We’ve always known that Nemetschek Vectorworks is a great place to work, but now you don’t have to just take our word for it. Our company has been selected as one of The Washington Post Top Workplaces in the Greater Washington area for 2014. Only 150 companies achieved this distinction.

“Our employees do great things, and we have an exceptional Human Resources team and event staff that provide them with a great environment in which to work,” said Sean Flaherty, CEO of Nemetschek Vectorworks. “As we continue to grow as a company, this accolade will help us to attract the best and brightest minds to be a part of our team.”

In the past few years, our business has grown rapidly, and we are always on the lookout for talented, motivated individuals to come be a part of our team as either full-time employees or as paid interns. Check out our jobs board to explore our current opportunities.

Step inside the offices of M Group Architects & Interior Architects as Michael Timchek and Karen Lewis share the firm’s philosophy and scope of work, discuss how their workspace enables collaborative design, and reflect on how they create spaces that elevate how their clients do business. Timchek also describes how OpenGL walkthroughs, workgroup referencing, and working in 3D with BIM in Vectorworks Architect software informs the firm’s designs and leads to a better result.

After watching the video, read M Group’s Success Story on our web site, or visit our Success Stories YouTube channel to watch other Vectorworks users share their insights on the future of design, projects they love, and more!

We recently bolstered our growing library of Partner Product solutions, so that you can experience conceptual 3D models in a new way. Using Inglobe Technologies’ AR-media™ plug-in for Vectorworks software, designers, architects, and engineers can take advantage of augmented reality technology to virtually present and interact with georeferenced models on both iOS and Android devices. Additionally, you can visualize designs directly from your desktop computer while in the office with a webcam and printed custom marker.

The AR-media plug-in, for use on mobile devices, takes advantage of georeferenced coordinates you assign within Vectorworks software. The exported file, created from the plug-in, can then be visualized using the free AR-media Player without the need of Vectorworks or the AR-media plug-in installed on your smartphone or tablet. In addition, you may download the AR-media Player for Mac OS X and Windows desktop operating systems.

“Over the last year, I’ve been playing extensively with the AR-media suite, mainly for Vectorworks,” said James Russell, CAD design lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. “AR-media makes the often daunting transition from the virtual world to the physical world seamless, which, to the foreign observer, seems like magic.”

Users like Russell are finding success with the AR-media plug-in for Vectorworks and its ability to demonstrate how a design will engage with a given site. Plus, features like real-time marker tracking, custom marker creation, and real-time sections and shadows help create a virtually interactive and unique presentation experience for each project.

Inglobe Technologies’ CTO Alessandro Terenzi says his company is planning to release a new version of the plug-in and free player at the end of this summer. Users can expect several new features, he says, such as complex projects configurations (i.e., projects can be organized in arbitrary ways for visualization and presentation purposes), an advanced real-time tracking engine that allows people to use photographs and blueprints as tracking targets, as well as any real object ranging from those that are small in size to those that are large like entire buildings or construction sites. There will also be rendering quality and performance improvements, and advancements to the integration capability of your designs with the Vectorworks Graphical User Interface and workflow. View a demo of some of the upcoming features.

Visit Inglobe’s website to learn more and download the plug-in and viewer.

An English version of SimTread 2, a pedestrian simulation program, is now available as a plug-in exclusively for Vectorworks 2014 software. Developed through a partnership between A&A Co. Ltd., Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, and Takenaka Corporation, SimTread lets you simulate and analyze crowd movement and plan evacuations using tools that integrate into projects you’ve already designed. The plug-in works for both Mac and Windows.

“SimTread lets Vectorworks users design with confidence by identifying crowded areas and factors that inhibit or change circulation flow,” said Dr. Biplab Sarkar, Chief Technology Officer at Nemetschek Vectorworks. “It therefore expedites the iterative design process and helps to determine the best designs for safe traffic flows. Plus, several new features enhance SimTread’s crowd movement simulations, such as creating events that trigger action, the addition of wheelchair objects, and being able to program barriers to appear or disappear, mimicking actions such as the opening and closing of doors.”

SimTread’s safety and planning features let you add disaster preparedness information into your designs. The plug-in is therefore perfect for public safety, facilities management, and event, municipal, or campus planning professionals, ensuring that when your project goes to bid, you can show that you’re ready for anything and that you have the graphs and charts to prove it. You can easily generate simulations by creating destinations, specifying wall, column, and furniture locations, and then inserting people into your design. You can even adjust the traveling speeds to account for children, older people, and people who use wheelchairs.

“Creating simulations with SimTread is easy, and you don’t need to be a CAD or BIM expert to use it,” said Rubina Siddiqui, Assoc. AIA, Senior Product Specialist—BIM Solutions at Nemetschek Vectorworks. “The tool is intuitive, giving Vectorworks users the flexibility they need to create simulations based on their Vectorworks drawings or on various file formats imported into Vectorworks, such as PDF, image, and DWG files.”

Watch a demo video here, and visit our industry partners page to learn more.

Earlier this month, our own Industry Product Specialist Frank Brault led a weeklong class at the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas on the theatrical applications of digital drafting. During his intensive session, Brault shared career advice gleaned from his more than 30 years of industry experience and taught design techniques using various CAD programs, including Vectorworks Spotlight software.

Jim Woodward – Exhibit Logic

Brault’s class covered everything from the fundamentals of Vectorworks software to some of the more hidden gems that help designers work more efficiently. We thought we’d share them with you, too:

  1. Use Container Objects: Container objects wrap a shell of values around some geometry, so you can edit both parts separately. Container objects make it easier to create and edit complex objects. Extrudes, Solids, Viewports, Spaces, Plants, and Lighting Devices are all examples of Containers in the Vectorworks software.
  2. Take Advantage of Stacking Order: You can manipulate the order of objects as they are drawn with the Send to Back and Send to Front menu commands. With these commands, you can place a filled object (e.g., a table) partially on top of a set of chairs, so that the chairs appear tucked in without cutting them in half.
  3. Utilize Resources: Resources reduce a file’s size and make it easy to manage repeated elements in the model. Resource instances in a document can be edited globally by adjusting the definition in the Resource Browser.
  4. Automatically Set Working Planes: You can set the working plane automatically when you use planar objects such as the Rectangle or Circle object. This lets you work on any plane without having to draw first on the ground plane and then align the object to the desired plane.
  5. Locate Objects with Snapping: Snapping is used to accurately locate specific points on objects in the model without measuring. This saves time and increases accuracy while building and editing a model. Vectorworks software’s snapping works best when engaged continuously, so just set it and forget it. This feature makes it intuitive to find points in space by displaying a cue or screen hint.

Jim Woodward – Exhibit Logic

Brault’s curriculum also included time spent outside the classroom as students went behind-the-scenes at various productions to learn about stagecraft hands-on. Brault wanted students to understand the depth of their work. “It’s not just about lighting a show; rather, it’s about how you can bring your area of expertise to make the show a conceptual experience,” Brault said. “It’s about how the lighting can enhance the whole production, the scenery, script, music, etc.”

 

Are you ready to learn more about Vectorworks Spotlight? Visit our Training page for details about self-paced tutorials, as well as our classroom, on-site, and virtual education offerings.

 

We’ve just released the latest update to the 3D Modeling with Vectorworks training manual. So if you’re ready to turn simple designs into advanced, complex shapes and produce professional-quality 3D models, be sure to add this book to your library today.

Through written step-by-step instruction, informative videos, and practical tutorials, author and expert Vectorworks trainer Jonathan Pickup covers everything from understanding tools and commands to developing basic models and creating final projects. Pickup also reveals how to maximize your creative potential by drawing with objects rather than lines and placing those drawings on working planes in order to produce advanced models using simple tools.

“This manual covers one of the best capabilities of Vectorworks software, creating 3D models,” Pickup said. “It is really fun and rewarding to create the forms you want and be able to move around them to view your work from different angles.”

This sixth edition of the 3D Modeling with Vectorworks manual ships as a hard copy with a DVD-ROM containing exercise folders. Pickup wrote the update for Vectorworks 2014 software.

Start your next project in 3D! U.S. customers can order the manual online on our eStore. For sales outside the U.S., contact your local distributor.

Running out of office space is a typical issue businesses face, but addressing that problem with repurposed shipping containers sitting atop one’s roof is certainly unusual. Luckily for our eager minds and eyes, a confident architectural team that designs with Vectorworks software did just that at the KRAFTWERK building in Wil, Switzerland.

Roger Edelmann of Arson Architektur AG used Vectorworks Architect software to figure out how to transform two, 45-foot-long metal boxes into a 13.7m by 2.43m office space that was both comfortable and functional. The program allowed Edelmann to tackle some major issues that arose from using such a unique building material, as even small alterations to the structure of a shipping container can cause it to collapse. Using Vectorworks Architect, Edelmann could design freely and explore multiple solutions to the challenges he faced while accounting for vapor diffusion, thermal insulation, and heat recovery ventilation.

Edelmann actually created a space so stylish and different that midway through the process, one of the building’s tenants, a fitness center owner, said he liked the project so much that he wondered if the intended office space could be converted into a modern living space he could inhabit. Edelmann liked the idea and invited IKEA to join the project team, relying on their knowledge about small-space living to furnish the apartment with a full bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, living room, dining room, study, and a sizeable terrace. Edelmann used Vectorworks Architect software’s extensive library of design symbols to add even more individuality to this already one-of-a-kind apartment, using portholes as windows to remind the owner about the oceanic origins of his new home.

What problems have you creatively solved with Vectorworks software? Tweet @Vectorworks and share your story.

Photos © IKEA and Arson Architektur AG

 

If you’re heading to the AIA Convention 2014 in Chicago later this month, be sure to stop by the Vectorworks booth (#3251). We’re offering a dynamic lineup of presentations from award-winning architects and industry specialists, plus the to chance win Wacom Intuos® Pro tablets, learn practical applications of BIM with Vectorworks software, and enter the 2014 Architectural Record Cocktail Napkin Sketch Contest.

Our booth presenters will provide all the information you need to successfully turn your 2D ideas into 3D, bid-ready realities. Nathan Kipnis, AIA, LEED BD+C, principal of Kipnis Architecture + Planning, starts things off on Thursday, June 26, with insight into how Vectorworks can help to improve the LEED rating of your design. On Friday, June 27, catch Peter Exley, FAIA, director of architecture at architectureisfun, who will share how he uses Vectorworks software to combine input from kids, clients, and communities into his designs, creating fun yet practical buildings that improve the quality of cities and neighborhoods. Werner Sabo, FAIA, Esq., construction attorney and architect at Sabo & Zahn, follows Exley and will teach attendees about the legal hurdles involved with using BIM, ensuring that your design goes from the screen to the construction site without a hitch.

Check out the entire booth schedule here.

Our own architectural industry and BIM specialists will also be available throughout the convention to demonstrate how Vectorworks software provides the tools needed to transition from CAD to BIM, and create clean and concise documents while still working with your team’s unique workflow.

In addition, booth visitors can enter the 2014 Architectural Record Cocktail Napkin Sketch Contest, sponsored by Nemetschek Vectorworks. Architects and related professionals can share their creative concepts on five-inch-by-five-inch cocktail napkins, and all finalists will get their designs published in Architectural Record and in their online gallery. Grand-prize winners will also receive a box of napkins printed with their sketches. “For decades, architects have been famous for using cocktail napkins to sketch out their architectural ideas,” said Laura Viscusi, vice president of McGraw-Hill Construction Media and publisher of Architectural Record, GreenSource and SNAP. “We are delighted to have Nemetschek Vectorworks as a second-year sponsor.”

Finally, enter our daily drawing for a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet. You can enter at our booth and then learn about all the ways Vectorworks software can empower your BIM workflow. Hope to see you in the Windy City!

In this month’s tech roundup, we’re featuring the final videos created in the Worksheet Basics series. Be sure to visit our YouTube channel if you have yet to see the first three videos in this series.

This video will explain how to only display specific types of objects that are selected in a Vectorworks worksheet.

 

This is the final video in the Worksheet Basics series. This video will demonstrate how to add finishing touches to your Vectorworks worksheet, such as format and appearance.

 

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on the latest tips and tricks in Vectorworks software.

Graduation ceremonies are wrapping up here in the United States, so we wanted to similarly wrap up our series of articles with tips for emerging professionals. This time, we sought career advice from Vectorworks users in the world of landscape architecture/design and urban planning. Hope you find these words of wisdom useful!

Design by Graham Landscape Architecture. Photo courtesy of Maxwell Mackenzie.

Jay Graham, FASLA, President, Landscape Architect and Architect, Graham Landscape Architecture, Annapolis, Maryland:

  • When applying for jobs, if a firm says there are no openings, ask for an information interview. You will get so much in return from seeing multiple offices. When else can you have access to so many different design firms?
  • In your portfolio, try to show your process, not just final products. People want to understand how you think.

Todd Marshall McCurdy, FASLA, Vice President, Director of Landscape Architecture + Planning, MORRIS, Orlando, Florida:

  • Even if you were the star of your graduating class, your education has just begun! Be humble, be open-minded, be willing to collaborate, and continue to learn.
  • Don’t let changes knock you off guard. Instead, take them in stride, and see if you can improve your previous work by including them in a creative way. Ask questions, but think, too!
  • Join ASLA, and get involved. It’s a great way to network, meet people in your profession, and find a mentor. Learn from your peers how to speak, how to think, and how to see the world.
  • Whether you use markers, colored pencils, 3D computer models, or some combination thereof, the most important thing to learn is composition. There should be a focal point in your composition that your eye is drawn to, and any elements, people, cars, trees, bike racks, parking meters, light poles, etc. that you add should improve the composition; if they don’t, leave them out.

Design by McGregor Coxall.

Adrian McGregor, FAILA, RLA, MAIH, MPIA, Managing Director, McGregor Coxall, Sydney, Australia:

  • Approach your first gig with an open mind and make an effort to meet and mingle with your new team. Be inquisitive and ask people what they are working on. Most will be proud to explain what they are doing, and you will gain valuable insight into the kinds of work the firm is undertaking. Try to build friendships and be a team player.
  • Make an effort to volunteer for different assignments that may be outside your comfort zone. By challenging yourself, you will learn more quickly and develop a portfolio of skills.
  • Become conversant with 3D modeling as it will help hone your design ability.

Janine Pattison, MSGD, MBALI, Director, Janine Pattison Studios, London, United Kingdom:

  • Never miss the opportunity to visit gardens. Each one can teach you something — a new landscaping material, a new way of using it, or an inspired planting combination.
  • Stay alert to what you can learn from other creative fields — theatre design, art, and architecture can give you new inspiration and a new way of looking at things.

To learn more about some of the projects these designers have completed with Vectorworks Landmark software, read our Landscape Success Stories. Also, be sure to check out the products, services, and resources available through our student2PRO program to help you launch your career.

Congratulations once again to our recent graduates!