MCAD Tech News #199

31 Jan, 2007 By: Jeffrey Rowe

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Capital Expenditures and Competitiveness

Use actual costs to show ROI numbers

Even though it's still relatively early in the year, many of you already know what and where you'll see funds allotted for hardware and software technology acquisitions. It's tough when all of an organization's projects and departments vie for the same finite pool of capital dollars. When attempting to persuade and influence the powers that hold the purse strings, one of the most challenging aspects in pleading your case is justifying an expense.

Historically, ROI (return on investment) analysis of the past has been used to justify expenses that will benefit the company and improve its ROI in the future. However, I don't believe that looking at the past adequately represents productivity gains that can be realized in the future if new and better technologies are employed in design, engineering and manufacturing.

I think the biggest fault in this history-based prediction of future gains is in relying on what is known as standard costing, an accounting practice used to estimate the overall cost of production.Read more>>

Cadalyst Labs Review: SolidWorks 2007 Office Premium

By Jeffrey Rowe

Every time a new version of MCAD software is released, most users wonder, "What's in it for me?" With the latest version of SolidWorks, SolidWorks 2007, the company has added new and enhanced features and capabilities, and not just for the sake of adding them. In fact, this version seems more about improving the widely diverse workflows of the current and potential customer base than about tacking on additional raw functionality for specialized types of mechanical design. In my mind, this indicates the maturing of a product because it affects virtually all users, regardless of their design niche and needs, in a positive way. Read more>>

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

UK CAD Managers Forum
March 7, 2007
London, UK
EatyourCAD will sponsor the second UK CAD Manager's Forum, which is an opportunity for CAD Managers, regardless of experience, to meet and exchange ideas, free from any software vendors or sales pitches. This forum will concentrate on compliance with CAD Standards and issuing drawings. Read more

CIMdata 2007 PLM Vendor Forum
March 29, 2007
Detroit, Michigan
CIMdata's 2007 PLM Vendor Forum, whose theme is "PLM Matures: The community's strategy for success," will provide a focused review of challenges and opportunities that the maturing PLM market and its continued expansion creates for suppliers, along with a discussion of effective strategies for success in this rapidly-evolving market. Read more

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here.

what's new at

Online Archives: Click here to view an online version of this newsletter and past issues of MCAD Tech News.

Get the Code!
Cadalyst's January code from Hot Tip Harry is now available for download. This month, each AutoLISP tip was developed by Harry himself, in response to user requests posted on Cadalyst's Hot Tip Harry -- Help discussion forum.

Cadalyst's January Web Exclusives Now Live Online!
The latest editions of all your favorite Cadalyst tutorials for AutoCAD and other popular CAD software, CAD Cartoon, Dialog Box (letters from readers) -- plus all the content from the December edition of Cadalyst magazine -- are now live on Check it out!

Calling All Product Designers now offers direct access to the GlobalSpec search engine and information resource for the engineering, industrial and technical communities. Use GlobalSpec to search engineering content from the open Web as well as from a variety of proprietary content publishers. Or search more than 20,000 digitized OEM and distributor product catalogs representing more than 1.9 million products. Access the GlobalSpec search at the top of Cadalyst's Manufacturing home page.

Cadalyst Daily Update
For all the latest news and new products, subscribe to the Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Plus, every issue includes a feature you won't find anywhere else -- hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, AutoCAD tips and much more! Here's a sample of what you missed recently: