Vectorworks is one of the leading CAD/BIM applications in the world. Globally, the US-based but German-owned software maker is famous for being the number one Mac CAD application for well over two decades, first as MiniCAD and then renamed as Vectorworks.
Geographically, Vectorworks dominates a limited set of countries, Switzerland being one of them. It has often boasted of being the number one leading CAD application in Japan, the second largest AEC industry in the world behind the United States, and it is also particularly strong in Germany, UK, and Benelux countries.
Vectorworks is the Mac industry’s market share leader and a diversified family of CAD and BIM products with 30 add-on apps that extend its powerful feature set.
In the United States, the largest global economy and the largest AEC industry, Vectorworks has an estimated market share of between 15-20% of architectural firms. This market share is approximate to other rivals, including its sister company, GRAPHISOFT, who all vie for the remaining market share after Autodesk takes the majority of it.
Vectorworks Add-Ons—Notable Items
There are 31 interesting and powerful add-on applications and plugins for Vectorworks below but here are three notable items every Vectorworks user should know about.
The first of these is SmartPaste, developed by G.P.Works in the UK. SmartPaste solves the problem unwanted class proliferation when importing objects or content from other CAD files into your files. You can merge classes associated with the incoming content with your particular in-file class setup. You can also save settings so every time you import your structural engineer’s plans into your plans her classes merge intelligently into your class system setup.
Another useful plugin is AnimationWorks by OzCAD of Australia. This brings more complex animation options to Vectorworks’ built-in animation features, such as defining camera paths, class visibility animation, which helps set up a sophisticated appearance or “move in” movies, sophisticated camera setups that can be aimed at fixed or moving objects, object animation and much more. The third notable plugin is for Modelo, which as a cloud-based model viewing, annotation, collaboration and 360-degree experience platform offers Vectorworks users powerful options for their clients and teams.
INDEX 03: Vectorworks Workflows and Add-Ons
Here we have listed all Vectorworks Add-on Applications and Plugins that support the Mac OS X platform, along with Windows in most cases. There are 31 apps in this list.
Here we have listed all Vectorworks Add-on Applications and Plugins that support the Mac OS X platform, along with Windows in most cases.
- 3D Dimension Converter — Converts Dimensions into 3D objects ready for your Isometric dimensioned view.
- AnimationWorks — Add-on for creating complex camera animations.
- Audio Toolset 2 — a suite of tools used to create loudspeaker 3d models in various arrays. Can be useful for checking basic audio coverage.
- Beam Draw 4 — another plugin aimed at the entertainment industry, it helps visualize lighting angles and coverage. There are numerous other plugins for this industry here by this same developer.
- Calendar + Event Label — An easy-to-use pair of plug-ins for creating fully customizable calendars, retro-plans, or project schedules with event labels directly within Vectorworks.
- connectCAD — Software add-on that lets you design and keep track of cables in connected systems. Used in audio-visual, broadcast, lighting, and IT the world over.
- Custom Beams — A plug-in tool for creating wooden and extruded beams.
- DeckWorks Plugin by Trex® — A plug-in tool for designing outdoor living spaces in 2D and 3D.
- Baseboard v1 — a plugin for creating baseboard profiles more quickly than the common extrude methods, with ready-to-use profiles, editability, and more.
- Downspouts — easily add gutter and downspout designs to your BIM models.
- Elements — a flexible plugin for creating repeating extruded elements for uses like sun shades, claddings, weatherboards and more.
- ElementsCAD for Vectorworks — another powerful plugin add-on for the creation of cabinetry developed in Germany.
- Furniture v2 — an advanced plugin for creating furniture 3D models quickly using a notation code system that drives parametric-generated objects.
- Frames v1 — a plugin that allows the parametric creation of framed mirrors or pictures, with 16 ready-to-use profiles with parametric dimensions.
- interiorcad for Vectorworks — based on Vectorworks this product is aimed at detailed cabinet and kitchen design, built to high standards the software is made in Germany and distributed to many countries, the US not being one of them however.
- iSymbol Vectorworks — less a plugin and more a collection of elaborate landscape design symbols for use in Vectorworks. The company makes extensive symbols for Vectorworks and other CAD programs.
- interiors xs — similar to the full-featured interiorcad for Vectorworks but with less features.
- Intuitive Tools — a free collection of Vectorworks plugins from the folks behind SmartPaste.
- Lightwright 6 — The Lightwright to Vectorworks data exchange helps users better manage their professional lighting documents. Lightwright is a Mac and Windows application and a gold standard in the entertainment industry.
- MiniCAD Translater — An Australia users only conversion application.
- Modelo — a plugin for Vectorworks that enables users to upload their 3D models directly into Modelo’s web browser-based presentation and collaboration platform. Modelo is used by some leading architecture firms, like Vinoly, KPF, LMN, and others.
- Panel Wizard — originally used to create complicated grids on the fly, this plugin is excellent for spacing items across complicated grid arrangements and will save you time.
- Ribbon Tools — this plugin is an excellent tool for drawing double-wall sections like those used for alum. windows. Superior to the double-line poly tool because it can provide radii for corners.
- Progressive — a plugin that converts a string of comma-separated progressive dimensions into a graphical element. This is pretty useful in many situations.
- SimTread — this is a powerful simulation and analysis program for doing pedestrian simulation inside of Vectorworks. It assists in life safety design for architects and was originally developed in a Japanese University.
- SmartPaste — this plugin app smartly manages the copy and paste function when content is exchanged across different files, merging any incoming class with existing classes so that they are not “automatically” added to your file. But the plugin can do even more when importing objects from external consultants.
- topeScope 2.3 — this little app is useful for viewing solid models created on Vectorworks and saved to the STL format for 3D printing, for example. In the app, the user can find errors and then correct them back in Vectorworks. (Mac OS X)
- TouchCAD — like topeScope 2.3, this program too is a stand-alone software that works in VW workflows, users can unfold complex model shapes in TouchCAD. Not just for that, TouchCAD is useful for more complex modeling, sheet-metal unfolding, and reverse-engineering. (Mac OS X)
- WinDoor — An add-on plugin for handling complex design of doors and windows in Vectorworks. Ships for free in Australia and New Zealand Vectorworks distributions.
- VectorMEP 2018 — formerly Extensio, this powerful plugin is to design and model duct and piping systems within Vectorworks. It comes in VectorMEP Basic and VectorMEP Premium versions.
- Vectorworks 3D Printing Plugin — plugin from German 3YOURMIND, it takes your model and analyzes it, repairs it, and can scale it in preparation for 3D printing.
Growing This List
Have we missed a key Vectorworks Add-On software package or plugin? If you think so please email us at [email protected] and tell us about it. We will be sure to add it to the list at the next update AND we will give you a complimentary annual subscription to Architosh INSIDER premium membership.
series index page: Mac App Guides for CAD/CAM/3D/AEC industries.
Speaking of which. Architosh will be reviewing and updating all our App Lists on a regular basis. See the dates below.
List Update Log
25 Nov 2017 — Creation Date