Next a true BIM application
should allow you to actually work in 3D -- with your
BIM model and the primary tools that generate its primary
This is different than saying a BIM program should have
advanced free-form modeling (NURBS-based). VectorWorks
has had NURBS-based
modeling for years and it outshines all other BIM programs
in this category. But the ability to actually make and
edit a wall, for instance, in 3d view is actually new.
capabilities extend to inserting doors and window elements
too. (see QT-09)
- In this QuickTime we show the new 3D wall create,
edit and modify elements features.
Lastly, anybody considering
their 3D CAD application a BIM today must have support for
exchanging data via IFC (industry foundation classes by IAI,
the International Alliance for Interoperability). VectorWorks
Architect 2008 adds support for this key interoperability
VectorWorks Architect 2008 offers very nice
small improvements that many other reviews seem to miss mentioning.
A key one is the new object-based opacity control. VectorWorks
has led the CAD industry with CAD color transparency in version
12 but this was limited to the Macintosh side of the application.
Now both Mac and Windows users have object-level transparency/opacity
options, utilizing the underlying graphics architecture of
both operating systems (Mac
OS X/Windows Vista).
The Resource Browser has several nice improvements,
including a useful new Home button for better navigation
as well as the ability to export resources from your active
file (or any file that is open) to another file that is essentially
not open. This means in teamwork situations individual team
members can contribute key shared resources by sending them
upstream into project-template.vwx files or other master
A key aspect of building design for US General
Services Administration (GSA) is the utilization of BIM and
the ability to attach associated data to the industry standard
for Space objects. The Create Walls from Spaces command
has added the ability to offset the exterior
wall by using the custom offset of its wall style.
Finally, Adobe PDF support -- which is already
very solid in VectorWorks 12 -- has been improved in 2008
with the support for PDF bookmarks generated via the batch
Export PDF command. And lastly VectorWorks 2008 supports
AutoCAD 2007/2008 and other key file formats.
There is no doubting it now, VectorWorks Architect
2008 is a true BIM application by just about any definition.
Like all BIMs (and there are really only five (ie: ArchiCAD,
Microstation, Revit and VectorWorks Architect)
future major contenders in the market, VectorWorks 2008 has
weaknesses and some strengths. One of its weaknesses is in
the area of integration between pre-built parametric objects
and advanced complex geometry. All BIMs are weak here so
in some sense all are strong. But as more architects push
the boundaries of complex form in their building designs,
this area of competition forms a sort of "space race"
in the BIM industry between the major contenders. VectorWorks'
advanced built-in NURBS modeling puts it in good position
currently it is not the leader. It also suffers from a weaker
position in regards to other types of integration (cost
estimation being one of them) and BIM to 3rd party BIM tools
-- used for
various analysis, engineering and facilities management.
On the flip side it outshines the rest of the
industry in superb 2D CAD integration within the product
itself. It is also a more flexible BIM package in regards
to the fact that many BIM-based projects are actually implemented
as a mixture of BIM and traditional 2D CAD.
For existing VectorWorks Architect users looking
to test the BIM waters this is your bus stop. And if you
decide moving to BIM is still not right for you at this time,
the many 2D creature comforts added to this version will
value and efficiency to your work. For those now looking
to jump from "whatever-2D-CAD" program you currently
use to a true BIM workflow, VectorWorks Architect 2008 must
be included in your considerations. ---- Anthony
Architect 2008 -
- Massive update
provides tremendous value. We are impressed with
the reach Nemetschek took on the BIM front.
- Generally a leader
in value in the CAD world; it is still a freshmen
in the BIM world.
- Killer features
in this update include its new design-layer viewports
w/ xRef capability, layer overrides in viewports
and the awesome rotate tool.
- Solid help system
and good BIM support materials; QuickTime tutorial
materials that are free (on the Web) are few.
- Neither the cheetah
nor the lumbering lion in the BIM field or the
CAD field. However, this version felt just as fast
if not faster than the previous version.
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15 April 2008