User Group News

  • Vectorworks is Coming to Boston for BIM Camp on March 5 and 6 Jan 5, 2013

    Discover How Easy BIM Can Be-
    Transitioning to BIM has a reputation for being daunting, frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive. So when clients pressure you to adopt BIM workflows, jumping in probably isn't your first reaction. But it could be...

    Attend our BIM Camp and learn how easy adopting a BIM workflow can be.

    Our BIM Camp teaches the skills you need to thrive in this new world of BIM, better understand how IFC-based standards benefit design teams, create sustainable and high-performing designs, and collaborate through Open BIM. Attendees also receive a BIM Survival Kit, loaded with presentation materials and other resources.

    Click here to RSVP

  • Press Release: Vectorworks Cloud Services Provides Added Computing Power and Design Freedom Apr 2, 2012

    New offering to be available exclusively to Vectorworks Service Select members

    COLUMBIA, Md. (April 2, 2012) – Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc. today announced the launch of Vectorworks® Cloud Services, which will provide greater convenience, collaboration, and freedom for users to access their designs from any location, at any time. Vectorworks Cloud Services will be available exclusively for members of the company’s software subscription program, Vectorworks Service Select.

    This initial offering will allow users of Vectorworks software to access and share files and make design decisions from any location. Changes to users’ Vectorworks files will be automatically synchronized to their private cloud storage, allowing them to browse, annotate and share their designs from web-enabled devices using the Vectorworks Nomad mobile application.

    Vectorworks Cloud Services saves time by freeing up desktop computing power. Creating client presentations with desktop-design software often requires a significant amount of user investment to coordinate, monitor, and wait while resources consume the desktop CPU. Vectorworks Cloud Services provides a cloud-based workflow, shifting calculations needed to generate sections, elevations, renderings, and Building Information Modeling (BIM) data from the desktop to the cloud.

    "The cloud offers important benefits in efficiency and collaboration to the design workflow, enhancing the value that Vectorworks products already offer on the desktop,” said Sean Flaherty, CEO of Nemetschek Vectorworks. “Vectorworks Cloud Services will provide the freedom and flexibility designers need to successfully meet the challenges of working in today’s mobile world. In particular, the ability to perform calculations in the cloud will be a significant advantage to our users.”

    Vectorworks Cloud Services is initially available as a free trial until April 30, 2012 to Vectorworks Service Select members in the U.S. and Canada, and will be available to customers in other countries where Vectorworks Service Select is offered later this year. To learn more, please visit

  • The Vectorworks 2012 Product Line Offers Increased Efficiency and Productivity Sep 13, 2011

    Columbia, Md. (Sept. 13, 2011) – Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc. is pleased to announce the availability of the 2012 version of its award-winning Vectorworks® line of design software, including: Vectorworks Designer, Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Fundamentals and Renderworks®.

    “With the Vectorworks 2012 products, we continue to deliver the tools designers require to succeed in meeting complex design challenges, whether they work in the field of architecture, landscape or entertainment design,” said Stewart Rom, Nemetschek Vectorworks’ Chief Marketing Officer. “We value the feedback we receive from our users, and we’ve taken their wishes into account to further improve the usability and performance of our software.”

    The powerful enhancements found in the Vectorworks 2012 products will save designers time and increase their productivity. The software’s intuitive interface allows users to easily conceptualize their designs, while innovative, flexible tools let them document their plans and easily collaborate with best-in-class open BIM workflows.

    “This release reinforces our position as a leader in 3D technology within the AEC marketplace,” says Dr. Biplab Sarkar, Chief Technology Officer of Nemetschek Vectorworks. “I’m proud of the many improvements our development team has achieved with this version, particularly those related to BIM, GIS and rendering. Macintosh users will also be happy to know that Vectorworks 2012 software is fully compatible with OS X Lion.”

    The 2012 version of Vectorworks software delivers several major improvements, including:

    Enhanced 3D modeling: The software now examines the model under the cursor and sets the working plane automatically, removing the general need for users to manually set working planes. This planar autosensing is also the basis for the new 3D dimensioning feature. Other 3D modeling features include instant access to push/pull functionality after profile object creation and also reshape improvements.

    Improved Building Information Modeling (BIM) capabilities: The new stories feature allows design layers to be dynamically and vertically referenced to named story elevations. Story-aware objects like walls, columns, slabs and stairs can span across stories and update with story elevation changes. Plus, improvements to wall component joining, insulation fills, spaces, stairs, walls and windows all increase the ability to design intelligently and efficiently. Enhancements to Vectorworks Architect 2012 software also further strengthen Nemetschek Vectorworks’ commitment to interoperability. Support of the open BIM file standard, Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), has been greatly improved. IFC import now has higher-fidelity geometry from imported elements, and IFC space objects are translated into native Vectorworks space objects.

    Integration of building and site: Vectorworks 2012 software marries building and site design and is the first package to combine a complete BIM modeler with extensive Geographic Information System (GIS) capabilities (available in the Vectorworks Architect, Landmark and Designer applications). Now users can store georeferenced information on each Vectorworks design layer, transform geometry to a different map projection or georeferenced coordinate system and enjoy improved shapefile import and export functions.

    Best integrated renderer: Improvements to the Renderworks rendering application include the introduction of Renderworks Styles, which can be re-used and shared among team members. In addition, users will enjoy significantly improved OpenGL shadows and better solar animations with the new Heliodon object.

    More than 100 performance and usability improvements: This release addresses user requests such as a new 2D X-ray fills mode, faster viewport navigation, new custom color options for backgrounds, faster access to frequently used settings, coincident selection, streamlined polyline arc editing, offset improvements, improved wheel zooming and others. This version also offers designers the ability to generate hidden lines between intersecting geometry and, in the Design Series products, to modify objects by record value.

    New features in the Vectorworks Landmark and Spotlight applications: This version of the Vectorworks Landmark program includes improved stake objects with better visual representation and data information on the drawing, better control over hardscape creation, a new option to convert between boundary and path configurations and the ability to specify different pattern sizes for grid and running pavers. The Vectorworks 2012 Spotlight application features a more intuitive way to focus instruments, as well as a new soft goods object that enables the creation of curtain, border and pipe-and-drape assemblies.

    To learn more about Vectorworks 2012 software, please visit and join the Vectorworks 2012 U.S. Virtual Event at: 2012-virtual-event.

    About Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc.
    Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nemetschek AG and has been developing software since 1985. The Vectorworks line of software products provides professional design solutions for more than 450,000 designers in the AEC, entertainment and landscape design industries. With a tradition of designing flexible, versatile, intuitive and affordable CAD and BIM solutions, Nemetschek Vectorworks continues to be a global leader in 3D design technologies. For more information, visit

  • Vectorworks 2012 to be released Sept. 13 Sep 1, 2011

    Nemetschek Vectorworks Announces Vectorworks 2012 U.S. Virtual Event

    Columbia, Md. (September 1, 2011) – Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc. presents the Vectorworks® 2012 U.S. Virtual Event, Sept. 13-16, 2011, to unveil the next version of Vectorworks software.

    Beginning at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Sept. 13 with a keynote address by CEO Sean Flaherty and CTO Dr. Biplab Sarkar, the event will include demonstrations on what’s new in Vectorworks Architect, Landmark, Spotlight and Fundamentals software, as well as feature videos and information about popular Vectorworks plug-ins. Industry experts will be on hand to answer questions, and attendees will have the opportunity to network with other designers and share their experience through social media.

    The online event will continue through Sept. 16 with feature-specific presentations led by members of the Nemetschek Vectorworks engineering team. Topics will include Building Design and BIM, Site Design, Collaboration Improvements, Entertainment Design, Rendering Improvements and more.

    Attendees will have the opportunity to register for a chance to win a license of Vectorworks 2012 with Renderworks® by inviting friends and colleagues to register, as well.

    For more information and to register, please visit: Vectorworks 2012 Virtual Event

  • Job Posting- Dingman Allison Architects- Cambridge, MA Jan 26, 2011

    Dingman Allison Architects, a small firm in Porter Square, Cambridge, seeks an intern architect with 2 to 4 years experience. He or she will work with the Principals from schematic design through construction administration. Applicants should be proficient with the Macintosh environment, VectorWorks Architect, the Adobe Creative Suite, and SketchUp. Applicants must also have a strong knowledge of residential design and construction. Please email a cover letter, resume and work samples.

    Nancy Dingman
    Dingman Allison Architects
    1950 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA 02140
    T: 617-497-4150

  • Review: Remarkable Renderworks: An Introduction to the Basic by Daniel Jansenson Sep 16, 2010

    Remarkable Renderworks by Daniel Jansenson, Book Cover Design
    Remarkable Renderworks: An Introduction to the Basics by Daniel Jansenson is a “must have” for anyone who wants to use Vectorworks Renderworks to harness the power to render 3D models that is integrated in the Vectorworks. While the basic program allows the creation of 3D objects and models that can be studied or presented from different angles, the Renderworks add-on enables the model to be rendered with material textures, lighting, and shadows. A range of rendering styles, from sketch to photo-realistic images can, be presented. Renderworks, integrated with Vectorworks, allows for the seamless work-flow of rendered plans, elevations, sections, and perspectives without the need to export to, or learn, another program. This book is an invaluable resource for gaining an understanding of the many of the complexities of Renderworks. Many of the nuances of Renderworks, far beyond the basics, are explained.

    The first nine chapters quickly move through introductory material on basic rendering: applying textures, adding sunlight and shadows, and various rendering styles. The exercises demonstrate how to give 3D objects material attributes with the application of textures and the addition of directional lighting or sunlight. Various rendering modes are discussed: sketch styles, hidden line rendering, artistic renderworks, and how to use the render bitmap tool for a quick sample test of a portion of the rendering. This is usually as far as most novice users get with their use of Renderworks.

    Chapter 10 explains five essential things to know about of textures: they are resources accessible in any document through the resource browser; they can be created from images and photos; Renderworks has built-in tools to create custom textures; textures can be applied as single images or with multiple tiling patterns. The four components of a texture, known as shaders, are color, reflectivity, transparency, and bump. They are quickly discussed. Unfortunately, the intricacies of the numerous settings needed to adjust these shaders are not adequately covered.

    Chapters 11 through 13 illustrates the assignment textures to the overall wall, a single part, or different parts. These chapters are key to understanding how easy it is to incorporate Renderworks into the Vectorworks Architect BIM work-flow. For those who use Vectorworks other advanced 3D modeling capabilities with extrusions, volumetric additions and subtractions, and more free-form shapes the next five chapters explain how to apply textures to these objects. Chapters 14 through 17 show how to take advantage of Renderworks’ recent improvements: the ability to adjust planar mapping with auto-align and vertical or horizontal offsets and the use of the attribute mapping tool to precisely move and scale the texture tile to a desired position on various surfaces. The use of classes to define textures is explained with texture attributes assigned to specific objects- again, the improvements to Renderworks are demonstrated one’s ability to assign different textures to the top, bottom, or sides of an object. Finally, the application of textures to irregular free-form volumes is explained with the ability to apply texture-mapping to forms other than planar surfaces with the use of cylinder and sphere assignments needed for these irregularly shaped forms. This series of chapters must be thoroughly understood to be able create a model that has the detail and definition desired in any rendered presentation. The comprehension of these chapters would qualify a Renderworks user as intermediate. The next section moves onto the advanced level of setting up the lighting.

    Lighting is the bane of any rendering. The explanation of setting up various light sources is the focus of Chapters 18 through 23. The first two work through setting up point lights and spot lights, two light types that should be familiar to most users. Fine tuning these lights, by adjusting fall-off and beam-spread illustrates how minor adjustments can have a great effect on the the rendering outcome. The following two chapters present the little known and “hidden” lighting options: area and linear lights. These lights are created by converting 2D polygonal shapes or lines into objects with the Modify/Convert command. These converted forms can be assigned lighting properties to simulate overhead florescent fixtures, skylights, or daylight from a window, with area lights; or fluorescent lamps and neon tubes with the linear light. Tricks to speed up the rendering process and create the appearance of light emitting objects are explained by setting textures to have a constant reflectivity so that they appear as a bright lens of a light fixture, although this object is not the source of the light thus reducing the number of calculations needed when rendering. The enhancement of exterior perspectives by applying a High Dynamic Range Image Renderworks background and adding additional ambient and directional light is demonstrated. Minor adjustments can make a difference in the quality of the rendering with Final Quality Renderworks or Custom Radiosity.

    The final three chapters, 24 through 26, discuss some of the nuances that exist between the various modes of rendering within Vectorworks and how the modification of these settings can refine the desired result. The trade-offs between the quality of the rendering and time needed to process are explained. Photo-realistic renderings can be created with Custom Radiosity, although processing time can be cumbersome. Steps to work through the setup of this process, with preliminary testing and refinements necessary before the final rendering, are illustrated.

    Although the book is titled Remarkable Renderworks: An Introduction to the Basics, Daniel Jansenson covers much more than the basics that are needed to set up a successful rendering. Compact and spiral bound, the book sits comfortably next to your keyboard as you work through the exercises. It provides numerous screen shots of menus and invaluable images of the results of the various rendering modes being presented. A CD of the exercises to work through the demonstrations is provided. The price of the book, at $75, may seem steep but it will immediately pay for itself by eliminating many hours of trial and error when trying to understand how to use Renderworks. Renderworks is indeed a remarkable and affordable addition to the Vectorworks program that allows you to create the images that many clients expect to visualize their project. Remarkable Renderworks: An Introduction to the Basics illustrates how to cost-effectively deliver any desired rendering style from a conceptual sketch to a photo-realistic rendering.

  • Review: 3D Modeling in Vectorworks by Jonathan Pickup Sep 15, 2010

    3D Modeling in Vectorworks by Johnathan Pickup is a great primer on working with Vectorworks free-from 3D modeling to move beyond 2D drafting. The manual is broken into three chapters: Simple 3D Modeling, Architectural Modeling, and a Bus Stop Project. Each section builds upon techniques learned from the previous lessons.

    Simple 3D Modeling starts with the basics and explains, through a progression of exercises, the commands for creating extrusions, setting up 3D views, and solid modeling through the addition and subtraction of solid extrusions. The complexity of using NURBS (Non Uniform Rational B-Splines) and 3D PowerPac tools is clarified in a series of exercises that simplify the various aspects of these powerful tools used to create free-form shapes. Loft Surfaces, Fillet Edge, and Loft with Rail commands, key concepts that are difficult to understand, are concisely explained in these exercises. The demonstration of the Protrusion/Cutout tool shows how Vectorworks objects can be modified, much like in SketchUp with its' Push/Pull tool. Extrusions can be added or subtracted from the model in a 3D view through manipulation of the faces of the solid. 3D primitive objects are easily created with the 3D Modeling Tool Set and each is explained: Extruded Rectangle, Extruded Polygon, Cylinder, Sphere, Hemisphere, and Cone. Expanding upon these primitive volumes, the Shell Solid command is used to modify solid objects and create hollow form with a defined wall thickness. 2D or 3D polygons can be used to define a path for the Duplicate Along Path and Extrude Along Path commands. A simple baluster and handrail and a steel section frame or clear-span truss illustrate these concepts. The Simple 3D Modeling section wraps up with the creation of a free form parabolic tent-like structure that illustrates the Vectorworks' powerful potential to create amazing free-form parabolic shapes and structures.

    The second chapter on Architectural Modeling applies the tools learned from the previous lessons to create a site and massing model for a simple shed structure without the use of Vectorworks walls, windows, doors, roof, and digital terrain tools. The site model is developed by creating the contours as NURBS and using the Loft Surface Tool. A driveway is added by taking a polygon and using the Project Tool to send it to the surface of the terrain. Next, the basic form of the shed is created with the use of Extrude, Section Solids, and Split tools. Working Planes are illustrated so that the rectangular forms used to create the door and window openings are placed on the front face of the building instead of the ground plane. The Protrusion/Cutout Tool is used to push and pull the door and window openings on the face of the model. Finally, the roof with overhang is created with a series of commands: Extract Surface, Shell Solid, and the Protrusion/Cutout Tools. This chapter illustrates how Vectorworks can be used to create quick massing models, much in the manner of working with SkecthUp.

    The final chapter, a Bus Stop Project, goes through the work-flow to create a bus stop shelter with an ovoid parabolic roof along with bollards and a trash can. This chapter starts with very quick mention of the use of layers, on which these various components are created, and classes, which in this instance, can be used to assign material texture attributes to objects for rendering. The construction of the complex forms for the bollard and trash can is broken down into simple manageable extrusions that are combined to make the final objects. The lessons learned in previous exercises are reinforced by reapplying them throughout these exercises: Sweep, Extrude, and Solid Addition and Solid Subtraction are all used in composing the street furniture objects. The construction of the bus stop starts by using the Wide Flange tool, from the Detailing Tool Set, to create a basic I-beam plug-in-object that is converted into a NURBS surface to to support to the roof. The ovoid parabolic roof form is constructed through a series of steps that starts with the creation of Bezier polylines converted to NURBS, using the Loft Surface command to create the initial saddle shape. The Project and Trim command works like a cookie cutter to define the oval outline of the roof form by trimming away the unwanted portion. The Shell Solid Tool gives the roof its thickness. The Project Tool is used on the previously created I-beam forms to connect them to the roof plane. Walls are added to create an enclosure around the shelter, and the AEC-Fit Walls to Roof command is invoked to bring the the tops of the walls flush with the roof. Finally, a skylight is added with a series commands using Extrusion, Intersect Solid, and Subtract Solid.
    The book wraps up with the process of putting all of the pieces together to create "scenes" for viewing model. Layer Links bring all of the components together in a unified view. Perspective and Plan views are set up, and a ground plane is added with an entourage of the trash can and bollards, that were created in earlier excises, along with other props and symbols from the Resource Browser.

    This manual is more than a book, Jonathan Pickup has created 60 embedded tutorial movies that demonstrate the steps of each exercise on a companion CD. The manual will bring you to a competent level of 3D capability through exercises aimed at building a foundation of 3D Vectorworks skills that take advantage of Vectorworks' powerful Parasolid modeling capabilities.

  • Vectorworks 2011 has arrived! Sep 14, 2010

    Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc. Releases the Vectorworks 2011 Product Line

    Columbia, Maryland (Sept. 14, 2010)—Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc. is pleased to announce the availability of the 2011 version of its award-winning Vectorworks® line of design software, including: Vectorworks Designer, Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Fundamentals and Renderworks™.

    "Vectorworks 2011 takes a major step in positioning the Vectorworks brand as the AEC 3D technology leader," says Dr. Biplab Sarkar, Chief Technology Officer of Nemetschek Vectorworks. "Taking a page out of the MCAD world, Vectorworks now supports drafting on arbitrary working planes and interactive modeling based on the drafted entities. Vectorworks 2011 also reinforces Vectorworks Architect as a major global BIM product. Users will find the new 3D wall components, floors with components, and improved space and stair objects very useful to create the building model. This release also delivers major improvements on the 2D side. Text and dimension improvements, scalable symbols and tiling are some of the long-awaited features. And, we have vastly improved the performance and quality of the renderings from Renderworks 2011 by integrating the CINEMA 4D render engine."

    The 2011 version of Vectorworks software delivers several major improvements, including:

    * 2D/3D integration. Vectorworks software has now, more than ever, a true 3D modeling environment. 2D planar objects can be created and edited within a planar context, where they display with all their attributes. Users can work in Top/Plan view as usual, or switch to a 3D view and continue working in the same way, with the same tools and operations.
    * Improved Building Information Modeling (BIM) capabilities. The Vectorworks Architect program is even easier to use, and its state-of-the-art capabilities, new tools and features help get the job done faster and better, while communicating and exchanging files with colleagues and partners. It offers a greatly improved space object, along with new 3D wall components, and a new slab tool to enable architects to more accurately model and associate building components.
    * Best-in-class rendering. Renderworks 2011 is faster, easier, and more powerful than any previous version. Now based on the robust CINEMA 4D render engine, the results are breathtaking and easier to achieve. The new engine is fully integrated into Vectorworks software, so users can seamlessly visualize their work throughout the design process, producing clear and accurate renderings. With the click of a button, rendered viewports will update as the design evolves.

    Vectorworks 2011 also includes more than 70 improvements in usability and addresses some long-time wishes, such as the addition of "perfect preview" text editing, new tile fills, improved access to resource libraries and smaller file sizes.

    With the launch of Vectorworks 2011, Nemetschek Vectorworks will expand its subscription option, Vectorworks Service Select, to customers in the U.S. and United Kingdom. This option is also currently available in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, where it was begun as a pilot program last year.

    "Vectorworks Service Select has received a tremendous response from our customers in the markets where it was first launched," says Stewart Rom, Chief Marketing Officer. "We are pleased to be able to offer this option to more Vectorworks users who will now be able to experience the added value this type of service provides."

    For a look at all of the new features by product, as well as feature movies, please visit To learn more about Vectorworks Service Select, visit

    About Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc. Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nemetschek AG and has been developing software since 1985. The Vectorworks line of software products provides professional design solutions for more than 450,000 designers in the AEC, entertainment and landscape design industries. With a tradition of designing flexible, versatile, intuitive and affordable CAD and Building Information Modeling (BIM) solutions, Nemetschek Vectorworks continues to be a global leader in 3D design technologies. For more information, visit

  • Vectorworks 2011 delivers! Sep 14, 2010

    Click here to see all of the improvements in Vectorworks 2011!

  • Vectorworks 2011 Coming September 14 Sep 9, 2010

    Improvements to text editing. WYSIWYG!

  • Vectorworks 2011 Coming September 14 Sep 7, 2010

    German engineering has been at work with improvements to the Push/Pull tool.

  • Vectorworks 2011 Coming September 14 Sep 3, 2010

    Everything that can be done in 2D can be done in 3D! It is now possible to use inference snapping, dimensions, and call-outs in a 3D view!

  • Vectorworks 2011 Coming September 14 Sep 1, 2010

    Nemetschek Vectorworks will be basing its Renderworks application on MAXON's CINEMA 4D render engine which is amazingly fast. With improved speed, rendering quality and 64-bit support, virtually every aspect of the Renderworks experience has been improved.

  • New User Group Website Apr 20, 2010

    Vectorworks User Group of Boston has launched the first phase of our new group web site. Currently you are able to see the schedule and access links to Vectorworks related resources on the internet. You can even submit links of your own.

    Over the next couple of months, we will be introducing new pieces to the website to make it more group driven. Look for a job board, discussions, and more, coming soon.