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Vectorworks 2018—What’s New?

VectorWorks 2018 Logo

If you’ve visited the Scan2CAD blog recently, you’ll have noticed an increased interest in Vectorworks software. As a leader in cross-platform CAD and BIM software, Vectorworks is becoming an increasingly popular solution across the AEC and entertainment industries. So, if you’re looking for a new package to invest in—or you’re just curious—the answer might lie in the recently released Vectorworks 2018.

In this article, we’ll explore what’s new in Vectorworks 2018, delving into a selection of the top new capabilities. We’ll also look specifically at what new features are offered by Vectorworks’ industry-specific products.


Vectorworks 2018: Overview

Vectorworks is always looking for ways to expand into newer markets, industries and businesses. That’s why it’s made a point to bring in a wide selection of new features and capabilities in its Vectorworks 2018 release. There’s a lot on offer for new and current Vectorworks users, and we’re only covering the tip of the iceberg—you’ll certainly have fun discovering everything else for yourself!

We’ll also briefly highlight the new features on offer by industry product, including Designer, Architect, Landmark, Spotlight and Fundamentals.

Share Your Vision

Web view export in Vectorworks 2018

Enhanced Web View Export

Looking for ways to share your project vision with clients or your team? Vectorworks 2018 now allows you to produce higher-quality web and virtual reality designs with Web View. With file optimization and desktop rendering options, you can produce lighter weight models with better performance. 

New Rendered Panoramas

A difficulty many have in the AEC sector is being unable to show clients (or teams) exactly what a project will look like or entail without going into construction. Now, with Vectorworks 2018, you can show off a 360-degree interactive view of your model. It doesn’t matter how big your vision is—or how complex it is—you can put your clients directly in the middle of it. 

Upgraded Renderworks with Maxon CineRender

Anyone familiar with Vectorworks knows that Maxon CineRender is one of the best ways to produce realistic visualizations of designs. The 2018 upgrade allows for better rendering of metals; a cloth shader; a new shadow catcher to allow shadows on virtual objects to be composited onto real photos; controls for up to 16 light reflections; and a Parallax shader effect to achieve displacement mapping quality. 

Improved Vectorworks Cloud Services

It’s not enough to just produce realistic visualizations of your designs: you need to be able to share them. With this release, you can now use Google Drive with Vectorworks Cloud Services. Not enough for you? You can now enjoy an updated Cloud Services web portal which includes better file organization, an easier sharing interface and the ability to generate web view virtual reality links of your designs in the cloud.


Enhance Your Modeling Process

Multiple drawing views in Vectorworks 2018

Multiple Drawing Views

As the name suggests, this particular feature enables you to see different views of your design simultaneously. You can start working in one view pane and finish in another. You can even look at the impact of design changes across 3D, section and elevation views. It’s certainly a great way to multi-task—you could quite easily start rendering in one view while you work in another. 

Direct Section and Elevation Editing

The clue is also in the name with this new feature. With it, you can edit your models directly from different viewports. Anything from aligning windows across multiple layers or reshaping walls, for example, is now possible. You can also modify 3D views while in the section in order to see how your edits will affect plans and model views. 

Improve Subdivision Modeling

The latest 2018 enhancements—based on Pixar Animation Studio’s ObenSubdiv libraries—include new editing modes. Not only do these modes make the entire modeling process faster, they also allow users to create unimaginable shapes. With Vectorworks 2018, modeling is fast, easy and allows your imagination to soar.


Simplify Your Workflows

Resource manager in Vectorworks 2018

Message Center

Most CAD/BIM packages come with a message center to keep users updated with all the latest news. Vectorworks has updated theirs so that you’ll stay completely in the loop 24/7—so whether it’s service pack updates or brand new training videos, you won’t be left behind. How does it work? It’s simple—an alert will be displayed in the Message bar when you’ve got a new message waiting for you. 

Streamlined Worksheets

If you’ve worked with BIM before, you’ll know all too well that reports and schedules can be both tiresome and time-consuming. With Vectorworks 2018, this is a thing of the past. Everything can now be automated—you can complete entire worksheets without having to manually enter formulas. You don’t even need to remember how to access data from different record formats. 

Improved Revit Import

Revit, as you undoubtedly know, is a popular program in the AEC sector and one of Autodesk’s top software packages. Vectorworks understands this, which is why it was one of the first BIM authoring tools to provide Revit Import using the Teigha BIM library from the Open Design Alliance. The 2018 release goes above and beyond this however, by allowing Revit file importing that translates Revit objects into native Vectorworks symbols and objects

Resource Manager

File management can be laborious and time-consuming—as we’ve covered in CAD file management tips—which is why Vectorworks is simplifying the entire process. With new search options, including AND, OR, etc., you can easily find aggregated or isolated results. You can even filter for multiple criteria—like object type—and use tags or context searches. 


Advance Your Site Design

Import/export tree survey options in Vectorworks 2018

Enhanced Plant Tags

Vectorworks Landmark is looking to change the game entirely in landscape design. That’s why landscape designers can now include plant images within 2D plant tags. So what does this do? Simply put, it increases the readability of your landscape plans—displaying images in line with plant tags and in worksheets as legends or keys. 

New Foliage Tool

When it comes to showing your designs or projects to prospective clients, realism is of the utmost importance. They’re only going to be impressed if they can really visualize the project. The new foliage tool enables you to create beautiful hedges, leafy areas and much more. With it, you can enhance your landscape designs and in turn, communicate your ideas and intentions to your clients clearly. 

New Import/Export Tree Survey Options

A difficulty for many BIM or CAD users is having to convert files or site conditions. Often enough, users have to look towards external conversion tools. With Vectorworks 2018, you can use geolocated tree species data to create existing tree objects. You can then export to your clients or team via SHP, TXT and DXF formats. 


Command The Spotlight

Zoom option for video and blended screens in Vectorworks 2018

New Zoom Option for Video and Blended Screens

Vectorworks is a leader in the BIM entertainment industry and they’re not keen on giving up that title just yet. Their 2018 release makes managing the planning or visualization of video screens much simpler. New graphic output capabilities now make it even easier to estimate and adjust available throw and zoom—allowing equipment choices to be made much earlier in the design process. 

Enhanced Seating Section Command

As you can imagine, event planning and management requires ultimate precision. This is addressed in the latest enhancements which now provide seating layout visualizations for any event you design. if you’re more interested in inventory and ordering, you’ll also be pleased to hear that you can now automate seating schedules. Additional options and controls can be set and modified from the Object Info palette. 

Braceworks 

Not familiar with Braceworks? An add-on module for Spotlight and Designer, Braceworks enables design, production and rigging professionals to gauge the performance and safety of temporary entertainment structures under load. And with Finite Element Analysis, every possibility can be analyzed to ensure safety and industry standards are met. 


What’s New in Vectorworks’ Individual Packages?

As you should know by now, Vectorworks offers distinct products each targeting specific industries. Offering powerful solutions, there’s more to these packages than meets the eye. The recent 2018 release has pushed these packages even further ahead of other industry packages. So, which new features are offered in these products? Take a look below to see…

DesignerArchitectLandmarkSpotlightFundamentals
New Vectorworks Designer Features
  • Enhanced Resource Manager
  • Improved Revit Import
  • Streamlined Drawing Distribution
  • More Accessible IFC BIM Data
  • Robust Wall Modeling Options
  • Improved Graphic Output for Architectural Documents
  • Streamlined Worksheets
  • Multiple Drawing Views
  • Direct Section and Elevation Editing
  • Stay Informed with the New Message Center
New Vectorworks Architect Features
  • Streamlined Drawing Distribution
  • Improved Graphic Output for Architectural Documents
  • Improved Revit Import
  • Streamlined Worksheets
  • Plug-in Styles for More Parametric BIM Objects
  • Multiple Drawing Views
  • Direct Section and Elevation Editing
  • Stay Informed with the New Message Center
  • Improved Subdivision Modeling
  • New Rendered Panoramas
New Vectorworks Landmark Features
  • Improved Vectorworks Cloud Services
  • Enhanced Plant Tags
  • Easier GeoTIFF Image Import
  • Direct Site Model Contour Editing
  • New Foliage Tool
  • Improved Revit Import
  • Upgraded Renderworks with Maxon CineRender
  • Enhanced Resource Manager
  • Streamlined Drawing Distribution
  • New Import/Export Tree Survey Options
New Vectorworks Spotlight Features
  • Enhanced Seating Section Command
  • New Zoom Option for Video and Blended Screens
  • Bracework
  • New Rendered Panoramas
  • Direct Section and Elevation Editin
  • Improved Graphic Output for Architectural Documents
  • Robust Wall Modeling Options
  • Improved Subdivision Modeling
  • Multiple Drawing Views
  • Plug-in Styles for More Parametric BIM Objects
New Vectorworks Fundamentals Features
  • Improved Graphic Output for Architectural Documents
  • Streamlined Worksheets
  • New Message Center
  • Multiple Drawing Views
  • Improved Subdivision Modeling
  • Robust Wall Modeling Options
  • Upgraded Renderworks with Maxon CineRender
  • New Rendered Panoramas
  • Enhanced Resource Manager

Interested in the latest product releases? Take a look at the Solidworks 2018 launch

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