Our Free to Attend 3D Friday is Back this September

3D Friday Event

Interested in how buildings get built?

3D Friday is back, and this time we have Vectorworks joining us for a live demo walking you through a typical architectural design process. Held at Firstsite in Colchester, you’ll also have a chance to get hands on with our Oculus Rift VR set, browse some 3D modelling and CADCAM applications, and more!

20th September 2019 – 1pm to 4pm
Register Now >

Firstsite
Lewis Gardens, High Street Colchester
Essex, CO1 1JH

Vectorworks Presents “The CUBE”

Architect Product Specialist, Luka Stefanovic, will be on hand showing the process of modeling a project in Vectorworks Architect whilst following UK BIM standards.

In this live demo, you’ll learn about BIM standards and the framework, as well as be guided through RIBA design stages and follow along with a complete typical architectural design process.

The presentation will show various parametric tools, along with some new features from Vectorworks 2019. We might even see a preview of some brand new features ahead of Vectorworks 2020… Once the presentation is over, there will be plenty of time for Q & A, and an opportunity to see what else we have.

Try Virtual Reality with our Oculus Rift

If you want to know how VR can benefit your business, or you just want to see what it’s like for yourself, come on in and have a go! We’ll be showing 360 degree images rendered in V-Ray, as well as some interactive KeyShot scenes.

Learn About CAD CAM for Engineering

If you’re more of an engineer interested in machining parts, we’ll have BobCAD set up as well so you can take a look at how 3D CADCAM makes milling, turning, nesting and more, easier than ever.

20th September 2019 – 1pm to 4pm
Register Now >

Firstsite
Lewis Gardens, High Street Colchester
Essex, CO1 1JH

Win a FREE SketchUp License worth £547!

SketchUp Competition

There’s still time to enter our latest 3D competition with a top prize available for the taking!  Remember, things are a little different this time around because we don’t have the theme or brief…you do!

We want you to send us your course brief and the work you created for it. It doesn’t matter if you were tasked with recreating a local landmark, visualising an interior space, or designing a fresh new product – as long as your project was made in SketchUp it’s fair game.

Student SketchUp for Summer is now open, and to be in the running entrants need to:

Submit designs by
August 30th 2019

Have you built a car, designed a sound stage, recreated a village, or even precisely measured up machinery components for CADCAM? It’s up to you to convince us that your entry is the best of the lot.

We’ll be looking at the composition and geometry when judging, as well as how accurately we think you met your course aims. Any renders you produce are bonus points to impress us even more! Again, as long as it is made in SketchUp, there are no restrictions on plugins or renderers used either. It has to all be your own work though – no downloading from 3D warehouse or other 3D libraries!

Our Perfect Getaway competition last year had some cracking entries, so be sure to bring your A-Game.

Previous Winner Chad Slaney’s Perfect Getaway.

Maybe you’ve made something in the past that you’re proud of, or something you’re already working on just needs some finishing touches – you don’t have to start from scratch. We’re accepting entries for existing work too, as long as you can rightfully call it yours.

Send us the original .skp file, as well as any renders or supporting materials you want us to see. The brief doesn’t have to be much, just let us know the title of your course or module and any details about the aims or expected outcomes.

Submit your entries by emailing us
sketchup@cadsoftwaredirect.com

First place will be given a perpetual SketchUp Pro license worth £547 (including one year of maintenance and support to automatically be upgraded to SketchUp 2020 on release), perfect for taking on your first clients right out the gate. Already got a SketchUp Pro Commercial license and don’t want another? We’ll find something special to send your way instead! You’ll also have your work featured alongside other entries on the SketchUp UK website and instagram for extra bragging rights.

We’re accepting submissions now, so get going, and remember the deadline is August 30th 2019.

Competition closes at midnight August 30th 2019. CAD Software Direct’s decision is final. By entering, you agree for your entry to be featured across CAD Software Direct and SketchUp UK social media channels.

Maxon Announces Next Generation Cinema 4D at SIGGRAPH 2019

Cinema 4D R21

While delivering new features and new subscription pricing options, Cinema 4D is now unified into a singular version. Cinema 4D has always been easy to learn and use, but now it’s even easy to choose the version you want at a new low price.

Feature Highlights

One Version of Cinema 4D
R21 marks the introduction of one singular version that includes the entire feature set at an affordable price. This means no more choosing between visualise, broadcast, or any of the other versions. There will be one suite available only that contains all of the tools you’ll ever need.

Caps and Bevel
The all-new Caps and Bevel system lets users extrude 3D logos and animate text effects quickly, easily and more efficiently. Possibilities really are endless as caps and bevels are integrated on all spline-based objects. Enhancements include improved constraints and internal bevels, Delaunay cap skinning and a new library of bevel presets.

Field Forces
The new Field Force dynamics object in R21 allows users to optimise motion graphics in the MoGraph toolset, offering flexibility and power to control dynamic forces in modeling and animation effects for optimised performance.

Mixamo Control Rig
Offering a quick and customisable way to implement character animation, the new Mixamo Control Rig gives R21 users the ability to adjust Mixamo animations imported in Cinema 4D for a flexible and powerful workflow.

Rendering Improvements
Cinema 4D’s wide range of render options deliver fast, beautiful and professional results for creating outstanding images and animations. New Denoiser technology from Intel, new material nodes, and substantial updates to ProRender are just some of the ways your creativity will be powered.

There are many more new and improved features, meaning this will be one of the biggest releases yet. The latest version of Cinema 4D will be available at CAD Software Direct.

Vectorworks Free Service Select Offer

Vectorworks 2020

Get a whole year of Vectorworks Service Select absolutely free with the purchase of a new licence or upgrade. The Service Select renewal date will be September 1st for all purchases during this promotion.

Am I Eligible?

Are you buying a new license or an upgrade of v2016 or newer between August 1st and 5:30pm September 9th? Then yes, you’ll get free Service Select!

The offer is not valid for existing Vectorworks Service Select customers. We can only provide this offer for customers in the UK and Ireland.

Using Vectorworks 2016?

If you’re on Vectorworks 2016, now is the best time to upgrade. If you don’t renew before the release of Vectorworks 2020, you’ll need to buy a brand new license as upgrades will no longer be available.

Rhino 6 for Mac is Available Now

Rhino for Mac

The latest version of Rhino, Rhino 6, has been available to PC users for a while now. Rhino for Mac users now have the opportunity to get up to date and start using features not previously available to them. The wait has been long, but it’s been worthwhile as there are even some new features not seen in the PC version.

What’s New in Rhino for Mac?

  • Faster display using modern graphics hardware
  • Updated Material and Rendering system
  • Grasshopper updated with multi-threaded components, Kangaroo 2, and more
  • Ray-traced viewport display mode
  • Faster, cleaner Make2D with more customisable results

Grasshopper
In Rhino 6, Grasshopper, the wildly popular visual programming language has been fully embraced. Now integrated as a fully-fledged part of Rhino, users are given a solid foundation for many productivity enhancing third-party components ranging from robotic control to environmental analysis, and everything in between.

Rhino for Mac Grasshopper

Presentation
Major changes have been made in this release to rendering, materials and viewports so it is now easier than ever to present, discuss and iterate designs while communicating to clients, customers, collaborators or the public at large.

Licensing

As of version 6, Rhino are using a single universal serial key usable on both Windows and Mac. This means it’s easier than ever to use Mac in an environment where many different computers are used, or even if you just work on a PC but would like to use your Macbook when out of the office.

For more information about what’s new, head over to Rhino 6 for Mac.

SketchUp 2019 and LayOut Feature Update

We are excited to share some of our favourite features and improvements in the latest product update to SketchUp Pro 2019 and LayOut. 

This release has made SketchUp more intuitive and fun to use with focus on improvements to imagery exports, usability, and a seamless LayOut connection.

New in SketchUp

Professional output enhancements

Exporting images

Exporting 2D graphics, raster files, and animations just got better. You can now control the overall line thicknesses of exported images with the new line scale multiplier, found in the export options dialogs. 

Before this change, line weights stayed the same as the viewport which would make the line weight too small or too large. So, if you are experiencing line weights that are too thick, you can make those line weights thinner. Also, .png images now export with its transparency so you can see what is behind the material while compositing. 

Customisable unit settings

Have you ever needed to use different unit measurements for a model? Now your model can be customised to show different unit measurements for area and volume. For example, in a model of a room, you can use millimetres for the wall and meters for volume. Available unit types: millimetres, centimetres, meters, inches and feet. 

Workflow improvements

Invert Selection

It really is the small things that help your workflow. This new feature will allow you to select anything, then invert the selection of objects. This makes it simple to select items and then perform actions on their inverse. The keyboard shortcut for this will be: CTRL + SHIFT + I (Windows)  or CMD + SHIFT + I (Mac).

Importing files

The days of picking out your import file format from a long list are over. You can now drag and drop ALL supported file types directly into your modelling window. By default, you’ll now see all supported file types available for import. Additionally, the DWG and DXF importers now bring in fewer duplicate and messy edges.

Eraser Tool

Have you ever accidentally erased too much in your model? To make your detailing workflow a little smoother and seamless, we added alt & cmd as modifier keys to remove any unnecessarily highlighted lines that you may have accidentally captured during your modelling efforts.

Section Planes

Cutting a model along a plane so that you can peer inside the model? Section planes now ask the user to name them before placing them in the model. Simply place, then name.

Send to LayOut

You can now send your models directly to LayOut from the large toolset in the left-hand toolbar. If you haven’t used LayOut for 2D drawings before, start taking advantage of it now!

Large Area Imports for Add Location

You can now easily import large sites at full resolution. How can you take advantage of this new feature? Simply zoom out a bit, then select the level from which you want to import. Note that misusing this feature can adversely affect performance in your SketchUp model.

New in LayOut

Professional output enhancements

Isometric dimensioning

It is now possible to make linear dimensions align with an isometric viewpoint. You can now control extension lines, gap distance, and align dimensions with isometric angles.

Auto-text

Similar to “smart labels”, you can now add text to dimensions without breaking the automatic measurement. For example, let’s say you create a wall dimension. You can dimension a wall, add the word “wall”, and the dimension measurement will still update if the wall’s measurement changes. Pro tip: make sure your string has <> in it. For example, ‘Width <>’ will turn into ‘Wall 1.42m’.

Workflow enhancements

Rotating dimensions

Now, when you rotate your object, the bounding box is also rotated with so you can continue to scale in the right orientation. 

Quicker editing

Staying consistent with SketchUp usability, in LayOut you can now hit the return key to edit model views, groups, dimensions, or labels! Just select, press return, and start typing!

Ready to try? Get the free 30-Day SketchUp Trial to see for yourself how these updates can enhance your professional workflows. 

Vectorworks Summer Flash Sale – 30% OFF

Vectorworks Discount

That’s right, 30% off everything including new licenses, upgrades and Vectorworks Service Select on Fundamentals, Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Designer and Vision.

Vectorworks Discount Offer

Offer expires at 5:30pm BST on July 26th 2019.

This offer is only valid for new purchases of professional licenses. Upgrade eligibility is subject to current version owned. Offer not valid on previous purchases, Service Select renewals, training, hardware or the prorated cost of adding a license to your Service Select contract. This offer many not be combined with other promotions.

Vectorworks Annual Design Day UK 2019

Vectorworks Design Day

Meet Vectorworks in London on Tuesday, 1st October, 2019.

Register Now

The powerful new workflows in Vectorworks 2020 will be presented, and you can explore the future of Vectorworks while enjoying opportunities in the following areas:

• Architecture – Discover how Vectorworks supports the entire design process with 2D, 3D and BIM capabilities. Project case studies will be presented, as well as being on hand to show the latest features.

• Interior Design – Learn how to establish a client’s vision using Vectorworks, with presentation boards, immersive panoramas, photo-realistic 3D rendering and augmented reality, while also having the tools required for collaboration.

• Networking – Meet and connect with over 250 of your industry peers, over lunch and through casual networking opportunities. Key personnel from Vectorworks in the USA and UK will be on hand to discuss any questions that you may have.

Don’t wait—mark your calendars now for an event guaranteed to inspire your future designs!

Please note that only 1 Annual Design Day ticket is required per person and will allow access to all presentations on the day.

Register Now

Don’t forget, you can get 30% OFF licenses and upgrades until July 26th!
Vectorworks Offer

At Least 15% Off Sale This Summer

15% OFF for Summer

We don’t need any excuse other than the sun being out to celebrate summer with some discounts!

From now until August 30th 2019, we’ve got at least 15% OFF RRP on a wide range of 3D software. Whether you’re in product design, mechanical engineering, visual effects or architecture, you’ll find a good deal.

Save on Altair

Enter SUMMER15 at checkout on Evolve and Inspire.

Leverage solidThinking’s robust solution set for Model-Based Development, Concept Design and Manufacturing Simulation.

Inspire
Powerful and easy-to-use Generative Design/Topology Optimisation and rapid simulation solution for design engineers.

Evolve
A high quality 3D Hybrid Modeling and Rendering environment that enables industrial designers to evaluate, research and visualise designs.

Save on Thea Render

Enter SUMMER15 at checkout on Thea for SketchUp, Thea for Rhino and Thea for Cinema 4D.

Unbiased, Biased and GPU Rendering
Thea Render is a physically-based global illumination renderer of high quality, using state-of-the-art techniques.

Presto Engine
Thea Presto is an advanced rendering engine that has been written from the ground up and is optimised for simultaneous GPU (NVIDIA & AMD) and CPU execution, maximising your computing power.

Save on Maxwell

Enter EXSUMMER15 at checkout on all new licenses of Maxwell V4 including Maxwell for SketchUp, Maxwell for 3ds Max and more.

Non-biased rendering – Maxwell Render Studio is a standalone render engine for making perfect images, films and animations from 3D models. It is the complete solution for anyone who demands immaculate results on a deadline. Maxwell Render is now also available as a plugin for a wide range of modellers. Please visit our Maxwell Render category for more information.

Save on RealFlow

Enter EXSUMMER15 at checkout on all new licenses of RealFlow including RealFlow Cinema 4D, RealFlow 3ds Max and more.

Non-biased rendering – Maxwell Render Studio is a standalone render engine for making perfect images, films and animations from 3D models. It is the complete solution for anyone who demands immaculate results on a deadline. Maxwell Render is now also available as a plugin for a wide range of modellers. Please visit our Maxwell Render category for more information.

Save on formZ

Enter EXSUMMER15 at checkout on formZ Jr and formZ Pro.

Architectural 3D – formZ pro is the full version ready to assist you with all of your 3D modeling needs. Animation, layout, and a customizable interface are all here. If you can imagine a form, you can build it with formZ pro. formZ Pro is a general purpose 3D solids and surface modeler. Not only can you build any form you imagine with formZ, it can also ignite discoveries of forms that you may not have thought of otherwise. formZ, the 3D form synthesizer, is above all a 3D modeling program, even though it also includes drafting, rendering and animation. Additional photorealistic rendering is offered by formZ RenderZone.

Save on BobCAD

Enter SUMMER15 at checkout on BobCAD products including BobCAD Mill and BobCAD Lathe.

CAD-CAM Solutions for Your CNC Business
Faster cuts with a modern interface, BobCAD-CAM is powerful, modular software designed to help shops of all sizes.

CAM Software and Modules
Machine parts faster and easier with BobCAD-CAM. Alternatively, leverage the Solidworks environment with BobCAM for time-saving toolpath capabilities right within Solidworks.

Support & Maintenance
BobCAD-CAM offer a variety of Email, Standard and Premium support packages for both BobCAD-CAM and BobCAM for Solidworks to fit any budget. Advantage Plans are also available to allow you to always work in an up-to-date CAD/CAM development environment. Stay competitive and improve operational efficiency with the most current tool to maximise your investment.

Vectorworks Case Study: Ares Landscape Architects

Ares Landscapes

This is a case study by Vectorworks. View the original here.

Ares Landscape Architects Ltd mandates quality in all areas of their practice, starting with the quality of their employees. Led by Directors Ricardo and Ania Ares, the firm is comprised of 20+ members who, at a minimum, hold a postgraduate qualification in Landscape Architecture. Ares’s qualified team members offer consultancy services in all areas of landscape architecture throughout the UK; leading and facilitating landscape design, feasibility studies, Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments, site planning, contract administration, modelling, and community project consultation.

In 2016, the UK government mandated the adoption of BIM Level 2 framework on all public projects; this requirement had a direct impact on the firm’s work in the public realm, particularly on the education sector. Since they serve clients in the public sector, Ares Landscape Architects knew they needed a software program that creates models with associated data — easily shareable in a 3D environment and with other construction disciplines. The opportunity to experiment with a new workflow to meet these requirements presented itself when they were appointed to work on a number of different projects such as the Nottingham College City Hub project, a new educational facility in Nottingham City Centre.

Merging Past and Future

Nottingham College is the result of joining two preexisting colleges — New College Nottingham and Central College Nottingham — developed as part of the regeneration efforts of the Nottingham City Centre. Envisioned for both College students and the community to enjoy, the new proposed City Hub is in close proximity to Nottingham’s public transport system, rail network, and the wider city’s green infrastructure. However, the constrained site needed to account for existing buildings and transport infrastructure, along with the proposed surrounding regeneration projects. They also encountered problems related to the landscape over structure as well as site conditions overall. Additionally, as part of their BIM requirements, the firm needed to collaborate with the wider design team efficiently and effectively.

In order to achieve BIM Level 2 requirements (and to reach their target completion date of May 2020), Ares used Vectorworks Landmark to facilitate the delivery of the project’s BIM execution plan (BEP). According to Sam Bailey, Senior Landscape Architect and BIM coordinator at Ares, using Landmark helped “speed up the time involved in project drafting and data reporting since the two processes are integrated, while providing useful information for other parties involved.” Although they were interfacing with collaborators using different software programs, Bailey claims that “IFC became the common denominator” and by defining BIM requirements out of the gate, the firm could clearly state expectations tied to the IFC models.

“We were loading drawings with intelligent and quantifiable information,” said Bailey. “It was really useful.”

Another useful time-saving step was setting classes in the model file during early stages of the project. “It speeds up the drafting process and takes a lot of the thinking out of it,” Bailey explained. In fact, Ares is currently developing templates that are available across their different office locations as a training tool for junior employees who may be new to working in BIM.

Ares Landscape Architects

© Ares Landscape Architects

From 2D to 3D

For the Nottingham City Hub, Ares fully embraced the 2D to 3D functionality of Vectorworks. Using features such as the Hardscape Tool, the 3D Polygon Tool, and the Plant Tool, Bailey could easily draw, adjust, edit, and replace elements of the model as needed. He could also edit the look of the graphical representation by a simple click of a button, which automatically changes the information attached.

“All of the information is embedded in the object,” Bailey said. “If something should change, such as a plant species, it can be replaced easily.” That same information can then be seamlessly transferred to a worksheet, which Bailey has used for things such as plant schedules, clearly laid out in a table that immediately updates as needed.

And for landscape architects who would rather input plant information manually, that option is available. Bailey and his colleagues can attach data such as the plant’s Latin name, common name, and anything else that the designer or the contractor may need.

Ares Landscape Architects

© Ares Landscape Architects

Import/Export Made Easy

In their plans for a roof terrace, Bailey was able to easily change elevations through design layers — and export it just as easily as one model with those proper elevations left intact. When working with the project Architects, the ability to specify stories in this nature is invaluable.

In a different phase of the project, Ares needed an export option to send files that can be read by other software programs. Nottingham College required COBie data and a Federated Model for their records; the firm was able to submit this information. By using the Object Information Palette (OIP) in Vectorworks, Ares can edit IFC data to ensure it matches the COBie information as required by multiple parties, including Information Managers across the site, the Architects on the project, and the firm’s own landscape architects.

Ares Landscape Architects

© Ares Landscape Architects

Forerunners of the BIM Arena

Ares Landscape Architects was able to meet a government requirement while simultaneously becoming a pioneer in the growing arena of BIM for landscape architecture. Through several helpful toolsets from Vectorworks Landmark, Ares significantly streamlined their workflow with a singular, all-in-one solution. As demonstrated through their work with conceptualizing and planning Nottingham City Hub, Ares proved that integrating BIM is not only possible to achieve expected results, but also has the potential to make a lasting impact on the field — thanks to Vectorworks Landmark.