CAD Tech News (#124)

1 Apr, 2020 By: Cadalyst Staff

Vendors Alter Plans and Policies to Support CAD Community During COVID-19 Crisis

The companies that supply designers and engineers are changing license terms to support working from home, and taking in-person gatherings online to help keep attendees safe.

By Cadalyst Staff

In just a few short months, the world has changed dramatically. Everyone has been affected in some way as COVID-19 marches around the globe, and the CAD community is no exception.

Here, we've collected updates on some of the many event modifications and software licensing policy changes that can help CAD professionals who have experienced disruptions including layoffs, travel restrictions, and transitions to home offices. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and many plans and policies are in flux right now. Check with your vendor or reseller for the latest information.

In-Person Is Out

Many industry conferences have been canceled, rescheduled, or transformed into online-only virtual gatherings. These include:

•  The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has postponed the AIA Conference on Architecture 2020, which had been planned for May 14–16 in Los Angeles. AIA is exploring options to reschedule the event.
•  The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) postponed its annual conference until next year. The 2021 meeting will be held in Chicago, March 14–18.
•  KeyShot World 2020 has been remade as a virtual event, which is free and open to all. Live-stream sessions are taking place through April 2, and the site offers recorded sessions and downloads of informational materials.
•  NVIDIA opted to make its GPU Technology Conference (GTC) 2020, which was to be held March 22–26, into an online event. GTC Digital is free (apart from workshops and trainings from the NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute), and includes a library of talks, panels, research posters, and demos. New on-demand content will be announced every Thursday starting March 26.
•  PTC's LiveWorx 2020 has been relaunched as a complimentary virtual event on June 9. Site visitors can sign up to receive announcements as the details are worked out. PTC is planning a return to in-person LiveWorx events next year in Boston, on May 10–13, 2021.
•  The 2020 Vectorworks Design Summit, which was scheduled for April 22–24 in San Diego, California, has been canceled. A rescheduling decision has not yet been announced.

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Ten Tips for Success with Online Meetings

From simplifying your CAD environment to smiling, here are ten simple ways you can improve your online meeting experience when you're working from home.

By Lynn Allen

If it isn't rough enough adjusting to working from home, now you need to deal with online meetings! Sure, you've had a few here and there in the past — but now your success with clients and coworkers practically depends on them. I recently taught a series of classes focused on mastering online meetings, and thought perhaps you could use a few insider tips to help you shine during this transition. Hang in there; we'll get through this together!

Whether your company chooses to use Zoom (my favorite), GoToMeeting, Skype, or another application, these tips should come in handy for most any online meeting app. The goal here is to craft an online experience that's as close to a face-to-face meeting as possible, thereby netting the best results.

Tip 1: Log on Early

Online meetings are notorious for having technical issues. (There, I said it!) Start off on the right foot by logging on at least three minutes early — or five, if you're the meeting organizer. You can ensure you have time to load the app, if needed, and to check your speakers, microphone, and webcam (when applicable) before entering the meeting. (This also means you should try to avoid booking back-to-back online meetings.)

If you are the meeting organizer and you open the meeting early (which you should), don't just sit there in silence; be a good host and make small talk. You wouldn't ignore your coworkers and clients in a conference room before a meeting started — would you?

Tip 2: Select an Appropriate Location

Whether you'll be on camera or not, you'll want to choose a location conducive to success: Someplace quiet and free of distractions, with a strong Internet connection. Aim for good lighting and a professional-looking background free of clutter, if there is a chance you might find yourself on camera. It's really as simple as turning around and looking at what is behind you! Some apps, including Zoom, allow you to customize your background — which certainly comes in handy if you don't have a professional-looking location available. (Office in the bathtub, anybody?)

Are you the type that keeps a messy desk? Take the time to be sure that the area behind you is tidy, or use a custom background image instead. Image source: Tetiana Soares/
Are you the type that keeps a messy desk? Take the time to be sure that the area behind you is tidy, or use a custom background image instead. Image source: Tetiana Soares/

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Lynn Allen is the global technology evangelist for Dassault Systèmes.


Epic Games Updates Twinmotion Architectural Visualization Tool
Twinmotion 2020 features new lighting, material, and vegetation options that yield more realistic renderings for communication with project stakeholders, according to the developer. Read more »

AutoCAD 2021 Helps Users Travel into the Past — of Their Drawings
The latest release of Autodesk's venerable 2D/3D CAD software application includes a Drawing History feature, which enables users to see how their drawings have changed over time, and compare past versions with the present. Read more »

CAD Manager Column: Autodesk Delays Implementation of Named-User Licensing Approach
The move from perpetual or floating network licenses to named-user licenses has been pushed out to August 2020, but it is definitely still happening — so CAD managers need to prepare now. Read more »

Herrera on Hardware: The Traditional Computer Memory Hierarchy — and Its Impact on CAD Performance — Are Evolving
The basic tenets of the tried-and-true memory hierarchy still apply, but it's worth knowing how recent disruptors can improve performance — and perhaps shift the traditional balance. Read more »


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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