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!
Share Your Vision
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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…
|New Vectorworks Designer Features|
|New Vectorworks Architect Features|
|New Vectorworks Landmark Features|
|New Vectorworks Spotlight Features|
|New Vectorworks Fundamentals Features|
Interested in the latest product releases? Take a look at the Solidworks 2018 launch.