CAD Manager's Newsletter (#217)

12 May, 2009 By: Robert Green

CAD Manager's Journey into 3D, Part 4

Readers respond to the survey numbers with disbelief
and share reasons for not making the transition.

In the past three issues of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I've covered the wide variance of adoption rates for 3D software in general and in specific segments of the CAD field I've received a lot of feedback from users, vendors, bloggers, and CAD managers. Wrapping up this series, I'd like to share some of the more interesting questions and statements I've received and offer some conclusions. Here goes.

3D Adoption in General
The interesting thing about the feedback I've received regarding 3D adoption is that most comments settle into one of the two following categories:

     "You've got to be kidding -- there are many more companies using 3D than that!"

     "You've got to be kidding -- there's no way that many companies are using 3D!"

As a reminder, here are the numbers I shared in the previous edition, broken down by industry segment:


Totally 2D

Evaluating 3D


Totally 3D













Civil Engineering





Consumer Goods Design










Interestingly enough, the feedback was almost evenly divided between these two camps, yet was highly correlated to certain industry segments. Those who thought 3D was more prominent than what my statistics indicated were invariably from product design or manufacturing backgrounds. Those who thought my 3D numbers were too high were invariably from architectural or construction firms that use 2D AutoCAD for their project work.

I interpret the divergent responses as validation of my survey's findings that a large gap exists between companies using 3D and those that aren't – in other words, there’s not a lot of middle ground here.Both sides of the issue have passionate opinions on the subject. It's really interesting to see the cultural divide between 2D and 3D reflected in reader feedback.

Bottom line. Where you work determines whether you're involved with 3D implementation. If you’re in a field that has a high rate of 3D adoption but are working for a 2D-only company, you are restricting your future career options. (For details about this, see CAD Manager's Journey into 3D, Part 3.)   Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox: Low-Cost Training Resources

Job seekers can improve their skill sets, often at no charge.

Sadly, I've been receiving more and more e-mails from CAD managers who've lost their jobs lately. Many of them want to take their time off to learn some new CAD tools or programming to help them build their skill sets, but they don't know where to find the training resources they need

In this edition of “CAD Manager’s Toolbox,” I’ll pass along a few ideas.  Read more »

:: Resources

Avatech Supports New Autodesk Assistance Program

Autodesk reseller Avatech announced that it is supporting the Autodesk Assistance Program by offering low-cost training courses in architecture, building systems, and civil and mechanical engineering. Classes are $99 each and include a training manual. Students can sign up for Avatech's Standard Classroom or Online Virtual Classroom Training courses.

New Social Network for CAD Techs, Managers, Architects, and Engineers is a new social networking site for the AEC and CAD community. Chat rooms are set up for members to discuss issues. The site also includes a forum for long-term topics and even a place to display projects and work. Users can upload CAD-related videos and audios as well.

First Trace Releases New White Paper and Podcast

First Trace’s Engineering vs. the Office is available as a white paper or podcast covering the nine fundamental differences between engineering and office document management solutions. The resource is designed to serve as a first step in understanding these crucial differences.

:: Events

CoCreate Lunch and Learn Webinar Series

Through May 21, 2009
Join PTC in May for one, two, or all three live Lunch and Learn webinars about  explicit modeling. Read more »

Autodesk Imagine Virtual Event

May 19, 2009
Without having to leave the office, attendees of Autodesk Imagine Virtual Event will learn how Autodesk 2010 software enables them to visualize, simulate, and analyze ideas to the fullest extent. Read more »

Webinar: Linking Financial Decision Making to Supply Chain Performance

May 28, 2009
7 a.m. PT
At this webinar from SCM World, attendees will learn to balance financial needs with operational imperatives and develop an optimized inventory management strategy. 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

The Tao of CAD and GIS
Now in beta testing, a new on-demand viewing and markup tool lets users collaborate on a file simultaneously. Read more

Get Lean with Automated 3D Data Transformation
With tough economic times forcing manufacturers to trim expenses, companies can find help from tools such as Anark Core. Read more

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