CAD Manager's Newsletter (#209)

13 Jan, 2009

New Year 2009 Predictions, Part 1

How you weather the difficult times ahead may well depend on how prepared you and your CAD department are.

Well, it's a new year and that means it's time for my annual attempt at predicting the future for CAD managers. As I've done in the past, I've distilled my list of predictions from CAD Manager Survey data, observations from the field, conversations with many groups of CAD managers, and gut feel.  Along with the predictions I'll offer some concrete advice on how to react to each trend as well. So here's the first installment of my 2009 predictions and recommendations in no particular order.

Economic Turmoil
For specific recommendations on how you can reprioritize your CAD management tasks, I invite you to read my January/February CAD Manager's column, which will be live online after February 5. Right now, I'll focus more on technical trends than economic ones.

Sluggish Software Change
More than ever, 2009 will be the year that we struggle to implement the subscription software we receive. Given the pressures of production and trying to deal with project problems it will be hard to find the time to implement new technologies. Additionally, I don't see much radical software change on the horizon for 2009 as much as a continued, slow evolution of new features. I believe we'll continue the struggle to switch our companies away from older 2D methods focused on AutoCAD and MicroStation to the 3D/database tools that are available to us.  Read more »


:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
A Cool, Free Video-Sharing Utility

Use audio/video recording to assist with technical support tasks.


One thing I'm a big advocate of is using audio/video recording utilities to make your own training videos. But another neat way to use audio/video recording is to assist with technical support tasks. And if you've ever tried to fixing a computer problem without being able to work on the computer, you know how valuable being able to actually see the problem can be.

Unfortunately, audio/video recording software can cost several hundred dollars (not expensive, but not cheap either) and learning to use the wide palette of features can be less than simple. Read more »

Got a question for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at If I use your question in the newsletter, you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!


:: Resources

Software and Hardware Suppliers Database
Cadalyst has made available its online Supplier Showcase, a comprehensive database of companies that provide CAD-related software, hardware, and training products. Information, which is provided by the respective companies, can be viewed either alphabetically or by product category.


:: Events

Webinar: Extending BIM to the Trailer and Job Site
January 16, 2009
Noon EST
This webinar from Vico Software will show users how to download critical formwork and steel locations to the Trimble total station, and download centerlines and edge lines of piping and ductwork. Read more »

SolidWorks World 2009
February 8 - 11, 2009
Orlando, Florida
Visitors to SolidWorks World 2009 can attend more than 150 technical sessions and network with other SolidWorks users, partners, employees, and resellers. Read more »

Cities Revealed Event 2009
February 12 - 13, 2009
Cambridge, United Kingdom
This ninth annual event, hosted by Training4GIS, brings together spatial data users and industry experts to discuss geoinformation technology and research and management techniques. Read more »

SmartGeometry 2009
March 25 - April 1, 2009
San Francisco, California
Join SmartGeometry and Bentley Systems to learn about advanced computational and parametric design from industry experts. Presentations will focus on design, technology, and methodology. Read more »

2009 PLM Vendor Forum: PLM in Uncertain Economic Times
March 25, 2009 - April 8, 2009
Various Cities
Participants should gain an understanding of the current PLM market, dynamics that are impacting it, and expectations for its continued evolution. Read more »

International ARCHIBUS Users' Conference
April 26 - 29, 2009
Scottsdale, Arizona
Attendees will be introduced to new web-based ARCHIBUS software, including Lease Administration and Preventive Maintenance. Read more »

ESRI International User Conference
July 13 - 17, 2009
San Diego, California
ESRI UC provides an opportunity for ESRI users to extend their GIS skills and connect with the GIS community. Read more »

Coordinate Metrology Systems Conferenc
July 20 - 24, 2009
Louisville, Kentucky
Attendees are encouraged to network and learn about the latest innovations in the field of portable 3D industrial measurement technologies. Read more »

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