CAD Tech News (#143)

4 Feb, 2021 By: Cadalyst Staff

Viewpoint: Is Self-Paced eLearning a Shortcut to CAD Software Knowledge?

A shortcut implies a quicker way to achieve a goal. Does bypassing instructor-led training accomplish that? Or is a combination of the two training types more effective?

By Paul Burden 

Many people wonder, Is there a way to learn CAD software that is faster than attending instructor-led training? It’s a valid question, especially since we are often tasked with multiple projects and tight deadlines.

I came across a Tweet recently that implied “traditional learning,” whatever that is, is “dead”! Perhaps unsurprisingly, this claim was made by someone deeply involved in the production of self-paced eLearning. I can see the benefits of self-paced eLearning, where someone develops CAD software skills without ever leaving the office or speaking with an expert ... but is there really no place for traditional learning? What about a combination of the two?

For a variety of reasons, more and more companies and individuals are looking to self-paced learning methods as alternatives to instructor-led training. As everyone seeks the quickest route to develop skills and reach proficiency, demand has increased, and so too has the variety of options and providers.

This demand is driven by many factors: No one can deny that it is costly to take an employee away from the office and out of production for multiple days. The use of multimedia and interactive content is attractive and can be engaging. I also believe that software companies encourage the movement toward self-paced learning, because it fuels the perception that they are modern and current and that their software is easy to use.

My own feeling is that self-paced learning with tutorial manuals and online resources can absolutely be a faster way to learn how to use CAD software for some individuals, in some circumstances. I also believe there is still a place for classroom-based instructor-led training. This all comes down to the simple fact that we don’t all learn the same way. Read more »


Paul Burden is the Director of eLearning Solutions and Digital Content at Rand Worldwide.


Sponsored: Arup Improves ROI by 25% by Using 3D Modeling on a Dublin Bridge Design

When Arup was retained to design Cherrywood Grand Parade Bridge as a sustainable transport system, 3D modeling and a connected data environment saved time.

By Bentley Systems

Cherrywood Grand Parade Bridge is part of a new town center development in Dublin, Ireland that includes a combination of residential, retail, parks, and office space, making this developing suburb an important residential and employment settlement to the south of Ireland’s capital city. The bridge will tie into an existing light rail bridge and will include two bicycle paths and a pedestrian walkway. The design also needed to provide a connection within the town center on either side of Wyattville Link Road and seamlessly integrate with the urban environment by incorporating trees and soft landscaped elements for shelter and visual amenities. The structure has two spans, each one measuring 22.5 meters in length, consisting of composite steel girders with an in-situ reinforced concrete deck slab, varying in width for 13.4 meters to 16.4 meters. It is a complicated project, as the scope of the work includes constructing the spine road network, including Grand Parade Road, and extending the viaduct for the light rail system.


Hines, the main developer on the project, appointed Arup to undertake the design of the Grand Parade Bridge over Wyattville Link Road. They realized that they needed to optimize constructability and coordination among third parties, and that traditional 2D drawings were not going to achieve their goals. Therefore, Arup chose 3D modeling delivery, as they determined it to be the best solution to mitigate errors during construction and tender cost evaluation. However, choosing to fully model in 3D presented numerous challenges for the design team, including a software learning curve, which was compounded by complex road geometry and bridge interfaces amid a tight timeline.


Arup selected Bentley’s OpenBridge and ProStructures to provide the flexibility to detail all project elements, including foundations, abutments and piers, substructure, steel beam composite with concrete deck, and the façade superstructure. The applications helped them perform accurate 3D bridge modeling and detailing for the entire project. OpenBridge Modeler helped to fast-track parametric bridge geometry modeling and offset the additional time needed to expand Arup’s skillset. The support from Bentley’s product team to upskill the design team in ProConcrete and ProSteel improved the efficiency of delivering 3D models of reinforcement and steelwork, as well as of producing 2D drawings. The bridge geometry was easy to manipulate in OpenBridge during the coordination process between Arup, the architect, and outside consultants. Read more »



Sponsored: Learn DraftSight Layer Tools with Lynn 
Are you moving from the Layer Manager to the Layers Manager? Let Lynn Allen show you the way! Read more »

CAD Manager Column: Minimum CAD Workstation Specs
for 2021 

You want to equip your CAD users with the right hardware to help them do their best work. Your boss wants to spend as little as possible. What are the minimum requirements that will address everyone’s needs? Read more »

Herrera on Hardware: Ryzen 5000 and Zen 3: Benchmarking Performance Measures for CAD 
Should you equip your CAD workstations with AMD processors? This exercise provides some performance data for comparison, plus insights about examining a CPU’s clock rates. Read more »


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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