1712 End-of-Year Wrap-Up
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.
The Resource Manager is an extremely important part of your Vectorworks interface. It allows you to look for resources (hatches, line styles, wall styles, plants, etc.). So, it’s important that we understand how to use it because it can make you more efficient and improve your productivity.
The Resource Manager that you see on your screen is just one part of the total concept. Vectorworks integrates the Resource Manager with many objects and tools to allow you to find the resources that you need whenever you open up a Preferences dialog box.
When you create drawings, you need to use the concepts that are built into Vectorworks in order to make your drawings efficiently. In this manual, we looked at several concepts that we could use to speed up the creation of drawings, concepts such as Design Layers, Classes, Sheet Layers, Viewports Site modeling, and BIM.
It is important to use these concepts because it allows you to create information and use it on several drawings. For example, if you create paving (using a hardscape object), you can use the same hardscape on the location plan, the site plan, a detailed hardscape in plan, and sections. If you need to make a change to the paving, when you update it on the design layer, it updates in all the viewports. This makes it really efficient to create your drawings, but more importantly, it removes the possibility of making mistakes.
We covered this topic once before [link]. At the time it wasn’t very popular, but it is a very useful and powerful technique. This time, we covered Record Formats from a different point of view.
When you create objects in Vectorworks, they can be 2D, 3D or a combination of both. Many objects also have information attached to them. Take a door as an example—the door has a top/plan view, you can view it in 3D, and you can report information from the door. If you think about the information attached to the door, that’s like the record format that we are talking about. A record format is a way to store information.
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 looked at was how to get our design layers, classes, and building information model ready so that it was then easy to create drawings.
Once we had these items, we used 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.
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’s 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 looked at, and InteriorCAD, which is the fuller, more complex version that is used in kitchen manufacturing. In this manual, we only looked at InteriorCAD XS.
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.
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 models for your projects and import them into Vectorworks. When you import these objects they become native Vectorworks objects.
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.
Some people do not like the idea of online storage. They do not want 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 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).
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 did in this manual. Following along from other years, there is a table that shows the new features and benefits of the new Vectorworks. As in previous years, I did not detail every improvement, just the ones that are fundamental.
Vectorworks typically introduces a multitude of small updates that really speed up your workflow. These small updates might not be one of the major features listed in this manual, but they can still dramatically improve your workflow
Object styles are a powerful technique for controlling objects. Plug-in objects are flexible and individual, while symbols are fixed and all update when you edit the symbol definition. Object styles fall in between a plug-in object and a symbol. This allows you to choose which parts of the object style are controlled like a symbol and which parts are flexible like a plug-in. This manual focuses on doors and windows but the techniques covered can be used on all object styles.
We looked at the concept of object styles to start with. Then we looked at the detailed control of our object styles and finished off with how to use object styles to create a window and door schedule.