As an architect or designer, you likely rely heavily on computer-aided design (CAD) software to get your work done. CAD software is a powerful tool that can help you create detailed and accurate designs. However, managing CAD software can be a challenge, particularly if you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of IT.
Tips on How to Get the Most Out of CAD
Research the Right Tools
To get the most out of your CAD software, it’s important to research and use the right tools.
CAD tools worth investing in include a powerful computer and video card with enough memory to run your software smoothly. Monitor quality also makes a big difference in how well your software displays, and if you’re working with 3D designs, a second monitor can be helpful for viewing your work from different angles.
A reliable file management system can also be worthwhile to help you keep your files organized, backed up, and easy to find. There are a variety of file management systems available, both online and offline.
Another helpful tool is a CAD viewer. CAD viewers allow you to view CAD files without having the actual CAD software installed on your computer. This can be helpful if you need to open a file from someone who uses a different type of CAD software than you do.
One of the most important aspects of managing CAD software is to make sure that you are effectively utilizing your storage space. You want to make sure that you are not wasting any valuable storage space on unnecessary files or data.
One way to do this is to create folders and subfolders in your CAD software and organize your files accordingly. This will help you keep track of your files and data more effectively and efficiently.
Another aspect of managing your CAD software is keeping your software updated. New versions of software are released regularly, and you need to keep your software up-to-date in order to maintain compatibility as well as avoid security risks. Keeping your software updated also allows you to take advantage of new features and improvements to your software.
Don’t forget to create backups of your files on a regular basis. This will help you protect your data in case of a hardware or software failure. You can either create manual backups, use an automated backup solution, or get professional data backups.
If you’re not familiar with IT, it can be helpful to work with an IT professional in the architecture and design industry. They can help ensure that your computer meets the minimum system requirements for your CAD software and offer advice on how to properly store, secure, and backup your files. We’ll talk more about this later in the article, so stay tuned.
How to Organize Your CAD Systems
Now that we’ve gone over some of the basics of managing CAD software, let’s talk about how to actually organize your CAD systems. There are a few different ways to do this, and the best method for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.
Storing Your Files
The first thing you’ll need to do is decide how you want to store your files. You can either store them locally on your computer or on a remote server. If you decide to store your files on a remote server, you’ll need to make sure that the server is properly configured and that you have access to it when you need it.
Organizing Your Files
To organize your files, you can either use a folder system or a file management system. If you use a folder system, you’ll need to create folders and subfolders for your files. You can then use the search function in your CAD software to find the files you’re looking for.
If you decide to use a file management system, you can either use an online system or an offline system. Online systems are typically more expensive, but they offer more features and functionality. Offline systems on the other hand are less expensive, but they require you to download and install the software on your computer.
Accessing Your Files
To access your files, some options are to use a CAD viewer or a CAD software program. As mentioned, when you use a CAD viewer, you’ll be able to view your files without having the actual CAD software installed on your computer and this is great if you need to open a file from someone who uses a different type of CAD software than you do.
Should you go with a CAD software program, you’ll be able to view and edit your files. This is the most expensive option, but it offers the most features and functionality.
Sharing Your Files
File sharing programs or cloud-based options can help you share your files securely. If you decide to use a file sharing program, you’ll be able to share your files with other users of the same program. This can be helpful if you need to collaborate with someone on a project.
If you decide to use a cloud storage service, you’ll be able to share your files with anyone who has an internet connection. This is the most convenient option, but it can be more expensive than other options.
CAD Management Systems vs. Outsourcing to a Professional
Now that we’ve gone over some of the basics of managing CAD software, let’s talk about whether you should use a CAD management system or outsource your CAD needs. Here are 3 things to consider when making the decision.
With a CAD management system, you’ll need to purchase the software and pay for any associated costs, such as training and support. If you decide to outsource your CAD needs, you’ll need to pay for the services of a CAD vendor. You should reach out to a trusted IT provider to get a quote from them and know which option best matches your budget.
- Ease of Use
When you go with a CAD management system, you’ll need to take the time to learn how to use it. This can be a difficult and time-consuming process, especially if you’re not familiar with CAD software. If you decide to outsource your CAD needs, you won’t need to worry about learning how to use the software.
- Features and Functionality
The third factor you’ll need to consider is features and their functionality. When you learn the ins and out of a CAD management system, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the features and functionality that the software has to offer. When outsourcing your CAD management, you may be less involved in the day-to-day operations of the software, so it depends on how hands-on you’d like to be.
Managing CAD software can be a big job, but if you take the time to learn about the different options available to you, you’ll be able to find the best solution for your needs.
Remember that choosing the best CAD management strategies for your business will come down to your budget and time constraints, so think those through carefully before moving forward with a decision.
If you’re in the market for a trusted IT provider to help you with outsourced CAD management, reach out to us at Trinware. We specialize in helping architects and designers maximize their efficiency and profits with best-in-class IT service.