CAD Manager's Newsletter (#224)

26 Aug, 2009 By: Robert Green

What's the BIM Deal?

Understanding building information modeling begins with sorting out fact from fiction.

Reminder: Please participate in the CAD Manager's mini-survey, designed to determine how the economic downturn is affecting CAD managers, at: This survey won't take you long to complete, as it focuses only on key financial and business questions. With input from a variety of CAD managers like you, I'll be able to provide everyone with an update about what it's really like out there.

If you're at all into CAD you've seen the acronym BIM, short for building information modeling, all over the place the past few years. If you're a CAD manager in an architectural environment you're probably starting to plan for, or even test, BIM technology. If you manage CAD in the construction or building engineering trades your senior management may be asking you how BIM is going to change your company's approach to modeling in the coming years. Even civil engineers are scratching their heads over how they'll integrate BIM models into their site planning databases. It seems only those who do machinery design are immune to the long tentacles of BIM.

So what is all the fuss about? How might BIM affect all of us who manage CAD in the AEC environment? These are good questions, and I plan to explore all of them in the next few issues of the CAD Manager's Newsletter. Here goes .

The Basics: Deciphering the Hype
Any time a new type of software hits the market, a tsunami of promotion is unleashed that paints the trend as the greatest thing since sliced bread. The introduction of BIM has been no different in this regard, with all manner of promises of "ease of use" and "higher productivity" touted without much data to back up the claims. Read more » 

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
AutoCAD Virus Alert

A self-replicating virus is on the loose that masquerades as the

We CAD users have, for the most part, been less bothered by virus problems than other users in the past. It seems like Microsoft Office documents and picture files that have been the purveyors of doom in the past. No more, it seems.

AutoCAD users should be aware of a self-replicating virus that masquerades as the ACAD.VLX or LOGO.GIF file. The mode of infiltration is an ACAD.VLX file introduced into a folder full of DWG files and/or a support path that allows the file to load upon AutoCAD's startup. After initial infection, the ACAD.VLX file is copied as LOGO.GIF into AutoCAD's help folder where it lies in wait for further file openings. Read more »

Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green


:: Resources

Water Industry Experts Lead Free Bentley Webinars

The Water and Wastewater Be Connected series from Bentley presents real-world infrastructure projects and the best practices and software products used to design, build, and operate them. Topics include water efficiency and climate change, hydrologic and hydraulic network modeling for sustainability, and Bentley's water and wastewater solution overview.

:: Events

ECC Conference

September 9–12, 2009
Bastrop, Texas
This year's conference from the Engineering and Construction Contracting Association will address the amplification of risk and change in capital projects and provide tools and strategies to navigate the industry toward success. Read more »

ISEIT 2009

October 6–7, 2009
Berlin, Germany
The International Symposium for Engineering Information Technology, hosted by AVEVA, features a two-day agenda of presentations and workshops plus opportunities to network with fellow professionals from across the engineering industries. 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

Alibre Cuts 3D CAD Price to $99; Cadalyst Calls on Vendors to Clarify
Overall Software Costs

Where are the best CAD deals now, and what does the future hold for customers who are dropping maintenance contracts? Read more »

Q&A Series: Autodesk Subscription, Part 2
This Q&A is part of a series from Cadalyst and Autodesk in which the company answers readers' questions about its software subscription policies. Read more »

Toolspace Settings, Part 3
CAD Clinic Civil 3D Tutorial: Labels have many elements. But, through key settings, you can quickly make all conform to a basic set of rules. Read more »

Mastering ArchiCAD's Curtain Wall Accessory and Junction Placement Tools
ArchiCAD Insights Tutorial: Curtain Wall features offer a high level of design freedom for modeling and modifying an entire structure and its subcomponents. Read more »

:: About the Author

Cadalyst contributing editor Robert Green performs CAD programming and consulting throughout the United States and Canada. He is the author of Expert CAD Management: The Complete Guide. Reach him via his web site.

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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