Are you using your CAD software to its full potential?

As Autodesk is releasing their annual product, I thought it would be a good time to talk about software training, or are you just going to carry on using it the same way you always have?

Are you using your CAD software to its full potential?

In most industries these days, we use some form of computer software. Over the last few years, the way we consume and purchase software has changed. Previously we would buy the Autodesk 1998 version keep it for a couple of years then buy the 2000 version. Now with Autodesk subscription and maintenance models and software being hosted in the cloud, you can automatically get an update once a year, or if you look at Autodesk Fusion 360 every 6 weeks.

My question to you is – Do you use all or any of the new additional technology that the software companies develop for us? Realistically the answer is probably not very often. When you get the latest version of your software, perhaps you, like most people probably take a quick look at the "What's new" help file presentation, and think to yourself "that new feature is what I have been waiting for". You promise yourself that you will use it tomorrow - Tomorrow very rarely comes. You get a rush job in and think I'll just use what I know until I've got a bit more time. The same thing happens the day after and the day after that, before you know it a new version of your software magically appears on your desktop, and you are way behind.

I have been at Symetri for over 20 years now, teaching CAD software to a multitude of people and I love my job. I really enjoy teaching and watching the delight in people’s eyes when they understand what you are talking about and can see how they implement the new feature or tool into their design project. Twenty years ago I taught two courses, AutoCAD Essentials, and AutoCAD Updates. I still teach the essentials today, but very occasionally do I teach an update course for any software, be it AutoCAD, Inventor or Vault.

One of the recent times I did teach the AutoCAD update course was to some of the most knowledgeable people I have ever had in my classroom, but there was so much content that they didn’t know. Not just the latest feature that they were there to learn, but things that had been added in previous versions. Thankfully, this company understood the value of training and is embarking on a training programme to update all of their users. This company unfortunately is in the minority. I have asked many people who attend our training courses and those we help on the support desk about their software usage and I would say that about 75% of people still use the software in the same way they always have and use the same workflows they were originally trained on.

Ask yourself, is this you - and I don't mean just the CAD software that you are using, but probably Word, Excel etc. How many of you are still putting a sketch down to create a hole in Autodesk Inventor? If so, you could be a lot more productive, there are new tools and workflows in all of the latest Autodesk releases.  Let us teach you them. We are all expected to work smarter with less time, let your software do this for you, unleash its potential and your own.

What is your call to action from this blog? Book an update course, look at the what's new help files, read the blogs, speak to your support team to see if there is a quicker way to do what you are doing. Remember you don’t know what you don’t know, so let someone teach you.
We may even get the Update Course off the endangered lists!!