Vectorworks Promotion: Make the Switch

Vectorworks Offer - Make the Switch

Forget workarounds and complicated design processes that limit your creativity. If your design software isn’t doing exactly what you need it to, it’s time to move to one that does.

Now’s the time to make the move.

If you’re a new Vectorworks user purchasing a new Vectorworks license, you get a 25% discount PLUS a whole year of VSS absolutely free!

Make the Switch >

This offer is running from February 18th to March 29th

 

Agisoft PhotoScan is now Metashape

Agisoft Metashape

Metashape by Agisoft, previously known as Photoscan, is for 3D spatial data generation and photogrammetric processing of digital images. Metashape is ideal for use in GIS applications, cultural heritage documentation, and visual effects production as well as for indirect measurements of objects of various scales.

Advanced digital photogrammetry techniques, paired with intuitive computer visualisation results in a smart, automated processing system. On one hand, it can be understood by new-comers in the field of photogrammetry, yet also has a lot to offer to a specialist who can adjust the workflow to numerous specific tasks and different types of data.

What’s New in Agisoft Metashape?

Highly detailed mesh generation based on depth maps.
Improved filtering during dense stereo matching helps to reduce noise on the final surface while preserving thin structures within the scene. The new depth map based mesh generation method works directly with depth map data, which allows reconstruction of exceptionally detailed geometry. GPU acceleration support significantly speeds up the processing, while core implementation greatly reduces memory consumption compared to previous versions.

 

Automatic multi-class dense point cloud classification.
Agisoft Metashape is enriched with machine learning techniques to solve the crucial task of higher level interpretation of the scanned data. The semantic classification feature automatically groups photogrammetric points into Ground, Vegetation, Building, Road, Car and Man-made classes.

 

Cloud processing option.
Metashape is optimised for multi-core CPUs and multi-GPU systems for fast generation of results. Distributed processing on a HPC cluster helps to speed up all the calculations for massive data sets even further.

 

Update from PhotoScan to Metashape today. It’s completely free for existing users.

Update to Metashape

Why Use a 3D Mouse?

If you’ve seen a 3D mouse, or heard about them, but don’t quite know what they are and why you should be using one – look no further!

Here, we’ll discuss what benefits there are in using one, as well as let you know the answer to common questions like whether it will work in SketchUp or Vectorworks. We will then explain a little bit about which ones are available, like the CadMouse and SpaceMouse Wireless and SpaceMouse Pro.

SpaceMouse

What is a 3D Mouse?

A 3D mouse is a pointing and control device, just like your traditional mouse, but is specialised for movement in virtual 3D space. A 3D mouse will feature a variety of ways to control models in a 3D environment including multi-axis sensors, accelerometers and even IR sensors.

3DConnexion devices are very popular in professional sectors like architecture, CAD, 3D design and 3D modeling because they feature a rotating cylinder on a base that can be raised and lowered, as well as rotated. This facilitates very intuitive environmental movement and model manipulation that gives the user the feeling of holding the 3D object in their hand.

 

 

How Would I Benefit?

Many designers, engineers and 3D professionals prefer to use a 3D mouse in their work for the simple fact that they increase both productivity and comfort. The ability to manipulate, translate, rotate and scale all at the same time is the best way to interact with a 3D part – which is just not possible with traditional mouse and keyboard.

Using a 3D mouse opens up a “two-handed” approach as well. With your traditional mouse in one hand, and your 3D mouse in the other, you’re able to spread the workload. This not only increases productivity, but over long periods of time spent modeling, using a 3D mouse can greatly reduce the risk or symptoms of RSI.

There can be a short period of time where you’ll need to get used to using a 3D mouse, but it should only take a matter of minutes. Once you’re used to the movements, and have mapped any buttons to the commands you frequently use, you’ll see the benefits straight away. Ultimately, you will feel like you are holding the 3D content in your hand, while decreasing the strain on your usual mouse-hand which leaves you free to be creative.

Image result for spacemouse compact

Which Software Packages are Compatible?

3DConnexion devices support a huge range of software packages. To name a few, SketchUp Pro, Rhino, KeyShot, Vectorworks, formZ, Artlantis, solidThinking Evolve and solidThinking Inspire are all supported.

Check software compatibility here.

 

Which Are the Best 3D Input Devices?

It depends what you’re looking for when deciding which 3D mouse is best for you. If you’re looking for a cost effective and more traditional mouse, the CadMouse will serve you well. Featuring a high precision laser with 8.200 dpi and CAD specific features, CadMouse and CadMouse Wireless give a comfortable an efficient workflow.

For true, intuitive 3D manipulation, the SpaceMouse Compact wired or wireless would be the way to go. 3D navigation that cannot be experienced using a standard mouse and keyboard makes this the idea tool for engineers, architects and designers. Push, pull, twist or tilt to pan, zoom and rotate your 3D models.

If you want everything a 3D mouse has to offer – the highest level of performance – look no further than the SpaceMouse Enterprise (pictured below). In addition to full 3D manipulation , you have 12 intelligent function keys, colour LCDs for key assignment, quick-view keys, keyboard modifiers and an ergonomic full-size soft-coated hand rest.

Interested in a 3D CAD Mouse? A variety of 3D CAD input devices are available now at CAD Software Direct typically on next working day delivery in the UK!

25% OFF Vectorworks until December 31st

Vectorworks Offer

To draw this year to a close, we’re running 25% OFF Vectorworks from now until December 31st 2018!

Vectorworks 2019 December Deal

Now is a great time to invest in Fundamentals, Architect, Spotlight, Landmark or even Designer.

VSS subscriptions and upgrades are included in the offer as well, so you can be sure of getting a great deal in preparation for next year.

Find out more about Vectorworks on our website, or contact us today for a quote.

(Excluding dongles, VSS renewals, and VSS pro-rations for people adding licences to an existing VSS contract)

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals

Cyber Monday

Tired of Black Friday queues?
Beat them all with Cyber Monday online exclusive deals!

We’ve got four big offers, something for everyone, that you won’t want to miss. Here’s what we have:

 

SketchUp

Exclusive to Monday 26th November, get 15% OFF RRP on new SketchUp Pro licenses.

Enter CYBER18SU at checkout to get the discount!

Trimble SketchUp Pro (formerly Google Sketchup Pro) is an intuitive 3D CAD software package that is both cost effective and natural to use. Built in features like Layout and third party renderers make Sketchup Pro a powerful tool.

Single licenses only, and one per purchaser only. Discount does not include the cost of maintenance and support.

Save on SketchUp >

 

Vectorworks

Exclusive to Monday 26th November, get 40% OFF RRP on new Vectorworks licenses.

Contact us now to get the discount!

Vectorworks 2019 is specialist and powerful software that is pleasantly user-friendly. It comes in five variants:

Fundamentals (the basic package, short on specialist libraries but containing all core 2D and 3D functionality)
Architect – for architecture and built environment work
Landmark – for landscape/environment design
Spotlight – for event and exhibition design
Designer – incorporates all these versions, ideal for multi-discipline practices.

If you’re looking for previz software to create unmatched experiences, you can with Vectorworks Vision, also at 40% off when purchased with a 1-year VSS membership.

Offer applies to new licenses of Vectorworks for new customers when committing to a 1-year VSS membership at full price.

Contact Us to save on Vectorworks >

 

KeyShot

Monday 26th – 30th November, get 20% OFF new KeyShot licenses.

Enter KSCYBER20 at checkout to get the discount!

KeyShot by Luxion, is a processor-driven rendering application that works equally well on Windows and Mac. It is a biased renderer meaning it accelerates rendering by estimating lighting calculations – but it does so extremely effectively. KeyShot comes as KeyShot HD or KeyShot Pro, where Pro includes a range of animation tools and additional options and features. KeyShot HD was previously limited to HD resolution but the output is now unlimited – making it even more appealing.

We’re also running 20% OFF all week long on upgrades and add-ons until November 30th! Enter KSCYBER20 at checkout to get the discount.

Offer does not apply to EDU and Maintenance products.

Save on KeyShot >

 


Starting Friday 23rd and throughout the 26th, get a huge 50% OFF RRP on Maxwell and RealFlow new licenses.

Enter CYBER18NXT at checkout to get the discount!

RealFlow is an industry-standard, out-of-the-box fluid simulation software. Fast and easy to use, it is compatible with ALL major 3D platforms.

Save on RealFlow >

Maxwell is a 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 also available as a plugin for a wide range of modellers including SketchUp, Rhino and Cinema 4D.

Save on Maxwell >

 

Set your reminders now to visit CAD Software Direct this Cyber Monday to save on SketchUp, Vectorworks, KeyShot, RealFlow and Maxwell.

2D to BIM Case Study – Assael Architecture

Vectorworks Case Study

This is an abridged version of the original case study by Vectorworks. View the original

Assael Architecture started with humble beginnings. Two staff members grew into an award-winning practice comprising several teams, directors, associate directors, and managers. With over 20 years of expertise in the design of mixed-use, residential-led developments in large, urban areas, the practice primarily works in major cities throughout the UK and is expanding its international presence with projects in Russia, Bahrain, and Germany.

A new project — Pontoon Dock — proved the perfect opportunity for the company to put its Building Information Modeling (BIM) planning and coordination into practice.

The Problem

The proposal is a landmark “Build to Rent” development comprising three buildings with heights ranging between five and 14 storeys, with 154 private rented apartments and 82 affordable homes, in response to Greater London’s housing shortage.

Assael’s major design challenge was balancing the build density on the constrained site, which sits between a viaduct outside Pontoon Dock DLR Station and the Thames Barrier Park.

The Plan

The Assael team sets out a project execution plan scaled to match the size of each project. “We work with the clients to make sure they understand the standards of the program we are working to,” explained Simon Pitt, one of the directors at Assael. “We allocate resources on a weekly and monthly basis to make sure that the key project tasks of the program are being met, while saving time and unnecessary expenses.”

With this in mind, the practice structured its project workflow to follow a workable and proven routine:

  • Assael issued the architectural model near the end of the week (Friday).
  • The MEP and structural engineers had a few days to download the architectural model and update any changes to their own models, uploading their own IFC files the following week (Tuesday).
  • Assael downloaded these models, combined the discipline models together, and performed clash detection with Solibri Model Checker. The resulting federated model was issued with PDF reports within 24 hours (Wednesday).
  • The federated combined digital model is reviewed at the fortnightly DTM (design team meeting). All design coordination prior to the DTM would be done via a web-based communication tool called BIMcollab.

This process was repeated in two-week cycles until the model was finalised. This systematising of information and model exchange worked well, and the Pontoon Dock project was the first of Assael’s to reach BIM Level 2 collaboration.

 

 

Assael was committed to constant communication, coordination, and negotiation to ensure all parties were presented with a consistent view of the project status. “We all had to sit around the table and look at the execution plan, the timeline, the model, the model exchanges, and the time for federating the model,” said Ben Lam, BIM manager and associate at Assael.

 

 

“We definitely spent a lot of time getting the model right and not just concentrating on 2D information, even though the contractors and consultants rely heavily on 2D data,” said Lam. Focusing on 3D modeling was important for the Assael team to reach their goals and allowed the firm to share not only the model, but also 2D information more easily.

“Getting the model right and spending more time at the beginning has really reaped rewards,” said Pitt. “And using Vectorworks allows us to generate the 2D information a lot quicker than we could before, especially when we consider the repeated updating and refining of the design.”

The Results

To meet the BIM Level 2 mandate, Assael had its own workflow adjustments to absorb. According to Lam, Vectorworks played a big role in this transition.

“It was quite a natural progression from using Vectorworks to get into BIM because we have always used Vectorworks’ intelligent objects like walls, windows, and doors, but we had never taken advantage of the fact that they were creating 3D BIM objects already,” he said. “I think our users have come to realise they’re creating BIM models without having to dramatically change the way they work. They’re starting to see the benefit of actually generating a proper model from which they are generating 2D information and how effective that can really be.”

The software also simplified the number of steps taken to reach major milestones in projects. In particular, Renderworks one of many features that’s proved to be a game changer.

“It’s a complete necessity here because we use rendering a lot for our elevations,” said Lam. “Without Renderworks, we just would not get the correct look and feel to our elevations and the associated information. With many of our material renders, for example, the light resources and the shadowing are very important for elevations. So, no matter what changes we do for the model, the renderings for the elevations come up just the way we like them to.”

Moving completely to BIM has also transformed the firm’s design process overall.

“In four to five years, projects that go from initial capacity study through to planning are now done as BIM models,” said Lam. “Everyone uses the 3D aspect much more than they used to; they have become more proficient in using 3D as part of the BIM process.”

He emphasised the importance of working completely in 3D.

“In the UK, a massive part of the design process for any project is gaining planning permission,” Pitt explained. “A vital part of our work is ensuring that we get the information right to present to planning committees, planning authorities, and the general public. When we moved towards BIM Level 2 using Vectorworks, we also needed to make sure the quality of our work didn’t drop or was compromised in any way. The fact that our existing workflow could be adapted quickly really helped in the transition.”

For Assael Architecture, the switch to BIM Level 2 compliance has been very effective, and the results of the Pontoon Dock project, along with many others, has set the firm up to continue on the path to a productive and promising future.

“We’ve developed our skills in 3D to develop BIM, and everyone is more proficient now in the way they use Vectorworks,” said Lam. “So, it’s been a natural progression between what we were using primarily as a 2D tool, for sections and elevations and plans, to develop that to 3D information that was already there but not being utilised.”

By fully utilising 3D, creating a BIM execution plan, and learning how to successfully conduct an openBIM workflow process with engineers, Assael will continue building future homes — and building its practice — for many years to come.

 

All Images © Assael Architecture

Cast your Vote for the Construction Computing Awards 2018

The Hammers 2018

The Construction Computing awards (or “The Hammers” as they are affectionately known) are back for 2018!

Once again, the technology, tools and solutions for the effective design, construction, maintenance and modification of commercial buildings, residential and social housing and civil engineering projects of all sizes will be showcased and rewarded. For many, the awards have become a key event for the industry to network, exchange thoughts and ideas, as well as have a little bit of fun too!

Voting Now Open!
Voting Closes: 2nd November
Winners Ceremony: 15th November

Among the nominees across awards including “BIM Product of the Year”, “Architectural Product of the Year”, and “Company of the Year”, you’ll find Vectorworks, Trimble (SketchUp) and many more which are very deserving of your vote.

Vectorworks bring the specific tools you need with Architect, Spotlight and Landmark. Across the board, the software boasts multiple workflow improvements making an already robust, professional level product into something better each year. Always listening closely to their customers, Vectorworks deliver exceptional quality for designers in the architecture, landscape, entertainment and interior design industries.

Trimble have formed an extremely intuitive layout, making SketchUp Pro one of the easiest CAD programs to use. The customisable toolbars and thousands of models in the 3D Warehouse mean that designers of all skill levels will find SketchUp Pro to be one the easiest and fastest CAD software programs for creating and editing 2D and 3D designs.

Project applications will be considered by a panel of judges, the readers of Construction Computing Magazine and the clients of the companies competing for the top honours. Featuring over 20 categories, the Construction Computing Awards allow companies from every sector of the industry to seek recognition for their efforts over the past 12 months.

MacDraft – Easy 2D Architecture CAD Software for Mac

MacDraft

MacDraft Professional is the 2D CAD app that makes floor plan design, architectural drawing and illustration simple on Mac. Create precise and professional 2D drawings in moments, with this easy-to-use, powerful and affordable drafting application. With its precise vector tools, smart units and fully-featured scaled environment, MacDraft is designed to deliver a quality solution, without the steep learning curve.

Jump to “Why Choose MacDraft?”

Looking for a lighter option for personal use? MacDraft Personal Edition is ideal for vector illustrations, brochures, floor plans, postcards and more.

Both MacDraft Pro and Personal Edition are available as just the app, or can be upgraded to Home & Garden, Starter or the Complete pack.

MacDraft Home & Garden features 2 add-on symbol libraries and 3 premium templates, while Starter features 4 symbol libraries and 5 premium templates. If you want it all, MacDraft Compete includes all additional symbol libraries (that’s over 7,500 symbols) and 10 premium templates.

 

Reasons to Choose MacDraft

Speed and Reliability
MacDraft is High Sierra compatible, so all the speed and power of the latest OS is at your fingertips. The latest version of MacDraft is now up to twice as fast as any previous version.

Complete Control
With custom scales and units, layers, export options, DWG support and more, MacDraft gives you complete control over how you design your layouts.

Perfect for Floor Plans, Garden Plans and More
With over 1100 pre-drawn Library items, MacDraft Home and Garden is the perfect design tool to create floor and garden plans with ease.

Time Saving Library Catalog
MacDraft allows you to create your own library of graphics. This is a great feature that can save you hours.

Template System
Choose from a selection of templates, or speed up your design process by creating your own document templates.

Customise Your Interface
Control how your grid, guides and document background look. The pro version also allows you to control you preferences for the document and for particular tools and dimensions.

Easy To Use Vector Tools
MacDraft includes a comprehensive set of drawing tools for technical, layout and illustrative designs. Everything you need in your design tool box.

Smarts Scales & Units
A fully scaled drawing environment and custom scales/units give you everything you need to produce all kinds of drawings and layouts.

Share and Collaborate
MacDraft supports various file formats such as DWG, DXF, PDF and other image types. This gives you the ability to share your work with others and collaborate on design projects.

 

Get started with MacDraft today by downloading the FREE MacDraft trial.

Once you’ve installed the trial, why not get started in the best way possible by watching the online MacDraft tutorials.

MacDraft is available now at CAD Software Direct

What’s New in Vectorworks 2019

Vectorworks 2019

Some greet annual updates with scepticism, some with genuine excitement. Vectorworks provide annual major updates (with free service pack releases throughout the year) and this year sees some significant changes and added features.

There are significant improvements in sections and cut-throughs, Fundamentals loses its access to window and door tools, and there are a range of more minor new features that improve general usability or address gripes.

Changes to Fundamentals

Traditionally, Vectorworks Fundamentals has been pitched as the entry level solution but it has carried within it various tools that are extremely helpful for architectural work. These industry-specific tools will now only be available in design-series packages. The tools that are removed from Fundamentals 2019 are:

  • Walls
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Spaces
  • Columns
  • Stairs & Ramps

Fundamentals users on VSS when 2019 is released will be entitled to a free upgrade to a design series product (Architect, Landmark or Spotlight) and their VSS will increase slightly upon renewal to reflect the upgrade. Fundamentals users without VSS but wishing to move to 2019 will need to upgrade to Vectorworks Architect to have access once again to those tools.

The price of Vectorworks Fundamentals 2019 has been frozen and it’s anticipated that going forward it will continue to fill a role as a good 2D & 3D application, provide a cost effective alternative to AutoCAD but architects and interior designers will find the design series products more useful. Likewise, anyone looking for a BIM platform will need to be working in a design series product.

 

New Features Across the Board

  • 2D Components for Hybrid Objects
  • Image Effects
  • Clip Cube Options
  • Subdivision Iterations
  • Multi-Core Support for Graphics
  • Improved DWG Import/Export
  • Vectorworks Graphics Module Available on Sheet Layers
  • Layer and Class Filtering
  • Improved Flyover Sensitivity
  • Improved Chain Dimensions

 

Industry Series

  • BIM Ready Building Libraries
  • Data Tags
  • Marionette Improvements
  • Bi-Directional Editing in COBie worksheets
  • Improved OpenBIM / IFC Export Options
  • Improved PDF Workflows
  • Improved REVIT Collaboration
  • Section Drawing Creation
  • Object Catalogues
  • Point Cloud Enhancements
  • Space Objects: Non-Horizontal Ceilings and Floors
  • Space Styles
  • Improved Title Block Management
  • Project Sharing Diagnostics
  • Vehicle Turning Simulation

 

Vectorworks Architect

Vectorworks Architect

  • Improved Stairs
  • 3D Site Sculpting

 

Vectorworks Spotlight

Vectorworks Spotlight

  • Spotlight Objects in 3D
  • Introduction of My Virtual Rig (MVR) Open File Format Container
  • 3D Label Legend Improvements
  • Improved Lighting Instrument Tool
  • Projector Screen Creation Mode
  • Spotlight Numbering Command

 

Vectorworks Landmark

Vectorworks Landmark

  • Improved Stairs
  • 3D Site Sculpting
  • Plant Data Sources
  • Planting Plans: UI Enhancements
  • Hardscape Components

 

Vectorworks Designer

 

Vectorworks Designer

  • Improved Stairs
  • 3D Site Sculpting
  • Plant Data Sources
  • Planting Plans: UI Enhancements
  • Hardscape Components
  • Spotlight Objects in 3D
  • Introduction of My Virtual Rig (MVR) Open File Format Container
  • 3D Label Legend Improvements
  • Improved Lighting Instrument Tool
  • Projector Screen Creation Mode
  • Spotlight Numbering Command

 

If you’re interested in purchasing Vectorworks, or have any queries, give us a call or email us on contact@cadsoftwaredirect.com

Vectorworks 2019: Clip Cube for Viewports

Vectorworks 2019

Vectorworks 2019 introduces clip cube support for viewports and Renderworks modes in design layers and sheet layers.

Previously, clip cube supported openGL and WireFrame rendering modes. However, now you will be able to use clip cubes in any rendered view or style, giving you the efficiency and capability you need to create remarkable sections, elevations, and presentation drawings.

The clip cube option is located in the advanced viewport dialog box, along with other preferences, such as changing the fill and edge color or casting shadows of removed objects. To get the full details check out the video below:

“The new clip cube feature is great. We’ve been waiting for the ability to show clip cubes in sheet layer viewports, and now we can,” said Chad Hamilton, AIA, LEED, AP, principal architect at Hamilton + Aitken Architects. “In schematic design, we can make 3D plan views by setting clip cube a few feet above the floor. Or in design development, we can present sections in cutaway axon views to really demonstrate how things relate to each other. This really expands our tools for design presentations.”