I've been I've been using VW since about 1994. I believe that Nemetschek had just started calling
it Vectorworks at that time, switching from mini-cad. VW was the first solid modelling program
that I used. Prior to VW, I was drawing with AutoCad and Sketchup. I own a small design-build
company in Western MA, designing and building the equivalent of a house a year, in the 1 Million
dollar range. My needs are probably a bit different than most architectural firms, in that I design a
pretty wide range of projects, and because we also build, I design in fits and starts. Thus I need a
software package that is versatile and relatively easy to use, so that I don't need to be retrained
at the beginning of every new design.
The colleague who originally turned me onto VW, ironically has a firm with about a dozen
architects and as far as I know, they only use VW to draw in 2D. I was immediately pulled by the
software to model in 3D and extract multi-view drawings from the model. I believed that this
approach made me a much more proficient designer and now 20 something years later, the
design world obviously agrees. VW has fulfilled all of my design needs since I began using it, and I
have never been seriously tempted to switch.
As far as 2014, I am utilizing some of the obvious changes: 1- working in 3D open GL, 2- using
the clip cube to create sections, 3- using the XRay tool, 4- measuring in viewports without going
into annotations, 5- enhanced wall and roof creating and editing tools. Those 5 changes are easily
worth the cost of an upgrade for me, and there are something like 125 more. I'm finding that the
program seems to be working smoother and faster than the last one in subtle ways.
I haven't completely figured out the new rendering engine in renderworks and am getting
inconsistent results and speed. I just quickly modelled this kitchen storage cabinet, which is a
typical design task for us and quick and easy with VW - made especially quick by working in 3D
Vectorworks 2014 Review
We do a fair amount of timber framing and I found working in 3D open GL really fast with this frame, using xray to fine
tune joinery. The new wall and roof tools make things like SIPS panels and ICF's easy to draw.
The following building was drawn using VW 2013, and reflects a typical project for us and one for which I think that
VW is uniquely suited:
This treehouse is another example of a funky little project for which VW a perfect design tool and helped fuel
creativity and inspiration.
VW 2014 is a great tool for furniture design.
In summary, VW2014 has met my expectations of taking a product that is already the most useful tool in
my arsenal and improving upon it in obvious and subtle ways. The tech support is first rate and I've never
waited more than 30 seconds for assistance when calling, never been put on hold. There is apparently a
small glitch in the "document setup" which frustrated the heck out of me for a couple of hours, but when I
called support I was shown and easy way around it and I trust it will be fixed soon. I need to spend a
couple of hours looking at the company's tutorials and the youtube lessons from Jonathan Pickup to get
fully up to speed with 2014 and start really using the other 125 upgraded features. I'm still finding VW
productive and fun to use and look forward to the next design projects.
Kitchen Cabinet Design