Why You Should Draw In 3D, Using BIM

Why draw in 3D (BIM)? I often hear people say that I will learn the 2D first and then I’ll think about the 3D. The reality is that if you start by learning to use Buildling Information Modeling, as you build your models, you will also be creating your drawings. If the model changes, you can update the drawings with a click. You could call this an introduction to BIM.

I recently saw several customers that are using 2D only for their contract documentation. Some were not using viewports and none of them were using worksheets. Vectorworks has a fantastic ability to attach information to objects and report this information.

I truely believe that building the model seems harder, but the drawings are much quicker to create, and if you have to make any changes, the drawings are much, much quicker to update.

My workshop manual and webinar topic for July is how to make this transition from 2D to 3D. If you are a subscriber, book now…


Vectorworks Tip 441- It’s Quicker To Use BIM (Building Information Modeling)


I often hear people say that I will learn the 2D first and then I’ll think about the 3D. The reality is that if you start your projects by using Buildling Information Modeling, as you build your models, you will also be creating your drawings.

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Vectorworks Tip 374 – Slabs

slab, vectorworks

Slabs are a hybrid object, which means that they have both 2D and 3D components. An easy way to create a slab is to draw 2D polygon for the plan of the slab. Using the command Create Objects from Shapes…, You can make this polygon into a slab. The slab needs to have thickness and an elevation.

Vectorworks Tip 352- Marionette and BIM


When you create objects in Marionette, you add IFC information for the object into the Marionette network. But you can also add IFC information to the object without editing the Marionette network. After you create your Marionette network into an object, you can use the Object Info palette to add IFC information. When you and IFC information to your marionette object becomes an object that will be exported when you export your IFC project. All when you had the IFC information in this way, the information stays on the object even if you enter the Marionette network and edit it. As with other plug-in objects, the IFC information stays on the object when you change the parameters on the Object Info palette.

Vectorworks Tip 348 – BIM and IFC


BIM is the activity of modelling; IFC is the format to exchange information. When you are creating objects and locating them in the project, that’s BIM. But when you want to pass that information to another person, you can use IFC to export your project and the information attached to objects.

cadmovie1503_09 – BIM for Landscape – Part 9

IFC – When you create BIM projects, one of the major parts of the project is the ability to share information with other people who will not be using the same program. IFC was intended as a way of sharing information (not just lines as in DXF/DWG) between computer programs, allowing Vectorworks to talk to Revit or Archicad, for example.

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cadmovie1503_08 – BIM for Landscape – Part 8

Reporting – This is an extremely useful part of the Building Information Modeling. When your objects are created using the techniques we have described, they can be reported in a worksheet. The information in your report depends on the information you have attached to your objects.

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cadmovie1503_06 – BIM for Landscape – Part 6

Hardscape Areas – A hardscape object is a polygon-based object that is designed to represent hard landscaping. This object represents a flat area on the site and it can be used to create a three-dimensional object that has thickness, the graphic representation, border areas, and it can also be used as a site modifier. The hardscape object has data attached to it, which means that you can create a report that will list the main area, the border area, the price code, thickness, elevation, etc.

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cadmovie1503_05 – BIM for Landscape – Part 5

Landscape Areas – The Landscape Area tool will create a polygon shaped area that can represent an area of landscape. This area can include plants (with specific settings for spacing and species) or it can be used just to represent an area (lawn, planted areas, water, tracks, etc.). When you create a Landscape Area Vectorworks also attaches information to the object which can be reported later.

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cadmovie1503_04 – BIM for Landscape – Part 4

Planting – A plant in Vectorworks is a special object that has a plan representation, a model (or 3D) representation, and plant data. All these parts are bound together inside the object called a plant. When you place a plant, Vectorworks places all of these parts together in the drawing. This allows you to see the plan view, see the 3D, or create a report that shows the data.

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cadmovie1503_02 – BIM for Landscape – Part 2

Site Modeling – A site model shows 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.

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Interactive Workshops March 2015 (1503) – BIM for Landscapers

Cover ImageThere is a lot of talk about Building Information Modelling (BIM) in relation to architecture, but not a lot of talk about Building Information Modeling in relation to landscape. The principles behind BIM can be used to speed up the production of your landscape projects and drawings.

One of the important aspects of BIM is that you can attach information to objects that may not be printed (non-graphic information). For example, a plant object will have not just its plan representation, it will also have a 3D representation. It can also have plant data attached to it, and you could create your own data and attach that to the plant as well. One of the discussions I have had with landscapers is the ability to attach to each plant the amount of water that it needs for irrigation or being able to attach the embedded energy for each square meter of concrete.

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BIM_SIG_047 Architect Special Interest Group June 2014 (am)

2014-09-01_12-11-21This was a session that started to look at reporting materials. Starting with simple walls, we looked at how to report the areas and materials from them. Then we created more complex walls and looked at how to report the different materials from the walls.

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SST_1403 – Introduction to IFC

Cover ImageIFC Exporting and Importing. There has been a lot of talk recently about Building Information Modelling. In some countries this has become a major topic because some governments are moving towards a situation where all projects will be delivered using BIM principles. A major part of BIM this is to use IFC to export and import information from other parts of the project.

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cadmovie1031 – Introduction to BIM – Part 11

Reports – Another major benefit of BIM is the ability to create a multitude of reports, e.g. about objects, areas and many other data. Vectorworks has a built-in worksheet system that you can use to create these reports. If you have never seen the Vectorworks worksheeets before, I recommend you have a look at the manual Introduction to Worksheets.

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