October 31, 2005
VectorWorks Architect 12 Breaks New Ground
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Susan Smith, Managing Editor
VectorWorks Architect 12 Breaks New Ground
By Susan Smith
This week I spoke with Dan Monaghan, Director of Marketing and Sean Flaherty, CEO of Nemetschek North America, about the latest version of VectorWorks Architect, version 12. For a full list of the improvements in Architect 12 you can visit the
website, however, here is the lowdown on some of the more important improvements in the product that users asked specifically for:
very easy now to create interior elevation which is a common drawing that architects have to create. This was one of our top wish list items.”
2) Updated all architectural building objects. “We updated and improved the intelligent building objects that shipped with Architect 12,” said Flaherty. “We improved walls, stairs, doors, windows and cabinets, to name a few. The overall improvement is that they're much easier to use and more configurable.”
at the end. Intelligent wall replacement gives you much more control over how the walls are replaced and will automatically align them correctly.”
In the previous release, walls only supported centerline replacement. It did that intelligently, “but the problem we heard from designers was, a lot of times they kept the structural part of the walls in the same place, but they might change the installation or the facade material and they wanted the structural part to all stay the same,” Flaherty pointed out.
For walls, stairs and doors, Version 12 has graphical dialogues that allow you to preview the changes that are being made to the object. In the previous release, the dialogues were very text heavy and didn't allow for a preview any of the changes. The object itself was the preview and now you can actually preview your changes in the dialog.
Stairs have been improved in three different ways:
1) Stairs are now made up of flight platforms and these different configurations of flights and platforms can be combined and reconstituted to create a wide variety of configurations that were impossible to recreate in other versions or even in other software programs.
2) The view on the bottom story and the view on the top story can be linked together. If you have a two story house, for example, the first floor view of the stair in PlanView and the second story view in PlanView are now linked together. Previous software was limited in that in placing the stair on the first floor you would then have to go back and draw the second view of the stairs, so one view would show the stairs pointing up with a break and the second story view would show the stairs with a break, yet the views are different. The advantage of the stair tool is that these now can be coordinated, so a change on one level will affect the view on the second level.
3) Now designers can also move the stair both on the first floor and the second floor simultaneously. There is also much more control over the handrail in the version 12 release.
Doors and windows, like stairs, have graphical previews to make it easier to configure them. They both have many more options so they remove a lot of the limitations that doors and windows in version 11 have and allow designers to create many more types of doors and windows. There are so many different types of windows for the U.S., Europe and Asia, said Flaherty, and more interest in European windows that are built to a higher energy standard because of high energy prices. Doublehung windows with different sized sashes, common in some areas like New England, are also possible.
Third party libraries and additional file format support
Nemetschek is a founding member of the Open Design Alliance, an organization responsible for providing alternative open design software libraries for those users of DWG and other file formats that enable them to exchange files. Nemetschek has a full time engineering staff that works on nothing but DXF and DWG translations. “VectorWorks Architect 12 is definitely the most compatible version to date, with some big improvements made to our translation,” commented Flaherty.
3ds is another file format that VectorWorks supports, which is a common file format for many 3D modeling and rendering applications. VectorWorks users will find it easier to share models with designers using Viz and 3D Max. Designers access hundreds of 3D modeling libraries that are available on the internet, so now VectorWorks users can go to these sites and download sometimes free content to use in their models. The 3ds file format is great for finding the one off models that you need to put into your design.
In addition, a high end furniture library is shipping free with VectorWorks Architect, so the new furniture library is from Knoll studios, a company that produces a line of high end modern furniture from designers like Geary. “It will allow architects to add a new level of sophistication to their newly rendered scenes. That's free in VectorWorks Architect 12.”
VectorWorks Product Line Up
Architect is for commercial and residential design.
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-- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.
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