Win Prizes by Designing Your Own Eco-Home in Vectorworks

Vectorworks Eco Competition

It’s time for another CAD Software Direct competition with prizes for the taking – this time in collaboration with VectorworksUK! We’re looking for the best Eco-Home designs to be in with the chance to win:

  • 2 x 3-Hour one-to-one online training sessions with a Vectorworks expert
  • A SpaceMouse Compact (worth £125!)
  • Vectorworks swag
  • Bragging rights and your work showcased on our social media channels

While there is no single definition as to what constitutes an ‘Eco-Home’, we’re looking for a design that is innovative, with a minimal environmental impact both in construction and use.

Our Vectorworks Eco-Home competition is now open, and to be in the running, entrants need to:

Submit designs by
July 17th 2020

Reducing energy bills, using sustainable materials, and utilising efficient construction practices are just a few ways of making your designs eco-friendly. Whether you want to go carbon neutral, holistic, or biophilic, you can consider the following as a handful of examples:

  • Insulation
  • Solar panels
  • Renewable heating
  • Efficient glazing
  • Ventilation
  • Natural materials
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • LED Lighting
  • Surrounding flora for wildlife

We’ll be looking at the composition and modelling skill when judging, as well as the thought you’ve put into making the design have as positive an environmental impact as possible. Any renders you produce are a bonus to impress us, and as long as it was made in Vectorworks, there are no restrictions on third-party plugins or renderers used. No downloading from 3D libraries though!

Whether you’ve made something in the past, or it’s something you’re in the middle of right now, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to start from scratch if you don’t want to. We’re accepting any entries as long as you can rightfully call the work yours.

Send us the original .vwx file, as well as any renders or supporting materials you want us to see. The supporting brief you provide explaining your design doesn’t have to be much, but do your best to let us know just what is so ‘eco’ about your design!

Submit your entries by emailing us on

First place prize will win two one-to-one online training sessions and the SpaceMouse Compact, perfect for taking your designs to the next level. You’ll also get some Vectorworks swag and have your work featured and credited on the social media channels between ourselves and Vectorworks UK!

We’re accepting submissions now, so get going, and remember the deadline is July 17th 2020.

Competition closes at midnight July 17th 2020 . CAD Software Direct’s decision is final. By entering, you agree for your entry to be featured across CAD Software Direct and Vectorworks UK’s social media channels.

Energy Modelling in the Early Design Phase

Vectorworks Energy Modelling

Energy Modelling in the Early Design Phase
Tuesday 2nd June – 14:00 BST

Free Webinar

In this free webinar, Architecture Industry Specialist Luka Stefanovic will show you how to assess the energy performance of a building at the beginning stages of an integrated design process.

With climate change and sustainable design at the forefront of many people’s thoughts when designing for the future, integrated tools can help your efficiency and decision making. With better insights, architects can make more informed design decisions.

Vectorworks Subscriptions Now Available!

Vectorworks Subscription Plans

Vectorworks subscription plans are the best way to get Vectorworks at a reduced upfront cost for the length of time you need. They’re flexible, cost effective, and always keep you up to date with the latest features. Choose the plan that’s right for you!

Vectorworks Subscriptions

Use Vectorworks Anywhere
Use the software in the office, at home, or even on the commute.

Stay Up To Date With The Latest Releases
You’ll get instant access to new software releases and improvements as they launch.

Simple Subscription Management
Your Customer Portal lets you manage your software licences directly from your own account.

Direct Technical Support
As a subscriber, you have access to helpful documentation, tutorials, training videos, and community support forums online. You’ll even be able to speak to someone over email or the phone if you prefer.

Take Advantage Of Flexibility
For short-term needs such as temporary staff of one-off projects, monthly subscriptions are ideal. Your subscription will automatically renew each month, but you have the control to cancel up to four days before your renewal date, avoiding charges for the next billing cycle.

Alternatively, annual subscriptions are a cost-effective way to maintain a subscription for 12 months. With a yearly subscription you’ll pay for 10 months and get two months free, versus a monthly subscription, billed annually. As with the monthly subscription, you have the control to cancel up to four days before your renewal date.

Spreading the Cost of A Perpetual Licence

If you would rather a perpetual Vectorworks licence, but would prefer to spread the payments, we’ve got plenty of options available. Find out more here:

Spreading Vectorworks Payments

If you’re unsure whether Vectorworks is for you, why not try a Free Vectorworks Trial?

VisualARQ supports Cloud Zoo!

VisualARQ 2.8

Did you know that VisualARQ 2.8 supports Cloud Zoo to manage floating licenses online? All you need to do is add the license to your Rhino account to use the same license on any internet connected computer!

Download VisualARQ 2.8

This latest version of VisualARQ features new plan cut and visibility settings. Objects above or below the cut plane can be displayed in plan views and objects above cut plane can be displayed using overhead attributes.

Example of the overhead attributes of a roof in a plan view.

To see this feature in full, check out the video below:

System Design and Signal Flow Diagrams with ConnectCAD and Vectorworks


If you need to create signal flow diagrams and would benefit from system design software, look no further than ConnectCAD for Vectorworks.

Managing connected systems has never been easier as ConnectCAD offers the ability to create easy-to-read schematic drawings and diagram rack layouts. You can work in a hybrid 2D/3D environment, check for errors and easily make changes, all while generating detailed reports.

As ConnectCAD is built to work with Vectorworks Spotlight, you can be confident that industry standard, flexible, robust design and documentation capabilities are in your hands.

Take advantage of an extensive manufacturer library, giving users everything they need to design with confidence.

ConnectCAD diagram worksheets with amp servers

Connect signals with a wide variety of cable types and lengths. Create reports once you’ve completed your layouts in a convenient format, great for updating as a final list. Then, easily compare what has been changed through iterations when showing to a client.


ConnectCAD is ideal for broadcast system integrators, AV integrators, home automation contractors, CCTV installers, marine luxury yacht system installers, and sound/lighting/exhibition designers etc. ConnectCAD makes it easier for system designers to start from an idea all the way to installation.

If you would like to try Vectorworks, request a free Vectorworks trial.
Interested in ConnectCAD? Contact us and we’ll add it to your Vectorworks trial!

Altair Accelerates Engineering Simulations with NVIDIA GPUs

Nvidia GPUs with Altair

Whether analysing fluid dynamics or performance, engineers need to create high-quality simulations long before a physical prototype takes shape.

To help engineers gain deeper insights into their designs, Altair AcuSolve and Thea Render — now offer enhanced support for NVIDIA GPUs, which produce incredible performance and speedups.

AcuSolve Enhances CAE Workflows

AcuSolve is a general-purpose CFD software that helps engineers simulate the fluid flow with turbulence and heat transfer of a design. With NVIDIA GPUs, AcuSolve users can perform simulations up to 4x faster than on CPU only configuration.

With RTX Server powering Altair users can design new models faster and more efficiently
© Altair

Thea Render Brings Design to Life

Thea Render, a powerful 3D rendering and animation tool, enables engineers to visualise realistic previews of their work, and the CUDA-based renderer can now deliver ray tracing with the NVIDIA OptiX AI-accelerated denoiser. In addition, Altair Inspire Studio leverages GPU-accelerated AI to reduce the time it takes to render high-quality, noiseless images.

Altair applications use CUDA, the parallel computing and programming platform featured on NVIDIA GPUs, to gain significant increases in speed and throughput. This lets engineers freely and quickly explore designs and make decisions based on more accurate results.

RTX Server Accelerates Computations

In addition to GPU support, Altair announced NVIDIA RTX Server validation of Altair ultraFluidX, an aerodynamics CFD software, as well as Altair nanoFluidX, a particle-based CFD software.

With RTX Server powering Altair ultraFluidX and nanoFluidX, users can design new models faster and more efficiently during the day on NVIDIA Quadro virtual workstations. The same RTX Server can then be used to complete large-scale CFD simulations overnight instead of taking days to compute the data.

When engineers arrive the next morning, the simulations are ready for them to analyse. This allows teams to understand the performance, behaviour and mechanics of their models earlier in the design process — all while using a more energy-efficient computing system that’s accessible on premises or in the cloud.

Altair software and NVIDIA GPUs are available now at CAD Software Direct

Vectorworks 30% Offer Extended

Vectorworks May 2020

The opportunity to save 30% on Vectorworks, originally scheduled to end today, has been extended right through May.

You can now save 30% on Vectorworks until May 31st 2020. This offer includes new licences, upgrades, Service Select, add-on modules, Vision and training, whether you’re a new or existing Vectorworks user.

Save on Vectorworks

If you’re having any difficulty accessing licences while working remotely at this time, please contact us and we will help explore your options.

Service Select renewals, dongles, shipping, reinstatement fees and subscriptions are excluded from this offer.

Other Ways to Buy Vectorworks

If you’re looking to buy Vectorworks, but would prefer monthly payments over an up front lump sum – there are now more choices than ever!

Spreading Vectorworks Payments

  • We can offer business leasing so you can spread the cost of a perpetual licence monthly between your choice of 2 to 5 years.
  • PayPal Credit offers 4 months interest free payments, and can be used for longer terms based on their interest charges.
  • We can also split the payment for you into three instalments. One initial payment, followed by two more with 30 days between them.

Spread the cost of Vectorworks

Vectorworks Subscriptions

Did you know all versions of Vectorworks are now available as a Vectorworks Subscription?

Unlike the other options to spread the cost of a perpetual licence, the subscription allows users to choose month to month if they require the software – or an annual option is available. Vectorworks subscriptions are ideal for users when the length of a project that requires Vectorworks is limited, or perhaps when it’s necessary to add more workstations just for a few months. However, if you expect to use Vectorworks indefinitely, it is far more cost effective to purchase a perpetual licence.

Buy a Vectorworks Subscription

15% OFF New SketchUp Subscriptions

SketchUp Subscription Offer

From now until the 8th of May, new users get 15% off RRP on the SketchUp annual subscription!

If you need a few licences, you can take advantage of the deal on up to 5 seats too. This deal is not available when adding seats to an existing account though, as this requires proration not covered in the deal.

Buy SketchUp Subscription

Save 15% on Trimble’s MSRP when purchasing up to 5 new SketchUp Pro annual termed subscription seats. Discount only applies to the first year term. Offer available until 08.05.20 11:59 (UTC) through participating resellers only. The promotion does not apply to previously placed orders. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer. Not valid for SketchUp Pro Classic licenses or any other SketchUp license type, Maintenance & Support fees, or Reinstatement fees. Valid in UK and Ireland only. Non-transferrable.

Trimble Inc. reserves the right to cancel or modify part or all of this promotion at any time without notice, for any reason in its sole discretion.

NBS Chorus – Intelligent Construction Specification

NBS Chorus

NBS Chorus is a cloud based, cross-platform specification system available for both Mac and Windows. Dynamically link models to the NBS online specification database, while keeping the model as the central source of project information. NBS Chorus integration is available to users of the Vectorworks Design Series with an active Service Select membership.

Users will be able to open a web browser-based palette in Vectorworks, and work concurrently with both the model and NBS Chorus. Any data modified in NBS Chorus via the web palette will update in the data record of the model, ensuring accurate and up-to-date specification information is accessible at all times from the model.

NBS Chorus is ideal for teams who which to standardise their model using defined specifications such as CAWS Work Sections and Uniclass 2015. As it is a web palette, it can be freely enabled and disabled right within Vectorworks, and is also accessible independently of Vectorworks.

The licence is user-based, which means all users need to do is close the Vectorworks application, and the NBS Chorus licence will be available for use elsewhere.

NBS Chorus is available to Vectorworks Design Series users with an active Vectorworks Service Select membership.

30% OFF Vectorworks this April

Vectorworks April Offer

With the current situation, working from home means some people are needing additional licences to tide them over. If you’re one of these people, or if you’re just looking to add to your team, or even get started with Vectorworks, then this offer is for you!

Save on Vectorworks

Get 30% off any Vectorworks purchase this April including new licences, upgrades, Service Select, add-on modules, Vision and training whether you’re a new or existing Vectorworks user.

If you’re having any difficulty accessing licences while working remotely at this time, please contact us and we will help explore your options.

Service Select renewals, dongles, shipping, reinstatement fees and subscriptions are excluded from this offer.