Nemetschek North America's
2008 is easily the company's
most ambitious update in the history of the program since
name from MiniCAD to VectorWorks. There are several notable
aspects to why this is so, but far and away the most noteworthy
reason for this update being its most breathtaking is the
progress the company has made with VectorWorks Architect
2008 as a true multi-user, building information modeling
(BIM) application for the architecture market. The company
has tackled convincingly true teamwork functionality through
the use of "true external file referencing," centralized
CAD management, and an array of BIM goodness, including
the all important Industry
Foundation Classes (IFC 2x3) data
However, before we look at all that, we'll
delve into the broad array of feature improvements in the
core version of VectorWorks (Fundamentals).
General Improvements: Fundamentals
We'll start off this review by looking
at some of the core improvements and this begins with the
user interface itself. The VectorWorks UI has always been
relatively simple compared to many of its CAD/BIM peers.
The challenge with any software designer is keeping the user
interface uncluttered, organized and logical while adding
more features and functionality. In VectorWorks 2008 Nemetschek
North America has made some minor but very smart improvements
while maintaining the simplicity and elegance of its classic
Mac graphics software heritage. Gone are the view-related
tools at the bottom of the main window. Instead the view
bar contains such items as Zoom controls, Fit to Objects,
Fit to Area, and some brand new tools such as the new rotate
functionality and the new "floating data bar" (head's
up display). (see
images 01 – 02).
- Click on this image to see the whole horizontal
new data bar. Note the teapot icon represents rendering
modes; the teapot is an icon within the 3d graphics
- The new "floating data bar" display system controls
visibility here in the drop-down menu. Click on this
read the various options.
Numerical input has always been
in the program, it was just not under the cursor where it
is far more efficient. Of course, there are legacy modes
still available so those who do not like such functionality
can optionally utilize the old data
options in image 02– floating data bar).
Head's Up Display and Other Improvements
The new Head's Up Display or "floating data
bar" marks a major improvement for users who do an intense
input. Essentially, it locates the data bar under the cursor
and the user has several degrees of control with it. Most
users will likely always utilize the floating data bar but
some might prefer to invoke it by hitting the Tab key, which
is an option.
The floating data bar allows you to swiftly
create objects of precise shape directly under the cursor.
Watch this series of QuickTime movies as we create a piece
of furniture with exact dimensions and then locate it on
the plan precisely 1" away from two walls in the corner.
(see QuickTime QT-01).
- Here we create a furniture piece for this room.
We input precise dimensions and then we locate it
precisely 1" off the walls in the corner of
When moving an object
by simply dragging it the floating data bar is a particular
benefit. Often users need to make minor adjustments to locations
of elements and having such quick numeric control directly
at the point of interaction is a real boost to users' productivity.
- In this QuickTime we manipulate a column or pier,
moving it, using the floating data bar's numerical
inputs. Having immediate access to these under the
cursor offers speed.
Now in VectorWorks
2008 users can select multiple objects (of the same type)
and make edit adjustments to them. In previous versions if
a user selected say, five rectangles, the dimensional data
fields in the Object Info palette would be turned off. Now
they are available, making it easy to change the size of
multiple objects at once. Although Nemetschek touts this
functionality improvement relative to doors and windows inserted
into walls, it can be useful to manipulating several objects
that are the same but not turned into a symbol (eg: chairs
around a dining room table, a series of posts or columns,
et cetera). (see QT-03).
- In this QuickTime we were able to select multiple piers
and manipulate their size all at once. There are
however limitations when selecting objects other
than doors and windows.
these other objects in formation may not all move
(grow or shrink) as anticipated. Users must be careful
page > | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |