While many of our stories feature events from around the world, we’re excited to share some news from our own backyard. Last Thursday, we attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new Innovation + Prototyping Lab at the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE) in Columbia, Maryland. The lab is part of 3D Maryland, an initiative of the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) that we’re supporting to increase engagement with 3D printing and additive manufacturing.

Ribbon Cutting

The ribbon cutting to officially open the Innovation + Prototyping Lab in Columbia, MD.

The Executive Director of 3D Maryland, Jan Baum, stated that 3D Maryland has already received support from the private sector, government, and educational communities. “Thanks to the support we have received from Howard County, 3D Maryland is also getting national attention. We want to take advantage of that momentum and create new opportunities here by helping business, industry, and entrepreneurs learn how to leverage these new technologies to increase their competitive advantage and grow their businesses.”

3DMDModel

A 3D-printed model of the Arboleda building displayed at the new Innovation + Prototyping Lab.

The new space is outfitted with workstations, professional software, and four 3D printers and will soon host seminars, workshops, classes, and training for both businesses and individuals who want to learn more about 3D printing. Displays from various companies and organizations that support 3D Maryland’s cause are also showcased at the new facility. This includes a 1:360 scaled, 3D building information model designed in Vectorworks Designer software by Nemetschek Vectorworks’ industry specialists and produced by Direct Dimensions using 3D Model to Print (3DMTP) software.

“This state-of-art Innovation + Prototyping Lab is a significant technology milestone for the state of Maryland,” said Nemetschek Vectorworks’ Vice President of Integrated Practice Robert Anderson. “Nemetschek Vectorworks is an avid supporter of 3D Maryland and we’re delighted to collaborate with HCEDA and MCE on this initiative to build greater awareness and engagement of 3D technology locally.”

Visit the 3D Maryland website to learn more about their mission and also about their expert user group.

Our architectural design software, Vectorworks Architect, recently took home the Popular Choice Award in the 2014 Architizer A+ Awards’ Products +Apps category — and we have you to thank for it because your votes made it all possible!

Now in its second year, The Architizer A+ Awards are the definitive global architectural award program with 60+ categories, 200+ judges and a world of design enthusiasts around the globe – like you – who vote for their favorites. Winners such as Vectorworks Architect software are honored alongside projects chosen by the jury.

“We are thrilled to receive an Architizer A+ Award and the vote of confidence from the global architecture community that it represents,” said Jeremy Powell, director of product marketing at Nemetschek Vectorworks. “Our loyal, renowned and award-winning customers repeatedly tell us how much they rely on Vectorworks Architect’s robust, all-in-one capabilities to work efficiently, accurately and win more business. Having them validate those sentiments with their votes is gratifying and illustrates that the design community values the creative freedom that Vectorworks provides.”

Read about some of our enthusiastic Vectorworks Architect users on our Success Stories page.

We’ve entered into an exciting partnership with Synchro Software Ltd. to provide truly open and flexible collaboration between architectural modeling and construction planning BIM tools. Synchro Software is one of the world’s leading providers for project management and project scheduling solutions for the building industry.

The partnership is a logical one as both companies are already committed leaders to the proliferation of open BIM workflows in design and construction and work arduously to improve efficiencies through the implementation of open standards-based data exchange. In addition, we both support the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) file format as an interoperability solution for our customers.

“We believe systems interoperability is as important as supporting 3D data in our 4D BIM for construction planning and scheduling solution,” said Tom Dengenis, CEO of Synchro Software Ltd. “Our support for IFC dates back to 2008. We decided back then for clear strategic reasons to focus on Vectorworks, the clear leader in IFC, to guide our import and synchronization capabilities. From the start, and to this day, we singularly focus on developing and testing our capabilities with Vectorworks as the authoring system.”

The press release announcing this new partnership is linked below.

You can also read about a recent example of a large BIM project — the construction of two metro subway stations in Sao Paulo, Brazil — that used Synchro and Vectorworks Architect software. For this project, the Consortium Heleno & Fonseca and the TIISA used BIM technology to support their study and planning of the stations. Workflow benefits included more speed and accuracy in generating studies about construction scheduling alternatives, greater versatility and speed in decision-making, the creation of informative video presentations for external stakeholders, and the visualization of structures and equipment in different project phases.

When your founder lives the motto, “Architecture should simply be fun,” going to work each day must be an absolute joy! Such is the case for the team at Livingpool Architecture and Design in Vienna, Austria, which Klaus Heissbauer founded in 2001. The firm focuses primarily on private housing projects, including family homes and loft conversions, and employs Vectorworks Architect with Renderworks software to blend their appreciation for the beauty of architecture with smart technology. We recently had the chance to explore a few of this firm’s projects, and we’re sharing them in a new user success story linked below.

The story begins by detailing the renovation of Heissbauer’s own home. He calls the residence Project Home, aptly named because it forced him to discern how an architect builds his own hillside house. Next, we showcase a single-family home with an integrated office and standalone garage in Amstetten (Lower Austria). This residence was designed as a split-level to imitate the property’s slope. The last project featured is a low-energy, modern, single-family home in Neuhofen (Upper Austria) built using a wood-frame design with wooden flooring.

“When I tried Vectorworks for the first time, its user-friendliness impressed me more than anything else,” said Heissbauer, who was able to customize his use of the software, which enabled him to work intuitively. The Viennese architect has been an enthusiastic user ever since. “Naturally, as a student, you look up to great architects,” he added. “So the fact that the office of Daniel Libeskind works with Vectorworks certainly reinforced my decision to work with this software.”

“Vectorworks meets my architecture and technology needs,” he said. “It makes the work easier for us, and we are nevertheless able to let our creativity blossom to its fullest. We are, and will remain, loyal to Vectorworks.”

In addition to running his architecture firm, Heissbauer oversees a second company, unlimited software KG, which offers training to Vectorworks users in Austria as a partner of ComputerWorks GmbH, our global distribution partner in Germany.

Visit our website to view the complete Livingpool Architecture and Design user success story.

Images © Klaus Heissbauer, Vienna

Are you a talented and innovative designer? Are you developing projects that positively impact communities? Are you solving design problems that address academic, civic, or social concerns? If so, you may be eligible for a Vectorworks Academic Research Grant.

Our grant program supports activities that encourage, preserve, and communicate the best approaches to solving global design issues. Candidates can represent any design-related discipline, and both individuals and groups are encouraged to submit projects.

“As a leader in the global design software industry, we have a duty to support the design community with the resources they need to turn pioneering ideas into reality,” said the company’s Chief Marketing Officer Stewart Rom. “Nemetschek Vectorworks is therefore proud to invest in the future by funding projects that apply novel approaches to pressing design challenges, share breakthrough learning models, and positively impact the built environment.”

Vectorworks Academic Research Grants will be provided in U.S. dollars to pay for expenses related to the following types of projects:

  • Designing or marketing a public space that incorporates humane design concepts and principles or is of historic importance
  • Increasing awareness of an idea or solution through educational avenues (e.g., an individual developing a curriculum, arranging a symposium, establishing a program or department, or writing a textbook/resource guide on the subject)
  • Disseminating information for greater public/professional awareness

Our distributor in the Benelux region, Design Express, held Vectorworks User Days in Antwerp, Belgium on March 18 and in Utrecht, the Netherlands on March 20. Nearly 800 people attended workshops on topics including architecture and BIM, interior design, 2D presentation techniques, intuitive sketching in 3D, landscape and garden design, and more.

Guest presentations were given by Robbrecht & Daem, BUUR, and Studio Dott in Antwerp and TROMP Partners Architecten, kienontwerp, and Satelliet in Utrecht. Recordings of these presentations are available (in Dutch) on the Vectorworks Benelux YouTube channel.

We were thrilled to meet the student winners of our Conference Pass Giveaway last month at the USITT Annual Conference & Stage ExpoLAbash 2014, and PLANET Student Career Days. The contest provided free conference admission, including hotel expenses, to three winners based on their responses to an essay question.

Kate Harrow Frank Brault from Nemetschek Vectorworks at USITT 2014

Kate Harrow, from the University of Southern California, wowed us with her essay about the value of attending USITT: “I’m a strong believer in the idea that every shop or theatre you work in adds to your metaphorical tool belt. Whether it’s a new method of painting something or a new kind of jig, we can learn so much from one another in this industry. This makes USITT intriguing and exciting because all of these people from all over the country have come together to make us all better at what we do. It’s beautiful.”

Ryoma Tominaga, from the University of California, Davis, expressed his passion for great design and his hope to meet others in his industry at LAbash who might help him propel his dreams forward: “Great design is design that is never finished. What makes design great is relative to how well an individual can find an outlet for said work to be recognized. The 2014 LAbash held in Wisconsin is exactly the right outlet for myself and other students, who want to realize their dreams, to connect with the right colleagues, professionals, and leaders in the industry to drive forward progress in themselves and the surrounding environment.”

Ryoma Tominaga (far left) has breakfast with members of the Vectorworks team at LAbash 2014.

Chris Cannon, from West Virginia University, cited the importance of making connections with industry professionals at PLANET Student Career Days: “As a student, I feel as though the more professionals I interact with, and create relationships with, I am able to better myself for the future. Although I am aiming to meet with companies at the career fair to obtain full-time employment after this school year, this is not the only reason to meet with new professionals. Meeting with professionals that can help lead me in the right direction down the road, and reach out to about other information in regards to my field of landscape architecture, is of significant importance to my future profession.”

Chris Cannon (left) networks with Nemetschek Vectorworks’ Eric Gilbey at PLANET Student Career Days

We just opened entries for students to win FREE conference passes and hotel costs for to the Live Design Broadway Lighting Master Classes, May 30-June 1 in New York City, and the 2014 AIA National Convention, June 26-28 in Chicago. Visit our Conference Pass Giveaway site to learn more.

Winner Gabriel Bristow (left) is congratulated by Frank Brault from Nemetschek Vectorworks at the Behind the Scenes booth at USITT.

Congratulations to Gabriel Bristow, winner of this year’s Behind the Scenes raffle. The raffle took place at the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo, and as the grand prize winner, Bristow received a professional license of Vectorworks Spotlight with Renderworks software.

The annual raffle and auction is sponsored by the ESTA Foundation and The Long Reach Long Riders to benefit Behind the Scenes, which provides financial support to entertainment technology industry professionals when they are ill or injured or to their surviving family members. Funds can be used for medical care, basic living costs, and funeral expenses. This year’s event raised more than $12,000 USD for the charity. To learn more, visit the ESTA Foundation website.

Here’s a roundup of recent tech news you may have missed.

At the end of March, we released the third service pack for Vectorworks 2014, which fixes a hanging issue for Windows 8 users when closing Vectorworks, as well as an issue that caused Vectorworks to switch from OpenGL to Hidden Line rendering when saving. Also, several improvements related to section viewports, OpenGL rendering in non-unified views, and IFC import/export have been made. Please visit our Knowledgebase to learn more.

Want to know more about 2D and 3D loci? Check out this tech tip video on the Vectorworks YouTube channel:

And we have two new additions to our Worksheet Basics video series. This one demonstrates how to include only certain objects in a list:

And this tutorial shows how to add the finishing touches to the format and appearance of your worksheet:

We’ve posted other new videos on YouTube, demonstrating the Oval Tool, the Regular Polygon Tool, and more, to help you get the most out of your Vectorworks software.

The Chinese-language version of Vectorworks 2014 is now available. Mad Macs, the Vectorworks distributor in China, will host launch events in Shanghai on April 9, Beijing on April 16, and Guangzhou on April 23 to demonstrate the software’s new features and capabilities and how the program supports BIM workflows. Attendees will have the opportunity to win a free license of Vectorworks software and other prizes. In addition to these live events, Mad Macs will offer an online webinar on April 29.

“It’s important for us to meet with our customers at in-person events like these, and as Vectorworks 2014 has been rolled out around the world, we’ve been pleased to receive strong, positive feedback from our users,” said Stewart Rom, chief marketing officer at Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc. “Some of the most popular enhancements to this version have been the new Fast Interactive Display, direct referencing of DWG files and the new publish command.”

To learn more about the launch events, please click here.