CAD Manager's Newsletter (#164)

9 Jan, 2007 By: Robert Green

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New Year's Checklist for the CAD Manager

Tackle these to-do items for an organized, effective approach to 2007

Those of you who are familiar with my monthly “CAD Manager” column in Cadalyst probably know that I always start the New Year with a few predictions about what to look out for over the next twelve months. In this issue of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'm providing a checklist of to-do items that dovetails with my 2007 forecast to help you get your house in order. (My January 2007 column will be posted on around January 12, so keep an eye on the column archives for that update.) Here goes.

Investigate New Software
Assuming that you have software subscriptions, you may not implement all the new software that you receive, but shouldn't you know as much as you can about it? And if you don't have software subscriptions, it is essential that you investigate what's out there to keep your company's management abreast of what's going on technologically.

Start by loading up new software via trial versions, and don't forget to ask your software reseller what they can do to help you. You should also use blogs, magazine articles, user groups, etc., to collect information on new software and learn about a host of different perspectives. Just immerse yourself in new information as much as you can, and see where it leads you.

And as I pointed out in my January column, focus on the following when investigating any new piece of software:

  • Find features and fixes that make it easier for your users to do their jobs.
  • Find advanced design tools that make designing faster and more accurate.
  • Find 3D tools that deliver the above, rather than making things more complex. Read more>>

:: CAD Manager's Q&A

My management is pushing me to adopt a 3D system like Autodesk Revit or Civil 3D, but they don't understand how much work is involved, and I feel like I'm getting steamrolled. What can I do to manage the situation?

Robert Green replies: This is a question I'm hearing more and more as senior management teams decide that they want to reap the benefits of advanced 3D design methodologies. Unfortunately, there’s no button we can push to make this happen.Read more>>

Submit your questions to Robert Green

:: Resources

Study Finds Increased Intellectual Property Risk
A new study, which investigated common practices used in global design and manufacturing, revealed that manufacturers face accelerating IP risk in the marketplace. "The Protecting Product IP Benchmark Report: Safeguarding Design Intellectual Property in a Global Market" relates that more than two-thirds of manufacturers find the threat to their product IP has grown over the past two years. The free report also discusses how IP loss diminishes profitability, and finds some companies are implementing data protection strategies. The study was performed by the Aberdeen Group, which provides research on the global, technology-driven value chain, and was sponsored by Pinion Software, a provider of technical rights management solutions.

AEC White Paper Reports on Improved Project Execution
A new survey of AEC executives found that 10 of 11 firms are pursuing software initiatives to raise process productivity without re-engineering their work practices. The research is available in a free white paper, "Improving AEC Project Execution: Lessons from 11 Industry Leaders." Newforma, a New Hampshire-based software developer, commissioned Spar Point Research of Danvers, Massachusetts, to interview North American AEC executives in five market segments: architecture, building engineering, civil engineering, design-build and transportation infrastructure. 

:: Events

Cadalyst'scomplete list of upcoming industry events is always available on our Web site

2007 ESRI GIS Solutions Expos
January 11 – January 25, 2007
Various locations
These free events showcase GIS applications, solutions and services developed by ESRI business partners for ESRI software. Read more
15th Annual Autodesk University
November 27 – November 30, 2007
Las Vegas, Nevada
This annual conference and exhibition offers hands-on training in the latest Autodesk products, as well as networking and learning opportunities with professionals from various industries. Read more


:: What's New at

I'm Worth It
The latest Cadalyst Quick Poll is live online. This month, we want to know if management is treating the CAD community well this year: Is your paycheck growing for 2007, or have you been overlooked? Take the poll (go to any page of and scroll down to find the Quick Poll in the margin), then watch for the results in Cadfidential in the February edition of Cadalyst magazine.

Calling All Product Designers now offers direct access to the GlobalSpec search engine and information resource for the engineering, industrial and technical communities. Use GlobalSpec to search engineering content from the open Web as well as from a variety of proprietary content publishers. Or search more than 20,000 digitized OEM and distributor product catalogs representing more than 1.9 million products. Access the GlobalSpec search at the top of Cadalyst's Manufacturing home page.

Cadalyst Daily Update
For all the latest news and new products, subscribe to the 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:

•  Cabin Fever: Log Homes Popular 100 Years Later: Today's custom dwellings dovetail century-old construction methods with modern know-how and technology