In September of 2014, US software company Menetschek announced the release of the 2015 update for its Vectorworks Building Information Modelling suite. The new version contains over one hundred updates and new features, particularly focussing on architecture, BIM, entertainment design and urban planning.
A recovering building industry, combined with the rising popularity of BIM, has seen sales of Vectorworks software increase by 30% over the past year. Vector CEO, Sean Flaherty, puts this unprecedented growth down to the rise in construction spending. The expanding market is leading to the formation of many smaller construction firms, which are popping up to make the most of all the new business. Flaherty says that Vectorworks is being chosen as the go-to platform by the majority of these new firms, largely thanks to its multidisciplinary design.
The Vectorworks suite is built to include five primary design products:
- Fundamentals – the basic design package.
- Designer – specialist modules in one set
- Architect – for architectural design and detailing
- Landmark – focusses on site design
- Spotlight – used for entertainment design, like performance stages or film sets.
In addition, the entire software package now makes use of 64-bit technology, where as on previous versions only Renderworks, the photo-realistic rendering engine, used it before. Other new features include:
- New Curtain Wall tools that allow direct editing of glazing systems.
- New Rectangle Wall mode draws a rectangular walled area in two clicks, with automatic joining and trimming.
- New Level Constraint system for controlling objects by layer in a multi-story building.
- Support for SketchUp textures.
- Support for COBie in the IFC Export filter.
- More precise controls for setting terrain-modifying pads on a site.
- 3D hatching for hidden line rendering.
- Gradient opacity control.
- Improved PDF export, including the option to enable and disable snapping for PDF page objects.
However, this new release is not just a mere tweaking and polishing of existing tools and features. Flaherty states that, now it has begun to follow the world in adopting BIM as a standard practice, Japan has become Vectorworks biggest market, ahead of the US.
Vectorworks are therefore fully aware of the need to support multiple applications. With that in mind, the platform has been designed with a concious effort made to double down on open standards, by adhering strictly to the BuildingSmart guidelines and participating in the OpenBIM Alliance.
The newest version of Vectorworks is now available for direct download.