CAD Manager's Newsletter (#161)

25 Oct, 2006 By: Robert Green

Untitled Document

CAD Housekeeping Tips

Clean up your network and send a message about standards enforcement in one fell swoop.

Over the past few months I’ve received a number of reader requests for strategies to use in keeping the CAD environment clean, efficient and standard. Therefore I’ve decided to put together a “tips and tricks” issue of the CAD Manager’s Newsletter to address reader concerns. I hope you find some of my CAD housekeeping tips useful in your environment. Here goes.

Let the Cleanup Begin

First you must find your pain points, so you know which problems to tackle first. I’ll start the list with the most common issues I see in the CAD environments where I work, followed by the impact that each problem has on the organization (parenthetically):

  • Files not in correct directories (causing needless searching)
  • Redundant files copied to multiple locations (causing parallel revisioning and yet more needless searching for the right version)
  • All sorts of ZIP and temporary files in any number of nonstandard directories (causing needless labor to examine the files)
  • Key files located on users’ C: drives (which aren’t backed up and thus are at risk of data loss)
  • Use of nonstandard configurations or installations of CAD tools (which only increases the amount of CAD management labor to resolve problems)

How many of these problems did you have on your list? My bet is several, at least. So even though you’ve labored long and hard to implement standards for filing, xrefs, backups and more, you still have problems -- because your standards aren’t being followed!

So I ask rhetorically: Do you have a standards problem or an enforcement problem? You know the answer! Read more >>


:: CAD Manager's Q&A

My management wants me to start moving toward a 3D system implementation, but they seem to think this will be easy. How can I communicate the complexity of the situation without seeming like I want to slow our progress?

Robert Green replies: The key point communicated in this question is that when your management wants you to go to a 3D system, they expect immediate results -- even though it's likely you’ve already spent years trying to get moving on 3D. Your responsibility is now to help the company transition into new technology while keeping the business running and profitable. I’ve likened this task to changing a tire on a moving car! Read more >>

Submit your questions to Robert Green

:: Resources

Patch Available to Repair DWF-IE 7 Incompatibility: Microsoft’s just-released Internet Explorer 7 apparently fails to work with some Web sites that use Autodesk's DWF format, but a fix is available.

CAD Publisher Launches TeamDWF: The online news journal announced the launch of TeamDWF, a Web-based publication that covers the use of Autodesk's DWF publishing technology for collaboration.


:: Events

The Power of Adobe Acrobat 8 Seminar
Various 2006 dates
Various locations
Attendees will learn how Adobe Acrobat 8 can be used to improve workflows, and can choose from 90-minute breakout sessions designed for AEC/manufacturing, creative/marketing, general business/IT, legal and education/e-learning professionals, as well as a developer briefing. Read more

Design Productivity Seminar
November 2, 2006
Long Island , New York
IronCAD partner Magnacad Design is sponsoring this seminar highlighting techniques that increase productivity for electromechanical designers. Seminar topics include industry globalization, cost cutting and design cycle planning. Read more

Autodesk 2007 Manufacturing Solutions Premiere
November 8, 2006
Garden Grove , California
Hagerman & Company is hosting a free technology event for Southern California mechanical design professionals. Hagerman & Company sales and design engineering staff will give presentations on the latest solutions from Autodesk. Read more

Webinar: Autodesk Map 3D 2007 for Landscape Architects
November 15, 2006
This webinar will demonstrate how Autodesk Map 3D 2007 can help Landscape Architects initiate site design through simple mapping analysis, connecting to point data and creating more visually appealing 3D renderings of project design areas. Read more

Convergence 2007
February 20-22, 2007
Durham , North Carolina

Geomagic's global users' conference brings together Geomagic software users from around the world to share knowledge and mark the company's first decade in business. Convergence 2007 centers on two days of workshops where expert users, technology partners, and Geomagic innovators will present best-practice advice for using the company's software suite. Read more

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

:: What's New at

New Cadalyst Column Offers Training Tips
A new software training column is available now from Cadalyst magazine: Author Matt Murphy writes Lesson Plans, offering training basics and great how-to advice for anyone who strives to make the most of software tools. Check out the October installment, "Does Traditional Teaching Work?" -- a look into how you can move away from formal learning and toward more-effective informal methods. Cadalyst's Lesson Plans series is also available online.

Visualization Software Round-Up
If you're in the market for visualization software, you'll want to take a look at October's Cadalyst Labs Review, " Make It Real -- Visualization Software Brings Designs to Life." Reviewer Ron LaFon discusses how today's visualization software can mimic reality with amazing results, offering an overview of software from Abvent, ASGvis, auto-des-sys, Luxology, NewTek, Robert McNeel and Associates, and Okino Computer Graphics.

Cadalyst Daily Update
For all the latest news and new products, subscribe to Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Plus, every issue includes a feature you won't find anywhere else --hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, AutoCAD tips and much more! Here's a sample of what you missed recently:

Modeling Highways in the Sky: You can't see aviation corridors -- but you can design and analyze them using Autodesk Civil 3D.

PTC Acquires ITEDO, IsoDraw Products: Software reuses 2D and 3D design data to generate technical illustrations for instruction manuals, parts catalogs and other downstream publishing.

Conveyor Manufacturer Keeps Things Moving: Hytrol's Autodesk-based engineered-to-order system employs 12 rules to generate 25,000 product options.