Vectorworks 2016 and Beyond

May 19, 2015 4 min read

Editor's Note: For the first time ever, Nemetschek Vectorworks disclosed information about key features that will populate their next release. During the Design Summit in Philadelphia, users were able to get a sneak peek at Vectorworks 2016 and beyond………The Novedge Team was there to treasure the information and so was Vectorworks CAD guru and author Jonathan Pickup. In Jonathan's words, this is what to expect while expecting Vectorworks 2016. Biplap SarkarNemetschek  Vectorworks CTO Dr. Biplab Sarkar announcing Vectorworks 2016 

Novedge: So Jonathan, for the first time, a Vectorworks release was revealed ahead of time. You can tell us now, what's New in Vectorworks 2016?

Jonathan Pickup:First of all let me tell you that Nemetschek Vectorworks CTO, Dr. Biplab  Sarkar, gave a great presentation at the Design Summit. I sure hope someone recorded it. Other blogs spoke about the announcement and, in my opinion a very good one is the one published by Architosh

One of the big things coming out is Energy Analysis.

There's a lot of talk about green buildings and being environmentally friendly and one of the things we have to do as Architects is make sure we design efficient buildings. So you understand how important it is to have a technology that will be able to perform Energy Analysis. There are lots of requirements now for obtaining building permits; to be able to prove that your building is going to be energy efficient is a big thing! It's not just, "have you got insulation inside the walls"? It's the whole concept of how much energy you are saving. And it might mean that if you are not using Vectorworks properly, if you are not using Vectorworks in 3D you are going to have to. Because the energy is calculated using the 3D model. If you are not using walls in 3D, if you are not putting on roofs in 3D ….all things that are not new, we have been able to do this in Vectorworks for a long time, but people must be able to keep up. Now you see why BIM is going to be fundamental to this Energy Analysis. 

Another thing that Vectorworks is going to be able to master is Point Cloud. Capture52During Biplab’s presentation he discussed a Point Cloud that was obtained at the Philadelphia Museum of Art prior to the Vectorworks Design Summit. The Customer Appreciation Dinner was held at the same venue, where a laser scanner was brought inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and billions of points were collected. What they showed us next was a model of the Museum that started off as a raw scan, several raw scans actually that were then put together thorugh Trimble "by the way, Trimble and The Nemetschek  Group just sealed a partnership "; there were 3 billion data points taken from 29 different positions in the museum for this scan. They showed the resulting image in Vectorworks and it was amazing! You could cut sections through it, horizontal sections, you could snap to it. If you are doing renovations, in the past it has been very hard to get a true survey of an existing building.  And you will be able to snap to it and draw your proposed changes. Also Point Clouds carries colors. When we saw it it was like navigating through the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The sheer size of the raw data is gigantic, and we need a way to handle that information in Vectorworks. That's why I can't wait to get this Point Cloud technology support in Vectorworks 2016. 

The third big Vectorworks 2016 improvement I will talk about is  Project Sharing.How do you get more people to work on a project? The way we have dealt with is so far was through Workgroup Referencing: we divided the project in all different files, and then we would bring everything together in the end. This will still be available, but there is also a new concept called Project Sharing. In Project Sharing there will be a Master Project File; whoever comes on board on the project, will get authority by the administrator and will be able to sign out parts of that model. You can sign out a layer at the time even. When you are finished doing your work you can commit that file back to the model and other people will be able to see it. The whole time you are playing with the design and you are not sure you don't have to commit to the model. Only when you are satisfied with your work, you can update the Master Project file. There will be different levels of authorities, some people will be able to create resources, some people will be able to modify objects on layers, other will be able only to view the files, leave comments…..It's going to be great! 


Novedge: What do you think was the logic behind all these great disclosures? It was the first time after all…..

Jonathan Pickup:I think the Vectorworks Service Select (VSS) had a major role in allowing these revelations. I think in the past people were very quiet about what was coming, because they wanted to avoid what is called the Osborne Effect. If people belong to VSS it doesn't matter if they buy Vectorworks 2015 now , because they are going to get the upgrade the minute 2016 comes out. Announcing the new features then becomes exciting for everybody, and they can actually start building their knowledge and start training for what's coming ahead of time. The training can be tailored exactly to what it is coming.

Overall, the most exciting thing for me is that the change does not just concern this next release. There has been a growth in the speed of change in these past few years and it 's not likely to stop at 2016. It took a large number of engineers to convert the program from 32 bit to 64 bit . Once that was done, those engineers have been moved to the team permanently to do more cool stuff on more cool tools.  Believe me, Vectorworks 2016 is just the beginning!


If you want to know more about the Vectorworks Design Summit read Jonathan Pickup's recount of the event here. And check out Jonathan's website, Archoncad, for amazing Vectorworks Tips, Manuals and Trainings.

And don't forget to visit Novedge and check out the comprehensive Vectorworks Catalog!


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