Graphics Programs Reference
In-Depth Information
Decide what you specifically want to test when reviewing the CAD systems. This
should be based on key things you wish to get out of the software, both in terms of skills
and practical use. For example, do you want to rapidly produce 2D drawings? Or do you
aim to convert old technical drawings into 3D models? Alternatively, are you attempting
to quickly construct assemblies from multiple parts? Think about things you can test the
software for.
• Next invite the CAD system suppliers in to demonstrate their software. A series of
live demonstrations is an ideal way to compare and evaluate the systems. Invite them in
on different days so they can be fully quizzed. However try and get them in over a relat-
ively short period for a fair comparison and to keep momentum.
• During the demonstration, in addition to the standard CAD features they show, get
them to focus on your specific requirements. Ask as many questions about your needs
as you can think of. Get them to demonstrate using your data or project. So for example,
if a key aim is to quickly convert old drawings into 3D models, get them to demo this.
Why not time it to see how long it takes? Once competent, get them to reveal short cuts.
Ask about tips and hints. Don't make it easy; instead fully test them until you are satis-
fied and convinced.
• Whilst the CAD vendor is there, ask about all the points listed in your matrix or grid
you used to compare CAD systems. Now you have a company rep in front of you, ask
the questions and list the answers. In slower time you can check to see how accurate
your assumptions where. This is your chance to really grill the CAD vendor. Take it,
don't waste it. Ask those questions specific to your business the glossy website simply
doesn't answer.
• Whilst the CAD vendor is present get one of your CAD Engineers to have a go. Try
before you buy. Test to see if it really is as intuitive and user-friendly as they claim. Is
it possible to reverse engineer a simple part there and then? The CAD Engineer should
take the opportunity to ask questions and pick the brains of the CAD vendor 'trainer'
sitting next to them. An objective, informed opinion about a CAD package from one of
your own employees is invaluable.
• As an extension to this, can you get the CAD vendor to take away a small project
and supply it later when complete? Something that will highlight the key features of
the software and answer questions specific to your business? Make the sales guy work.
You are about to invest significant amounts. What better way to help your justification,
than with an example of CAD work specific to your business.
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