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Vectorworks Products Compared

Vectorworks icon with thinking face emoji

Few companies in the computer-aided design industry can be hailed as reliable go-to sources of both drafting and BIM software packages. One of such companies is Vectorworks Inc. Currently, a subsidiary of European software giants, the Nemetshcek group, Vectorworks Inc. began in 1985 as Diehl Graphisoft, a CAD company with a single product, MiniCAD; for a single operating system, Macintosh; with a single industry in mind.

Today, however, Vectorworks has one of the best-selling, cross-platform, CAD product lines.  The company currently produces an impressive amount of powerful software packages for the engineering, construction, entertainment, landscape design, and architecture industries. In this article, we will be exploring every one of these packages. We will discuss their industries, their capabilities, their key features, and the differences between them.


Vectorworks Products

Vectorworks Fundamentals

Rendering of modern staircase - Vectorworks fundalmentals

Vectorworks Fundamentals is 2D/3D Modeling and documentation software. Unlike several other Vectorworks products, Fundamentals is a generic design software package. This means that it is not industry-specific. However, do not let its name, “Fundamentals” fool you. Although the application is a sort of gateway to more specialized design options, it has an array of cutting-edge features that simplify your design process. Vectorworks fundamentals capabilities include precision drawing and illustration, surface and solids modeling, reports and coordination, and rendering and customization.

These features allow you to easily draw, design and document your design with high accuracy. Being unrestricted by strict parameters and presets, these features offer such flexibility that your design is only limited by your imagination. The report and coordination capabilities automatically generate reports on your design. You can easily carry out real-life scenarios and cost analysis on each design element in real-time. In addition, you can import/export files directly to AutoCAD, Photoshop, Cinema 4D, and Rhino; customize your application to suit your application; and create power presentations of your model. Doesn’t sound so fundamental anymore, does it?

Vectorworks Architect

Sketch, draw, and, model in a fully integrated BIM (Building Information Modeling) workflow. As the name implies, Vectorworks Architect is a BIM integrated modeling package, specialized to cater for the architecture industry. This application was created for architectural, MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) engineering, construction, and structural engineering designs.

Thanks to its precision drawing features, users of Vectorworks Architect can draft, draw, automate tasks using keynote tools, and create. The modeling features allow you to easily design components of a building using a hybrid of 3D modeling and 2D drafting. This hybrid design capability is absent in Fundamentals. Another important feature that makes Vectorworks Architecture specialized is its 4D BIM capabilities.

Vectorworks Landmark

Vectorworks Landmark is another specialized product of Vectorworks, for everything landscaping and Landscape Design. From small sites to packs to complete towns, Vectorworks allows urban planners and landscape professionals to create and analyze complex landscapes using its powerful array of features. These features include a GIS (Geographic information system) and planning which allow you to collect, analyze, handle, store, and present Geographic or spatial data.  Site design and reporting features which are an advanced form of Vectorworks Architect’s modeling and site modeling features are present in Vectorworks landmark, alongside planting and hardscapes, irrigation, and stormwater management. In addition, your final Landscape design can be presented using power graphics and presentation features. Vectorworks landmark also has BIM capabilities.

Vectorworks Spotlight

Lights, camera, action! Vectorworks Spotlight is an excellent all-in-one design, documentation, and production package for the entertainment industry. It is often referred to as the industry standard for entertainment. Using this powerful software package, designers can create stage structures, stage lighting, overhead stage rigging, and graphical controls for movies, concerts, stadiums, etc. Once the designs are complete, the models of the physical structures are exported to Vectorworks Braceworks for analysis while the lighting arrangements are exported to Vectorworks Vision for pre-visualization. Spotlight also has great presentation tools such as Renderworks which allow you to create amazing 3D visuals of your designs.

Vectorworks Vision

Vectorworks Vision is a pre-visualization and control software seamlessly integrated with Spotlight to enable production professionals to visualize their design in rendered 3D views. After creating a model on Spotlight, it is exported to Vision, where you can pre-visualize, program, and cue your show. The actual movements of physical lights and light panels during events are controlled using Vision. Simply put, you create the design using Spotlight, and actualize the design using Vision.

Vectorworks Designer

Looking for an all in one package that encompasses all major Vectorworks products? Look no further than Vectorworks Designer. This product is the perfect package for the designer who needs it all.  Vectorworks Designer is a cost-effective combination of Vectorworks Fundamentals, Architect, Spotlight, and Landmark in a single intuitive package. Using this package, you can create and document designs; sketch, draw, and model in a fully integrated BIM workflow; landscape; and create and design stage lighting and rigging.

Vectorworks Braceworks

Unlike its counterparts, Vectorworks Braceworks isn’t a standalone software package. Rather, it is an add-on entertainment rigging analysis module for Vectorworks Spotlight and Designer. This package provides rigging, production, and design professionals with a convenient way to analyze the behavior of structures under loading. In order to ensure maximum safety during events, most temporary structures set up have to receive a green light from structural engineers.  

With Vectorworks Braceworks, you can rest assured that your rigging is completely safe and in compliance with engineering codes and standards. Braceworks allows you to analyze 3D structural systems; carry out static and FEM (Final Element Method) analysis with graphically displayed results; generate detailed reports on calculations automatically, and export files to share information easily.

Vectorworks Service Select

Vectorworks Service Select is an annual subscription maintenance package for users of Vectorworks, bought as an optional addition to a regular package. Subscribing to this package unlocks a plethora of additional benefits including best pricing, VIP access to downloads, immediate upgrade of new product releases, priority technical support, access to on-demand learning tutorials, on-demand licensing, and access to a premium level of storage and benefits on Vectorworks Cloud Service.

Vectorworks Cloud Service

This is a free service offered to all Vectorworks users. With a free Vectorworks Cloud Service (VCS) account, users receive 2GB of cloud storage which can be upgraded to 20GB by subscribing to Vectorworks Select Service. Users of the cloud service can save, access, view, and share files anywhere, anytime, and on any compatible device. All your data is securely stored on the Vectorworks cloud. You can create and maintain your cloud library from your device using the VCS web portal, the VCS desktop app, or the VCS nomad Mobile App.

Comparative analysis of Vectorworks products

Product

What it does

Who uses it?

Price for single license

Vectorworks Fundamentals

2D/3D design, modeling, and documentation.

Generic designers and design engineers

$2,045

Vectorworks Architect

BIM integrated modeling

Architects, structural engineers, MEP engineers

$2,895

Vectorworks Landmark

Landscaping and landscape designs

Landscape professionals, urban planners

$2,895

Vectorworks Spotlight

Entertainment lighting and rigging design

Production professionals

$2,895

Vectorworks Vision

Entertainment lighting pre-visualization, programming, and control

Production and Lighting professionals

$375 – $1895 (depending on version)

Vectorworks Designer

Combination of Fundamentals, Architect, Landmark, and Spotlight

Design, structural, and MEP engineers: Architects, Urban planners: landscaping and entertainment  production professionals

$3,733

Vectorworks Braceworks

Entertainment rigging analysis

Production and rigging professionals

$5,195

Vectorworks Select Service

Maintenance service

Vectorworks users

Varies with host Vectorworks package

Vectorworks Cloud Service

Cloud service

Vectorworks users

Free

All prices are in $USD.

Vectorworks partner products

Vectorworks icon with handshake emoji

In addition to its main products, Vectorworks has partner products in conjunction with other companies. These products aim to maximize your efficiency in Vectorworks software.

connectCAD

This is a Software add-on by connectCAD limited that allows you to design and monitor cables in connected systems. It is used in audio-visual, broadcast, IT, and lighting all over the world.

Lightwright® 6

Lightwright is an important tool by John McKernon software for handling lighting design paperwork

Lumion LiveSync

Experience the Power of Real-time Rendering with Lumion LiveSync by Lumion

Modelo

Modelo is a Vectorworks plug-in by Modelo Inc. that enables designers and architects to upload their 3D files directly into Modelo’s browser-based 3D presentation and collaboration tool.

Producers Pack 3

Landru Design’s Producers Pack 3 is a suite of tools used to create Hybrid models of elements integral to the planning and production of live events, performances, and large-scale presentations.

Savvy Subscription Series 2019

The Savvy Subscription Series by Joshua Benghiat Lighting Design is a single license for all Savvy plug-ins for use with Vectorworks 2019.

VectorMEP

VectorMEP is a practical assortment of MEP engineering dedicated plug-ins by Hippocode for Vectorworks software.

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