Vectorworks Architect 2020
Courtesy Vectorworks Vectorworks Architect 2020

Today, Vectorworks announced the 2020 release of its design and BIM software Vectorworks Architects, as well as complementary programs Landmark, Spotlight, Designer, Fundamentals, Vision, and Braceworks. According to a press release by the Columbia, Md.–based company, the latest versions feature “improved software performance, quality enhancements, and new data-driven workflows.” Descriptions of several updates follow.

Improved data visualization in Vectorworks 2020
Courtesy Vectorworks Improved data visualization in Vectorworks 2020

Data Visualization Extension
As part of Vectorworks customers’ needs for “data-driven insights,” said CEO Biplab Sarkar in the press release, the latest release expands the capability to visualize data on a model’s design layer environment. This eases the designer’s ability to confirm design expectations and code requirements, such as the location of fire-rated partition walls, and to catch potential errors.

GIS Integration
The updated GIS toolset corrects for skew due to the projection of a flat Mercator coordinate system to a round planet. As a result, BIM projects with GIS information can be more accurately located on Earth with their address and an origin point. Latitudinal and longitudinal values are automatically supplied for geolocated drawings. Geolocated imagery, such as street maps and satellite imagery, from Esri’s ArcGIS or WMS (Web Map Services) servers can then be aligned to the drawing’s design layer or to its digital terrain model. Sites can then be plotted using true easting and northing coordinates, latitude and longitude values, or x- and y-coordinates.

Enhanced Open BIM Workflow
Vectorworks 2020 allows users to reference IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) files directly in their models, enabling easy management and updating of IFC information due to changes from other project team members and consultants. A new data manager in Vectorworks also aims to help organize information from IFC and other sources, and enables the creation of custom data sheets that can be shared with collaborators for their input to object data.

Expanded Compatibility
Vectorworks can now export RVT and RFA files for consultants working in Autodesk Revit. This process will export all 3D Vectorworks objects as Direct Shape Type objects with geometry in Revit. Exchanging drawing information between Vectorworks and DWG- and DXF-based applications, such as DWG layers to Vectorworks classes, has also been improved.

Bigger Wow Factor
Vectorworks 2020 has improved animation capabilities that allow the generation of professional-looking walkthroughs and videos from project models. The Create Orbit and Create Spin tools automatically form camera paths around selected objects to view. Users can also delineate a custom path through their models, from which Vectorworks will create a walkthrough at eye-level, above the path surface, that adjusts for elevation changes such as ascending a stair. Users can edit paths, walkthrough speeds, and focus points. The walkthroughs can also be exported as interactive online videos that allow clients and viewers to pan 360 degrees during the walkthrough.

Improved walk-through animations tools and controls in Vectorworks 2020
Courtesy Vectorworks Improved walk-through animations tools and controls in Vectorworks 2020

The English-language editions of Vectorworks is available today. Members of the Vectorworks Service Select maintenance program will receive their upgrades to Vectorworks 2020 as soon as the product is released in their local markets.