June 2017

Advanced PDF to DWG Conversion

Tip & Tricks: The Role of a CAD Manager

As the manager in charge of computer-aided design (CAD), your role is to ensure the maximum efficiency of the CAD system — even though you may well be plagued daily by nit-picky problems, such as dry ink jet cartridges. The successful CAD manager is able to ease changes to CAD by carefully planning the process and keeping everyone informed. While the primary problem you will face is finding money for upgrades to the system, above all remember that your goal is to make it more efficient to get work done. When something makes the work more efficient, then implement it.

What The CAD Manager Needs To Know

The easiest definition of a CAD manager is “anyone who knows more about CAD than you do.” Seriously, though, the CAD manager combines an excellent CAD user with a network manager. Some of the things with which you should be familiar are the following.

CAD Systems

You must be familiar with all aspects of the CAD system your firm uses:

  • Drawing and editing commands, and techniques
  • Plotting and archiving drawing files
  • Customizing and programming
  • Translation to and from other CAD systems, and data formats
  • Understanding software related to CAD, such as databases and VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) programming
In addition, it’s helpful to have some familiarity with other CAD systems. Some firms use more than one CAD package in-house. Definitely, you will have at least one client using a different system. In any case, getting to know a second CAD system is like learning a second language: it broadens your horizons.

CAD Processes

CAD is more than drawing, editing, and plotting drawings. There is an entire range of processes that accompany the production of drawings. Tasks most closely identified with the profession of CAD management include the following:

  • Implementing a document management system that controls access to drawing files
  • Preparing a revision management system so that everyone knows which version of the drawing is the most recent
  • Creating CAD standards and standardized templates with symbols, title blocks, borders, and so on, and then making them available to all drafting stations from a central location
  • Setting up an on-line project management system, perhaps with group discussion capability
  • Justify to upper management the implementation and cost of new technology