CAD Managers Not Optimistic

Robert Green recently conducted a survey to gauge the state of the economy according to the CAD Manager.

See his article: Survey: CAD Managers Reveal Effects of the Economy, Part 1

This is a followup survey to one he conducted in February (Results Part 1 and Part 2), so he can compare how things have changed since then.

Here are some quick highlights, please follow the link to the original article for Robert's more in-depth analysis and some charts:

There were 405 responses worldwide.

40% of respondents have had their pay cut or frozen (although he estimates that 15% of CAD Managers have been laid off this year).

Only 10% report being busy with work, and 65% report recent layoffs.

Only 7% of the respondents are really optimistic about the year ahead.


Revit Standards - Getting Started Guides

As I may have mentioned, our parent organization began a mandate a couple of years ago to utilize BIM on larger projects, but, the ramp up to all BIM on all projects is coming up with the next calendar year.

While our parent organization doesn't specify a particular format, I've chosen the Revit family of products for my campus and am in the midst of writing our facility's BIM/Revit standard now.

I thought that I'd share some documents that I've downloaded to get myself started:
NBIMS - National BIM Standard from the BuildingSmart Alliance
USACE - US Army Corps of Engineers BIM Roadmap (and Bentley requirements)
GSA - US General Services Administration
a model content matrix
data exchange standards (IFC) - FIM on IFC benefits, IFC & XML, CADalyst on GSA
Autodesk whitepapers\ Revit whitepapers
McGrawHill SmartMarket report on BIM 2008 and 2009 Business Value of BIM
and am ordering some AIA documents (B101, A295, E202, Add 200.2 C106, E201, ConDoc200.2, ConDoc301).
ASHRAE - Introduction to BIM

But, of course, most of that is very general and very overwhelming. So, in addition, I've been looking specifically for information on Revit Standards. HOK posted their AutoCAD/ADT/Revit standards a couple of years ago, but, I think they were just starting the Revit portion at that point so it might be quite a bit out of date.

The next step has been talking to some of our local contractors about what they're using as guidelines in-house so far. As with my CAD Standards, I want to be specific enough to get reproducible and reusable documents, but, I don't wish to greatly interfere with established workflows. BIM is a very different animal than CAD, trying to standardize it is much more about outlining the design process, rather than outlining the state of the deliverable. They've been very generous with their responses so far, and I appreciate the feedback. But, it looks like most of them are not using a set of 'BIM Standards' or 'Revit Standards' so far, they're trying to keep things out of the box as they ramp up, and just try to control information with a good and consistent folder structure. While I plan on taking everything I hear into consideration, I won't be copying anything word for word, primarily just finding inspiration about what is important and what is not.

I'm going to continue to ask around, and I'd certainly appreciate links or emails with any resources anyone can offer. Either from firms with a Revit Standard or established guidelines, or introductions to other building operators who are investigating or adopting BIM. (I'd also appreciate any pointers to anyone who has used Revit with Archibus, so far all I can find is one little 'whitepaper' that says it's possible, but, haven't found anyone who has actually tried and succeeded yet).

On a related note, I liked this article on the VICO site about the single-model misconception, revealing one GSA projects has over 200 models.

Oh, and while not really about standards, here is a link to a CADalyst interview I did with Clyne Curtis of BYU about the status of their Revit adoption.

And of course, don't forget the dicussion areas for BIM Managers:
AUGI BIM Management Forum
BIMManager Google Group


New BIM Magazine from AUGI

Alright, looks like the AEC crowd has a new magazine from AUGI (I believe that, if it does well, they will look into branching out into other disciplines).

We're just starting to use Revit here on my campus, and, coming from the Engineering group, we're interested in MEPFP content mainly, and I'm thrilled to see that the debut issue of "AEC Edge" doesn't just focus on the Architectural industry.
They're talking Architectural models, IPD (integrated project delivery), Training, Implementation, Coordinate Systems, MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing building systems), Structural, Analysis, education and API. Loads of content.

Don't take my word for it, check out the Table of Contents below, then download the current issue (available in the interactive format AND pdf).

Also, please don't forget, TODAY is the last day to participate in the 2009 AUGI Annual Salary Survey! Just 19 short questions, it will take about 5 minutes (there's a link to a currency convertor for any non-US folks who want to participate, I LOVE international participation!), results will be presented in broad categories in AUGIWorld Magazine this fall. If you've already participated, please, feel free to send the link to your colleagues and invite them to take part as well.


OT: School Update

Well, if you're a subscriber you've probably noticed that my posting rate has gone down a bit here on my blog lately. I've got three or four posts in the queue and just can't seem to find the time to sit down and flesh them out properly.

In addition to the little bundle of joy and his precocious older brother, I have been taking more classes to complete my Bachelor's Degree.

I finished an Associate's Degree back in 2002, but, devoted the next couple of years to financing quality childcare for number one son. ;)

I mentioned last year that I had the opportunity to return to college through a program at work, and I've been very grateful for the opportunity. I have, however, increased my course load. It would take forever to finish if I stayed with taking only one course at a time.

As it stands now, I should finish by the fall of 2011.

I only recently declared my major officially. Organizational Leadership and Technology.
I believe it's sort of a new program in St. Louis University's School for Professional Studies.
Originally, I assumed I'd complete a Mechanical Engineering degree (a second Associate's I'd started years ago when still working on my Drafting Technology degree), but, an education in Management and Computer Science will be sure to prepare me for some very interesting projects, so I'm somewhat happy that it's an option.

So, currently being swamped with homework has hampered my creative writing ability for a bit. When I do get some time off between classes, I'll polish up what I've got (hang in there for me).
You will, of course, be hearing more about the Salary Survey soon as I work on that.

I do have to give major thanks and appreciation to Mike in all of this. He's been really supportive of my desire to complete my education and has picked up my slack around the house (yes, he's actually been cooking, I know!). Seriously, it takes a lot of time and effort to keep a household running smoothly, as well as keeping two growing boys happy, so he's really gone above and beyond.

If you don't have the time or finances (try filling out a FAFSA next fall, who knows what you might be eligible for?), but, still want to educate yourself a bit, try searching for some Open CourseWare. MIT and Yale are two big ones who've been publishing lectures, videos and course materials for the public to enjoy, I'm sure other colleges and universities have some great classes too. And, for those unemployed CAD folks out there, don't forget about the Autodesk Assistance Program if you want to make the most of your time off by making yourself more marketable.


CAD/Design/Architecture/Engineering Annual Salary Survey Running Now!

AUGI is currently running the 2009 Annual Salary Survey!


Which means that your peers need YOU to log in and report your views. We call this a survey because that's precisely what we're doing. We're collecting information from the members to compile and share back with the members. What a great idea!

But, unfortunately, only about 10% of our membership takes part each year, which limits the amount of meaningful data that I've got to work with. Remember, every little bit helps. Speak for your industry!

The survey results will be released in AUGIWorld Magazine this fall.

Of course, if you have any concerns about participating in this anonymous survey or have questions about any of it, be sure to check out the updated FAQ. And the 'F' in FAQ, REALLY means FREQUENTLY. Frequently Asked Questions

I did get feedback from our members last year and, as usual, I have made a couple small changes.
Many "Thanks" to those folks who truly appreciate all of the volunteer time spent on this and tell me about how our survey has benefited you. That's what AUGI is all about, users helping users, and I love to know when you've benefited.

Feel free to check out the results from the 2008 Survey which include: the Salary Survey article and charts from AUGIWorld Magazine, the FAQ document (which includes a listing of all questions asked on the survey, frequently asked questions), a Podcast (mp3 containing survey observations and tips on asking for a raise) and a spreadsheet containing various comparisons and rankings between each discipline/industry.

This survey isn't only about how much money people are earning, it's a pulse in our industry... we can watch trends such as more firms adopting BIM Managers, and more folks retiring and more folks taking pay and hour cuts. I'm very curious to see this year's results and I hope you'll all participate.

Oh, ~sigh~ and just to be one step ahead of the curve... if you frequent other CAD sites, you might have noticed last year that there were a couple of users (one in particular who posted under a couple of other names) who... theorized and then 'spread the word' a bit last year that AUGI or I are benefiting somehow by selling the information we're gathering... which is, of course, a completely fabricated theory. Nothing is done with this survey outside of the results posted on AUGI's website, the results are not tied to user names and I have no way of finding out who reported what and no way to monetize the information. We require a log in to prevent people from flooding the survey with results that might skew the numbers.

And, as always, AUGI is nothing without it's users, so I really hope that you could spare a couple of minutes of your time to chime in with your $0.02 and provide one more salary and industry resource for the community. Thank you for your time!


Gateway AUG Summer Meeting June 17th

The Gateway Autodesk User Group will meet next week. New features of Autodesk Software will be presented.

When: 17th June - Wednesday - from 6 to 8:00 pm

Where: Clayco, Inc. Forum Studios, 2199 Innerbelt Business Center Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63114. (google map).


· "New Features in Revit Architecture" by Brian Myers, Seiler Instruments.

· "New Features in Ecotect and Green Building Studio" by Tomislav Zigo, Clayco.

What else: Pizza and Drinks – sponsored by Seiler Instruments

You can RSVP here so that we can make arrangements for food and drinks.

If you need additional information, please email us.

For information on what's new with AutoCAD 2010 and other programs, please see your AUGI resources: http://www.augi.com/education/schedule.asp?page=292 http://www.augi.com/publications/hotnews.asp?page=1958 http://www.augi.com/publications/hotnews.asp?page=1936 http://www.augi.com/publications/hotnews.asp?page=1922 http://www.augi.com/publications/hotnews.asp?page=1905 http://www.augi.com/publications/default.asp?page=63

Also, the AutoCAD Insider, Heidi Hewett... she's posted great videos as well:


(she has links on her blog to videos on new features from AutoCAD 2006-2010, so check out some of the older ones as well if you haven't used them yet)


BIM Management Comments/Questions

There have been some interesting topics posed about BIM Management recently. Check out what others have been saying, and add your $0.02 if you feel like it.

The first thing I'd like to mention is this poll done, asking how long users had held the title of BIM Manager. The overwhelming majority were between 1-2 years.

What is your Network Folder Setup and Organization of Resources? Discussion.

What to include with BIM Standards? Discussion.

What is (or should be) included in the Job Description for a BIM Manager? Discussion.

Setup and Coordination issues when your clients are Facility Managers who will be using a Building Model long-term? Discussion.

If you've got some hot-button issues, discuss them with others in the forums...


AutoCAD 2010 Tips and Tricks booklet from Lynn Allen

AUGI Members Only Exclusive!

Starting Monday

[EDIT: Here is a link to the AutoCAD Community Forums, where AUGI members can download the AutoCAD Tips and Tricks booklet for 2010]

(remember, you MUST be logged in as an AUGI member in order to see this 2010 forum)

You all know the value of Lynn Allen’s Tips and Tricks. You know that she has saved you tons of time and effort. Now Lynn Allen, Autodesk technical Evangelist and AUGI Sweetheart, is offering an exclusive to our members. A sneak peek at the AutoCAD 2010 Tips and Tricks.

That’s right – before anyone else gets to see them, Autodesk is allowing AUGI members an exclusive downloadable version. This PDF download is stuffed with the best of the best from Lynn. You have used them in the past and they have made you more productive. Get the latest in a long stream of helpful hints directly from Lynn to AUGI members. (You must be a member to download the booklet.)

Better yet – download your preview copy, then go see Lynn and the tips live and in action at the Autodesk Imagine Tour at a city near you. You can get a hardcopy of the handy booklet at the event.

Join informative sessions, including Take Design Further: Lynn Allen's AutoCAD 2010 Tips & Techniques, and learn how AutoCAD 2010 delivers groundbreaking new capabilities to tackle the most challenging design problems with ease. In addition, you'll see our range of solutions in action in our industry sessions, including design and intelligent modeling solutions such as Autodesk® Inventor® software, Revit® software, AutoCAD® Map 3D software and Autodesk® 3ds Max® software.

www.autodesk.com/imagine Sign up today! Visit her blog for even more tips… www.autodesk.com/lynnallen


FMDesktop: Will it live?

There have been a lot of questions, conjecture and rumors suddenly flying around about the ultimate fate of the FMDesktop suite (Autodesk's somewhat recently acquired CAFM/CMMS solution).

Of course, there has been no 'official' word or press release confirming the demise of the product or the declaration of what might replace it 'if' it goes the way of the dodo.
But, believe me, if I come across anything definite and confirm-able, I will post about it here.

However, if you'd like to see where I first heard the rumor and read some of the user, reseller, developer commentary, you could always check out this thread, "What's going on? No more FM Desktop?"

Alright, finally formal word on the FMDesktop Suite appears on Autodesk's website confirming they will no longer be selling FMD (although existing subscriptions will be valid until 01/31/2010).
I do encourage folks to follow my link above to the 'No more FM Desktop' thread, to see what some folks have said about FMD and other products.
If I hear anything else that I can share, I will post about it here on my blog.

Gauging the Economic Impact with CAD Managers

Obviously there has been quite a bit going on in the economy since the last AUGI Salary Survey and CAD Manager Survey were taken in 2008.

Robert Green has decided to do a quick update on his survey in order to see how folks have been affected.

If you haven't already, please pop over and take two minutes to fill out the CAD Manager Survey Update, reporting how your company is faring in this economy. He'll post the results in the next CAD Manager's Newsletter.

(I don't currently have any plans to conduct the AUGI Salary Survey early, it is scheduled to run in the fall, as it was last year. If you have any questions or suggestions as to questions you think I should add, please feel free to contact me after reading the current list of questions in the FAQ)


Webcast & Meeting in St. Louis Tonight

Tonight is the first quarterly meeting of the Gateway Autodesk Users Group for 2009!

When: 18th February- Wednesday - from 6 to 8:30 pm
Where: Clayco, Inc., 2199 Innerbelt Business Center Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63114. (google map)
What: "BIM as a communication, coordination and analysis tool using Revit MEP, Greenbuilding Studio, Ecotech, Navisworks" by Jason Steele, Autodesk
What else: Pizza and Drinks – sponsored by Seiler Instrument

If you *can't* make it in person (although we'd really love you to stop by and bring a friend, and don't worry about being stuck in traffic, we'll happily accept latecomers!) I will be setting up a Webcast! This is my first one, so I hope the sound and video are going to be sufficient for the space (I'm showing up early so I can tweak if necessary).
If you can catch the webcast live, I'll be monitoring the chat window for questions and will try to relay them to the presenter as appropriate. If you can't catch it live, I'll be recording it and you can access it through the same link as the live webcast.


BIM Managers connect like CAD Managers

I've been an avid reader of CAD Management forums for years, and I currently moderate in that area on the AUGI Forums. They're a goldmine of information and experienced perspective.

As I have mentioned in previous posts here, and in the AUGI Salary Survey, BIM Managers are becoming more and more common as firms continue to embrace and expand the use of Revit and similar products. They're dealing with a whole new set of problems, in addition to the typical management and education considerations that CAD Managers have been dealing with for years.

I just wanted to let folks know that there is a BIM Management forum on AUGI now, too. For those folks to share ideas and ask questions and point out their favorite resources to one another. For now, since there isn't much traffic, BIM Standards are also being discussed in this and other forums as well, but, if those conversations became very numerous, I'd be happy to see to the creation of a BIM Standards forum.

This is partly a selfish announcement, because I'd love to see a lot more discussion going on in there. As an owner contemplating what standards we will have our contractors operate by, I want to see what those firms have to say about what's easy and what's hard within their own companies. It took me awhile to strike that balance in my CAD Standards between what I really need and what isn't too disruptive to the workflow of our contracted drafters and designers.

Feel free to visit any of the other discussion areas for CAD & BIM Managers on AUGI:
CAD Management general
BIM Management general

CAD Standards
AutoCAD Customization
Education (for educators)

Operating Systems


AutoCAD 2010 Launch - Quickie

I am blogging from San fransisco right now (from my iPhone, because the Hyatt has a lousy connection). I have to be brief on my phone.

Today 10 bloggers were brought to the official launch of Acad2010. We voiced our opinions on new features, hit and miss, to the people in charge of creating them.

I have been tweeting and posting pictures on twitpic all day, but, I do have two fully illustrated blog posts in the queue for when I've got computer Internet access. For now, you can check out a list of new features here:



I've been micro-blogging

Obviously I've been on hiatus from the blog while I was on Maternity leave with the newest addition to our family, but, I have been micro-blogging using Twitter. If you're on Twitter, tweeting about design, look me up and maybe we can follow one another.

It's a quick and easy way to trade links and post updates about everything.

When I'm tweeting about my AutoCAD/CAFM/BIM blog I'll be on:


I make personal and general tech updates at:


I'll be heading out to California tomorrow, look for my tweets at the first link to see what we're up to (hint: it has to do with AutoCAD). Look for some blog posts on the topic(s) after I return.


BIM Communication Coordination and Analysis - St. Louis Meeting

Here are the details of our next Gateway Autodesk User Group meeting

When: 18th February - Wednesday - from 6 to 8:00 pm

Where: Clayco, Inc., 2199 Innerbelt Business Center Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63114. (google map: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=2199+Inne...

What: "BIM as a communication, coordination and analysis tool using Revit MEP, Green building Studio, Ecotect, Navisworks" by Jason Steele, Autodesk

Food/Refreshments: Pizza and Drinks – sponsored by Seiler Instrument

You can RSVP here ( http://spreadsheets.google.com/embeddedform?key=plk51EgjXLX-aIdsJy1ucCg ) so that we can make arrangements for food and drinks.