CAD Manager's Newsletter (#170)

10 Apr, 2007 By: Robert Green

Cadalyst CAD Manager's Newsletter

Which CAD Tool Is Right for You?

Think about your company’s processes and tasks to choose the right software programs.

I receive a lot of questions asking which software program or version of one a company should use based solely on what the company does. The question might go like this: "We're a home design company located in central Wisconsin, and my boss wants to know if we should use Revit?"

When I receive these questions I scratch my head and think of all the pieces of information I'd actually need to answer the question, such as

  • Do they build the same home over and over (thus somewhat negating the value of a BIM tool like Revit)?
  • Do they build big custom houses that require a lot of changes and revisions (thus making Revit a smart choice)?
  • Do they perform passive solar or detailed energy certifications (which, again, makes BIM technology the right choice)?
  • Do they have the budget and time to learn a new tool like Revit (which may make all the above questions moot)?Read more>>

:: CAD Manager's Q&A

My company is considering moving my CAD management position to the IT department. I think I should report to the engineering department. What should I do?

Robert Green replies: This question is coming up more and, indeed, more CAD managers are being moved to the IT department. What has changed is the desire to move CAD management into a more centrally overhead-driven department (like IT) to reduce costs for projects.

The first thing I should mention is that if they have already decided to move you to the IT department, there's not much you can do about it. At this point you simply need to keep doing your job and make the most of the move. In fact, by moving to a department, such as IT, that has a traditional support role, you may actually be freer to support, teach and enhance your CAD systems than you would be if reporting to a project focused department like engineering or architecture.Read more>>

Submit your questions to Robert Green

:: Resources

Digital Magazine Includes Interactive 3D Models
The Web portal announced last week that the sixth issue of its free digital magazine "on 3D in 3D" -- called (3D)2 -- is now available for download in English. The French Web site is devoted to CAD, CAE, PLM, virtual reality and rapid prototyping. The monthly publication focuses on a software or hardware product from the markets covered by the portal.

New Book onCustomizing SolidWorks
Sheet Metal Guy published Customizing SolidWorks For Greater Productivity. The book describes ways to access favorite commands faster by adding them to a toolbar for one-click access, creating a custom menu to find them easily or assigning them keyboard shortcuts. The book also includes tips for arranging toolbars, customizing the interface and creating templates for frequently used documents. A special pre-release price of $24.95 is available until April 17.

Send us the address of your favorite Web site or  other resource and a few words about why you like it. If we publish it, we'll  send you a Cadalyst t-shirt!

:: Events

2007 Topcon Positioning Systems Technology Roadshow
April 11 - November 15, 2007
Various cities, USA and Canada
In this fifth year of educational seminars and hands-on demonstrations for surveying, GPS, GIS and machine control operations, representatives -- in conjunction with Topcon dealers -- will host regional seminars in more than 100 cities across the United States and Canada. Read more

Webinar: 3D Imaging, Positioning and Tracking Technologies for Plant Construction, Retrofit and Maintenance
April 17, 2007
11:00 a.m. EDT
Sponsored by Fiatech and presented by Trimble Navigation, this Webinar will address the implementation of 3D imaging, positioning and tracking solutions in plant and facility construction, retrofitting and maintenance work processes. Read more

Web Seminar: Working with CAD Data in ArcGIS 9.2
April 26, 2007
9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. PDT
This free online seminar will teach the new methods and tools in ESRI ArcGIS 9.2 software for working with CAD data. The seminar’s presenters will introduce the new CAD dataset organization, rendering and expanded property support as well as the new tools for georeferencing CAD data. Read more

Delcam's North American Technical Summit
May 8-9, 2007
Charlotte, North Carolina
Innovation and Integration in CAD/CAM Technology is the theme of the North American Technical Summit. The event will cover Delcam's complete software range and show how it can provide faster, more efficient development of new products. Read more

2007 ANSYS U.S. Regional Conference Series: Pennsylvania
May 14-16, 2007
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Simulation has become a critical element of the product development process. To stay on top of the latest developments, engineers, analysts and management from all disciplines of CAE will attend the 2007 ANSYS U.S. Regional Conference Series: Pennsylvania to learn about the future of engineering design simulation and analysis. Read more

The National BIM Conference
May 15-17, 2007
Anaheim, California
Sponsored by Cadalyst magazine and cosponsored by AECnews and The National Building Information Standard (NBIMS), the National BIM conference is colocated with Ecobuild America and AEC-ST. Keynote presentations, workshops and numerous seminars will cover all aspects of BIM. Read more

International Forum on Design for Manufacture and Assembly
June 19-20, 2007
Providence, Rhode Island
Boothroyd Dewhurst will host the 22nd annual International Forum on Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA). Presenters discuss their recent DFMA applications and show how product simplification and cost-analysis tools support the development of innovative designs that are economical to produce. Read more

Click here to view the complete calendar of events at

:: What's New at

From The Trenches
In this column, readers share their own hard-earned solutions to design challenges. The latest by Anthony Kitsmiller helps you make symbols that withstand multiple use.

Cadalyst Daily Update
For all the latest news and new products and updates about the newest features on, subscribe to the Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Plus, every Monday we bring you a full-length feature article you won't find anywhere else -- hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, interviews, event reports, AutoCAD tips and more! Here's a sample of what you missed recently:

  • From Ether to Clay with Ease: Charged with redesigning its luxurious SUV, Honda Canada turns to AliasStudio for 3D modeling, design and surface creation.

:: About the Author

Cadalyst contributing editor Robert Green performs CAD and document management programming and consulting throughout the United States and Canada. He is a popular public speaker and holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Check out his Web site at or e-mail him at

:: Account Management

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