CAD Manager's Newsletter (#218)

26 May, 2009 By: Robert Green

Lay Down the Law on CAD Standards, Part 1

Standardization costs little and offers great productivity payoffs, so get started now with this straightforward six-step plan.

Have you experienced frustration trying to enforce standardized work practices? Are you still suffering because of people who don't follow standards? Have you ever wanted to lay down the law about standards? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you're among the 90% of CAD mangers who have experienced problems enforcing standards in the workplace. Here's my question to you: Why should any company have to endure a lack of standardization when there are so many people looking for work who would be happy to comply with your standards?

In this two-part series of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll give you some practical guidance about how to achieve a more standardized and productive workplace. Here goes.

Plan of Attack
Of course, you can't lay down the law if you don't know what the law is or don’t have a plan to implement it. So before you send your first e-mail to the CAD staff, have your first group discussion, or admonish anyone for not following the rules, you need to complete the following checklist:

  • Make sure applicable standards are current
  • Get management's blessing and support
  • Communicate what you'll be doing
  • Decide what will be your first-strike action items
  • Develop a training plan
  • Deputize power users to help you
  • I'll give you a few hints for your plan of attack as I go along, section by section. 

    Read more »

    Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

    :: In-House User Groups (CAD Manager's Toolbox)

    Users and staff can help fill the training-budget void.

    As training budgets have been scaled back, more CAD managers find themselves having to conduct training using nontraditional techniques such as lunch-and-learn sessions or video training. Although I can't make budget problems go away, I would like to suggest a way to build an in-house user group that can form the basis of your training program.

    I've used the following process and found that seems to work well.  Read more »

    :: Resources

    New Whitepaper: 3D Printer Buyer's Guide

    This new resource from Z Corp., available now in Cadalyst’s Whitepaper Library, describes how tough economic times make a powerful argument for investing in 3D printing. The paper explains how such investments can yield long-term strategic value -- enhancing design and speeding time to market – and conserve money now by raising throughput and reducing labor needs. This paper covers how 3D printer products differ; terminology; and how to quantify costs. Free to users who register.

    :: Events

    Anark Adobe Webinar: Create, Author, Publish, and Consume

    May 28, 2009 
    10 a.m. PT
    Anark will host a joint webcast with Adobe to demonstrate how the Anark Core Platform, coupled with Adobe Acrobat and Adobe LiveCycle, makes it secure to share product design data between OEMs and suppliers. Read more

    Autodesk Imagine Tour

    Through June 4, 2009
    Various cities
    Discover how Autodesk 2010 software can turn your "what if?" design scenarios into a reality. At this event from Autodesk, attendees will learn how to: visualize, simulate, and analyze the real-world performance of ideas; optimize and improve designs before creating anything; and achieve higher-quality designs in less time. 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

    First Look Review: HP Officejet 7000 Wide Format Printer
    Low-cost, B-size inkjet printer is an excellent choice for small CAD, engineering, and DCC offices. Read more

    First Look Review: Autodesk Inventor 2010
    New Shrinkwrap feature and improved plastics and sheet-metal design tools are tied up in a nice ribbon. Read more

    Event Report: AIA 2009 Convention and Design Exposition
    Drag-and-drop modeling objects and energy simulation tools fuel AEC technology pavilion. Read more

    Cadalyst Partners with Tenlinks for News Delivery
    Agreement brings timely, comprehensive news coverage to visitors. Read more