How Much Does Vectorworks Cost? Pricing Explained

Updated Nov 24, 2022
Vectorworks icon with money emoji

Vectorworks is a multifaceted rendering, 2D drafting, 3D modeling, and fully-integrated BIM (Building Information Modeling) application for architectural, landscape, and entertainment designs. The software is created and sold by an eponymous developer known as Vectorworks, Inc. Thanks to its capability to deliver a flexible and collaborative design process, Vectorworks is frequently selected by industry professionals. However, alongside capability, another important factor that should be considered when selecting a CAD software is cost and pricing. Vectorworks has an impressive number of products which all have different prices. In this article, we will be explaining the pricing of the various products, how to purchase them, where to purchase them, their licensing options, and many more.

For most people looking to purchase Vectorworks, the official Vectorworks website of the application is the first port of call. However, going through the website (if you are located outside the United States), you would discover that there is hardly any information on how much Vectorworks products cost or where to buy them. This is because, in international markets, Vectorworks can only be purchased through authorized official resellers, and for good reason. Considering the number of Vectorworks packages available, Vectorworks Inc. believes that before buying a package, you should have a personal discussion with the reseller about your industry, your business, what you intend to do with Vectorworks, and your budget. The reseller may also provide information on license or subscription purchase.

Using all this information, the reseller then recommends the most suitable Vectorworks product and license option to you. Another advantage of purchasing from official resellers is the option to buy in local currency. In addition to this, a local official reseller is available to provide you with customer service if you experience any issues with your application. Note that not all resellers are officially recognized by Vectorworks. To find official resellers near you, you can either go to the Vectorworks website’s “find a reseller” page or check out their recommended online resellers.

Vectorworks Products

Vectorworks icon with Vectorworks product names

Before proceeding to explore their cost, it’s important for us to know the different Vectorworks products. The following are some of these products. 

1. Vectorworks Architect

Vectorworks Architect is a BIM solution for all design phases, from pre-design and schematic design development to detailed design development and construction documentation. This tool allows architects to enjoy the benefits of BIM within a software environment that promotes creative expression. With Vectorworks Architect, for example, you can freely sketch your ideas and subsequently convert them into models and documentation with a spate of precision drafting capabilities and ‘the most flexible’ 3D modeling engine powered by SIEMENS Parasolid.

Additionally, and in keeping up with the needs of BIM, which is anchored in information, Vectorworks Architect makes quantification and analysis of information easy, starting from the schematic design phase. Specifically, it allows you to analyze energy efficiency, calculate costs, automate schedules, and run “what if” scenarios, enabling them to optimize and maximize all the design elements.

The program facilitates collaboration. It achieves this by supporting the export and import of files from the likes of Revit, SketchUp, Rhino, Cinema4D, and Photoshop. It also supports openBIM, a collaborative process, and Industry Foundational Classes (IFC), a data format that facilitates the lossless exchange of information models.

Vectorworks Architect also enables you to produce line drawings and 3D presentations. It also supports myriad technologies, including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), photogrammetry, 360-degree panorama, and point cloud.

2. Vectorworks Landmark

Vectorworks Landmark is a BIM solution billed as the ultimate product for landscape design. It links all drawings, models, details, and schedules. This product, therefore, makes it easy for you to easily make universal changes; a change made in one of these areas is reflected everywhere, meaning users do not spend a lot of time manually modifying the different parts of the drawing.

Furthermore, it automatically generates schedules and reports. It also calculates construction costs, material takeoffs, and terrain analysis for drainage, slope, and cuts/fills. Like Vectorworks Architect, Vectorworks Landmark facilitates collaboration thanks to its support for IFC and openBIM. It also supports direct links with software such as Cinema4D, Rhino, Photoshop, Lumion, Revit, SketchUp, and AutoCAD.

The Vectorworks Landmark product is specifically designed for the following applications:

  • Geographic Information System (GIS) and planning
  • Site design and reporting
  • Irrigation
  • Planting, hardscapes, and general landscape architecture
  • Creative landscape modeling
  • Graphics and presentation

3. Vectorworks Spotlight

Vectorworks Spotlight is designed for the entertainment industry. It is meant for anyone undertaking exhibit, event, film, scenic, or lighting design. Thanks to its precision drafting capabilities, Vectorworks Spotlight allows you to sketch your design ideas. Subsequently, powered by SIEMENS Parasolid, you can undertake 3D modeling. The software further supports documentation.

You can rely on the software’s huge Resource Library throughout the design and modeling phases. This repository contains scenic, video, audio, lighting, and rigging manufacturer content.

Vectorworks Spotlight allows you to import design and technical production information from anywhere. In addition, its project-sharing capabilities enable team members to work on the same file concurrently. They can then communicate through the mobile viewing tool and share ideas via Vectorworks Cloud Services.

Furthermore, you can include the Vectorworks Braceworks Add-on, which adds analysis capabilities. This enables rigging, production, and rigging professionals to analyze the performance of temporary structures under different loads, such as lights, speakers, and more. Finally, you can also add Vectorworks Vision to Spotlight. This integration allows you to design creatively and efficiently in addition to affording you the power to virtually visualize your shows.

Generally, Vectorworks Spotlight is used for:

  • Precision drawing
  • Creative modeling
  • Analysis with Braceworks
  • Graphics and presentation
  • Visualization with Vision
  • Reporting and documentation

4. Vectorworks Fundamentals

Vectorworks Fundamentals is a design, modeling, and documentation software. You can use the software’s precision drafting tools to freely sketch 2D designs; utilizing SIEMENS Parasolid, a flexible 3D modeling engine, you can also undertake 3D modeling. Additionally, Vectorworks Fundamentals contains tools that increase the efficiency of your workflow. For instance, it automatically generates reports from your designs. It allows you to run “what if” scenarios, automate schedules, and calculate the costs of different aspects of the actual design project. This way, the software allows you to maximize each design element.

Like all other Vectorworks products, Vectorworks Fundamentals offers import and export capabilities. It also supports other CAD and design software, including AutoCAD, Rhino, Photoshop, and Cinema 4D. And to top these capabilities off, this application allows you to solve specific design problems through customization. You can use a robust Application Programming Interface (API) and software development kit (SDK) to add extra functionalities. You can also create Python scripts to automate routine tasks or create custom tools.

Designing and modeling are one thing. However, to show these designs and models to clients or partners, you must create a presentation. For this reason, Vectorworks Fundamentals offers a suite of illustration and rendering tools (in addition to drawing tools) that allow you to generate outstanding 3D presentations.

Vectorworks Fundamentals is used for design processes that include:

  • Precision drawing
  • Illustration
  • Surface and solids modeling
  • Rendering
  • Customization
  • Reporting

5. Vectorworks Design Suite

Also referred to as Vectorworks Designer by some resellers, the Vectorworks Design Suite combines the capabilities of the Architect, Fundamentals, Spotlight, and Landmark products in a single software interface. It, therefore, comes in handy in cross-disciplinary projects that require you and other members of your team to make use of the disparate features and capabilities of the different Vectorworks products.

As a suite of different products, Vectorworks Design Suite promotes cost savings. For instance, the price tag of a single-seat perpetual license for the product (with maintenance) costs $5,246.00 (refer to the table below), while the monthly subscription costs $198.00. In comparison, the cumulative cost of the single-seat perpetual licenses for Architect, Fundamentals, Spotlight, and Landmark products will set you back $14,884.00. If you opt for the monthly subscription mode, you will have to fork out $567.00 every month. Against this backdrop, Vectorworks Design Suite is a cheaper but more powerful alternative.

6. Vectorworks Vision

Vectorworks Vision is a Previz software that allows you to share your design vision. (Previz is a web-based platform that enables creative teams to share and publish their 3D models and experiences for the purpose of review.) This tool supports seamless integration with Vectorworks Spotlight, allowing you to visualize the designs you have created in Spotlight in 3D renders that are viewable in Vision.

With Vectorworks Vision, you can previsualize what your designed rig can do. It offers numerous customizable and comprehensive fixtures, including colors, shutters, lenses, and gobos. It is these features that make the previsualization of the 3D renders a breeze. In addition to the previsualization, Vision allows you to cue your show. It lets you work with a console of your choice, helping you preprogram your show even before you can physically construct the stage.

7. Braceworks

Braceworks is an add-on module for Vectorworks Spotlight and Vectorworks Design Suite. It is an analytics tool that ensures the show proceeds safely. Braceworks achieves this by enabling design, production, and rigging professionals to assess the performance and structural capabilities of temporary rigs and platforms under load. Specifically, the module conducts static and finite element modeling (FEM) analyses as well as the analysis of complete 3D structural systems. In this way, it helps ensure safety and compliance with engineering standards and codes such as Eurocodes.

Developed in partnership with DeerSoft GmbH, Braceworks helps professionals to produce load and structure calculations for sign-off by structural engineers. Along with the analysis aspect, this one-of-a-kind module also provides documentation and reports that capture all the calculations. Vectorworks, however, absolves itself of any liability regarding the safety of the rigs analyzed using Braceworks. It notes that the software user is solely responsible for the use of the product and the completeness and accuracy of the analysis and design results.

8. ConnectCAD

ConnectCAD is an add-on module available with Vectorworks Design Suite or Vectorworks Spotlight. It is a signal flow add-on that helps you generate reports on the movement of sound. It also enables you to create schematic diagrams representing how to make devices as well as how to make connections between them. The schematics show how the devices, sockets, and circuits that make up equipment are connected to form a system.

Vectorworks License/Subscription Options

Each Vectorworks product can be acquired through one of the following options.

1. Single-seat License

Person using Apple computer at desk

This is a one-off purchase license for a single user. Although the license is perpetual, you have the option to buy upgrades and yearly maintenance service.

Single-seat licenses can be divided into E series and B series. E series licenses are activated online. Once you purchase an E series license, you would be provided with a download link and a serial number via email. Although you can download the license on two of your computers, you can only use the software on one device at a time. This type of license does not require an internet connection to function. However, you need to connect to the Internet at least once every 30 days in order to maintain your license active status.

B series licenses, on the other hand, are dongle-activated. You can activate and use the application without an internet connection, although any updates to the software require a connection. Your dongle must be plugged into your computer for you to use the software. This is because B-series licenses have workstation-based dongle protection.

However, starting January 1, 2023, Vectorworks will be ditching the perpetual license model in favor of the subscription-based model. As part of this new pricing strategy, the company intends to offer an option to transition customers’ existing perpetual licenses to annual subscriptions at discounted prices for the first year.

2. Maintenance

Maintenance, also known as Vectorworks Select Service may be purchased as an optional addition to a license. It offers you certain benefits such as free upgrades, discounts on training, free access to tutorials, free premium support, and access to an expanded version of Vectorworks cloud service. Vectorworks select service is subscription-based and has to be purchased yearly. It is only available for professional perpetual licenses. It is also only available in certain countries.

The Select Service offering is free to all subscribers (both monthly and annual). However, it is available as an extra for perpetual license holders, who must the perpetual license with maintenance option. Those who do not wish to purchase this service can instead select the perpetual license without maintenance option. 

3. Upgrades

If you have a 2020 Vectorworks product and you wish to transition to a more recent version (2023), it is neither cost-effective nor reasonable to buy a brand-new product. This is where upgrades come in. They allow you to simply transition from your existing version to a more recent version at a lower cost. Upgrades also allow you to switch between certain Vectorworks products. Note that prices differ according to the year of the upgrade. For example, an upgrade from Vectorworks Architect 2020 to Vectorworks Architect 2023 costs $2,475.00. Similarly, upgrading from the Vectorworks Architect 2021 to the Vectorworks Architects 2023 version costs $1,650.00, while transitioning from using Vectorworks Architect 2022 to Vectorworks Architect 2023, through an upgrade, will set you back $1,155.00.

4. Network License

People working on computers in office behind glass window

Vectorworks network license is a multiple-seat license. This means that multiple users can install and use the software at a time. Also known as G Series licenses, these licenses have server-based dongle protection. You don’t need to connect to the internet to use the connection. However, the dongle has to be plugged into a central server connecting to all the devices using the software package.

Moreover, do note that the cost of a network license is based on the number of users who will use the product. This is because the price of a network license for one user is the same as the price of one ordinary perpetual license. So, if you are to purchase a network license for 3 users, for example, you would have to multiply the cost of one perpetual license by three. 

5. Subscriptions

Vectorworks Inc. offers monthly and annual subscriptions. A monthly subscription will automatically renew every month unless you cancel it up to four days before the renewal date. This subscription is best for short-term needs.  An annual subscription, on the other hand, is more suited to somewhat long-term projects. It will stay active for 12 months with automatic renewal occurring at the end of this period. As with monthly subscription, you can cancel your yearly subscription four days before the renewal date. For a yearly subscription, you pay for 10 months and get two months free. Note that subscription plans are not available in all countries. Check the Vectorworks Select Service page to find out if your country offers the service.

6. Student2Pro License

Student2Pro licenses are discounted licenses for recent graduates. To purchase this license, you must provide school-supplied proof that you graduated with a design-based degree within the past 36 months. You must submit transcripts or a diploma  showing the degree completion and graduation date. A Student2Pro license does not mean reduced features of your preferred product. Rather, it is simply Vectorworks incorporated’s way of welcoming you into the Vectorworks fold. Vectorworks does this by providing a 40% discount on its professional software. However, this discount does not apply on the purchase of Braceworks.

According to the company, the Student2Pro license offers several advantages, including the following:

  • It saves money
  • It allows the budding professionals to get free software upgrades, new content libraries, priority support, training, and friendly pricing on Vectorworks Service Select
  • Water-mark free files and the ability to convert student projects to watermark-free files at no extra cost

Vectorworks Pricing

Having understood the different Vectorworks products and Vectorworks license /subscription options, we will now go into the pricing. The table below shows the different Vectorworks products and their license options. Braceworks and ConnectCAD, on the other hand, are add-ons for Vectorworks Spotlight and Vectorworks Design Suite, hence they are bundled together with the ‘mother’ software.

These prices were acquired from Vectorworks website for the US market as well as authorized resellers for the US market (including Novedge). All prices are in $USD. 

Vectorworks Perpetual License Pricing

Vectorworks currently offers its customers the option to purchase perpetual licenses until December 30, 2022. The perpetual license prices are summarised in the table below.

Product (2023)

Perpetual (Single-Seat) License

Network License (per user)

Student2PRO

Without Maintenance

With maintenance

Vectorworks Fundamentals

$2,300.00

$2,806.00

$2,300.00

At a 40% discount on the price of the perpetual license

Vectorworks Architect

$3,300.00

$4,026.00

$3,300.00

At a 40% discount on the price of the perpetual license

Vectorworks Landmark

$3,300.00

$4,026.00

$3,300.00

At a 40% discount on the price of the perpetual license

Vectorworks Spotlight

$3,300.00

$4,026.00

$3,300.00

At a 40% discount on the price of the perpetual license

Vectorworks Design Suite

$4,300.00

$5,246.00

$4,300.00

At a 40% discount on the price of the perpetual license

Vectorworks Vision

$1,600.00

$1,952.00

At a 40% discount on the price of the perpetual license

Vectorworks Braceworks Add-on

$8,755.00 (with Spotlight) or

$9,755.00 (with Design Suite)

$5,226.00 (with Spotlight) or

$6,446.00 (with Design Suite)

Option not available

VectorWorks ConnectCAD Add-on

$3,900.00 (with Spotlight) or

$4,900.00 (with Design Suite)

$4,758.00 (with Spotlight) or

$5,978.00 (with Design Suite)

Option not available 

Vectorworks Subscription Pricing

Product (2023)

Subscription Price

Monthly

Yearly 

Vectorworks Fundamentals

$108.00

$1080.00

Vectorworks Architect

$153.00

$1,530.00

Vectorworks Landmark

$153.00

$1,530.00

Vectorworks Spotlight

$153.00

$1,530.00

Vectorworks Design Suite

$198.00

$1,980.00

Vectorworks Vision

$0.00 (requires Spotlight or Design Suite subscription)

$0.00 (requires Spotlight or Design Suite subscription)

Vectorworks Braceworks Add-on

$253.00 (with Spotlight) or

$298.00 (with Design Suite)

$2,530.00 (with Spotlight) or

$2,980.00 (with Design Suite)

VectorWorks ConnectCAD

$183.00 (with Spotlight) or

$228.00 (with Design Suite)

$1,830.00 (with Spotlight) or 

$2,280.00 (with Design suite)

Vectorworks Upgrades Pricing

Vectorworks also offers upgrades to more recent versions for a lower price. The table below shows the costs of upgrading to 2023 from 2020, 2021, and 2022 for select Vectorworks products. The table also includes the cost of upgrading from Vectorworks Fundamentals 2023 to Vectorworks Architect 2023, Vectorworks Landmark 2023, Vectorworks Spotlight 2023, and Vectorworks Design Suite 2023.

Product (2023)

Cost of Upgrade

From 2020

From 2021

From 2022

From Vectorworks Fundamentals 2023

Vectorworks Fundamentals

$1,725.00

$1,150.00

$805.00

Not applicable

Vectorworks Architect

$2,475.00

$1,650.00

$1,155.00

$1,000.00

Vectorworks Landmark

$2,475.00

$1,650.00

$1,155.00

$1,000.00

Vectorworks Spotlight

$2,475.00

$1,650.00

$1,155.00

Not applicable

Vectorworks Design Suite /Designer

$3,063.00

$2,150.00

$1,505.00

$2,000.00

Given the hundreds of dollars you have to spend on the different upgrades, what do you get following that spending? What new features have been introduced with the release of Vectorworks 2023 products? Vectorworks has reimagined and reengineered its products to help you save time. This has resulted in the following updates:

  1. User experience: The reengineering has resulted in updates to the user experience, with the 2023 products taking up 80% less memory when calculating and processing section viewports. This change enables you to generate section viewpoints 6x times faster when using Vectorworks 2023 than previous Vectorworks products. Additionally, the 2023 products boast improvements to the cloud and mobile 3D viewers as well as better cloud presentations. Vectorworks 2023 users, who are members of large teams, will also enjoy shared network workflow efficiencies. The Resource Library has also been updated to enable you to find all your symbols, textures, text styles, and other content much more easily.
  2. Improved window and door object creation and a new graphic legend tool in Vectorworks Architect 2023
  3. New site modifier modes in Vectorworks Landmark 2023
  4. Improved interoperability with the introduction of new Revit import tools and options, translation of additional Revit object types, and a new BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) web palette to help you manage and model changes with cloud-based tools
  5. Improvements to Vectorworks Spotlight and ConnectCAD, including faster cable configuration and planning, more efficient and effective cable and device management options, easier selection and editing of objects from the Power Planning Panel, and more
  6. New shaded rendering options

Vectorworks License Discounts

Vectorworks can be bought in bundles at reduced prices. The bundles available vary by reseller. A bundle may be two separate licenses such as a single license and maintenance, for a particular product. It may also be two different products.

Resellers may also offer periodic discounts to customers. Furthermore, Vectorworks offers free student versions of their software packages to students.

Are There Alternatives to Vectorworks?

Having gone through the pricing of Vectorworks’ products, recall that this is a cost consideration. In this vein, you may wish to consider Vectorworks alternatives.

Because Vectorworks has various products, there is no single fully integrated alternative to all the products. However, each product has its own industry rival.

  • AutoCAD could be a suitable alternative to Vectorworks Fundamental and in part an alternative to Vectorworks Architect
  • Revit is a BIM software that rivals both Vectorworks Architect and Vectorworks Landscape. For a breakdown of how Vectorworks and Revit compare, consider checking out our comparison article: Vectorworks vs. Revit.
  • Draftsight and ArchiCAD are also strong industry rivals of Vectorworks

If you’re unsure how Vectorworks stacks up against the competition you can visit our popular comparisons of AutoCAD vs Vectorworks, AutoCAD vs Draftsight and Solidworks vs Fusion 360.

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