For Vectorworks 2017 we have five major new technologies:
Structural Member Objects
We will be covering these technologies in detail, probably later in the year or early next year, but in this manual there will be a brief overview of them.
Last year there were several new technologies introduced and these have had a major upgrade this year:
Vectorworks Graphics Module
As well as these major changes to Vectorworks there are also some changes to the interface. Often, these changes do not seem very dramatic, but history shows us that these changes tend to make it easier to use Vectorworks, making us more productive.
Vectorworks has the ability to create quick conceptual models, this will allow you to create a site plan, existing buildings, proposed buildings, and then analyse the areas of these buildings compare to the site. As well as being able to create the plan information you want, you can also create the three-dimensional information really quickly. In the sessions you’ll see that with in 40 minutes we have the ability to create solar studies so that we can check the design. This is valuable information about the layout, cost, impact of adjoining buildings and planting, and it should improve your understanding of the site and constraints.
Vectorworks has the ability to create roofs from polygons and walls, and it has the ability to automatically generate some roofs accessories, but not all the accessories that you might require.
For example, Vectorworks will create roofs, facias, and soffits, but it will not create ridge flashings, barge flashings, barge boards, gutters, and downspouts (downpipes).
As we have seen from other manuals, it’s important to model as much as necessary to complete the elevations. So if Vectorworks does not create these parts that you need, how are we going to create them?
That’s what these sessions are all about. First will look at creating a standard roof and the standard accessories that Vectorworks will create, because some of them can be very useful. Then we will look at how to create the other accessories that we require, but Vectorworks won’t create automatically.Create
Just lately, I have been teaching several users who want to move from using a workflow to using Building Information Modelling (3D workflow). In the past, I had several users who would say “I want to get to the under my belt first then look at 3D.” This suggests that 2D is a productive method and that 3D is a luxury. This completely misunderstands the way Vectorworks creates drawings. 3D is not a luxury, it is an intrinsic part of the modelling/drawing process.
When you use Vectorworks effectively the 3D components are easy to create, they will create your drawings, and when you update the model it will update your plans, sections, and elevations. Not only is this fast and easy, it also saves lots of errors.
Energos is a system in Vectorworks that allows you to look at the overall energy consumption of your project. It includes the summer and winter climate and it uses the building elements in the file to do the calculations.
This means that you have to use a full BIM model to create your project you have to have a Heliodon for the climate data, spaces for the volume, heating systems, cooling systems, and shading on the windows.
When you have all the data, its is quick to create the Energos report. This manual will be looking at how to create the building elements, how to add the energos data to these, how to choose which building elements should be included in the energos calculations, how to add the heliodon, and how to control the Energos Project Data.
Some projects need more than one person to work on them. Maybe the project is large, maybe the deadline is short, but either way, you need more than one person on the project.
Normally, you can only have one person working on the file at a time. So, you could divide the file up of the pots, you could divide the file open to parts that you can reference, we could set up a system that shared all of the information. Either way, it is all about sharing information on the project – Project Sharing.
Subdivision modelling is a new area for Vectorworks. It was introduced it Vectorworks 2016 and it will allow Vectorworks to create extremely complex smooth curving shapes.
Subdivision services have been around for some time as a computer technology, but not implemented in computer programs very often. The subdivision surfacing techniques employed by Vectorworks have been developed by Pixar Inc. and Vectorworks are using their system.
In these sessions we are going to cover setting up an Alteration and Addition project. I sometimes call these rennovation projects, but as someone recently pointed out, rennovation suggests repairing. These sessions are really about setting up an existing building which we can then amend to suit.
We will start with a discussion about measuring an existing building. There are several ways to deal with this:
manually measure the project:
In these sessions we looked at creating a building takeoff report. In order to do that we covered the basics of creating worksheets (which is the technique we need to use to create a report). We also looked at designing a building takeoff, because while Vectorworks has the ability to report all the information you require, it doesn’t know yet what information that might be.
It is most important that you understand the concept of using worksheets. We have covered worksheets and other manuals, and I will not be repeating some of that information, but I will be covering enough for you to understand how a worksheet is designed to be used.
Rendering is a fun art of using Vectorworks and in the past we have covered lighting (1502), but we covered it from the point of view of interior and architectural lighting. This manual is about exterior lighting, which suggests that we should be looking at nighttime lighting for architectural and landscape projects.
This means that we have to think about our rendering from a completely different point of view. Instead of trying to make sure that everything is visible, we’re trying to create a mood. We have to consider things like the moon, the night sky, the lights on the building, the lights inside the building, street lights, garden lights, et cetera.
For several years now the last session of the year always reviews the topics we have covered during the year. This is a great opportunity for subscribers to catch up on any topic they may have must and to ask questions about it. I also like to use these sessions to have a look at the topics that uses would like me to cover next year. I usually have a couple of ideas for topics, but it’s a good idea to make sure that I cover topics that the users really want.
Vectorworks 2016 includs a new visual scripting language called Marionette.
Marionette works by connecting nodes together with wires. The data flows from left to right, from one node to the next down the wire. Each node does something simple and then passes its output to the next node. To create a script, you drag and drop the nodes to create a series of steps, at the end of this you get the object that you want. It might look complex, but once it is set up you can look at different variations by editing any of the node inputs. Each node is a Python based script (allowing you to edit the script) and you can turn the marionette object into a plug-in object if you want.
Some other CAD programs have had this kind of visual scripting language available for several years, and the feedback from the users is that this is a very powerful way to create your designs. It might look complicated to use this technology, but it does mean that you don’t have to understand the programming language, you just have to understand what simple steps you want your objects to go through. You might say that it will allow complex programming for everybody.
Every year we get an upgrade to Vectorworks. Usually we get a few exciting features, some features that don’t look very exciting but a very beneficial, and many small corrections to existing tools. This year is no different.
For Vectorworks 2016 we have five major new technologies:
We will be covering these technologies in detail, probably later in the year or early next year, but in this manual there will be a brief overview of these technologies.
As well as these major changes to Vectorworks there are also some subtle changes to the interface. Often, these changes do not seem very dramatic, but history shows us that these changes tend to make it easier to use Vectorworks, making us more productive.
In the sections we look at the Vectorworks roading tools. Roading is a slight challenge for Vectorworks, and that it’s not really a roading design package (which is a sophisticated topic) but it does have roading tools that can be used to create the majority of the things you need. I kept roading out of the site modifiers sessions so that we could give them adequate time.
There are several options for site modifying. You can add extra source data into the site model to modify it, and you can use site modifiers like roads (good for roads and paths), pads (good for flat or uniformly sloping areas), hardscapes, landscape walls, 3D polygons, and stake objects.
Each site modifier follows the same strategy. The site modifier has a 3D part the will change the site model and a boundary. The Boundary is a planar shape that defines how much of the site model will be affected. The Boundary is flexible and it allows you to choose the extent of the site modification. If the boundary is close to the site modifier, you will have a steep slope. If the boundary is a long way from the site modifier, you will have a gentle slope.
A site model is a way of looking at 3D data (spot levels or contours) in a way that allows you to see complex 3D models and 2D representations. Vectorworks uses the 3D information to create the models based on the data to help you understand the 2D and 3D nature of your site. When you create a Site model Vectorworks will make an Object that can show one type of information in a 2D view (2D contours) and a different type on information if you are in 3D view (3D contours or extruded contours etc.). Using this hybrid object is a good way of combining the 2D contours and the 3D site model into one object. If you are used to earlier versions of Vectorworks then this will be a very different way of working. The Plug-In Object allows you to turn on or off the existing and proposed site models.
If you are an architect it will be unusual to create a building that does not have a roof. If you are a landscaper then it is useful to create a simple building with a simple roof that reflects the building that you working with.
Roofs in Vectorworks can be made from walls or from planar objects (rectangles, polygons, etc.). You need to have this shape to define the outline of the roof.
When users join this web site, it’s possible that they might find the extent of the information on the site daunting. I have been using this site for years (after all, I created it), so I know my way around. But what if you are new? I thought it would be nice (and useful too) to have an online session to show all the new users around.
Rendering is one of the fun parts of using Vectorworks. Rendering is where you bring together the lighting, the textures and the rendering settings to create the kind of visual presentation that you want. Vectorworks has a huge range of options when it comes to creating your rendered views. Do not forget to look at the manual on textures and the lighting manual before you start to render your project. You have to do all that preparation work first.