CAD Tech News (#18)

28 May, 2015 By: Cadalyst Staff

▶ How Workstation Design Affects CAD Performance

What factors shape the indispensable hardware that makes CAD possible — and how do those choices ultimately impact users?

By Thomas A. Salomone

So you've decided — or perhaps your CAD manager or IT department has determined — that you need a new workstation. Fortunately, you couldn't have picked a better time: major improvements in central processing unit (CPU), graphics processing unit (GPU), storage, and workstation technologies have all hit the market within the past year. Once you make the decision to get a new machine, however, there are still more choices ahead of you. Should you simply purchase an updated version of your current workstation, or will you select something completely different? More importantly, what features do you need to look for?

For most CAD engineers, the answer to the latter question is simple: performance, performance, performance. And many assume that as long as their machine has the fastest CPU, GPU, storage, and memory components, they'll be guaranteed the performance they need to run their most critical applications. They're not entirely wrong; the latest generation of components is so advanced that the right combination can handle extremely demanding workloads.

With today's technologies, however, it's not enough to simply pick a machine that has the latest components and an appealing price tag. The overall system design is also key to success; it's responsible not only for powering those carefully selected components, but also for enabling them to operate reliably at their best levels of performance. Good workstation design can also significantly improve your ability to scale for future performance as application demands become greater over time.

In this article, I'll explain why engineers and designers should consider workstation design as a critical factor in selecting a new machine, and provide an overview of the ways that design affects workstation performance, reliability, and usability. My hope is that you'll come away with a new perspective on the ways that workstation design decisions impact your own ability to create innovative designs and gain a competitive edge. Read more »

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Thomas A. Salomone has more than 25 years of experience in the workstation industry and is currently the worldwide Product Development and AEC market segment manager for Lenovo ThinkStation.

▶ Learning Curve Tutorial: Still Looking at 3D in AutoCAD

Use the ViewProj and ViewSection commands to create 2D views of your models.

By Bill Fane

It was a warm and sultry evening. Captain LearnCurve, his gorgeous wife, their daughter and son-in-law, and two grandsons had been competing in a Rolls-Royce Owners' Club fuel economy run. The kids and grandkids drove the '89 Bentley Turbo R, but the Captain and his wife were relegated to the Subaru due to a last-minute problem with a bearing in the rear axle of their '37 Rolls-Royce Phantom III.

The run ended Saturday afternoon at the Tin Wiz Resort near Tofino, British Columbia, Canada. After the awards banquet, the others had gone back to their rooms, but the Captain stayed a few minutes longer to discuss a technical issue with another member. As he headed toward his room, he heard voices coming from the indoor hot tub. He stepped in to find six ladies in the hot tub. One of them asked if the Captain wanted to join them, and mentioned that they were just about to remove their tops.

That's it! This month's Learning Curve topic!


Topless — with pictures! This article will show you how to take the top (or bottom, or side, or end) off a 3D solid model in order to produce cross sections in a 2D working drawing. Read more »

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Bill Fane is a Cadalyst contributing editor, a registered professional engineer, and a close personal friend of Captain LearnCurve.


CAD Manager's Toolbox: Familiarize Yourself with Management Concepts from a Master
The theories of W. Edwards Deming are required reading for every CAD manager interested in process analysis. Read more »

CAD Manager Column: Select the Right CAD Tool for the Job, Part 2
To make wise choices about whether to stick with your existing software, start by evaluating how effective it is — and why. Read more »

Circles and Lines Tutorial: A Few of My Favorite Things In AutoCAD 2016
Learn about the hidden gems in the newest AutoCAD release. Read more »


PTC Live Global 2015
June 7–10, 2015
Nashville, Tennessee
Those who attend this gathering will learn how to reduce product design and implementation time and optimize work processes. Read more »

Rapid.Tech and FabCon
June 10–11, 2015
Erfurt, Germany
The Rapid.Tech trade fair and user conference and the FabCon 3D printing conference are joint events for users and developers of additive manufacturing technologies. Read more »

2015 Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference (CMSC)
July 20–24, 2015
Hollywood, Florida
This 31st annual event provides a professional venue where attendees can network and learn about the latest innovations in the field of portable 3D industrial measurement technologies. Read more »

Building Content Summit 2015
July 22, 2015
Washington, D.C.
This one-day event will focus on better understanding the unique challenges related to BIM content. Read more »

Revit Technology Conference 2015
July 23–25, 2015
Washington, D.C.
Attendees of the fifth North American Revit Technology Conference can learn from some of the world's top instructors and industry experts. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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