CAD Manager's Newsletter (#478)

13 Oct, 2021 By: Robert Green

Today’s Hybrid CAD Office, Part 2

How to manage staffing, training, and workflows to keep your hybrid office working smoothly.   

In the last installment of The CAD Manager’s Newsletter, we delved into the complex 2D/3D/BIM/Cloud world of the hybrid CAD office. We focused on the problems that arise in the hybrid environment and started a discussion on how to arrive at the ideal mixture of tools you’ll need. In this edition of the CAD Manager’s Newsletter, we’ll complete our discussion by looking at some specific workflow, staffing, and training strategies you can use to reduce complexity and lower costs in your hybrid CAD environment. Here goes.

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Figuring Out “The Right Blend”

I envision the hybrid CAD office as a blended environment where a wide range of tools and formats come together to form a workable CAD ecosystem. It sounds simple when you say it, but it can be hard to know what the right blend is. Let’s consider the following:

  • What’s 2D, 3D, or BIM? Which work processes are best accomplished with what types of tools?
  • What formats must you deliver? The actual file formats you deliver to your clients (DWG, RVT, DGN, etc.) may also inform what tools you must use to create your finished products. In some cases, the client may be a construction firm that wants PDF files. In another case, the “client” may be a laser cutter that requires DWG file input with all tooling paths implemented as polylines. From these two examples you can see how the output requirements may or may not dictate specific tools.
  • What’s on the Cloud? Will you use cloud-based applications, or regular CAD/BIM tools with the data stored in the Cloud? How will you manage the users and data synchronization required to keep everyone working on the same files?
  • Where are the interface points? Which tools must work together flawlessly to deliver the work? In some cases, BIM tools and 2D CAD tools must be integrated; in other cases, you may need to aggregate data from field instruments or scanned point clouds into CAD tools for design purposes. Knowing which tools you have to interface with is key.
  • What does it all cost? Of course, you’ll want to manage all these different tools at the lowest total cost over time and that will also inform which tools you will use.

It doesn’t sound easy, does it? It isn’t! In fact, it’s a complex equation with many variables that must be solved, so we need some additional constraints to arrive at a solution. Let’s explore how to arrive at the best blended hybrid environment possible.


WhatDoes the Staff Need?

CAD tools change, workstations change, and cloud architectures change, but the one thing that never changes is that your business is only as successful as your staff allows you to be. Or, put another way, you can buy all the hardware, software, and network tools you like, but without good people that are correctly deployed you’ll have nothing but problems. Here then, are some things to consider as you figure out the best blend for your hybrid CAD office.


Review Robert Green's list of what types of users need what software tools, be sure to set standards and train users, plus learn how to best handle data management.  Read more »

IMAGINiT Technologies

Resources: Get More From Your REVIT Projects!

Did you know companies using IMAGINiT Clarity on their Revit projects save an average 200+ hours per project in addition to substantial qualitative benefits? Get to know Clarity in the IMAGINiT Resource Center!

1. Perkins and Will improves innovation and project performance. Read the full story.

2. Stantec realizes efficiency gains. Read the full story.

3. RLF improves visibility and project quality. Read the full story.


Tools and Resources



Siemens Digital Industries Software has released the 2022 version of Solid Edge software, which brings embedded rules-based design automation, greater capabilities to work with point-cloud, mesh and imported data without the need for translation alongside new tools to for 2.5 axis machining and ultra-efficient upfront fluid flow simulation, according to the company. Part of Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio of products, Solid Edge is used for product creation, including 3D design, simulation, visualization, manufacturing, and design management. Read more  » ▼▼▼

WEBINAR: CIMDATA: Why an mBOM Alone Isn’t Sufficient
October 28, 2021, 11:00 EDT | 8:00 PDT
This webinar will delve into some of the issues and problems associated with the single source of truth viewpoint and offer ways to alleviate them. The webinar will also describe other BOMs critical to supporting systems design, digitalization, and digital thread. Register »

The Year in Infrastructure and Going Digital Awards
December 1–2, 2021
Join CEO Greg Bentley, Bentley executives, Siemens, and AEC Advisors for their latest insights during the Year in Infrastructure. Throughout the event, celebrate the digital advancements in infrastructure and sustainability by spotlighting the winners of the 2021 Going Digital Awards in Infrastructure. Attend the event to learn how the people behind the award-winning projects made amazing impacts in cities, energy, mobility, project delivery, and waterRegister » 


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See how OpenSite works on real-world projects.


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What's New at

New GIS Tools Enhance and Simplify Collaboration

GIS and AEC professionals are finding new ways to collaborate and share data, thanks to some recent software rollouts through a partnership between Autodesk and Esri. By Andrew G. Roe  Read more » 

VIDEO: Uncovering the True Cost of Your CAD Software

When calculating the true cost of a CAD tool, upfront software fees are only one part of the equation. Many engineering leaders have come to recognize the huge hidden costs that can impact their bottom line. Watch into this webinar from Cadalyst and Onshape's Mike LaFleche and find out how leading firms are saving money. By Michael LaFleche  Watch video »


BricsCAD® Digital Summit: Discover the Difference

Register for your free ticket to join your peers at the BricsCAD® Digital Summit on 26 October 2021. Find out how the latest BrisCAD® release can help to maximise your design productivity with three hours of exclusive content.

Cadalyst and Z by HP: Generative Design for AEC

Implementing Generative Design for AEC

Cadalyst and Z by HP joined forces to write this white paper on generative design for AEC. Find out how you can get your design firm bought into this technology, what hardware you require, and how to secure funding for any upgrades you may need. 

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    2021 Fabulous Freebies for CAD Users

    Cadalyst's Fab Freebies for
    CAD Users 2021
    Why buy it if you can get it for free!

    The editors of Cadalyst, with help from our contributing editors and readers who are in the CAD trenches day in and day out, have updated everyone's favorite guide to helpful tools and resources that don't cost a cent. 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 performs CAD programming and consulting globally and serves as Director of Implementation for Bricsys. He is the author of Expert CAD Management: The Complete Guide. Reach him via his web site.


      About the Author: Robert Green

      Robert Green

      More News and Resources from Cadalyst Partners

      For Mold Designers! Cadalyst has an area of our site focused on technologies and resources specific to the mold design professional. Sponsored by Siemens NX.  Visit the Equipped Mold Designer here!

      For Architects! Cadalyst has an area of our site focused on technologies and resources specific to the building design professional. Sponsored by HP.  Visit the Equipped Architect here!