New Features in Vectorworks 2016

With the Vectorworks 2016 release, much has been improved. In addition to the underlying code being improved for the latest generation of operating systems, there are some seriously useful feature upgrades that will not only improve productivity but can probably reduce the need for, and cost of, other external software.

New Features

  • Marionette
  • Subdivision Surfaces
  • Point Cloud Support
  • Energos
  • Horizontal Sections from the Clip Cube
  • Roof Components and Styles
  • 3D Modifiers for Slabs
  • Improved Vectorworks Spotlight Objects
  • Door and Window Improvements
  • Hardscape Improvements
  • Exciting Site Modelling
  • Hoist Tools
  • Subdivision Surfaces
  • Point Cloud Support

Project Sharing

Potentially a major step change in productivity, the new project sharing functionality means a job can be split out amongst contributors – with each user’s jurisdiction protected from another user’s edits. Project Sharing enables two core features – version control and task splitting. For some organisations, this is a huge, game-changing feature.

To give an example.. Say you had a project in Dubai. Some team members are in Dubai, others are back in London. The project needs to progress fast, but there’s no way everyone can be on site. Additionally, saving files to a VPN or Dropbox account only goes so far – there are inevitable moments of overlap, or staff are held up whilst another user or team edits the principle job file. Perhaps worse, elements are built separately and some poor soul has to compile them at some late stage. With Project Sharing, this chaos can be avoided. A single project can have multiple contributors, each is protected from clashes with another. There is no limit to the number of users that can be working on a project at the same time. Time zones become irrelevant. Carefully saving files or merging changes is no longer a manual task. The gains are enormous. Take a look at the video for more details – or talk to us about a trial of Vectorworks 2015 if you’re not already a user.


Ideal for those in architectural or civil disciplines, Energos is a built-in building energy analysis tool. Use to improve the energy efficiency of a design, generate information for interested parties or even export for further analysis. For more information, take a look at this article on using Energos in Vectorworks.

Subdivison Surfaces

Quite a significant modelling addon, now that Vectorworks has SubD modelling, it becomes easy to create more organic forms without the use of external tools.


Cloud Services in Vectorworks Software

If you are on Vectorworks Service Select (VSS), you can now use built-in tools to save project files to Vectorworks cloud storage and publish drawings to the cloud or a DropBox account. These features, combined with the new Project Sharing functionality mean potentially huge productivity gains for users working as part of a team.

Point Cloud

Save time on projects that interact with historical structures. Vectorworks 2016 can process cloud point data in an intuitive way. Snap to cloud point data in order to dimension or draw up reference geometry.



Marionette is a visual scripting interface based on Python. Specifically, it’s designed to allow easy creation and manipulation of calculated objects. Users of Rhino may see a lot of familiarity with Grasshopper. If you’re willing to spend some time with Marionette, it can become a powerful way to create organic geometry, develop repetitive forms that adjust incrementally based on a custom formula or use it to apply model-wide adjustments to particular parametric objects.


OBJ and STL Import

Further enhancing interoperability with other packages and systems, OBJ and STL import functionality means it’s just a little bit easier to load in objects from clients, suppliers, colleagues on other systems and object libraries.


Landmark Data Improvements

Small but significant improvements to the interface and live linking with the plant database should make life simpler for anyone routinely using the plant tools and database.

Renderworks Upgrade and Improvements

Easily modify line thickness and ambient light in OpenGL render. Use panoramic JPEG and PNG images as backgrounds as well as HDRI. Speed enhancements in full screen preview rendering and various UI improvements mean Renderworks is easier to work with than ever before.

Create Stage Improvements

Site Modelling Improvements

User Experience Improvements

Slab Improvements

Database Worksheet Improvements

Horizontal Sections from Clip Cube

Visualisation Techniques

Roof Components and Styles

Door and Window Improvements

Greater control over windows and doors including multiple glazing settings, new louvre settings, ‘span-wall’ window feature and other minor enhancements within the UI.


3D PDF Export

Easily export simple or detailed PDFs of your model for clients or collaborators. This incredibly useful feature can save time, reduce in-person meetings and means it’s no longer necessary to go to an external application for this functionality.

DXF DWG Improvements

Improvements to DXF & DWG exporting mean it’s now possible to store mappings and settings of classes to meet external requirements. Save one set of mappings and reduce time on every subsequent export.



Hardscape Improvements

Improvements to paving tools, allowing multiple gradients in hard surfaces and variable heights for kerbs and borders increase Vectorworks Landscape 2016‘s usefulness for users creating external environments.

Hoist Tool

The new hoist tool for Spotlight and Designer users allows hoists to feature as specific hoist objects within drawings and with associated settings – making them easier to create and edit.

Best CAD/3D Programs for Mac

This is a pretty open question but we thought we’d give it a go. There are a tonne of questions you will need to ask yourself before it’s even worth looking at a package; we’ll try to break it down a little here. It’s worth noting that some packages (such as AutoCAD LT) are 2D only, whilst most others can produce 2D and 3D work. Many people think ‘CAD’ means ‘AutoCAD’, whereas AutoCAD is simply one of the best known product brands in the market. In reality, AutoCAD is only best suited in certain scenarios and other applications are worth considering for the best functionality and budget match.

What type of work are you undertaking?

  • Basic 2D drawings
    Consider: TurboCAD for Mac, Rhino for Mac (2D & 3D), AutoCAD LT Mac.
  • Planning a house/extension (enthusiast level)
    Consider: TurboCAD, Sketchup (& Sketchup Pro).
  • Professional Interior Design / Architecture
    Consider: Sketchup Pro, Vectorworks Fundamentals or Architect, AutoCAD for Mac, Cinema4D Visualise, Modo.
  • Furniture Design (Non-complex surfaces) /Kitchen Design
    Consider: Sketchup Pro, Vectorworks Fundamentals, Modo.
  • Product & Industrial Design / Furniture Design
    Consider: Rhino for Mac, Cinema4D (Prime/Visualise), Moi 3D, Modo.
  • Engineering Drawings
    Consider: AutoCAD LT, TurboCAD for Mac


The Applications

TurboCAD for Mac
A cheap program best suited to infrequent users. TurboCAD for Mac offers functionality similar in many respects to AutoCAD but with a much smaller user base.

Pros: Cheap
Cons: Not easy to get started with. Limited documentation and user-community. Features not as robust as other packages.


Sketchup (& Sketchup Pro)

Sketchup offers a free version (Sketchup Make) for non-commercial use. It shares much of the basic functionality of the pro version but lacks the import/export options, certain pro-tools and the significant ‘Layout’ application – which is extremely powerful for producing 2D visuals for clients, planning applications, brochures etc. The user base for Sketchup is enormous and the wealth of plugins available is considerable. Sketchup Pro is around £500 inc. VAT, making it a little expensive for enthusiasts but one of the most cost-effective 3D programs for professional use.

Pros: Low price, huge user base, plenty of third party addons available, free resources in the 3D Warehouse [ Pro: BIM functionality for professional architectural users, powerful Layout application included, import/export in AutoCAD formats ]
Cons: Poor handling of complex surfaces, no 2D interaction when creating/editing models. 3D warehouse files often poorly built and can cause crashes.


Vectorworks (Fundamentals / Architect / Spotlight / Landmark)

Vectorworks comes in various flavours – with Fundamentals being the entry level package. Vectorworks has been used by Architects on Mac for a very long time. It remains one of the most popular architectural packages and possibly the most popular for Mac.

Pros: Proven track record on Mac. Specific versions include powerful tools for the specific industry (Architect – architecture/interior design, Spotlight – event/exhibition/public venue design, Landmark – landscape design, urban design). Works with AutoCAD file formats. Wide user base.
Cons: Pricier than other options – £1100 – £2500.


Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D is a solid modeller with a firm foothold in 3D design for broadcast/TV and architectural visualisation. It has a professional interface, is robust and its users are often very enthusiastic evangelists of the software. Its popularity is less than, say, Sketchup, but it remains well used and well documented. It comes in a basic form, known as Prime, but also comes as Cinema 4D Broadcast, Cinema 4D Visualise and Cinema 4D Studio (all packages combined).

Pros: Cost effective entry level package. Great track record on Mac. Visualise includes great rendering software. Support for polygonal and NURBS modelling.
Cons: Limited plugins. Costlier than some options.



A superb all-rounder, Modo offers a modelling interface similar to Cinema4D or 3DS Max (Windows) and importantly bundles modelling, animation and rendering in one. This makes it one of the most cost effective packages available for Mac.

Pros: Solid, tool-rich application. Animation and rendering included.
Cons: Smaller user base than some applications. High quality surface modelling (NURBS) available as a plugin.


Rhino for Mac

The version of Rhino for Mac captures most of the proven functionality of the Windows version and is arguably the most cost-effective professional 3D modeller for Mac available. Currently there some features yet to be released to bring parity with the Windows version and plugins are not currently supported. Nevertheless, for a high quality surface modeller with powerful 2D and 3D capabilities, it is extremely good value.

Pros: Extremely cost-effective. Large user base. Polygonal and NURBS modelling.
Cons: No plugins yet. Some limitations on features currently available in Windows.

MoI 3D

MoI (Moment of Inspiration) is a lightweight modeller with similar principles to Rhino. It was in fact created by a former Rhino developer. MoI is a competent 3D modeller with a simple interface – ideal for users wishing to create organic shapes without the complex interface or cost of some of the other applications here.

Pros: Low cost, competent 3D modeller. Simple interface.
Cons: Fewer options than other applications. Simple interface.


At the time of writing, we’re making recommendations based on Mac OS X 10.10+. Beware of expecting too much from a Macbook or Macbook Pro in 3D terms or older iMacs; check your machine against minimum specs for the software before investing. A Macbook Pro with 8Gb RAM and an Intel AMD HD graphics card can run out of puff on complex models quite quickly.

Vectorworks 1 Day Sale – Today Only!

What’s included in this offer?

New Customers – Purchase a 2 year VSS membership and get 50% off your Vectorworks license!

Existing Customers – Upgrade for free from version 2013 and below when you purchase a 2 year VSS membership.

What is Vectorworks Service Select (VSS)?

Vectorworks Service Select is a subscription agreement that provides customers with several added benefits, including immediate receipt of product releases, the best pricing, predictable budgets, priority technical support, VIP access to downloads, easy account management, and access to a growing library of on-demand learning tutorials. You’ll also have exclusive access to Vectorwork Cloud Services, as well as their mobile apps.

Contact us for a quote.

Phone:  01206 804984

Terms and Conditions


  • 2 year Service Select memberships must be paid upfront in one installment.
  • The free upgrade offer is only valid for professional licenses on version 2013 or earlier when joining the Vectorworks Service Select program for 2 years.
  • Any new licenses purchased alongside this offer will also require a Service Select attachment for 2 years.
  • Cost is based on the licenses currently owned and must be verified at the time of purchase.
  • This offer is valid for one day only, on Tuesday 9 June 2015 until 11:59pm GMT.
  • Customers with any 2014 or 2015 licenses do not qualify for this promotion.
  • This offer is not applicable to current or previous Service Select members.
  • This offer is not applicable to education/student licences.
  • This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

New Licenses

  • This offer is only available to new customers of Vectorworks.
  • New customers must purchase two years of Vectorworks Service Select to receive 50% off a new Vectorworks licence.
  • There is no limit to the number of licences the new customer can purchase.
  • This offer is not applicable to current or previous Service Select members.
  • This offer is not applicable to education/student licences.
  • This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
  • Any customers with existing licences are not entitled to this offer.

New Features in Vectorworks 2015

Vectorworks Graphics Module

Vectorworks 2014 introduced you to its very own Vectorworks Graphics Module (VGM). With Vectorworks 2015, the VGM brings the fun back to your modelling experience with great performance, stability, and unmatched graphical control.

• Wireframe and Planar Graphics Improvements (F, A, L, S, D)
Enjoy faster wireframe rendering and planar graphics, as well as improved spatial relationships in the Wireframe rendering mode.

• View Transition Animation (F, A, L, S, D, R)
Smooth animations have been added to improve the 3D context for view changes.

• Preference for 3D Render Mode and Projection (F, A, L, S, D)
When you transition from Top/Plan to a 3D view, you now have the option to set the default for your render mode and projection, so you can have a seamless, visual transition through view changes.

• Mesh Improvements (A, L, S, D, R)
The import process is more efficient and the graphic result is smoother. Plus, the render quality has been refined.

• Modelling Performance Improvements (F, A, L, S, D, R)
Modelling performance has been greatly improved with new preferences for default render and project modes as well as greater control over mesh objects and more. 

Modernised Visual Performance (F, A, L, S, D, R)
The Vectorworks Graphics Module brings the fun back to your modelling experience with great performance, stability, and unmatched graphical control.



Vectorworks Architect provides powerful BIM solutions to fit your workflow and address your BIM needs, both big and little, as you experiment, become inspired, and design without limitations.

• Curtain Walls (A, L, D)
Glazing systems like curtain walls and storefronts are important features in your designs, but the BIM tools to design them shouldn’t be more complex than the systems themselves. With 2015, you can create curtain walls and storefronts with our Wall tool. While you can manage your glazing systems with wall styles, you can also take advantage of our typical power and flexibility paradigm, enabling you to model and edit directly with the Edit Curtain Wall tool. This tool allows you to grab, move, reshape, and align all aspects of your curtain wall directly. This means you can either create a completely custom configuration or align it to existing geometry.

• New Level Constraint System for Stories (A, D)
Objects, such as walls and wall components, slabs, and columns, can now be constrained to a level without creating additional design layers. This gives you more control with less complexity, refining your model’s organisation. You are able to model wall-to-slab connections with precision and fluidly model elements such as mezzanines and split-level designs.

• Walls (F, A, L, S, D)
The Vectorworks 2015 release includes a revolutionary Wall tool mode: the rectangle wall mode. Not only does this new mode draw a rectangular walled area in two clicks, but with automatic joining and trimming with existing walls, you can also add or subtract rectangular space from existing wall networks. In addition, you can use the Trim tool to remove any wall segment between two joins with a single click. This will allow you to draw, modify, and explore any rectangular wall network in a fraction of the time needed in previous Vectorworks versions or any other CAD application.

• COBie-Facilities Management for IFC Export (A, L D)
As BIM becomes more important to your clients—and not just for project delivery but for information delivery, as well—we provide you with the means to transfer relevant BIM data for their use in facility management applications. The new COBie option in our IFC export filters the proper data from your Vectorworks BIM to support operations, maintenance, and asset management workflows.

• Stairs (A, L, D)
As the functionality of stairs continues to advance with new configurations and features, you can now create more complex stair layouts. You can also set Double-U and Triple-L configurations along with user-defined angles on landings between flights.

• Spaces (A, D)
Space objects now help you manage how information is displayed in your documentation by linking multiple labels to a single space. Because each label is configured and classed separately, you have more control over their leader lines. In addition, we’ve boosted their BIM capabilities with more boundary definitions and the ability to edit the room finish settings directly in a database worksheet.


Technology Interoperability

When it comes to BIM tools, no one matches Vectorworks’ ability to exchange data and geometry during your design process. It offers more choices to import and export your models, your drawings, and your data, giving you the freedom to collaborate with partners, regardless of their preferred technology, and explore ideas using many different tools.

• File Import and Export (F, A, L, S, D)
Import and export support for industry-standard STEP files have been added, as well as improved SketchUp support with the import of textures. Nemetschek have also enhanced their historic, robust support for exporting STL files, making workflows with 3D printing even smoother with less effort.

• DXF/DWG/DWF Improvements (F, A, L, S, D)
Support for your DXF/DWG-based workflows has been improved. In addition to import enhancements to leader lines, line types, and tables as worksheets, there are export features, such as interactive dimensions and precision settings, to complement your ability to exchange high-quality, highly accurate versions of your data in the DXF/DWG or DWF formats.

• Robust PDF Integration (A, L, S, D)
Eliminate the need to edit your PDFs prior to import. Conveniently crop them within Vectorworks software. Take advantage of the option to enable/disable snapping for PDF page objects. Reduce required steps and export files directly into PDF/A format.

*These PDF features are available in Vectorworks Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, and Designer. 


3D Modelling and Rendering

Whether adding artistic flair, creating a style, or refining a look, Renderworks 2015 has you covered. Get ready to turn anything you can imagine into an inspired, sharable realisation of your vision.

• 3D Hatching for Hidden Line Rendering (R)
Textures are now linked with planar hatching. This means you can render in hidden line mode and reveal a simple hatch on your textured wall. The workflow has been transformed for creating elevations and other presentation views by updating a large majority of the default textures in Renderworks to include a hatch that matches each image-based texture.

• OpenGL Improvements (F, A, L, S, D, R)
Nemetschek have improved the styling and control capabilities in OpenGL. For example, you can create your elevation drawings in black and white simply by using the new option to turn off colours. Plus you can turn on shadows and texture effects to enhance your presentation. With Custom Renderworks, remove distracting colour while retaining the bumps, transparency, and reflectivity that give your rendering depth. In addition, you can now create optimal customisation with the expanded Draw Edges option.

**OpenGL Colour and remove obsolete options are available in Vectorworks Fundamentals. Edges, textures, and shadowing are features found only in Renderworks.

• Renderworks Style Artistic Edges (R)
Stylise your rendering and take the sketched look to new heights! Overlay interesting artistic edge effects on top of a realistic-shaded Renderworks rendering.

• New Deform Tool (F, A, L, S, D)
Nemetschek have dramatically refined the direct modelling capabilities of Vectorworks with the new Deform tool, which lets you bend, taper, or create a bulge with practically any geometric object.


Documentation and Graphics Improvements

For 2015, the 64-bit capabilities have been extended to Vectorworks entire product line and delivered a revolutionary graphical experience through our enhanced Vectorworks Graphics Module. Better performance and enhanced stability, plus more than 100 updates and new features.

Clip Cube Caps (F, A, L, S, D)
No longer will your models appear hollow when sliced with the Clip Cube, nor will you be limited to predefined views when presenting. Instead, take advantage of enhanced clarity for on-the-fly demonstrations.

Powerful Text Features (F, A, L, S, D)
Customisable text is a crucial component of presentation and documentation. It is imperative that you have options and control. With this feature, you can assign text styles through classes and set and adjust text styles globally.

In addition to these improvements, Vectorworks also lets you vary tab length and spacing between characters. You can adjust the horizontal alignment of callouts and body text in the Notes Manager. Nemetschek have also enriched callout bubble shadows with pen and fill colours.

Publish Command (A, L, S, D)
The Publish command has been enhanced to streamline the process of sharing your ideas with others. Be in complete control with individualized options for each item in your publish set. Conveniently publish multiple file types, including standard image types, within a single publish session. Have your last used settings remembered and be asked to save an unsaved set. Simplify your file directory by not creating sub-folders if you don’t need them.

Gradient Opacity Control (F, A, L, S, D)
The way you work with gradients has been expanded to include dynamic, powerful options for colour control and transparency for objects.

Support for Retina and 4K Displays (F, A, L, S, D)
Vectorworks 2015 takes advantage of high-resolution displays, such as the Apple Retina display and most 4K displays on Windows.

Detail Callouts (F, A, L, S, D)
Similar to Section Line Instances for Section Viewports, it is now possible to show and control detail callout instances directly within the detail viewport.


Workflow Efficiency Gains

Nemetschek have added tools and enhanced the capabilities of existing ones. By refining workflows to be intuitive and seamless, They’ve also amplified the speed of navigation, drafting, and documentation. Vectorworks 2015 is more powerful, customizable, and agile than ever.

Worksheet Refinement (F, A, L, S, D)
One way the usability  has been improved is with the addition of a menu bar to the worksheet window, resulting in a natural and non-intimidating interface. Other improvements to the worksheet include adding a percentage number format and the IFC4 standard date format.

Help When and Where You Need It (F, A, L, S, D)
The Vectorworks Help System this year has been enhanced with the support of HTML5. Whether on a mobile device or a computer, searching, accessing, and printing help topics has never been more efficient or convenient. The new Help System can be accessed through any preferred browser and is more reliable and easier to use than ever.

Eliminate Mouse Clicks (F, A, L, S, D)
Now, close polygons, polylines, and walls with a shortcut key. The Move Edges Parallel mode of the Reshape tool makes it easy to reshape straight adjacent object edges from a vertex or midpoint. More actions are available through an Object Context menu. Remove and edit constraints, access the Align/Distribute commands, and edit symbols by right-clicking them from the Resource Browser.

Class and Layer Management (F, A, L, S, D)
Classes and Layers are vital in the organization of any Vectorworks project. In Vectorworks 2015, it is even easier to create, manage, and sort these important features.


Site Design Enhancements

Vectorworks Landmark software has long been recognised for its superior graphics capabilities and industry-focused tool sets for site design professionals. Nemetschek inherently understand that your design workflows and documentation styles are as unique and individual as your projects. They therefore strive to provide the best technological solutions along with the power, flexibility, and interactivity you want from your design software.

Site Modelling and Calculations (A, L, D)
Working with site models is now more precise and intuitive. Whether by angle, percentage, or ratio, the varied batter slope option in the Pad from Grade Limits command provides greater control when setting terrain-modifying pads on your site. Plus, a new, interactive feature within the site model makes it easier to identify and correct conflicts within your site model. Lastly, the Landscape Area tool now calculates areas based on the surface slopes of any site model.

Roadway Object Improvements (L, D)
New options for roadways help you achieve greater precision when laying out different street configurations. For example, the Roadway (Poly) tool makes it easy to create and modify straight and curved roadways, while the Roadway Custom Curb object provides powerful editing and joining options for practically any configuration, including roundabouts and complex intersections.

Grade Object Improvements (L, D)
Enhancements have improved the power and flexibility of the Grade tool. Whether your needs are for annotation, measurement, or to simply adjust the location of a low point on a swale, you will maintain complete control and accuracy over the slope of grade objects as distances vary.

Drawing Annotations (L, D)
Drawing annotations and callouts appear the way you want. New custom labeling options have been added for plants and landscape areas, and  the Graticule tool has been improved to make it intuitive and straightforward, as well as show geographical coordinate system grids on your site plans.

Plant Materials (L, D)
Working with plant resources in Vectorworks software has always been dynamic and graphically rich. Visually navigate through plant libraries with symbols, 3D images, and model options via the new viewable directory. The Existing Tree tool has been enhanced, so you can more capably represent and report existing trees in your projects. Finally, take your landscape plans to the next level with the new tight outline mode, making it easy to swap from a sketch-like appearance to one that closely outlines each plant.


Entertainment Design Enhancements

New Spotlight Objects (S, D)
Create all the variations of the stairs, platforms, and ramps that are commonly used in temporary staging construction, complete with details like edging, legs, bracing, and casters, with these new Stage objects. Whenever you want to model the supports for speakers, trusses, and other stage equipment with precision, pull out the new, adjustable-height Stage Lift object.

Flip Label Legend Control (S, D)
The Device Label Legends are now flip-aware. This eliminates the need to create multiple variations of the same label.

Direct Editing for Lighting Position Objects (S, D)
The Lighting Position object now uses the position model geometry directly, eliminating the need to create a symbol first and navigate your way back to the symbol to edit the position geometry. Just select the position and click Edit.

Height for Position Summary (S, D)
The lighting position trim height can now be displayed as part of an associated Instrument Summary, making the Instrument Summary a complete report of individual positions in addition to the report for the entire show.

Pop-up Parameter Types for Lighting Devices (S, D)
Eliminate typos and extra typing when you enter information in Lighting Device user fields with the new customisable Pop-up parameter type.

Objects Enhanced with Element Classing (S, D)
The Soft Goods object, the Beam Angle, Field Angle and Centerline of the Lighting Device, Video Screen, Blended Screen, Blended Projector, Television and LED Screen have all been tweaked so that you can fully control the visibility and look of each element separately with classes.

Improvements to Existing Tools (S, D)
There are many great improvments to existing Spotlight tools that provide more flexibility, and significantly improve your drafting efficiency.


New Content and Mobile Apps

Nemetschek have added a long list of new symbol and texture libraries, as well as introduced new cloud functionality and a new cloud app called Vectorworks Remote!

New Content Libraries (F, A, L, S, D, R)

There are new content libraries exclusively for Vectorworks Service Select members. Content libraries save you time with ready-to-use, high-quality resources that are sure to help put the finishing touches on your designs and presentations.

  • Arroway Textures™ Tiles 02 Textures
  • Arroway Textures™ Image Fills III
  • Arroway Textures™Stonework Textures
  • Prudential Lighting lighting fixtures
  • Landscape S-Details – Drainage
  • Entourage Vehicles 1 – European vehicles
  • Blizzard Lighting
  • Orchestral Layout 3D Symbols
  • HAGS Agito Playground Equipment
  • Stage Risers for Chorus and Band
  • Seating Risers
  • Update to Atlas Sound
  • Update to Phillips Vari-Lite stage lighting

New Vectorworks Remote App (F, A, L, S, D, R)

There is now a new mobile app for all Vectorworks users! The Vectorworks Remote App connects your mobile device to your Vectorworks desktop using a remote connection plug-in. When using the app, you can interactively use the device like a remote to view, navigate, and present your designs without having to be at your desktop. This is great for group reviews and presentations. The list of available remotes in the app vary depending upon which Vectorworks products you own.

Vectorworks Nomad 3D Viewing

Their signature mobile app, Vectorworks Nomad, now supports 3D viewing of your Vectorworks files. Thanks to the Vectorworks Graphics Module you can fly over, walk through, and zoom in and out of your textured and shaded 3D models.

* Content libraries and Vectorworks Nomad are exclusive benefits for Vectorworks Service Select members.

Vectorworks 2014 New Features

The new Vectorworks 2014 release provides many significant improvements, designed to boost both base-level performance as well as improve functionality within specific versions. Major areas of improvement in the core Vectorworks package cover interface and display and file interoperability. Changes to the 3D working environment provide more Sketchup-like modelling behaviour whilst working in perspective views. The new Taper Face and Twist tools further enhance the 3D push-pull style of modelling. Various improvements to architectural and space tools assist with BIM management. Please see the sections below for full details on these new functions and tools and which versions they are available within.


Best in 3D

Better BIM

Improved Efficiency

File Interoperability

Entertainment Design

Site Design

Rendering Tools


Best in 3D


  • Fast Interactive Display
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Fundamentals | Vectorworks Designer | Renderworks )
    With version 2014, navigation in all 3D views looks amazing with OpenGL, and you get real-world 3D feedback in all-solid rendered modes. The cache generated in OpenGL also improves navigation in other render modes. Plus, with our integrated rendering application, Renderworks®, you will enjoy interactive light aiming and faster OpenGL shadows by default. Now you can enjoy the rendered look of your model without sacrificing performance and speed.

Better BIM


  • Create Section Viewports from Clip Cube
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Designer )
    You now have the ability to immediately create either design layer or sheet layer section viewports directly from the interactive Clip Cube. You can not only create these viewports, but also edit them using the Clip Cube. This enhancement allows for a more hands-on, visual approach to creating specific sections from your model.
  • Auto Hybrid Enhancements
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Designer )
    An auto hybrid object can create a hidden line representation of the object above or below the cut plane in plan view. New options have been added to the auto hybrid object to control the smoothing angle, intersection lines, and dash styles, resulting in better-drawn objects and overall improved performance.

  • Polygonal Control
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Fundamentals | Vectorworks Designer )
    The new Simplify Polys command will enable you to simplify polylines, and 2D or 3D polygons in the Vectorworks application. This command can be incredibly useful after importing complex site data, simplifying imported DWG files, or dealing with any polys with too many corner vertices. Many incredible projects start with basic shapes and evolve into more intricate and interesting forms. The Reshape tool has been enhanced with a new mode that allows you to move an object’s edge without changing the adjacent angles. Plus you can now reshape rectangles.

File Interoperability


  • Publish Command
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Fundamentals | Vectorworks Designer )
    A new Publish command gives you tremendous flexibility in customizing and saving drawing sets for when you need to issue them. With this new command, you can select specific views and sheets from files along with PDF, DXF/DWG, and DWF files, and save them as a named set for export or printing (Design Series required for batch printing and PDF export). Managing your publishing settings has never been so easy.
  • DWG Improvements
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Fundamentals | Vectorworks Designer )
    You can now directly reference DWG/DXF or DWF files in your Vectorworks project, making collaboration and team workflows that much simpler. The Export DXF/DWG and Export DWF commands now support complex and custom line types when exporting from Vectorworks, resulting in a cleaner and more accurate experience for your collaborator. DXF/DWG and DWF Support for Named Colors enables the color names to match in Vectorworks and AutoCAD® software. Save DXF/DWG and DWF Preferences in the Import Log File provides a record of your DXF/DWG and DWF import settings to assist you in achieving consistent results with respect to your DXF/DWG and DWF imports.

Entertainment Design


  • Lighting Device Improvements
    ( Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Designer )
    The lighting device object has received a serious boost with features that are sure to make you more efficient. It’s no longer necessary to try to remember label names when assigning a label legend. Instead, use the new pop-up on the lighting device. See the full height of the beam clearly at the focus point. Freely mix your own information with the built-in information using customized data records. See the simulated color of multiple gel “sandwiches.”
  • Lighting Pipe Objects
    ( Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Designer )
    New lighting pipe and lighting pipe ladder objects to bring you exciting new options and facilitate the creation of lighting positions.
  • New Instrument Summary Object
    ( Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Designer )
    Based on the original tool designed by Joshua Benghiat Lighting Design, enjoy the flexibility to efficiently create and format instrument and position summaries with this amazing new plug-in object.Seating
  • Seating Layout Improvements
    ( Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Designer )
    We’ve added a new option to the Create Event Seating command, so you can accurately lay out seating with rows aimed at a focal point. The focal point option is also available when editing a seating layout.

Site Design


  • Plant and Massing Model Shadow Improvements
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Designer )
    With the enhanced plant shadows, you’ll find it faster and easier to create presentation-level site plans with interactive, dynamic shadows on your plant objects. You can apply a document-wide shadow style to all plants on your drawing, while also creating custom shadow settings for individual plants, as needed. With support for massing model shadows, you can work with smart objects in 3D while simultaneously achieving their desired visual results for 2D plan representation. And like plant shadows, you can also apply both document-wide and individual custom shadow settings to massing models. Additionally, you now have the ability to specify floor usage data in a massing model record. The floor usage data can be reported on by using a new worksheet sub-string function, giving you the ability to use massing models for early design analysis in urban planning.
  • Plant Tool Enhancements
    ( Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Designer )
    The custom plant tag can now be created by selecting predefined tag field values instead of having to remember keywords for the plant record fields. You now have easy access to edit plant definitions from every pane in the Plant Settings dialog box.
  • Site Modifier Improvements
    ( Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Designer )
    The new site model contour label position functionality gives you the freedom to position and reposition contour labels at will with the Reshape tool for legibility, annotation, and office standards. This new addition can be applied to drawing types such as site surveys, grading plans, site plans, and planting plans.
  • Suppress Location Adjustment for Georeferenced Data
    ( Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Designer )
    This new option provides greater selectability and power in sharing data from a .VWX file, as well as increasing the number of layers and classes with record formats in a single .SHP file. This may benefit GIS users, planning departments, land use planners, and urban designers who are fulfilling and/or enforcing jurisdictional requirements.

Rendering Tools


  • Displacement Mapping
    ( Renderworks )
    Current Renderworks users have never before seen rendering quality like what they’ll get in version 2014. The new displacement mapping option gives you the ability to make even more realistic renderings with materials like grass, carpet, water, bricks, or stone.
  • Images for Brick Shaders
    ( Renderworks )
    Many great new images of bricks come with Renderworks and are ready to use and edit for texturing your designs. In addition, they are also new shaders, which enable you to control multiple images representing multiple bricks, along with having granular control over the gaps/grout between bricks or tiles.



Time’s Running Out…

Vectorworks 2014 is due to release imminently and time is running out to grab the current VSS deals.

If you purchase Vectorworks with VSS today you will receive 13 months instead of 12. This means you can upgrade for free to Vectorworks 2014 when it is released and to Vectorworks 2015 in September next year.

This is on top of existing offers such as:

  • 50% off VSS for new licenses
  • 33% off upgrades when purchased with VSS


Purchase Vectorworks 2013 today!


Great End of Summer Deals

Last minute deals on Vectorworks, V-Ray for Sketchup and Cinema4D

It’s that time of year again and various new software releases are imminent. This means there are some great end of summer deals.

Avoid price increases, qualify for free upgrades and lock in great deals before the new releases!



For new and existing customers not already on VSS, we have a great deal available before the new release. Contact us now to take advantage of this.


V-Ray for Sketchup

Time is running out to get the current version at the current price. Purchasers of V-Ray for Sketchup 1.49 qualify for 1.6 as soon as it’s released. You will only need to pay for the USB dongle, there is no upgrade price and you can lock in the current license price today.


Maxon Cinema 4D

Superb deals on Cinema 4D are available for just a little longer. Buy any version of Cinema 4D today and receive 12 months support and upgrades free of charge.


Now really is a great time to invest in your software. If you’d like to make your purchase even more cost-effective, you may wish to consider our business leasing options.

Buy now online or email or call if you’d like more information or to purchase by phone.

These offers must end soon.




Key New Features of Vectorworks 2013

It’s easy to step back from updates when you feel you’re happy with the way your software is currently performing. However, even with the most cynical software developers, most updates are usually very beneficial to the user, resulting in improved efficiency and greater ease of use.

Nemetschek’s Vectorworks software is now updated annually, which means if you’re not on the VSS automatic updates, you may wonder whether it’s worth upgrading. In short, the Vectorworks 2013 release should be very useful to relatively heavy users of the programme and a large jump up for those users still running Vectorworks 11, 12 or 2009.


So, Why Upgrade to Vectorworks 2013?


Improved Door & Window Tools
[Vectorworks Architect  Vectorworks Designer]
Greater room for custom settings, adjustments and new controls for global/bulk changes. One of the most requested improvements.

Surface Array Object
[ Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Designer]
A hugely significant feature – especially for commercial architects, the surface array tool allows users to accurately repeat items across a complex surface. This is pitched particularly at users creating buildings with organic forms using large volumes of glazing units or other architectural/structural features.

Golden Proportions
[Vectorworks Fundamentals | Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Designer]
An interesting new feature, that some may find useful, others a little unnecessary, is the golden proportions tool. A simple device to draw golden rectangles directly into your plan.

Hyperlinks within drawings
Links to other drawings, external files or web links. Not groundbreaking – just great for sending documents to clients and exporting to interactive PDFs.

2D & 3D Visualisation & Navigation
[Vectorworks Fundamentals | Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Designer]
Vectorworks 2013 now incorporates some user interface tools that have been commonplace in other 3D apps. Users of Sketchup may see some familiarity here.


Small Efficiency Improvements
[Vectorworks Fundamentals | Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Designer]
Several key improvements have been made throughout the application. Furthermore, many processes have become faster (especially screen redrawing).


Plant Object Improvements
[ Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Designer]
Greater control over plant objects.


Speaker & Speaker Array Tools
[Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Designer]
A completely new tool for audio/visual event planners. Specify speaker types accurately – both for visualisation and data generation.


Site Model Improvements
[ Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Designer]
An important new tool for Landmark users that should help significantly when planning cut-in and landscaping work within a geographical environment.


Physical Sun & Sky
[Vectorworks Renderworks]


Hidden Line Render Improvements
[Vectorworks Fundamentals | Vectorworks Architect | Vectorworks Spotlight | Vectorworks Landmark | Vectorworks Designer]

AIA National Convention and Exposition “BEST of SHOW awards”

Architosh, the leading online publication devoted to Mac and iOS CAD and 3D software applications, has announced its first AIA National Convention and Exposition “BEST of SHOW awards” in two categories for desktop and mobile software for architects and related AEC professionals.

“The American Institute of Architects’ national convention is the premier event for practicing architects in the US,” said Anthony Frausto-Robledo, AIA, LEED AP, architosh’s editor-in-chief, “and thousands of architects attend to see what digital tools are shaping their profession. It makes perfect sense to not only report on the show but to select what we feel are the best products at show time.” “We hope this honor will help sharpen the perspectives of our readers on what are significant developments in computer software for architecture.”

Winners of BEST of SHOW Awards

Products that are eligible for the architosh BEST of SHOW award must have been introduced within the past 10 months and be available in the market within the first 9 months of the awarded year.

Eligible products in the desktop software category must run on both Mac and Windows platforms within the release awarded. And eligible mobile products must run on Apple’s innovative and market leading iOS platform. Without further ado, the honors go to:

Desktop Winner

The 2012 architosh BEST of SHOW AIA National award in the desktop category is given to Graphisoft’s latest ArchiCAD 16. “ArchiCAD 16 introduces powerful new direct-modeling technology,” says Anthony Frausto-Robledo, AIA, LEED AP, editor-in-chief, “and explicit modeling has been clearly identified as in need in BIM market research, including Architosh’s large 2010 BIM report. In addition, the integration of Graphisoft’s EcoDesigner into ArchiCAD 16 encourages architects to design buildings with the environment in mind.”

Readers can learn more about Graphisoft’s award-winning BIM solution that runs on both Mac and Windows platforms here:

There tends to be many excellent solutions at the AIA and we wanted to call some attention to those others with special notes below. Runners-Up are:

Runner-Up: Shaderlight

Shaderlight deserves recognition as the first cloud-based rendering solution for Google’s popular SketchUp rendering program. With this unique solution SketchUp users can produce photo-realistic renders of their models at up to 5x speeds faster than on the desktop and up to 128x faster at animations. You can learn more here.

Runner-Up: Vectorworks Architect 2012

Vectorworks Architect 2012 deserves recognition for its extremely well-balanced feature set, including integrated CINEMA 4D renderer inside its Renderworks add-on option as well as its improving interoperability and excellent modeling capabilities. We also think the 2D X-ray mode is ingenious! Learn more here.

iOS Mobile Winner

The 2012 architosh BEST of SHOW AIA National award in the iOS mobile category is given to CADFaster for its innovative utilization of Apple’s iOS-based iPad and the mobility of BIM in the field.

“CADFaster is now available for a native Mac CAD/BIM application with its latest CADFaster for Vectorworks,” says Anthony Frausto-Robledo, AIA, LEED AP, “but the company deserves kudos for its overall implementation with bringing real-time collaboration to the mobile iOS space and its utilization of cloud computing.”

CADFaster’s unique innovation partly lies in its proprietary file compression technology which enables the application to export an entire 3D model (BIM) file into a tiny executable which contains its own application. With CADFaster on the iPad a collaborator can see and navigate a model and participate in mark-up discussions in real-time. You can even host a collaborative session via the iPad. “What was really impressive to me while watching Tuomas Holma of CADFaster show me the product was not just its amazing fluidity and speed but the way in which commentary threads work,” says Anthony Frausto-Robledo, AIA, LEED AP.

Runner-Up: HP ePrint & Share for iPad

HP ePrint and Share app for iPad allows AEC professionals like architects to send mark-ups to remote HP DesignJets back at the office with ease. If you are using Autodesk AutoCAD WS on your iPad the new integration with is an extra convenience. With HP’s new tech your file are saved to the cloud for either sharing, storing and printing.