There are plenty of great CAD blogs out there, one that stands out to me is The CAD Setter Out by Paul Munford. Paul has many years of experience with CAD and he is generously sharing that experience on his site. Whether you are a CAD expert or just a beginner, you will find CAD Setter Out a helpful and insightful place. I had an opportunity to interview Paul this week and I’m excited to share that interview with you today. Enjoy!
DraftingHub: Give us a little background on who you are and what you do.
Paul Munford: I am the CAD Manager for Halstock Cabinet makers in the UK. My day job is looking after the technology and software for 4 CAD drafters and 20 Project Managers and Designers. I spend my remaining time designing and detailing high end custom furniture in AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor. I am the Dad of a young family and enjoy swimming and woodwork when I’m away from a computer. In my spare time I write the Cadsetterout Blog, Speak at any CAD event that will have me and hang out with the Expert Elites on the Autodesk Community forums.
DraftingHub: When did you start www.cadsetterout.com and how did it all come to existence?
Paul Munford: I started CSO in 2009 as a place to gather links to all the useful CAD tips I found on the web. I thought that it would be a great resource to refer my colleagues to when we got stuck. After a few months I realized that it wasn’t only my colleagues reading my posts and I began to take running a Blog more seriously!
DraftingHub: What are some challenges and rewards of running a successful blog?
Paul Munford: The challenge of Blogging is content, content, content. You have to keep it coming. Although – I have learned that great content published less frequently is more successful (for me) than simply posting frequently.
The most rewarding thing about writing a blog is hearing from people whose day just got a tiny bit better because of something I’ve published. I get a real kick out of helping people get over their CAD problems so that they can concentrate on designing and engineering.
DraftingHub: You have a big community around your site, if you could ask your followers/readers one thing and get an answer from all of them, what would that question be?
Paul Munford: I ask everyone who visits CSO the same question. ‘What was your biggest CAD challenge today?’ So – what’s yours? (Feel free to comment your CAD challenges below and I will direct those questions to Paul. DraftingHub)
DraftingHub: What are you working on right now, in your profession or on CAD Setter Out, that you are excited about and want to share?
Paul Munford: I’m currently working on the 2016 edition of ‘Mastering Autodesk Inventor’, taking over from my good friend and mentor Curtis Waguespack. Unfortunately this leaves less time for blogging, but I have received some great support from the CAD community – look forward to reading guest posts from Jon Landeros (Inventor Tales), Scott Moyse (Design and Motion) and Edwin Prakoso (CAD-Notes) on Cadsetterout over the coming weeks.
DraftingHub: What would you suggest to someone wanting to become a drafter? What are the essential skills to focus on when one is starting?
Paul Munford: I always say that you can’t draw what you don’t understand. Practical experience in your trade will be the backbone of your career. After that, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and work backwards (This could be your internal customer, as well as the end client). Are your drawings clear and easy to read? Do they contain all the information that the end user requires? Do they have mistakes? Did you produce them on time and on budget? What did you learn from creating this drawing that you can share with others?
DraftingHub: What resources, blogs, podcasts, books would you recommend to our readers?
Paul Munford: I recommend that you use an RSS reader like Feed.ly to get the latest posts from your favorite blogs. For a full list of all the blogs I follow, check out the CSO Links page.
For Video, I have to recommend Infinite skills, the publishers of my training videos for Autodesk Inventor.
For books, Wiley/Sybex are the official publishers for Autodesk books and offer a great range.
The absolute best resource bar none for learning your CAD software is Autodesk University. If you haven’t been to AU – make it your principal goal from now on. You won’t regret it, it can change your career. Remember to find me and say Hi when you get there!
DraftingHub: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Paul Munford: ‘Listen to everyone, and then do what you know is right.’ (This is actually the advice my Mum used to give expectant daughters in law about child rearing, but I think that it’s good advice for all of us 😉 ).
DraftingHub: How do you measure success?
Paul Munford: At work we have a system of metrics, targets and KPI’s that we track weekly to judge performance. On the blog I look for a steady growth rate in readers. Above all, it’s just nice to see good people do well!
DraftingHub: How can our readers stay connected with you?
If you enjoyed this interview, make sure to sign up for my blog updates below and never miss a post. I will send you a FREE eBook “Designer’s Toolbox” as a thank-you gift!