You may not want to upgrade, you may not be able to afford to upgrade, but I still think you should read about what is new in Vectorworks 2012. There are several important changes to 3D modeling that will change the way you think about 3D modeling. Amongst them are automatic working plane and new modes in planar objects.
3-Way Wall Joining. Joining three walls nicely has been a bit of a headache. Version 2012 offers an improvement, but it only works when you apply it at the time of the wall creation and not later on by using the Wall Join tool.
Roof Framing. Many of the bugs that I reported in the Framing CPD manual have now been fixed. This means that when you now use the Roof Framer, the overhangs will be displayed correctly. As well as fixing these bugs, there have also been some other improvements.
Wall Framing. In previous versions, Vectorworks did not recognize the core part of the wall. This made the wall framer unusable unless if you removed all the wall components.
Slab Objects. You can now use slab objects with the Create Joists From Poly command. This means that you can now create your building with slabs, and still frame them when you want to.
Columns. Columns are another one of the building elements that can bound to your extreme. So again stories can be extremely useful in setting up your building projects.
Stairs. Because of the new story concept, stairs are now ‘story-aware’. You can select a stair to go between two different stories and Vectorworks will calculate the number of risers required to fit.
Road. The road object has not been given a major overhaul but it easier to use. In the past, when you used the Roadway (NURBS), the view would change from a Top/Plan view to Top. Because of this you would loose all the 2-D information you required to place the road accurately.
Stake Object. When the tools were changed to have more information on the Tool bar, the Stake object became a lot more useful. You can now pre-set the elevation of the stake before you place them.
Site Model Improvements. When you modify your site model, Vectorworks will highlight your site model with a heavy red dashed border to show you the site model needs updating.
Brick Shader Dimensions. In the past it was a hassle to set the correct size of a brick texture. In Vectorworks 2012 the sizes in the Bricks shader relate to real-word sizes.
Metallic Shaders. There is a new metallic shader in Renderworks. You will only find this if you edit an existing texture or create a new texture with a metallic shader.
Heliodon. In Australia and New Zealand we have had the Heliodon tool for several versions. But for people outside Australia and New Zealand, this is a new tool and it replaces the Set Sun Position command from the View > Lighting menu.
Renderworks Style. I am a real fan of these new Renderworks styles. It will make it much easier to create your individual styles for rendering. Renderworks Styles are created as resources and are therefore available in the Resource Browser. Hence they can be copied into other files.
Hidden Line Intersection Edges. When two solid models intersect, Vectorworks can now calculate where they intersect.
Artistic Renderworks (Edge Thickness and Edge Color). If you are using Artistic Renderworks you will appreciate the new ability to control the Edge Thickness and the Edge Color.
When you combine primitive objects objects with the Automatic Working Plane and the Push/Pull mode, you will find that you can model in 3-D very quickly.
Primitive Objects. There used to be several primitive objects on the 3-D modeling toolset. Most of them have now been removed. They have been replaced by the Push/Pull mode on the Tool Bar.
Automatic Working Planes. Working planes in Vectorworks 2011 were pretty good. But now they are even better. Vectorworks 2012 has a … new option called Automatic working plane.
New Hatch From Customized Hatch. This new command will allow you to create a new hatch from one that you customized using the Attribute/Mapping tool.