MCAD Tech News (#334)

8 Nov, 2012 By: Cadalyst Staff

The CAD Communicator

User Profile: Paul Munford believes that CAD is a great communication tool — but before you can use that tool effectively, you must understand the needs of your customers.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

In his role as a CAD manager and drafter, Paul Munford uses CAD for setting out joinery, and communicating project ideas to clients. Outside of work, Munford communicates with other CAD users as the author of The CAD Setter Out, a blog devoted to sharing tips, tricks, and tutorials for AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor. He also conveys the humorous side of CAD use in cartoon form as the artist behind Cadaroo.

Cadalyst: How did you get into CAD?

Paul Munford
Paul Munford

Munford: I've always loved drawing, and I also have a perpetual fascination with design and engineering. When I went to college to study fine art, I was drawn into scenery design and construction. My instruction there was intensely practical; when I left, I was able to lead a double life, working in the art department for film and television shows as a drafter and "on the tools" as a scenic carpenter.

After eight years of exciting and varied work, I decided that it was time to settle down into something more reliable and specialize in one area. I chose drafting because, through my experience as both a designer and a maker, I knew that a set of drawings could completely make or break a job.

I knew that I would have to learn CAD to get a job outside the film and TV industry, so I went to night school to learn AutoCAD. I took to it straight away. The experience brought together my love of drawing and communication with my geeky interest in computers and design technology. I was soon helping my fellow students with their assignments, and I knew that I had found something that I could relish doing as a career. Read more »

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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is senior editor of Cadalyst.


Customization Options Expand for AutoCAD WS

Autodesk releases additional APIs, including one that enables users to open the CAD editor from a mobile application.

By Andrew G. Roe

Users of AutoCAD WS should be happy to know that customization options for that product are multiplying. AutoCAD WS, a cloud-based CAD editor from Autodesk, enables you to view, edit, and share AutoCAD drawings using a Web browser or mobile device. Introduced in 2010, WS has since been updated to include features for pinning photos to specific locations within drawings, as well as organizing comments within drawings.

Autodesk recently unveiled an application programming interface (API) for WS 1.5 that allows users to open AutoCAD WS directly from a mobile application. With this new capability, anyone with a mobile device can access WS and open drawings from other mobile apps, avoiding the need for a drawing viewer. The API is currently only supported on Apple's iOS, although support for Android devices will be added in future versions. You can read Autodesk's tutorial about the new API here: "Launch AutoCAD WS App API."

The new API joins previously introduced APIs that allow users to embed links to AutoCAD WS in mobile apps and use WebDAV (Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning) to perform various operations on files and folders located in an Autocad WS account. WebDAV is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that enables accessing files stored on World Wide Web servers. Read more »

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Cadalyst contributing editor Andrew G. Roe is a registered civil engineer and president of AGR Associates, Inc.


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events


Search Better in Your PLM
November 13, 2012
1 p.m. ET
This Alcove9 webcast will show viewers how they can search throughout an entire enterprise without leaving their PLM sessions. Topics to be covered in this session include unified access to multiple repositories including shared drives, databases, or any storage source one would log into separately. Read more »

Autodesk University 2012
November 27–29, 2012
Las Vegas, Nevada
Autodesk University (AU), a conference and exhibition for Autodesk product users, will bring together design and technology professionals for networking, exhibits, innovation forums, and a new curriculum of more than 800 lectures, roundtable sessions, and hands-on labs. Read more »

Advances in Metal Additive Manufacturing
November 29, 2012
Frankfurt, Germany
This event, the 14th Annual International Wohlers Conference, will take place at the EuroMold trade fair. 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


What’s New at


The Best Hardware Configuration for AutoCAD 2013, Part 4:
Processor, Video Card, RAM, and Hard Drive

So far in this series, I've discussed how to determine if your hardware can handle the AutoCAD 2013 upgrade, how to outline your current and future needs, and how to find new hardware if you decide it's time for a new system. If you are looking for new hardware for AutoCAD 2013, here are some specific components to look at closely. Read the CADspeed blog post »

Identify the 'Quick Win' Opportunities in Your To-Do List
Are you facing a mountain of CAD management duties? Start with the tasks that yield big rewards, but require only a limited time investment. Read more »

Establish a Training Program for Your CAD Users, Part 2
You've gotten the go-ahead from management; now it's time to gather supplies and locate the right training venue. Read more »

Set and Save your AutoCAD System Variables
Because there are so many system variables in AutoCAD, it's easy to get them confused. The Express Tool SYSVDLG makes quick work of setting up your system variables and saving them to a file for speedy recovery down the line! Watch the video »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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