CAD Manager's Newsletter (#467)

12 May, 2021 By: Robert Green

Dear IT: (An Email from Your CAD Manager)


How to communicate your needs with your IT department so everyone wins! 

Do you ever have troubles coordinating CAD tools and issues with your information technology (IT) department? Of course you do, because CAD has become much more IT-intensive in recent years. Here are just a few of the things that’ve caused me heartburn: Cloud accounts, named user licensing, VPNs, remote work access, virtual machines, and the like.

I get a lot of questions from CAD managers asking how best to deal with these sorts of issues and how to communicate better with IT. In this edition of The CAD Manager’s Newsletter, I’m giving you a sample Dear IT email you can use as a template to lay out all of your concerns to IT. Here goes.

Image source: onephoto/

Dear IT:

It’s me, Robert Green, the CAD manager. I’m the guy who’s always asking you about plotters, network permissions, cloud accounts, OneDrive/Dropbox accounts, and such. And, yes, I’m the guy who deals with all those 40MB scanned aerial images and point clouds that bring our wide area network (WAN) and VPN connections to a crawl. When I’m not dealing with these issues, I’m responding to user training requests, schedule changes, and senior management pressure to get everything done faster. I say this not to complain, but just so you know the pressure I’m under and why I’m sometimes stressed when I have to come to you for help.

In an effort for forge a better relationship with you, bother you less, and make everything run more smoothly for everyone, I’d like to explain how you could help me to help you.


About Privileges and Security

My position in the company is not as a general employee, as I am in charge of the entire CAD team. Because of this, my login privileges should reflect that reality. If I’m not given adequate privileges to solve common daily problems, then I have no choice but to bother you every time I need to fix something.

What I need. I’m expected to support users and make things work right away. Project schedules and deliverables depend on my being able to make things happen. Project managers yell at me when things don’t work and they don’t like hearing that I can’t fix problems because my login doesn’t allow me to. Therefore, please set my permissions as such:

  • Administrative level permissions to overwrite/delete files, install drivers, uninstall/reinstall software, apply software service packs, etc., without having to contact IT.
  • Access all network drives at all offices.
  • Manage printer/plotter file queues and drivers.
  • Add peripherals (portable drives, scanners, etc.) to user computers without having to contact IT.

The long and short of it is that any problem I can fix without having to contact you means one less problem for IT and one happier CAD user and/or project manager. Conversely, any problem that you don’t allow me to fix will result in an angry call and an unhappy user. I promise I won’t abuse the privilege; I just want to get things done.


Building Trust

Hand in hand with security comes trust. If I don’t have the privileges mentioned above, then it must mean you don’t trust me to perform these tasks. If that’s the case, please consider the following:

  • Management trusts me to get all our CAD work done.
  • Management trusts me to interact with clients and vendors to complete projects on time.
  • Management trusts me to set budgets, purchase software and perform training.
  • Users trust me to help them complete their CAD projects.

If management and users alike trust me to manage huge projects with all sorts of client and financial liability, why can’t you trust me to manage the common daily IT challenges that impact CAD? If you need me to complete some training, I’m happy to do so, to help build trust with you.


Please, Don’t Just Change Stuff

While it may seem like a printer change or adding a new server would be transparent, the reality is that each change causes disruption in our workflow. What do I mean by this? Consider the following:

You know how that “simple printer switch to a new system PDF driver” change last week was supposed to be transparent to the users? It wasn’t. All my custom plotting routines continued to use the old driver parameters, so nothing worked correctly after the switch.

Keep reading to find out how to ask your IT department to work with you to keep your CAD team working smoothly, and how you can help IT.  Read more»


Tools and Resources

AM Tech Forum

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is hosting the all-new AM Tech Forum on Thursday, June 17, 2021, to help engineers, product designers, manufacturers, and technology professionals find out more about additive manufacturing and 3D printing. The interactive virtual event will feature up to 30 new product and service demonstrations and connect participants with experts and solutions to their AM challenges. Confirmed sponsors/exhibitors include Carbon, GE Additive, and more.
Read more 
» ▼▼▼

New Ansys Training Program

Rand Simulation, a division of Rand Worldwide, has announced its launching of the Ansys Development and Ongoing Proficiency Training (ADOPT) program. Rand Simulation developed this program to provide customers using the Ansys simulation toolset along with on-going help ranging from onboarding to navigating complex projects. With guidance from a dedicated Rand Simulation expert in fluids, structures or electronics, the ADOPT program drives both individual and team productivity and innovation in product development through collaboration with a dedicated subject-matter-expert. Read more»


Eurocom Mobile Workstation

Eurocom launched the EUROCOM Sky Z7 R2, based on the Intel Z590 Express chipset, features the NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs with up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 ($3,199). This mobile computer is available with choice of desktop-level 11th generation, Tiger Lake, Intel CPUs (up to i9-11900K), up to 128GB DDR4 memory, and up to 32TB of NVMe storage (PCIe 4.0 is supported). The EUROCOM Sky Z7 R2 features high-speed Thunderbolt 4 technology along with a multitude of I/O ports, unmatched security, as well as award-winning network detection and prioritization via Killer E3000, with speeds up 2.5 Gbps. Read more»



— By Roger Penwill

Welcome back, Roger Penwill! We're pleased to again be highlighting the lighter side of our CAD world. Laugh more!


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2021 Fabulous Freebies for CAD Users

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The latest edition of the “Fabulous Freebies for CAD Users” guide has something for everyone, including unit converters, file and text utilities, PDF converters, BIM tools, CAD management tools, and more!  
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About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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