I’m Constantly Surprised by Vectorworks


I’m constantly surprised at what Vectorworks is able to achieve. There seems to be nothing that Vectorworks cannot do. A few months ago i blogged about a case study that Nemetschek Vectorworks had produced on one of my clients (icebreaker). They have really taken to Vectorworks (and my training) and completely changed the way that they do business.

This month I was asked by a client to build a special tool that would take site measurements and convert them into a Vectorworks drawing. Without this tool it takes between five and ten minutes to draw the cross-section, then you have to double-check the drawing.

With this tool, it takes seconds. More importantly, the tool removes the possibility of drawing error. When you consider that there might be between four and six sections on each project, this tool saves between thirty and sixty minutes on every project. This is a huge saving.

I have been teaching some users how to use Vectorworks for urban design (and this will be the basis of the May 2012 Short Sharp webinars). Vectorworks allows you to import the kerbs and building lines from GIS (there are websites for this) and use these files to create a city map. There is a really cool command in Vectorworks that will use the GIS building height data to automatically extrude all the buildings. This command has so many uses for commercial architecture and urban design, it can do much more than just extruding information.

I have been to a major client to see how I can migrate them from 2D drafting to modeling and using the model to extract the plans, sections and elevations. This shouldn’t be amazing, but many clients of not work this way, nor do they understand how to make this work. When they are shown it is amazing for them to have so much drawing work automatically generated.

Having the model information generate the drawings has a more important feature, reducing the risk of the drawings being wrong. I have a client that has several people working each project. Using modeling techniques and Referencing, they can ensure that the errors in the drawings are kept to a minimum. All they needed was a little help.


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