Vectorworks Architect Reviews & Product Details


What is Vectorworks Architect?

Vectorworks Architect is the industry’s only BIM modeling, drafting and documentation software built with the design process in mind. As the architect’s BIM tool, the software enables you to tackle complex ideas in 2D and 3D, refine construction details, increase your energy efficiency and streamline costs. Additionally, high-quality renderings can be created with ease and directly inside files thanks to default textures within thousands of Vectorworks content library objects and our easy-to-use Renderworks features. Learn how Architect empowers designers to transform the world like never before at www.vectorworks.net/architect.

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Vectorworks Architect Profile Details

Vectorworks Architect Profile Details

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Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish
Vendor
Vectorworks, Inc.
Description
Vectorworks, Inc. is a global design and BIM software developer serving over 650,000 professionals in the architecture, landscape and entertainment industries. Since 1985, we’ve been committed to helping designers capture inspiration, nurture innovation, communicate effectively and bring their visions to life. With our cross-platform software, designers can build data-rich, visual models without sacrificing the design process, while collaborating efficiently throughout the project life-cycle. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, Vectorworks is a part of the Nemetschek Group. Learn how we empower designers to create experiences that transform the world at vectorworks.net.
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Year Founded
1985
HQ Location
Columbia, MD
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www.linkedin.com
Employees on LinkedIn®
254
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@Vectorworks
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10,753
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Vectorworks Architect Reviews

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Owner
Architecture & Planning
Small-Business
(2-10 employees)
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"Vectorworks Architect 8 hours per day"

What do you like best?

Vectorworks Architect has a set of integrated 2D and 3D tools that allow small and large firms to use the software from Schematic Design through Construction Documents and have photo-realistic renderings produced art any point in the design process.

What do you dislike?

Upgrading yearly to take advantage of the new features requires upgrading files with the potential of minor incompatibilities with older versions. Many of the projects I work on don't magically end in September when the new versions are released.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

I have worked with training students, Interns, and other firms with Vectorworks. Start-up time is minimal (only slightly longer than Sketchup) but the eventual depth of information you can get out of the software would on par with any other CAD/BIM platform, even surpassing others in instance.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

In addition to CAD and BIM, we also use VW for Graphic layout of forms, project publication and even project payment forms using the multi-dimensional worksheets built into the program, saving me time in project administration.

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Faculty Director - Career Development Outreach
Higher Education
Enterprise
(1001-5000 employees)
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"THE complete BIM package for architects"

What do you like best?

Our office has been using Vectorworks in some incarnation since 1994, and personally since 1992. Since those early releases (and continuing to this day), it has distinguished itself for its ease of use as a 3D modeling program, enabling us to generate sophisticated, integrated, complete visualizations and documentation of our projects. No other software package has been able to offer such capabilities at such an accessible price point. In short, Vectorworks is a spectacular design tool.

What do you dislike?

The primary regret with Vectorworks is its lack of penetration in the US market in architecture. New associates in our practice rarely have experience with the program. However, once using it on our projects they too are evangelized.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Get the trial version - engage with the tutorial, and see how straightforward it is to generate an intelligent data-laden 3D model.

Version 2018 is a major upgrade - the multi-window view is finally here.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Architecture Is Fun utilizes Vectorworks for quick design sketches and modeling, for generating out to 3D printers, and as our BIM software. Having a single program have such range and ease of use, with support and upgrades that keep ahead of competing products has proven a wise investment over the life of our practice. It works equally well on our Mac platform, and on platforms used by colleagues. Invisibly, and with great ease it imports and exports to all of our consultants and collaborators platforms - realizing great efficiency.

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"Greatest Program I have used"

What do you like best?

It is very easy to transition from cad or revit. The Bim software is excellent and growing. I like to compare vectorworks to a more sophisticated illustrator that has cad/revit built in. I am able to work in a 3d format as well as 2D just like illustrator, just in case I need to urgently create a design with lines and polygons. The best part is how easy it is to export in a PDF/Image or DWG I am able to instantly export each sheet/design in its proper format to share with clients/ collaborators, I highly recommend vectorworks for new users who want to have control over their whole drawing. the hotkeys and commands are very easy to learn but are not required to complete a project.

What do you dislike?

I dislike how you have to pin some of the tools onto you're drawing page. Considering there are hundreds of tools in this program I dont think working on a single screen is as fusible as a duel. I can also say that I am not a fan of the story setting.The one thing I appreciate about other programs compared to vectorworks is how easy they are at working in a vertical position compared to vectoworks

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Take advantage of their software training and webinars. its free and its very in depth

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I am solving the problem of designing on the go. I can render, Detail, do a schematic design or a complete bim project all within the project. The dimension tool also allows to collect data very quickly about the project

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Owner and Principal
Architecture & Planning
Small-Business
(2-10 employees)
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"3D for the Mac That Works"

What do you like best?

Ease of Use

Short Learning Curve

Excellent Rendering

Excellent DWG translation

Clear and Easy to use interface

Strong 2D tools

Really strong database for object intelligence

What do you dislike?

Unclear instructions as to how viewports work

No advantage of using sheet layers over sheet views

Difficult to do animations

v2017 doesn't perform the Save Image with Image Props on a 2011 iMac

File size of document is very large, although save times are OK

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Make sure your Mac is 64-bit for 2015 and later. Your mac should have 16 gb RAM for optimal performance, especially when making complex renderings and animations.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It's a great tool for designing in 3D and representation in 2D. Once layers and classes are mastered and clearly understood, it then becomes clear as to how to do a fully integrated design solution using this program. One document can contain 2D plans, elevations, and details, and the 3D model in wireframe, which can be rendered in RenderWorks and can be permanently affixed to the document as an imported image. I use this program in the Design Phase, principally.

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Architecture & Planning
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"Architect long time user "

What do you like best?

Initial set setup, ease of design and 3d presentation

What do you dislike?

Some features do not get better with time, Occasionally it feels as if they get worse

For instance: Stair tool have become more and more difficult to manipulate

Dormer tool- extremely frustrating

Roof tool unrealistic

Floors, Slabs and Stories MUST have Wall Section GRAPHICS , just as in Real Architecture

Need better manipulation of wall layers

Slab creation should have options for controlling components gross area or individual spaces (not separate spaces) Wood be nice to have a floor joist creation and direction within slabs

Wall joints tend to open during work, would be nice to have a 'Wall Lock' feature that will allow insertion of doors/windows without breaking joint. Not easy to create UN-conventional terminus.

Schedules: doors, windows need upgrading for ease of use and graphics.

In general there needs to be better coordination with practicing Architect in the US

Recommendations to others considering the product:

It's a good product, but may not be the best in the markey

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

As an Architect I find it easier to show a client a 3D project, quick sketching

Response from Lauren Burke Meyer of Vectorworks Arch

Thanks for reviewing Architect, we always appreciate customer feedback, and we’re happy to hear you enjoy the ability to quickly show your clients 3D presentations with Vectorworks.

If you have any specific requests for the features you listed you can always submit them for consideration for future updates here: https://forum.vectorworks.net/index.php?/forum/19-wishlist-feature-and-content-requests/.

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(11-50 employees)
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"Crippling problems ruin otherwise great software"

What do you like best?

The software at an initial level is pretty user friendly, good layers and classes system for drawing on. Rendering has improved a lot in recent years.

What do you dislike?

The software advertises itself as being suitable for BIM workflows, and it frankly isn't. Bugs are prevalent throughout the software, and new implementations are added with each edition year after year which are half finished and never revisited.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Use Revit instead.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Vectorworks is fine for 2D drawing. Now that we have moved into 3D modelling and BIM, Vectorworks simply does not cut it. If you are planning to use Vectorworks for any BIM process, avoid it and go instead for Revit.

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Owner/Principal
Architecture & Planning
Small-Business
(2-10 employees)
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"Been using VectorWorks since the mid 1990's and prefer VectorWorks over all the others"

What do you like best?

Ease of use has always been the primary reason - it works the way I think! Of course working in model format so I can look at my design in 3D as well as work on production drawings in 2D has been key. Integration of multiple production tools, symbols, worksheets and libraries are a primary plus.

What do you dislike?

An issue I've had with the program has been with upgrade where features are introduced, or changed and they don't work or are "buggy" and require work arounds. Often the fix comes with a paid upgrade or the next version (which has a cost of either an upgrade or paying for the service select membership). Hours may be spent on trying to get the feature to work and then giving up in frustration with the feature just isn't ready for prime time (the feature "Stories" comes to mind!).

As an architect it would be like me telling the client, "oh, the front door doesn't really open, we're hoping it will work properly in the next version. But we find a good work around is to use the back door when you want to come in and out of your house!"

Yeah, that would work really well!

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Vectorworks is a full featured program that has allowed me and my firm realize great communication with our clients and the builders we work with to get the best outcome we can in the execution of our designs, to the satisfaction of our clients.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Production and work flow. being able to model / sketch with 3D to help clients see how the design will come together.

Response from Lauren Burke Meyer of Vectorworks Arch

Hi Kevin, thanks for your feedback. We realize that sometimes we’re too eager to get tools into the hands of designers and as a result, there can be bugs, which is why we release service pack updates periodically throughout the year. These updates include enhancements and fixes to address bugs. If you notice any bugs, please do post them here so we can be sure to address them: http://www.vectorworks.net/support/bugsubmit.

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Architecture & Planning
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"very frustrating-- full of unacknowledged bugs "

What do you like best?

When it works, it's pretty good.

seems easier to use and more intuitive than auto cad, particularly in WYSIWYG, and organization of layers and classes. Though admittedly, that's just my perception, as I really have very little experience with other programs, except for Sketchup

What do you dislike?

It is FULL of bugs. They claim that all the problems I'm having are unreported by anyone else and may be specific to my setup. I'm on a top of the line Macbook pro from 2015 running yosemite-- not the best, but should be good enough.

A few of the Biggest:

-Actively used files are degrading-- spontaneously losing substantial information

-Doesn't update pallets unless i save, and sometimes not even then

-Doesn't autosave consistently

-Often gets into streaks when an undo takes me back many (10?, 100?) steps and cannot accept a re-do

-Doesn't recognize which of multiple windows are active (e.g. I try to add a layer to the active file, and it adds it instead to a different, open but not active file.

Also, tech support is incredibly available, but incredibly useless for anything other than routine issues

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Be prepared for bugs you would have expected in 2002

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Architectural 2d construction documents and 3d modeling

Have produced CD drawings and fairly detailed models for presentation and study

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Vectorworks Productivity & Workflow Advisor, Software Trainer & Tech Support Specialist
Computer Software
Small-Business
(2-10 employees)
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"A great, flexible tool for everything from initial concept to project completion"

What do you like best?

The flexibility that the software allows for my entire design process from start to finish, plus the ability to create looking drawings and renderings all within one application.

What do you dislike?

It's difficult to say because anything I've found in the software that I feel needs addressing, the company addresses. The company clearly cares about and stands behind their application. If anything is needed, it's perhaps more versatile options for window/door configurations.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Download the trial version, review the Getting Started Guides at Vectorworks.net and communicate with over users at the Vectorworks Community Forum.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I no longer need several different applications (with all of their individual costs and learning curves). Vectorworks does everything I need for 3D modelling, 2D drawing creation and visualization.

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Sagsarkitekt og projektleder
Architecture & Planning
Small-Business
(Myself Only)
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"I use Vectorworks because it combines 2D graphics and 3D modelling in a very intuitive way"

What do you like best?

The best thing about Vectorworks is that it combines both 2D and 3D. It has great tools for drafting, and I especially like the graphic tools in 2D. It's easy for me to create good drawings, because I can control the graphic output in a very intuitive way (much like Adobe).

I don't need Illustrator or Indesign to create presentations. This saves me a lot of time.

What do you dislike?

It tends to crash often, which can be annoying from time to time.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Buy the program if your desire is designing. It´s easy to learn and I enjoy to work with Vectorworks every day.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It's time saving, easy to learn, easy to use. And it's much cheaper than Revit.

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President
Architecture & Planning
Small-Business
(Myself Only)
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"Vector Works Architectural"

What do you like best?

The 3D Modeling and presentation capability. It is very easy to work a 3D environment.

What do you dislike?

When in 3D views the inability to select objects and get an accurate measurement distance between. Or selecting an object and moving it an X or Y plan and returning to the plan view to find it moved in a direction that you did not intend for it to move. Example in your in an elevation view and you decide to raise the roof 6 inches. You select the roof, select move, input 6 inches in Y direction, return to the plan view to find the roof having moved 20 ft in the X-direction. Now comes the fun of trying to get everything aligned. Been complaining about this problem to Vector Works since version 2014 when the problem first arouse so far it was not fixed w/ 2016. Have not installed 2017 - hopefully it has been fixed but not optimistic that it has.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Architectural and Mechanical design for light commercial and residential structures

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Architect/ Partner
Architecture & Planning
Small-Business
(2-10 employees)
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"It's great, but I've not given it my full attention yet."

What do you like best?

Vectorworks is native to Mac and offers a much more intuitive graphic approach. It's powerful and capable of doing all that I need. I prefer the interface to other programs, even more as I use it more.

What do you dislike?

It's inconvenient to share files with AutoCAD users. As I'm normally the one hiring consultants it's not me having to adjust to their needs so the pain isn't huge on my part, but can be a bother for them. That has the potential to be an issue with consultants who'd maybe rather not deal with the hassles I bring to them. Yet to be seen.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

You can't do it half way, you have to commit. Once you do, it comes pretty easy.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I'm looking for a cost effective software that delivers comprehensive capability in the BIM market. This does it in spades as it's considerably less expensive and much better supported by the company. Other online resources are more limited because VW does not hold such a strangle hold on the market as Revit, for instance, but we're managing.

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Owner/\Architect
Architecture & Planning
Small-Business
(Myself Only)
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"A CAD Program for Architects"

What do you like best?

Vectorworks was designed from the beginning to be used by architects and designers for architectural projects. It is not loaded down with features that a designer will not need or use. It is also very user friendly. I found it much more intuitive to learn than my previous CAD program.

Vectorworks Service Select is great. 95% of the time a phone call is answered immediately and I get an answer to my question.

Being able to carry all of my custom setting over into a new version is one of the best improvements in years.

What do you dislike?

Not much. There are functional characteristics that I don't like but they are minor in light of how well the software works.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Take the plunge.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I'm very busy and working to keep up with the requirements of my clients. The ease of incorporating corrections and changes is great.

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Consulting Architect
Architecture & Planning
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"More productive than you ever imagined"

What do you like best?

What I like best is being able to be a lot more productive than anyone I know that uses 2D and especially folks still using AutoCAD. I can't imagine doing tons of work on models in SketchUp only to have to butcher them to insert a bunch of lines into AutoCAD or similar 2D applications. And then when changes to the wok happen (and a LOT of them ALWAYS happen) you have to go back and redo the model AND the CAD drawings separately??? NO THANKS...

Anyone still on the fence thinking about wether to take the plunge I would tell that in a couple of days (or nights if you are concerned with office downtime) you'll be on par with what you were doing in 2D CAD. From there on it's money in the bank in terms of time and effort saved. The Help menu and the free online tutorials are a formidable resources for becoming progressively more productive and efficient. There is even a free demo.

What do you dislike?

I'd say that new features are coming out faster than one can incorporate into the drawing routine. But, OTOH, when you need to do a very special or even weird object or effect it turns out that the capabilities are there and you just had to check a free online tutorial and in a few minutes go back to producing.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Download the demo and take the free online tutorials on the Vectorworks website. In half a day if not less you'll realize that the potential for you being more efficient and productive is extraordinary.

When I first started to watch some tutorial videos 11 years ago I said to myself, "Damn... I can do that!!!"

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Well, construction drawings of course. But also great presentation drawings using the same info that eventually becomes the CDs. No wasted time there.

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Principal
Architecture & Planning
Small-Business
(2-10 employees)
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"Pretty good"

What do you like best?

Best CAD program for Mac. Reasonably user friendly. Pretty good tech support.

What do you dislike?

There are a few bugs which have been giving us ongoing difficulties. Tech support has been somewhat helpful, but a few times the only answer was to upgrade, which we can't afford. Our issues were related to basic functions of the program so there's no excuse for bugs not being fixed.

3d is overly complicated to use for early design studies.

Upgrades are way too expensive!!! Upgrades in the past couple of years have been very incremental and have not added much value or additional usability to the program from our perspective. There's no justification for these upgrades costing the same as purchasing the program new.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We use the software to make drawings. It works pretty well for that. It would be great to use it as a 3d design tool, but it is too time consuming to input all the necessary data.

Response from Lauren Burke Meyer of Vectorworks Arch

Hi Richard, thanks for your feedback.

Regarding upgrading, have you considered our Service Select subscription program? It was designed to help people get the most out of their software at the best possible price. Compared to purchasing a single Vectorworks license, the Service Select program offers several benefits, including immediate receipt of product releases, predictable budgets, priority technical support, VIP access to downloads, easy account management and access to a growing library of on-demand tutorials. You’ll also have premium access to Vectorworks Cloud Services, as well as our mobile apps. Visit the Service Select website to learn more: https://serviceselect.vectorworks.net/login_form.

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Owner / Architect
Architecture & Planning
Small-Business
(2-10 employees)
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"Software switch with confidence and ease"

What do you like best?

I love the potential! I moved from a straight-up 2D cad program that was beloved for the entirety of my office's history - 17 years! But when it was clear that my office was behind the curve a little and clearly duplicating work, we needed to make the move. There is no doubt that the instant I started learning the ins and outs I knew we had made the right choice. Vectorworks is quite a well of tools, information and possibilities, but I've never felt it daunting at all. The switch was EASY! Being able to continue 2d drafting was virtually a non-issue. No time lost. Like many products, I know there are other ways to do what this does, but I think the look, feel and just the vibe of the interface is best in class. I've been consistently surprised and confident at the ease (and even fun!) to "getting to the next level" with productivity. Whether it be schedules, references and now 3D integration to our workflow, Vectorworks is an easy adventure in deep water. To stick with the analogy, the water is clear and also pretty warm - makes for nice diving!

What do you dislike?

The only thing that I would say could be considered a challenge is just the fact that I waited so long to add Vectorworks to my toolbox. At my office, we have been pretty entrenched in our ways and the inertia is real. Just getting going is hardest part. I wish there were more on-board tutorials or manuals - like a "Start Here Guide " - that came with the package. I initially tried to learn Vectorworks while on vacation and since the reception was spotty for internet, it got fairly frustrating to view video tutorials and the real learning had to wait. (That said, once I was back in civilization, it was a breeze.)

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Buy the books, do the tutorials, you cannot be disappointed.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We have been jumping back and forth from our 3D modeling software and 2D cad work for years, but now the 3D capabilities of Vectorworks have collapsed the coordination time to zero. This saves a TON of time and frustration and keeps us designing a lot more ( and cleaning up translations to virtually zero). Schedules are also becoming a very low effort game as well. We're having more fun drawing again and that is worth a lot!

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Building Design & Construction Technologist
Architecture & Planning
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"Lets me work how I wish to work"

What do you like best?

Vectorworks allows me to work the way I wish to work. Provides me with all the tools I need and some I didn't know I need. Its a very powerful all in one solution to handle the smallest of projects to large team collaboration projects.

What do you dislike?

I honestly cannot say I dislike anything. Any issues I have had have been able to be addressed to the Vectorworks team. They would acknowledge my concerns and either provide a solution or have updated me on progress of things being fixed. Their active communication on their forum lets clients know they are indeed listening.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Watch the tutorials provided by Vectorworks. Becoming an advanced user is doable through bite sized pieces of implementation.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Allowed me to show clients how their projects will look in a way they can understand. Allows me to coordinate with consultant team to show where conflicts may have occurred.

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Owner/CEO
Architecture & Planning
Small-Business
(2-10 employees)
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"Very simple program to teach employees."

What do you like best?

This software is for architects. It was developed by architects and is used by architects. Other CAD systems were hard to learn, or it took much longer to teach and apply. Another positive aspect is the fact that you can model (go 3d) very easily. This is large in both design and production.

What do you dislike?

Would like to see more advanced, or updated rendering interface software that could be utilized in conjunction with Vectorworks.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Just try it. It's very addictive and very simple in application. Recommend you start on a smaller project, but utilize ALL aspects of the system. It is also easy to "form" and apply personal touches with relevant applications. Whats really cool, it how you can go back and forth on a design solution once in 3d to evaluate. That will sell you....

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Cut-to-the-chase problem solving. When you utilize the full capacity of the software, it takes much less time to develop a design solution then expected. Plus you can apply alternatives in as short a period of time, as well.

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"Usable, but Needs to Evolve"

What do you like best?

I purchase Vectorworks many years ago, when options for professional drafting on Macintosh were limited. There are more options today, including AutoCAD, but Vectorworks is still quite capable. 2D drafting tools are good. Page layout, formatting, a composition tools are also good, but not entirely intuitive. 3D modeling tools are basic, but functional. Renderworks and product good results, if your expectations are simple.

What do you dislike?

The user interface is outdated and convoluted. The learning curve is steep and can be frustrating. BIM capabilities are limited and inflexible. Tools seems half-baked and are often awkward to use quickly and efficiently. User are forced to adapt to oddities of the software, rather than the other way around. BIM capabilities are very limited, and setting up a model in a clear, logical way is extremely difficult.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

I would recommend Vectorworks, but with caveats. 2D drafting tools are quite good. 3D tools are emerging. Rending is fairly simple, but inflexible. BIM capabilities are very limited.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Vectorworks is great at combining 2D, 3D, and page layout and it's a great option for Macintosh-based offices.

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Architect
Architecture & Planning
Small-Business
(Myself Only)
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"Vectorworks just keeps getting better and better!"

What do you like best?

BIM capabilities combined with almost infinite flexibility in the look of output. Whenever I need a specific technique or took, I can invariably find it and marvel at how

I ever lived without it!

What do you dislike?

Sometimes I cannot figure out how I have done a really awesome thing in the past. But that is me, not Vectorworks. Usually after some traipsing through the software I can find the elusive technique.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I am looking forward to getting more into Marionnette. In general, Vectorworks is excellent at 'keeping track of' and compiling building components.

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Architect
Architecture & Planning
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"Complete and versatile program"

What do you like best?

I like what Nemetschek has embraced in the way architectural drawing software needs to work. It is a nimble and intuitive three dimensional software program that surpasses its locomotive sized nemisis, Revit, in its lightness, agility and speed.

What do you dislike?

Unlike the larger lumbering and powerful, program Revit, Vectorworks falls a notch behind in total work group solutions and document integration.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Ask Nemetcheck to share more about other users in other cities, so users can fluidly communicate with each other and in fact know who is using the program

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I am using Vectorworks as my total visualization and architectural documentation too.

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Project Designer
Architecture & Planning
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"Versatile, Powerful, Fast"

What do you like best?

Vector works is easy to set up for the simplest task, but with a system that for handling very complex and large jobs. I use generally for architectural projects, but also for graphic design and quick studies. The symbol routine enables very efficient drawing. The wall tool is useful for many things other than walls. Being able to quickly transform text into enhanceable graphics, and use of images as surface textures adds flare to drawings. Cross referencing files is key. Viewports and annotation are fast and effective ways of creating interim drawings, or setting up for long run.

What do you dislike?

A few glitches when files get large, especially with nested symbols. Some ghost images. It imports PDF's very well, but bogs down if they are large, and creates huge files when exporting drawing containing pdfs. The rendering engine is good for cartoon sketches, but frustrating for lighting and textures, which work really well sometimes, others not so much. Would like more explanation of different options and tools. Cross referencing is a bit cumbersome, as is setting up of 3D viewports and the camera tool.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Highly recommended. Take time to learn the tools.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Architectural and Interior design. Concept and schematic, all the way to design and construction detailing. I can get drawings updated and out quickly and effectively. I am able to utilize my own systems and routines.

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Architect
Architecture & Planning
Mid-Market
(201-500 employees)
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"Vectorworks Architect for Interior Designers is the most usable tool"

What do you like best?

VW 3D modeling is easy to use and learn even for those who have never worked with a CAD software. I personally really like how BIM can be done in VW and how to make every sheet from a 3D model. Symbols are great and subdivisions made life easier significantly. I even use VW for graphical works as well.

What do you dislike?

It is a problem that VW doesn't have a lot of Eurpoean drawing standards such as door and window labels (door and window center lines with both height and width measurements for example). And some bugs (i think it is a bug) for example when you make a symbol from a door in a wall, than draw the center line and the measurements in it, when you turn the wall more than 90 degrees VW flips the numbers the wrong direction no matter what. It would be awesome if i could set different drawing styles to symbols to show different details in different scales and even to set up symbols to show different 2D in different layers (such as stairs). I wish there was an option to save multi-pass renders. I would really like that if there were more built in deafult scheduels such as wall volumes...just to mention some.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

It is a great software that has everything you need and even more. You don't have to buy different softwares for different thing, this one has everything you will ever need to design any building from scratch to realization.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

There is no such software that can handle 2D drawings, 3D modelling and awesome rendering at the same time integratedly without add-ons or plug-ins, while it is capable of making graphical designs, supports all scales from GIS through BIM until furniture design.

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Senior Project Mgr, Displays & Exhibits
Construction
Mid-Market
(51-200 employees)
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"The long and short of using Vectorworks."

What do you like best?

Since the majority of what I do in Vectorworks now involves importing 3-d models from our Engineering job files and creating assembly instructions for the millwork our facility produces, the increased ease with which VW imports and translates ACAD files for me is one of the best features. What I like the best is that I can use layers as they were intended, i.e., working on small sections of a larger structure that can be correctly and easily aligned and assembled when finished with all the smaller sections, or as I most often use it where each layer is a separate page and at whatever scale works best for the item on that page.

What do you dislike?

I have been working with this program since the late 1980's early 1990's when it was still MiniCAD. The yearly changes have been, at times, difficult to assimilate since I have been self-taught the entire time in which I have used this program. That being said, the fact that I was able to "catch myself up" so to speak says a lot about the user friendly interface and incredible detail in the hard copy manuals and on-line Help function which I admit to using quite thoroughly at times. The fact that I am a MAC user and MiniCAD and Vectorworks appear to be the best available option for Mac users is nothing to sneeze at and maybe that why it’s so easy to use.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Ease of use, relatively low-cost, certainly value-added, Mac based version availability all play a part in my satisfaction and willingness to recommend this product.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

In the past I have used MiniCAD and then Vectorworks to create complete sets of drawings for residential remodeling, and for new construction. These projects were "side-jobs" while during my normal business hours at a Full-service Exhibit House in Northeast Wisconsin. I provided the Concept Sketches for use by our Design staff to use as the basis for the color renderings which at that time were nearly all done with colored pencils and air-brush painting techniques. That was at a time when digital graphic renderings were unavailable unless you had access to a Cray computer. We also used VW for the Approval Drawings required to get clients to sign off on a project with a nearly complete and accurate conception of what we intended to build for them. From there Vectorworks enabled me to provide our Carpenters the shop drawings required to turn concept into reality. Last but not least, since Trade Show exhibits are designed, by necessity, to assemble and disassemble quickly at a trade show event, fit into crates designed to hold each component safely during transit and storage, and be ready to re-assemble at the next show, we used the program to provide a set of instructions for the various trades involved, to set up and then dismantle the booths as quickly and safely as possible.

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President
Architecture & Planning
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"John's Review"

What do you like best?

3D architectural and landscape design features.

What do you dislike?

Cost of programs and training, amount of time it takes to "catch up" after lapse between use.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

If you work in VectorWorks Architect regularly, its great. If you go long periods time without drawing, it can take awhile to get back up to speed.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It permits me to study existing buildings and present my findings with clarity and accuracy. While I continue to do this, it is no longer a business, it is a contribution of my skills to various non-profits engaged in historic preservation, and training less experienced historic preservation professionals.

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Job Captain
Design
Small-Business
(2-10 employees)
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"User of Vectorworks for 4+ years"

What do you like best?

At our firm we hand sketches at the beginning of every project. Vectorwork lets us import these early on and by adjusting the line styling we can create hybrid drawings of hand and cad details which clients respond very well to. This is most likely the biggest plus for us as we can have a stream line process from sketch to final construction document set. In general we are able to work very quickly and efficiently.

What do you dislike?

Some of the 3d modeling tools are a little cumbersome. I have experience in Rhino which gives excellent control of 3d objects in general I miss that in Vectorworks. However I understand that they are completely different softwares.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

The software works best when you use solid shapes as opposed to line work only. I have experience in Adobe Illustrator and many features are similar in Vectorworks.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The basic BIM features for schedules in the file help speed up the drawings and allow for changes to occur fairly seamlessly

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"An horrible case of bloatware"

What do you like best?

Don't like it at all, and would like to replace it with alternatives

What do you dislike?

I started using this architectural software when it was minicad 2.5. At that time it was mac only, elegant, intuitive and great to use. A forerunner in its field. Vectorworks is a horrible piece of software that has remained in the 1980s. To do anything one has to open multiple dialogue boxes which are all unintuitive and confusing. It is a case of software engineers being given control of the user interface. Someone, with proper user interface expericen, has to take it back to the basic and rewrite the software from the grounds up.

Also the pricing structure sucks. To be forced to pay $600 every year for a something that does not add anything is unacceptable.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Renovation projects in London

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Arquiteto Associado
Architecture & Planning
Small-Business
(2-10 employees)
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" Using Vectorworks Architect as an Architect"

What do you like best?

The program is an evolution of simple CAD, leading to another level of experience, starting with the management of drawings by layers, which facilitates viewing levels and understanding of the plant (even for the customer!). The whole design is done in 3D with BIM technology, it makes the design reconciliations (architectural, civil, hydraulic , electric, etc.) are stored in greater accuracy and clarity.

And best of all, it is much cheaper and easier to work than AutoCad and Revit.

What do you dislike?

The software requires much computer processing, ie good computers. And good computers are expensive. Which raises another expense to the office/company, but worth the investment, which will pay for seeing productivity increase considerably.

Another thing is that sometimes the software does not properly export the DWGs, which creates some discomfort with offices using other software such as Autocad, which is the most in Brazil, the country that I live, but everything is solved with a phone call.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

I recommend implementing the Vectorworks software, not only this software, as other BIM software. The programs should not be a problem, but a means of reaching a final result of something much bigger.

Vectorworks helped me a lot in the construction of knowledge as an architect, because as projects run faster, I have time to devote myself to other crafts and learning new things .

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It proved to be very useful in predicting design problems, annotation features and detailing of various project scales, documentation and organization boards for printing. Agility, especially in the final stage of the project, which does not require adjustment of lines and colors (already set when drawing). And best of all, you draw is exactly what will be plotted.

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Owner
Management Consulting
Small-Business
(2-10 employees)
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"Simple tools that are so powerful. ."

What do you like best?

Making pallets of only the tools I use everyday.

What do you dislike?

If anything it would have to be the overall cost. However less than AutoCad

Recommendations to others considering the product:

If you want to be able to work with other companies and people using different software this is the software that will be the most compatible.

Even the Mac and Windows files are compatible with each other without conversion or save as.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The befit of using VectorWorks is that I can use graphics and engineering drawings and output files to AutoCad and my colleagues don't even know I don't use AutoCad.

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Designer
Architecture & Planning
Mid-Market
(51-200 employees)
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"Great Software"

What do you like best?

The 2D aspect of the software is great for seeing what your drawing is going to look like before printing. Our firm does not primarily use the 3D side but from what I've used, I have been thrilled with the easy navigation of the tools that the software provides.

What do you dislike?

I think the 3D aspect of the software should be able to automatically update 2D drawings when a change is made in the 3D side.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

I would highly recommend this product to others because of the ease of use and instant quality of the drawings on the screen before printing.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We are trying to solve the drawing quality of the 3D side that the 2D side allows you to make. Example, line thickness of a drawing should be added into the 3D side with the same ease and simplicity as that of the 2D side.

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Architect
Architecture & Planning
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"Software which adds tremendous value, speed and quality to architectural planning"

What do you like best?

Vectorworks is used throughout my office, and it certainly wouldn't function without it. We've had alternatives such as AutoCAD, Revit, Archicad, but none have matched our experience with Vectorworks. Referencing other plans straight into files and overlaying is absolutely essential, both 2d and 3d work seamlessly. The UI is easy to learn, and users manage to completely adapt to the program within days. The layers and class system is straightforward and allows for very structured workflows within groups of people. The price is reasonable compared to other similar CAD software.

What do you dislike?

One of the most recent additions has been collaborative working within same documents, which I believe Nemetschek seems to have addressed. What I find strongly lacking are vector patterns, as well as textures. Finishing touches of architectural elevations for example are always, essentially, completed in Photoshop, because there is simply no way to create equally beautiful imagery straight from Vectorworks. Another strong drawback is Autocad functionality, and while dwg's are certainly supported, small mistakes appear constantly when importing them. Addition problems is the backwards compatibility, with files produced on previous versions being completely incompatible with newer ones. Rendering tools are also lackluster compared to other alternatives.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Due to the relative ease, lower price point, and technical ability of Vectorworks, I would certainly give a trial a go.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

When working with subplanners that also use Vectorworks, the workflow simply seems to be at a higher speed than with alternative CAD software. The graphical abilities also allow for the production of final presentation plans, so while Photoshop can enhance them further, enough offices produce the majority of their competition plans straight from Vectorworks, meaning it replaces other software which could save other software costs.

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Principal
Architecture & Planning
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"Vectorworks is a Life Saver."

What do you like best?

I found the Vectorworks Architect to be relatively easy to jump into and learn. For the most part it feels rather intuitive. But the best thing about using Vectorworks is the integration of all the drawings. It really saves time and man power to when pushed up against tight deadlines.

What do you dislike?

There are some quirky things when it comes to customization. While i have found most anything i need to do, i can. Operations that require a greater level of customization tend to take longer than i think they should.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Vectorworks is a great product for getting into the world of BIM. It has allowed us to move from the world of 2D into the world of 3D documentation with very few growing pains. Overall, it is great product that i would highly recommend.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Tanking on bigger project scope without upsizing my firm has been the biggest benefit from having made the switch to Vectorworks.