CAD Manager's Newsletter (#191)

11 Mar, 2008 By: Robert Green

Autodesk 2009 Product Lineup, Part 2p>

Updates to the Revit product line and Inventor focus attention on new 3D design tools.

In the last installment of CAD Manager's Newsletter, I discussed new AutoCAD product news that was unveiled at Autodesk's February press event. Since almost all CAD managers have some degree of interaction with AutoCAD-based products, I figured covering those products first made the most sense for the greatest number of CAD managers.

In this installment I'll share information I gained about the other products Autodesk offers and share my insight on the changes implemented and where Autodesk is trying to position these products. Here goes.

It's the Model that Matters
Throughout the presentations and Q&A sessions I attended, I heard a repeating theme: Model your designs, don't draw them. This advice always was followed by the mantra: Using digital prototypes lets you experience your design before you build it. While most CAD managers have some degree of experience with 3D design tools, it is evident from my past CAD manager surveys that less than half of the CAD users in the English-speaking world actually use 3D design tools to any extent.

It became evident to me that Autodesk is aware that 3D hasn't been totally adopted and that an evangelistic approach to spreading the good word of 3D design would be the order of the day. I endeavored to sort the products out from the marketing and see what emerged. Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox

Can I deploy tool palettes over a network? I've had trouble with my tool palette files (ATP file types) becoming corrupted.

Robert Green replies: In the last edition of CAD Manager's Toolbox, I gave some hints for creating large tool palettes quickly. I received a number of follow-up questions that mainly had to do with deploying the palettes over a network.

You certainly can deploy your palettes via a network connection. The way to control where the palettes reside is within the AutoCAD Options command. Read more »

Do you have a suggestion/tip that should be in the CAD Manager?s Toolbox? Send it to me at and you might get a cool Cadalyst souvenir if I use your idea.

:: Resources

Is Your Company Anxious?
According to Jeffrey Miller, author of The Anxious Organization, 2nd Edition: Why Smart Companies Do Dumb Things, some anxiety in the workplace is normal and even desirable. "But when collective anxiety is mismanaged, it travels through an organization in uncontrolled chain reactions, resulting in dumb decisions, unproductive conflict, and grueling office politics." The good news, Miller says, is that it takes only one person to break the cycle and turn the whole company around.

:: Events

AutoCAD Civil 3D Test Drive
March 13 - July 7, 2008
Various U.S. Cities
See how to intelligently link design and production drafting, reducing the time it takes to implement changes. Sponsored by Synergis. Read more »

Webcast: Staying Billable for CAD Managers
March 17, 2008
1:30 p.m. ET
CAD managers always have too many things going on, many of which are not project-billable, yet CAD managers are still called upon to be billable. What to do? Robert Green will present some ideas to help break the logjam. Sponsored by Synergis. Read more »

AutoCAD Architecture Test Drives
March 18 - July 17, 2008
Various U.S. Cities
Experience how creating and sharing accurate drafting and construction documents are made more efficient. Sponsored by Synergis. Read more »

AutoCAD MEP 2008 Test Drives
March 20 - July 11, 2008
Various U.S. Cities
Learn to lay out duct systems and place wire devices. Sponsored by Synergis. Read more »

Revit Structure Test Drives
March 20 - July 24, 2008
Various U.S. Cities
Learn to use building information modeling to do higher value tasks and produce fully coordinated construction drawings. Sponsored by Synergis. Read more »

BIM and Sustainability with VectorWorks Architect
March 27, 2008
Santa Monica, California
Michael Heacock, a pioneer of green building projects, will present an overview of BIM technology in VectorWorks Architect. Sponsored by Nemetschek. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on