CAD Manager's Newsletter #140

8 Nov, 2005 By: Robert Green

Cadalyst CAD Manager's Newsletter

Low-Cost 3D CAD: Could It Happen?

A look at the marketplace and its challenges

In the past two editions of CAD Manager's Newsletter (click here for archives), I discussed AutoCAD's prominence in the 2D world and talked about 2D products that could challenge AutoCAD. Now I'll turn the discussion toward 3D and ask the same sorts of questions, including:

  • Is there a de facto 3D standard program that has the market dominance AutoCAD has in the 2D world?
  • If a 3D program were noticeably cheaper than Autodesk Inventor, SolidWorks, Autodesk Revit, UGS' Solid Edge and the like, would companies switch?
  • Is there anything out there that is truly easy to learn?
  • What's stopping people from adopting 3D?

When I try to answer these questions, I have to say that I don't think anybody really knows all the answers. It's clear to me that there's no agreement on these subjects from the various market and stock analyses that I follow.

What I'll do in this issue is give you my best read on the situation based on what I see in industry and on conversations I've had with analysts and people within the software companies that produce 3D computer tools. Here goes.   Read more >>

:: CAD Manager's Q&A

My management has asked me to set up some CAD standards. Where do I start? Help!

Robert Green answers: I'm asked this question a good bit and can offer some general guidelines that almost always work.

Major Point #1. Keep it simple!

Don't try to write a huge tome of standards that nobody will read or follow. The most effective CAD standards I've seen are no more than 15 pages, with the best ones being the shortest. If your standards are easy to read, people will actually read them.
Read more

Submit your questions to Robert Green Feedback: Q+A.

:: ResourcesResources for AUGI Members: Reader Ed Jobe at AUGI (Autodesk User Group International) writes with another job board for the CAD community: "AUGI has a free place to post employment opportunities. You can post job openings or your resume." Members can log in to the AUGI Web site, then navigate to the Career Corner forums. Membership is free, but you must register at the site.

Jobe also points out that AUGI has a new blog:

Send us the address of your favorite Web site or other resource and a few words about why you like it. Manager's Feedback: Resources.

:: Events

Data and File Management Best Practices Web Series
Through January 18, 2006

Cadalyst columnist Robert Green and Synergis Software host this series of free educational Web presentations to help organizations understand data and file management best practices. One-hour sessions will focus on basic guidelines for success, return on investment and best practices for manufacturing, AEC/facilities management and other industries.

November 29, 2005, Houston, Texas
November 30, 2005, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
December 1, 2005, Wilmington, Delaware

Richard Beck, head of AVEVA's VNET Business Unit, will discuss and answer questions about the company's VNET solution for engineering information management. Register for these free events by e-mailing

AEC-Science & Technology Federal

December 13-15, 2005

Washington, D.C.
Conference and exhibition focused on understanding the implications of selecting information standards for the AEC industry, including insight to BIM (building information modeling) strategies, geospatial solutions and the processes that integrate them.

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here>>

:: What's New at Cadalyst's Management Web Site

Tech Trends -- Made in China, Part 1:China's strengths in the world market and why it's important to keep your eye on the Dragon.

Editor's Window, by Sara Ferris: UGS sets sights on lucrative midrange PLM market.

Cadalyst Labs Review -- PCI Express Graphics Cards Push Performance: New boards from ATI Technologies and nVIDIA.

CAD Central: Keep tabs on the world of CAD with this monthly review from Cadalyst magazine.