Courtesy Vectorworks

Columbia, Md.–based software developer Vectorworks has announced the release of its 2018 BIM software. The latest release includes updates to existing Vectorworks add-ons, Architect, Spotlight, Landmark, Fundamentals, Designer, and Vision packages, and introduces Braceworks, "a structural load analysis add-on module targeted to designers and riggers working on temporary entertainment structures," according to the developer's press release.

Braceworks on Vectorworks 2018
Courtesy Vectorworks Braceworks on Vectorworks 2018

Similar to previous years, updates made in the 2018 software were sourced heavily from user feedback, a point of pride for the developer, whose competitors include Autodesk and Bentley Systems. Two new additions to its eponymous software are multiple drawing views—which allows users to work simultaneously in different viewports in 3D, plan, section, or elevation perspectives—and direct model editing capabilities in section and elevation views. The direct editing tool allows, for example, users to add new 3D perspectives while making changes in in section view, to get a better sense of of how models and plans will be affected by design changes.

Multiple drawing views is one of the many usability updates for Vectorworks 2018.
Courtesy Vectorworks
Multiple drawing views is one of the many usability updates for Vectorworks 2018.

Additional improvements have been made to the importing of BIM models from Autodesk Revit, the importing and exporting of DXF and DWG files, the customization of title blocks, and the accessing of IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) BIM objects BIM files, detail wall modeling options, and streamline drawing distribution. Updates specific to entertainment design include new layout methods for event seating, as well as a new zoom option for video screens, which may make selecting final equipment for a venue easier.

Site model contour sculpting on Vectorworks 2018.
Courtesy Vectorworks Site model contour sculpting on Vectorworks 2018.

Landscape design enhancements include direct, 2D-contour editing for site models and the inclusion of geolocated tree species data to create existing tree objects. The files can then be exported back to clients through Shapefile (SHP), TXT and DXF formats.

“With Vectorworks 2018, we focused on user workflows, making them more robust and efficient,” said CEO Biplab Sarkar in the company's press release. “In BIM, you can best see this in our direct section and elevation editing and multiview capabilities, and more subtly in all the Wall tool enhancements that allow designers to correctly model wall constructions so walls appear accurately in plan, section and elevation drawings. The direct site model contour editing and enhanced seating sections are other good examples of our usability improvements.”

Vectorworks Designer 2018, which offers tools for design professionals in architecture, landscape architecture, or entertainment, starts at $1,311 for users upgrading from Vectorwoks Designer 2017, up to $3,745 for a new user license. Vectorworks Architect 2018 will cost users $1,031 to upgrade from the 2017 software, up to $2,945 for a new license.

The company expects to release its 2018 software in 10 additional localized-language versions, including Chinese, German, Polish, and Spanish.