CAD Manager's Newsletter (#216)

21 Apr, 2009 By: Robert Green

CAD Manager's Journey into 3D, Part 3p>

A deeper look into the survey numbers reveals probable reasons
behind 3D's slow acceptance.

In the past two issues of the CAD Manager's Newsletter I've been expounding on the relatively low rate of actual 3D software adoption. I've received a lot of e-mail on the topic, with responses all over the map. However, the most common request I've had so far is for an analysis of how 3D implementation is proceeding for various industry segments rather than CAD users as a whole. So in this issue I'll present my industry-specific findings and draw a few conclusions as I go. Here goes.

Data Collection
To arrive at industry segmentation, I've included in my calculations the responses from the past two years of surveys to get a larger sample. And although the year-to-year results do change somewhat, it is surprising how little things have changed in the past year and a half, a period that encompasses both survey data sets.

First I computed the categories of 3D implementation for the two years of data I analyzed for all industries. The percentage distribution worked out as follows (note that I included the 2008 results in parentheses).




Totally 2D  



Mainly 2D but evaluating 3D



Hybrid 2D/3D    



Totally 3D



Here are the immediate conclusions I drew from these results:


The real rate of 3D adoption (the Hybrid 2D/3D and Totally 3D categories) rose only 4% over the period. And although 4% does signal more adoption, it is not earth shattering.


Of those who've implemented 3D, most are using it in a mixed/hybrid environment with 2D CAD.


The reduction in totally 2D environments seems to match the increase of actual 3D implementation exactly. Note that the Evaluating 3D category remained unchanged.  Read more »

:: Training Not a Priority? (CAD Manager's Toolbox)

Contrary to what you might think, you really can maintain a training program
during hard times.

I've received several e-mails recently from CAD users and managers who are discouraged that CAD training has been eliminated at their companies. The question I see most often is, "Doesn't the company understand that if users are better trained, they get more done?"

I don't have any magic answers, but I think I can provide some guidance that may help. Read more »

:: Resources

Autodesk Offers Help to Displaced Workers
Autodesk is launching the Autodesk Assistance Program, which aims to provide customers and partners with design software tools, education, and resources to help develop and maintain 3D design technology skills and remain competitive in the marketplace.

Free SolidWorks Software, Training, and Certification
The SolidWorks Engineering Stimulus Package offers free SolidWorks 3D CAD software licenses, training videos and tutorials, networking, certification, and potential job leads to any job seeker living in the U.S. or Canada.

SolidWorks Training Program Extended
FISHER/UNITECH announced an extension of its No Engineer Left Behind retraining program, which offers candidates the opportunity to gain industry skills through a three-day SolidWorks 2009 course, an evaluation copy of SolidWorks 2009, and a potential FISHER/UNITECH internship.

:: Events

Webinar: Being BIM Aware

April 27, 2009
You have probably heard the term BIM or building information modeling, but are you sure what it means? Read more »

AVEVA Viewpoint Americas 2009 Users Conference

May 3-5, 2009
Galveston, Texas
This year's conference is built around the theme of "Getting Down to Collaboration." It offers tips, insights, and testimonials designed to help attendees make the most of AVEVA's integrated software. Read more »

2009 Washington GIS Conference

May 4-6, 2009
Bellevue, Washington
Workshops will be presented on open source GIS, designing web maps, creating fast web mapping applications with JavaScript, and cartography and map production. Read more »

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

:: What's New at

Lynn Allen's Circles & Lines: AutoCAD 2010 Makes Everyday Drawing Easier
Updates to layer colors, hatching, line conversions, purge, and more will help speed up common tasks Read more

First Look: Newforma Project Center Sixth Edition
Robert Green reviews this project information management software for AEC teams, which embraces more file types and integrates markups in a simple, e-mail-like interface.
Read more