrne and senior technical marketing specialist Jay Tedeschi giving a guided tour of the Autodesk Product Design & Manufacturing Collection. Topics will include:

  • A firsthand overview of the collection, including the new Autodesk Nastran In-CAD and Autodesk Inventor HSM
  • Tips on how to get the most out of new features and enhancements
  • Ideas for improving your design quality and streamlining your workflow.

Register now.


What's New at

NVIDIA's Long Game:
The Evolution from GPU Maker to AI Computing Company, Part 2

Tony Paikeday explains where NVIDIA is taking graphics processing units (GPUs), and where artificial intelligence (AI) will take CAD users. Read more »

Dassault Systèmes Promotes End-to-End Model-Based Design with SOLIDWORKS 2018
Latest version of the 3D design and engineering software portfolio keeps the focus on the complete design-to-manufacturing process, and pursues a future of further integration and automation in design. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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