Each year, Vectorworks releases its new version. It usually has a huge number of new or improved features, and this year is no different. It can be difficult to separate features from benefits. Just because it is a new feature, it does not mean that you will find it useful. In this manual, we will be looking at the most important features and how they will benefit you.
Following along from other years, there is a table that shows the needs, the features and the benefits of the new Vectorworks version. As in previous years, I will not be detailing every improvement, just the essential ones.
It is typical for Vectorworks to introduce a multitude of small updates that will really speed your workflow. These small updates might not be one of the major features listed below, but they can still dramatically improve your productivity.
The other manuals this year have contained beginner, intermediate, and advanced sections. This strategy doesn’t work very well in covering these improvements, so the manual will follow the sections listed in the table.
CameraMatch is a huge timesaver. First, CameraMatch saves the time that it would take you to model the existing surroundings. Second, CameraMatch saves you the time it would take to match your current view to a photograph.
Many people think that they should only use CameraMatch for large projects. I believe this is wrong. CameraMatch is ideal for large projects, but it is also very helpful on small projects. It really does not take very long to set up a CameraMatch project, but showing your client the design and its context is so much better than just showing the model. CameraMatch can be used for exterior projects, architectural projects, urban design projects, landscape projects, and interior design projects.
For some time, Vectorworks has offered cloud services as part of the Vectorworks Service Select (VSS) subscription. Most users know that VSS gives them a free upgrade each year, but what about the other things that are included?
This manual will be looking at the cloud services part of VSS.
For any construction project, details are an important part of the drawing set. It can take a long time to fully detail a project, so let’s look at how to draw a detail and some strategies for speeding up the drawings. We will look at importing details, applying the principles of detailing, creating details, creating multi-use details, and using details from your library. Continue reading →
I often find that the standard Vectorworks roof will not make the roof that I want. If you work on renovation projects, you will find that the standard Vectorworks roof will not be able to draw the final roof that you want, and sometimes you will find that the standard roof will not draw the existing roof because people have added and extended the building over the years.
How can we make Vectorworks do what we want, or is there a way that we can help the standard roof do what we want?
In the past we have looked at Design Layers, Classes, Viewports, Sheet layers, and other organising concepts. The purpose of this manual is to look at how to bring all these together to work on a large project. We will be looking in detail at some of these concepts to see how they would come together for a larger project.
The workflow that we can use for a large project depends on the type of large project that we’re talking about and the number of people working on the project:
Large single building (school or office)
Multiple building (school or office)
Medium-density housing subdivision
High-density housing (apartment building)
Multiple building project with a single large building (holiday resort)
A site model is a 2D and 3D representation of a mathematical model that is based on 3D data. In simple terms, a site model is a 3D digital version of your site. You can use it for visualization, solar studies, cut and fill calculations, and much more.
Title blocks have undergone a major overhaul in Vectorworks 2018. The old Sheet Border tool has been completely replaced with a new Title Block Border tool and Drawing Issue command. The title blocks have been changed to use object styles, their layout is easier to change and customize, adding revisions and creating issues have been updated, and a new document transmittal facility has been added.
At this time of the year it is always interesting to look back at the topics that we have covered. Some of these topics are brand-new, while others are updates of previous years. Vectorworks 2017 introduced some new tools and techniques, topics that we covered earlier in the year. In October, we of course began looking at what was new in Vectorworks 2018.
Object styles are a powerful technique for controlling objects. On one end of the object style spectrum, you have plug-in objects, which are individual and flexible; on the other end, you have symbols, which are fixed—when you edit one, they all update. Object styles can be anything in between a plug-in object and a symbol. You can choose which parts of the object style are controlled like a symbol and which are flexible like a plug-in. This manual will be focusing on doors and windows, but the techniques covered can be used on all object styles.
First, we will be looking at the concept of object styles. Then, we will look in detail at how to control our object styles, before finishing off with how we can use object styles to create a window and door schedule.
It is common at this time of the year to look at the added features and benefits of the new Vectorworks release, so that’s what we’re doing in this manual. Following along from other years, there is a table that shows the new features and benefits of the new Vectorworks. As I have done in previous years, I will not be detailing every improvement, just the ones that are fundamental.
Vectorworks typically introduces a multitude of small updates that will really speed your workflow. These small updates may not be one of these major features listed below, but they can still dramatically improve your workflow.
Some people do not like the idea of online storage. They do not like to have their important data stored on someone else’s server. If you haven’t heard about the cloud storage system called Megaupload, then you should read about it – it’s a sobering story. The files and documents on the Megaupload servers were seized by the FBI as part of a piracy case against Megaupload; 100 million Megaupload users lost access to the data in 2012.
On the other hand, there are some services where the data is stored on your local hard drive and a copy is stored online. In this case, you should still have access to all of your files in the event of a server failure. These systems allow you to have an up-to-date copy of your document stored securely online. Many of these systems also enable connecting to your online files from other machines (laptops, desktops, tablets, mobile phones).
Walls, slabs, and roofs are designed to interact. This means that when you connect a slab to walls, it will update when you move the walls. Roofs can be connected to walls so that parts of the roof are inside the building and some parts of the roof extend out to the eaves.
In order to make these connections, we need to understand how walls, slabs, and roofs connect. We need to understand how the walls have been designed, how the slabs have been designed, and how the roofs have been designed. Continue reading →
Vectorworks has several options for importing information. these options allow you to import drawings from other computer systems, 3D models, images, PDFs, and other proprietary file types.
This means that you can use the Internet to locate useful parts or useful models for your projects and import them into Vectorworks. When you import these objects they will become native Vectorworks objects.
This manual will be looking at all of the options for importing. For some importing commands we will be looking at all of the options. For some of the importing commands (DXF/DWG) we will only look at these in general terms.
Vectorworks has had irrigation tools for some time. In the past, the problem was that the irrigation tools were not suitable for real-world irrigation design.
The new irrigation tools are designed to address these challenges. There are several parts to the suite of irrigation tools. You have to choose the appropriate tool for the job that you want complete.
You can create hydrozones, irrigation outlets, water main lines, drip zones, etc. Each of these has a different tool for controlling the specifics. You can create an irrigation network that knows the the total water flow of the network, the water flow down each branch of the network, and the required pressure for each outlet.
InteriorCAD XS is a plug-in for Vectorworks. In fact, it is a suite of plug-in tools. It does not come as a standard installation; it is something that you have to purchase in addition to Vectorworks.
Vectorworks 2017 has a new custom cabinet tool that is a derivative of InteriorCAD. InteriorCAD comes in two suites: InteriorCAD XS, which we will be looking at, and InteriorCAD, which is the fuller, more complex version for kitchen manufacturing. In this manual, we will only be looking at InteriorCAD XS.
Creating drawings for a building project is relatively straightforward when you have your design layers, classes, and building information model. But, that would make for a very short manual. What we also need to look at is how we get our design layers, classes, and building information model ready so that it is then easy to create the drawings.
Once we have these items, we will use viewports and sheet layers to create the drawings. This manual is structured to look at the basic concepts first, then the intermediate concepts, and finally the advanced concepts of creating drawings.
When you create objects in Vectorworks they can be 2D, 3D or a combination of both. Many objects also have information attached to them. If you think of a door for example, the door has a plan view, you can view it in 3D, and you can report the information from the door. If you think about the information attached to the door, that’s like the record format we are talking about. The idea of a record format is that it is a way to store information.