CAD Manager's Newsletter (#201)

12 Aug, 2008

Special Alert: Take the CAD Manager 2008 Survey

Thanks to all the readers who sent in their comments regarding the survey. I've incorporated a number of questions into this year's survey to reflect reader concerns!

Now the fun begins: Participate in the survey! Forward this newsletter to everyone you know who functions as a CAD manager and ask them to participate. I'm especially interested in getting responses from Canada, European Union countries, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand because these markets haven't been analyzed as completely as I'd like.

To take the survey, just click on this link:

Results will be published in the November issue of Cadalyst magazine, and more detailed analysis will be included in CAD Manager's Newsletter in October and November, so be sure to check back!

The Part-Time CAD Manager

Like it or not, many companies require one person to serve as CAD manager while also fulfilling production needs.

Over the past several years I've noticed a continuing trend toward CAD management as a part-time position. Even in large companies it seems a full-time CAD manager has become a luxury that few are willing to finance.

In observance of this trend, I wanted to pass along some information on being more effective for those who CAD manage on a part-time basis.

Who Are the Part-Timers?
If CAD managers are increasingly part time, what are they spending the rest of their time doing? What kinds of job titles do CAD managers have if they're not full-time CAD managers?

Increasingly CAD managers are technical professionals who are pressed into part-time CAD management. Their job titles include the following:

  • architects
  • engineers
  • designers
  • drafting supervisors
  • IT managers
  • IT support staffers

Most of these part-time CAD managers have less than 10 hours per week to devote to CAD management while juggling project deadlines and their own workloads simultaneously. It is easy to see that CAD managers in this predicament are stressed. In fact, the number-one concern I get from CAD managers in this position is job burnout because the workload just seems overwhelming at times.   Read more »

:: CAD Manager’s Toolbox:
     Another Useful Utility

Keep this handy little tool in your repertory for fast bulk text replacement and more.

In the last edition of CAD Manager's Toolbox, I told you about a utility I use called Sweep. I received a number of emailed questions about other types of system maintenance tasks, so I've decided, over the next couple of issues, to pass along some other utilities I like to use.

Bulk Text Replacing Utility
I frequently use scripts or custom programs to process sets of DWG, DGN, or other types of files and have found that I can often reuse these scripts/programs by making minor changes to adjust file names and paths. The problem is that editing the files can be very tedious.

The utility I've come to depend on for bulk editing these files is called HandyFile Find and Replace from Silver Age Software. At $34.95, this tool has given me a lot for my money over the years, and I recommend it over the several other text search-and-replace tools I've used. Now, I know there's free stuff you can download that'll do basic search and replace, but HandyFile does so much more that I'm happy to pay for it. 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

New Code, New CAD Tips Site
"Hot Tip Harry's" code for August is here and ready to download. Check out Harry's August column to learn more about this month's batch. Head over to Cadalyst's new CAD Tips site to download your favorites. The August additions are listed under Recently Posted CAD Tips, or search for specific tips by tip number or keyword. Registered users also can review, post comments, and upload revised versions of code! Congratulations to John Walker, who created this month's top tip: Copy Attributes from Block to Block. These well-crafted VBA functions let you move attribute values from one block to another.

Announcing Cadalyst's Keyword Search Alerts
You can now receive e-mail alerts when content related to specific keywords is posted on Cadalyst's Keyword Alerts offer immediate, easy access to breaking news, trends, hardware and software reviews, tips & tricks, case studies, columns, and more. Subscribe now to get Cadalyst's Keyword Alerts delivered directly to your inbox!

:: Events

Northeastern SolidWorks User Conference
September 18, 2008
Westford, Massachusetts
This conference will offer 12 different technical sessions and four unique developer sessions in four time slots. Attendees will also be able to visit the product showcase and network with some of the best SolidWorks users. Read more »

Southern California CAD Summit
September 25, 2008
San Diego, California
Sponsored by U.S. CAD, the Southern California CAD Summit attracts hundreds of participants from the western region's architectural, civil, manufacturing, geospatial, and building engineering fields to learn about the latest Autodesk technologies and fine-tune their skills. Read more »

Objet Users' Meeting
October 27-29, 2008
San Diego, California
Objet Geometries' first user conference in North America will include both general and customizable breakout sessions based on individual needs and interests, plus will allow participants to obtain industry-leading knowledge in such areas as workflow efficiency, advanced 3D printing, postprocessing, and rapid tooling. Read more »

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