CAD Manager's Newsletter (#194)

22 Apr, 2008 By: Robert Green

Realist’s Guide to 3D Implementation, Part 3

Careful planning is the key to successfully training your staff.

In the last two installments of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I've given you some practical advice for planning the transition from 2D software to 3D software. I hope you've had a chance to do the planning and expectation management I've outlined in those first two installments.

I've received more email about this series than any other topic in the past year. It seems a lot of you are experiencing problems with 3D implementation just like I have over the years.

This time I'll pass along some advice for the actual implementation and training stages of your move to 3D. And, as I've done in the first two installments, I'll pass along some real-world tips that'll help you avoid the perils of 3D while you're at it. Here goes.

Plan Your Training
In my experience, the key to getting users on board with 3D software has always focused on the training. For your user to have a great training experience, you must plan that training well in advance. Read more »

:: CAD Manager’s Toolbox:
     Modifying Multiuser Systems

I've received a couple of questions about my approach to modifying programming in multiuser CAD environments. I've passed along some tips and tools for performing testing in the past several issues, but I haven't given you a procedural framework for how I modify CAD environments without disrupting everyone while doing so.

Here is my step-by-step method:

  1. Back up everything you think you could even possibly modify. You never know when those backed up files will come in handy.

  2. Set up a test environment on a remote machine (I like to use a laptop) using the substituted drive trick I outlined in the March 26 edition.

  3. Verify proper functionality of custom programming on the remote machine. As you perform your testing, be sure to save any files or test procedures because you'll be using them again later. 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

SolidNotes Tech Blog
CAD/CAM/CAE reseller Graphics Systems hosts a tech blog, SolidNotes, which includes tips and troubleshooting advice for various CAD programs and topics including mechanical design, design validation, data management, design automation, and 3D printing.

Cadalyst Job Search
Looking for a job? The Cadalyst Web site offers a job search section with extensive listings of CAD-related jobs in the United States. You can do a custom search with your own key words or search the listings by state.

:: Events

Autodesk Experience Tour
April 22 - June 26, 2008
Various U.S. and Canadian Cities
These sessions promise to show how to visualize, simulate, and analyze the real-world performance of your ideas; optimize and improve designs before creating anything; and achieve higher-quality designs in less time. Read more »

Los Angeles AUGI CAD Camp
May 21, 2008
Los Angeles, California
AUGI CAD Camp, Los Angeles, offers a variety of courses as well as opportunities to network and browse the exhibit area. Read more »

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