Vectorworks Product Reviews

Vectorworks 2014

Webnash Design-Build
Michael Erkkinen, an architect at Webnash Design-Build, has published a review of Vectorworks 2014. Here's an excerpt:

"[Vectorworks 2014] has met my expectations of taking a product that is already the most useful tool in my arsenal and improving upon it in obvious and subtle ways. The tech support is first rate and I've never waited more than 30 seconds for assistance when calling, never been put on hold."

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Posted March 2014

CAD digest
Bill Debevc spends a weekend with Vectorworks 2014.

"I began this little adventure thinking that Vectorworks was just for architecture. Instead, I found that Vectorworks is as comfortable in creating a complete building as it is modeling a remote control for the TV. Bottom line is if you are a Mac user and need a BIM solution, you should invest a weekend to learn what Vectorworks offers. You may just love it enough to adopt it as the building information modeling software for your company. "

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Posted December 2013

 

Helm & Melacini Architects blog
Architect John Helm, of Helm & Melacini Architects, provides his assessment of Vectorworks 2014. Here’s an excerpt:

"All in all it’s quite a nice group of improvements. For anyone working in 3D and BIM the new open GL engine alone is probably worth the upgrade. Is VW the CAD program for you? That depends. It is probably the most CAD for the money on the market today. "

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Posted November 2013

 

Vectorworks 2013

Landscape Architect & Specifier News
Ashley Calabria, Associate Professor, University of Georgia College of Environment and Design, provides her assessment of the 2013 version of Vectorworks Landmark software. Here's an excerpt:

"My recommendation to anyone considering a change in software, versus an upgrade, is to take a serious look at Vectorworks as a complete computer graphics package. Its developer, Nemetschek Vectorworks, is customer support-friendly, offers a free trial version and provides numerous educational webinars and guides."

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Posted August 2013

 

Architosh
Architosh, "the leading Internet magazine dedicated to Mac CAD and 3D professionals and students worldwide," reviewed Vectorworks Architect 2013 software. Here's an excerpt:

"Every year I personally look forward to reviewing Vectorworks and this year was no different. It is an enjoyable tool to review because the company (Nemetschek Vectorworks) does an excellent job of making learning their tool simple and accessible.

Arguably what makes this program particularly strong goes beyond just its well regarded ease-of-use and flexibility, but also its wide range of dedicated fields. It is truly a designer's program and can be used for the design of just about anything from buildings, landscapes, furniture, products, stage sets, theater lighting and much more."

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Posted March 2013

Helm & Melacini Architects blog
Architect John Helm, of Helm & Melacini Architects, provides his assessment of Vectorworks 2013. Here’s an excerpt:

"VW continues to be what it has always been, a versatile program that can be the one program a designer needs. It is probably the most flexible CAD program available.Some who prefer a completely dedicated program might consider that a handicap; and for those who work in a very limited range of design options it might be true.But for others who are into creative design and want a program that does it all it may just be the best one available. It can be used to create everything a project needs from site plans with contour maps, pad elevations and 3D site models, to Sketchup like preliminary designs to complete construction documents and it even works well for paste up sheets of photos and scanned documents.A landscape architect can do everything including plant lists and a stage set designer can produce his entire production with it including the lighting design."

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Posted December 2012

 

Vectorworks 2012

Webnash Design-Build
Michael Erkkinen of Webnash Design-Build published a review of Vectorworks 2012 on his blog. Here’s an excerpt:

"Some of what I've noticed in particular working better: 1- tools such as 3d reshape and 2d reshape turn into one tool for simplicity, 2- working planes are much smarter and more intuitive, basically adjusting themselves, 3- push/pull tool is now effortless, 4- dimensions show up in 3D where I want them, 5- heliodon tool makes locating sunlight and shadows easier, 6- stories and stairs make much more sense now and link up with each other, 7- windows and stairs are much more controlable and customizable, 8- artisitic renderworks has more and nicer styles."

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Posted April 2012

Landscape Architecture Magazine
Landscape Architecture Magazine featured an article by James L. Sipes, ASLA, offering his assessment of Vectorworks Landmark software as a design solution for landscape architects. Here's an excerpt:

"Vectorworks Landmark is the only major stand-alone program designed specifically for landscape architects...The people who created this software clearly understand the sort of work we landscape architects do and the tools we need to do it."

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Posted February 2012

Lighting & Sound International
Lighting & Sound International published a review of Vectorworks Spotlight 2012 in its December issue. Here’s an excerpt:

"...the improvements in version 2012 are mostly aimed at helping to increase productivity and speed of the design process. And increased productivity is the stock-in-trade of the live event production professional. The faster you can turn out good designs and documentation, the faster you can get on with the programming and the more time you can spend on being creative."

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Posted December 2011

Architosh
John Helm's review of Vectorworks Architect 2012 was published on Architosh. Here's an excerpt from his conclusion:

"I guess I could go on about features, but that would take a small book; hopefully this gives you a taste and inspires you to read more on the Vectorworks 2012 website.  But I have to also conclude by saying that Vectorworks has really become a fantastic design tool that gets better and better.  It is–as I have written in previous reviews–a one stop shop…that architects and designers can use to design just about anything.  It remains intuitive and easy to learn.  For architects and other designers it is the tool that lets them focus their attention on "design" while at the same time not forcing them to turn the CAD work over to CAD operators."

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Posted December 2011

Helm & Melacini Architects blog
John Helm, architect with Helm & Melacini Architects (www.hm-architects.com), reviews Vectorworks 2012 software. Here's an excerpt:

"The IFC export import option is what will make [BIM] work.  And Vectorworks is pushing ahead of many others in this area.  The real power of this comes when even a small firm can tie together all the various parts of a building project into are true building information model.  Often the whole modeling concept is one which the client is not all that excited to pay extra for, but as the process becomes easier it will become just part of the work not really requiring a lot of extra input or time spent."

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Posted November 2011

Vectorworks 2011

Landscape Architect & Specifier News
A review of Vectorworks Landmark 2011 was recently featured in Landscape Architect & Specifier News. The article can be found on the LandscapeOnline.com website and was written by Madis Pihlak, an associate professor of landscape architecture at Pennsylvania State University. Here is his conclusion: "Vectorworks Landmark 2011 is an improved version of an already multi-featured CAD software program. The price performance value and specialized landscape architecture capabilities make the program a worthwhile competitor to any other professional CAD program."

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Posted July 2011

Lighting & Sound America
Lighting & Sound America published a review of Vectorworks Spotlight 2011 in its March 2011 issue. Here’s the conclusion from writer Patrick Immel:

“The slogan for Nemetschek Vectorworks’ Vectorworks Spotlight is ‘Flexible. Versatile. Intuitive. Smart.’ I tend to agree. This is a full-featured solution that pushes the boundaries of what we perceive a CAD program to be. This in turn allows us as designers and technicians to push the boundaries of our work.”

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Posted April 2011

AECbytes
"After a relatively late start, Vectorworks Architect has made great strides in incorporating BIM capabilities in the last few years. Its 2011 release, in particular, included a host of enhancements for BIM, such as improved tools for creating spaces, doors, windows, stairs, and roofs, a new slab tool, new 3D wall components, a dedicated tool for creating wall end caps, ODBC connectivity, and streamlined IFC export and import. Its new CINEMA 4D rendering engine can produce stunning photorealistic renderings and animations, and it comes with a full gamut of 2D drafting, dimensioning, and annotation tools for creating construction documents from the model. Especially noteworthy are its advanced 3D tools which allow complex organic forms to be modeled and assigned with building element attributes, which is something that the other, more popular, BIM applications are not so good at."

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Posted April 2011

Webnash Design-Build
Michael Erkkinen of Webnash Design-Build published a review of Vectorworks Architect 2011 on his website. Here's an excerpt: "Of the various upgrades over the years, 2011 is a huge one for me. There seem to be fewer changes than previous years, but every one is huge! The new push/pull tool has made sketchup completely irrelevant, and the enhanced 3D environment completely changed my working process into something more intuitive."

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Posted February 2011

Architosh
Anthony Frausto-Robledo (with input from architect John Helm) has published his review of Vectorworks Architect 2011 on Architosh. Here is his concluding paragraph:

"This program continues to grow and improve at a rapid rate. We are stunned by the amount of improvement in the past three releases. Vectorworks 2011 is now a very good direct-modeling (explicit modeling) tool for architecture or other disciplines…at the schematic concept level. This will put pressure on dedicated modelers that are often used in conceptual level design stages. For architects this program continues to be a remarkably flexible and well-rounded tool suitable for BIM and non-BIM workflows."

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Posted January 2011

 

CAD User
"Rendering in Vectorworks 2011 just got heaps better with the integration of the latest version of Cinema 4D. This uses an upgraded render engine, camera views in camera ports, and improved texture mapping. Cinema 4D is a 64bit rendering engine, with a hefty increase in speed and quality. It now comes with simpler, more intuitive controls and render speeds up to 5 times faster than Vectorworks 2010's indirect lighting, and allows users to handle direct texture editing in the viewport."

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Posted December 2010

Helm & Melacini Architects blog
John Helm, architect with Helm & Melacini Architects (www.hm-architects.com), reviews Vectorworks 2011. Here's an excerpt:
"Do I think this is the must have upgrade? Yes, I think it is because it really is a leap forward and an improvement in these areas:
· 3D rendering and presentations using the CINEMA4D rendering engine
· Improvements in BIM that make it even more a real BIM program
· Integration of 2D and 3D
· A big list of 2D design and drafting improvements and time savers"

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Posted December 2010

Stage Directions
David K.H. Elliott, a lighting designer and educator, wrote a review of Vectorworks Spotlight 2011 for Stage Directions magazine.

Here's an excerpt: "Vectorworks 2011 is a major release with powerful new features and lots of handy new and refined tools. It's an upgrade worth having."

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Posted November 2010

Lucas Krech
Renderworks 2011 Review – October 2010

Lighting designer Lucas Krech published a review of Renderworks 2011 on his blog, Light Cue 23. Here's an excerpt:

"I have seen the new Cinema 4D rendering engine for Vectorworks mentioned in reviews as not much more than a bullet point. Yet the new rendering engine is leaps and bounds beyond what was previously called Renderworks that it is almost like a whole new piece of software and certainly deserving of an independent review."

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Posted October 2010

Vectorworks 2010

Lighting & Sound America
A review of Vectorworks Spotlight 2010 was published in Lighting & Sound America magazine's July issue. Written by Patrick Immel, assistant professor of theatre, lighting and scenic design at Northwest Missouri State University, the review lists the top 10 features of the software, and ends with this conclusion:

"Nemetschek NA's Vectorworks Spotlight is a 'soup-to-nuts' CAD solution that will allow you to conceive, design and present your work at the highest levels. I highly recommend giving it a try!"

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Posted July 2010

John Black
John Black, principal of Verdance Fine Garden Design, reviewed Vectorworks Landmark 2010 on his blog. This is the first installment of a multi-part review. Here's an excerpt:

"One of my favorite new features is the 'Select Similar tool, which allows me to select objects of like size, shape, color, line weight, opacity…any combination of 27 different criteria in all. This is a massive time-saver when I want to, say, delete all the boulders in a design, or increase the line weights of all my trees, or make all the guidelines on one particular design layer visible."
 
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Posted July 2010

Lucas Krech
Vectorworks 2010 Product Review Part 2 – April 2010

Lighting designer Lucas Krech published Part 2 of his review of Vectorworks Spotlight 2010 on his blog. In this review, he focuses on 3D drafting and basic rendering as he completes an exercise from the manual. Here's an excerpt:

"The manual is written clearly. Thus it should be no problem for a novice, or someone upgrading from a much older version like I was, to dive right into the program and begin to do some fun and interesting work."

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Posted April 2010

Techie Talk
One of the best new features in Vectorworks 2010 is the improved 3D environment, a new Unified View allows you to select and modify objects in 3D on any layer, it also has some excellent 3D snapping. This is probably the area of Vectorworks that impresses the most, being able to switch to a 3D view and continue to work on the drawing is fantastic. You'll need a powerful computer to do this in anything other than wire-frame, but if you do the benefits are immense.

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Posted April 2010

Landezine
Landezine, an online magazine written and published by Zaš Brezar of Slovenia, featured a review of Vectorworks 2010 Landmark on February 27: "Vectorworks Landmark is definitely 'The' software for Landscape Architects – it will be what you want it to be, at any stage of the project."

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Posted February 2010

Lucas Krech
New York-based lighting designer Lucas Krech published a review of Vectorworks 2010 on his blog. Here's an excerpt: "As a drafting program to make a lightplot Vectorworks has maintained its edge as the industry standard setting the bar for what Computer Aided Design can do for the lighting and design community. I hope you'll join me in future posts as I continue to explore this fantastic piece of software."

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Posted February 2010

MacCompanion Magazine
Robert L Pritchett at MacCompanion Magazine reviewed Vectorworks 2010 and wrote "… the latest release is even more easier to use than the previous version. Now THAT is change I can believe in! We've given Vectorworks another solid 5 rating and Nemetschek deserves it."

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Posted February 2010

CAD User AEC Magazine
CAD User editor David Chadwick reviewed Vectorworks 2010 in the November/December 2009 issue of CAD User AEC Magazine. Here's an excerpt from the review: "So hats off then to the companies providing the wherewithal to make the change to 3D, and in particular to Nemetschek's Vectorworks, which has made "Making Change Easy" the theme for the release of Vectorworks 2010."

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Posted February 2010

Novedge:
Choosing a CAD Program
"My first thought on writing a review of an update to an existing CAD program is that the readers of the review won't just be those already dedicated to the program and wanting to know if the upgrade is worth the expense and time to learn new features, but they might also be those looking to change programs or even those architects and others just starting out in their use of CAD."

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Posted December 2009

BD Online:
"Vectorworks 2010 feels like a significant upgrade on its predecessor in many areas. Now that the Parasolid 3D modelling core, introduced in version 2009, has been fully integrated, Vectorworks 2010 offers an extremely flexible and easy-to-use 2D environment, combined with a true 3D BIM solution. Initially, it does not look too different, with the 2010 interface appearing almost identical to the previous version apart from a few new tools and modes."

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Posted December 2009

Webnash:
"I recently received my copy of Vectorworks Designer 2010. It contains Vectorworks: Fundamentals, Architect, Renderworks, Landmark, Spotlight, and Machine Design. I've been using this software since it was MiniCAD, sometime around 1997 or so. Before VW, I used AutoCAD, Sketchup, and Chief Architect. In general I've found VW to be the most practical, full-featured, and easy to use design software available. The price is also the most competitive in its class."

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Posted October 2009

Vectorworks 2009

Architosh:
"The most significant change for Vectorworks 2009 is a new 3-D modeling engine from Siemens PLM. Suffice to say that this industrial strength modeler significantly boosts the power and performance of Vectorworks 2009. Nemetschek has stated that the new engine operates roughly four to five times faster than the previous version for most 3-D operations and up to twelve times faster for Boolean operations."

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Posted Sept 2009

 

Live Design:
"There are heaps of CAD packages out there that do amazing things, but I've not yet had such a streamlined experience as I've had with Vectorworks. It offers layers upon layers of different ways to do things, which stimulates inventiveness and enhances design. It makes it fun to design."

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Posted May 2009

 

Macworld:
Vectorworks has evolved over the years from a lean and mean drafting application with a quick learning curve and inexpensive price to a very powerful high-end CAD application with more features to compete with the top CAD programs on any platform.

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Posted May 2009

 

Lighting&Sound America:
With Nemetschek NA's latest release of Vectorworks Spotlight version 2009, users are offered a program that is powerful, flexible, and intuitive. Powerful enough to be able to present my designs in 2-D and 3-D. Flexible enough to let me work my way and intuitive enough to help me make decisions so I can concentrate on my designs.

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Posted May 2009

 

Live Design:
Vectorworks 2009, Nemetschek's most recent upgrade of its design, visualization, and rendering program might look a lot like last year's version, but under the hood are some substantial upgrades as well as helpful additions and bug fixes. While many of those additions work in all the Vectorworks' products, tools have been added to Spotlight that will significantly impact the lighting design process.

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Posted March 2009

 

LANDSCAPE PAYSAGES:
The Vectorworks Landmark package is designed for landscape architects. The main intent of Landmark is to have one vehicle that can carry a project through its entire lifespan, from concept to design to presentation to construction drawings.

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Posted March 2009
"LANDSCAPE PAYSAGES" is a publication of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects.

 

Architosh:
As for the product today, Vectorworks Architect 2009 is easily the most robust version ever shipped. The improvements to the walls, new methods of placing openings in them, and substantial new improvements to file import/export and latest AutoCAD 2009 file support make this a worthwhile update.

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Posted February 2009

 

MacCompanion:
"Are you kidding me? If you are in the AEC industry, run, don't walk to get this version of Vectorworks. It puts the competition to shame!"

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Posted December 2008

 

BD Online:
"By incorporating Parasolid, the best 3D modelling technology available, Vectorworks 2009 is racing ahead of the pack."

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Posted October 2008

 

Ed's Independent Voice:
"Although I am known as a proponent (and a user) of Autodesk's Revit software, I am always open to other solutions. From what I observed, Vectorworks Architect 2009 seems to stand up well in relation to Revit (which I think is the industry standard in this genre of the AEC market)."

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Posted October 2008

 

PLSN – Projection, Lights, and Staging News:
"I'm coming at this as an AutoCAD user and a new user of Vectorworks, but I was able to get up the learning curve fairly quickly. I'm by no means a power user, but I like what I've seen in the new Vectorworks 2009. It is very powerful, it has a lot of features to help streamline your workflow, and it is capable of producing some fabulous documentation."

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Posted October 2008