Recapture Your CAD Mojo by Learning Something New24 Feb, 2015 By: Robert Green
Learn something new and exciting, and solve your company's future technology problems at the same time.
Even though you deal with myriad technical problems on a daily basis and your job is never boring, do you ever get the feeling that you're stuck in a rut? That there must be something more than the daily grind to sink your teeth into? If you do feel this way, you're not alone; I hear these sentiments from many CAD managers.
Many of us originally embraced the job of CAD manager because we loved the technology — so it's not surprising that as we get pulled further away from technology and more into management, we lose some of our passion for the CAD game. In this edition of The CAD Manager's Newsletter I'll share an approach I've used to learn new technology and recapture some of that CAD mojo, all while bettering my management skills. Here goes.
First Things First
It goes without saying that if you're going to see projects through to completion, you must stay focused on your current tasks and keep your staff on track. I am in no way discounting this responsibility; it is the number one job we have as CAD managers. What I am saying is that a CAD manager who is engaged, motivated, and learning new things will do a better job for his or her company, as long as the focus of that learning is applicable to the company's overall needs.
So, if your company designs residential homes using AutoCAD and you want to learn more about designing fishing rods with SolidWorks, you're probably in the wrong job. On the other hand, if you want to learn about using custom software that helps create prefabricated wall and roof modules to speed construction and save money, then you're learning something your company should be interested in!
Now that you're thinking about getting back into the learning groove, it's time to determine what you want to pursue.
Forecast Future Technology Issues
To build your learning list, simply ask yourself a few diagnostic questions based on the CAD challenges your company might face in the next year of so. A few examples might be:
- What will be the next plug-in or technology we need to further our building information modeling (BIM)-based energy management solutions?
- What's next in digital scanning, and how can we use it to best serve our clients?
- What is the most challenging part we might need to produce on our new manufacturing line, and how will I model it?
- What technologies can we use to speed our annotative and drafting functions?
In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor and Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD video tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!