Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Introduction to BIM with Vectorworks 2014

BIM stands for Building Information Modeling and it means as well as creating drawings for plans, sections, and elevations, you can draw walls, floors, roofs and other forms in Vectorworks and use these to create live plans, sections and elevations, as well as extracting non-graphic information from the model like a finish schedule, door and window schedule, and other information like wall areas and glass areas.
There is a lot of talk about Building Information Modeling. It is going to be the big thing when using Vectorworks. There are some countries where all jobs will be expected to be delivered using BIM principles.
BIM is not just a new catch phrase, it is also a more efficient way of creating drawings in Vectorworks. At first this doesn't seem faster, because it seems that you have to create a lot of unnecessary information. But it only seems that way because this is a new way of working. When you get more used to BIM, Vectorworks seems fast to create building elements like walls, doors, windows, etc. Then, when you create elevations and sections, most of the work is done. The model is used to create all the drawings. But the powerful part comes when you have to make a change to the building. When you change the design and movie walls, change the roof, etc. you do not have to redraw the elevations and plans. The viewports just need to be updated. This is a great time saver, but more importantly, it manages risk. With BIM there is no opportunity to have different drawings that have different information, all drawings share the same model. If you move a door in the model, every drawing that shows that door will update.
Vectorworks has a concept called stories that will help you to set up your layers. But more than that, stories are powerful at controlling the building elements in the layer. You can make walls, columns, and stairs connect to the floor above. When you change the settings on the story, the elements update automatically. If you setup the file correctly this becomes a powerful BIM workflow. 
I have created a video manual that steps you through the whole BIM process. You will start by understanding the process, how to set up your files, how to use building elements, and how to use the model to create drawings. This is an introduction, so it keeps focused on the basics, because you have to master these to become fast at using them.

Buy now!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Vectorworks Architct Special Interest User Group December 2013

I have a regular webinar for users of Vectorworks Architect. These are great sessions, they allow the users to ask me, and others that attend, questions. For the past few months we have been looking at a project that has several apartments on a site. This project is taking several session a so that we can look at each part carefully. 

In this month's session we looked at getting the concept drawings set up. Since we already have the apartments on the site, we can use that to get the site plan and site sections. One of the users wanted to see how we could analyse the site cut and fill, so we looked at the site modifiers and we changed them after we had the drawings set up to see the updates.

These sessions are proving to be really popular:
Hi Jonathan,
Thank you again for the BIM SIG yesterday. I really like how this example project is evolving.
 Click here to see the movie... 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Setting up Layers and Stories for Buildings in Vectorworks

Setting up your layers correctly is essential if you want to use Vectorworks for BIM. Vectorworks from 2012 onwards has an organizing concept called Stories which will require you to think carefully about how you organise your project into layers and stories. It groups design layers to make it easier to adjust the different levels (stories) of a building. The stories also allow you to control building elements such as stairs, walls, and so on.  

What Are Stories?
Stories is a way to control the layers that make up a building, grouping design layers together into levels of the building. They make it easy to adjust the elevations of  all the levels of of the building, because Vectorworks knows how the stories relate to each other. 

You should use Stories to control the elevation heights, design layers for modeling, and classes to control the visibility and graphic style of an object. If you are not familiar with layers and classes, please refer to the Vectorworks Essential Manual, which has a series of exercises to explain these. 
Classes have not changed with the new Stories concept. 

A story is a collection of design layers (foundation, slab, walls, and ceiling, and so on) that make up make up an entire level or floor of a building. The story settings control the elevation of each story relative to the other stories. 

When you have two or more stories, you have two collections of design layers. The story concept is flexible, and you can elect to use several design layers in one story. The settings of each story are relative to each other. When you change the elevation of one story, you can choose to adjust other stories above or below. 

If you have a multi-story building, each story is a collection of design layers. Only work with the absolute minimum of layers in a story.

How do Stories Work With Building Elements?
The real power of stories becomes obvious when you start using stories with building elements such as walls, stairs, and so on. You can link the top boundary to a layer floor above. You can link the bottom boundary to a layer below.  

When you edit the stories, and move the floor above, the objects bounded to layers above will automatically adjust. You have several options for linking the top and bottom boundaries of building elements. Beware, objects on one story do not adjust to (changed) geometry on another story but to the (changed) settings of that story!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

archoncad webinar for Vectorworks - Wrapping up 2013

At the end of the year we always go through the topics that we have covered in the manuals, and some of the Special Interest Group topics we have covered this year.
This free webinar will be a great way to see what we cover in the archoncad subscription. If you've never been, or not subscribed, this is a great way to see what I do.
I also have a manual with one page for each month, so that you have a short manual that you can look through quickly to see all the topics from this year.
Register here...

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Back to Basics - Editing Exercises with Vectorworks

It is easy to forget these basic techniques unless you practice them. The other day I was helping a client with a complex shape. The shape needed stretching, but when they used the Selection tool, it had the effect of changing the shape. What they really needed was the Reshape tool (refer to the exercise called Stretch).This is why it is so important to keep your basic skills up to date.
In another case, a client was asking about a tool that would remove an unwanted portion of a line back to a boundary object (Trim tool). I have several examples, but they all have the same basis, it is important to keep your basic training up do date.
Often when I see users struggling, they are not struggling so much with the advanced features of Vectorworks, they are often struggling with the basic tools and concepts. That is why we are going to have some back to basics sessions. This manual session is looking at editing tools from the Basic tool set and editing commands from the Modify menu. 
Basic Editing Tools
These exercises are designed to teach you how to use the basic editing tools in Vectorworks. Some people think of these exercises are too simple for them, so they don’t complete them. This is a mistake. These exercises are designed to show you the different options that are available for each tool.

The things you learn in this exercise will be important regardless of what you do in Vectorworks, so it’s important for you to complete these exercises and understand the tools that they cover.

If you don’t use Vectorworks for a little while it’s also useful to come back and repeat these exercises to refresh your memory on how these tools work.

In the manual you get an exercise file that is divided up into a series of layers. Each layer has a series of points on it for carrying out specific exercises and instructions for carrying out the exercise. The instructions are listed below and repeated on the drawings. There is a picture of the tool that you are supposed to use for the exercise.

The exercises are designed to teach you how to draw things in VectorWorks. Each tool that you choose in VectorWorks has options about how you use that tool. The options are shown on the Tool bar. The purpose of these exercises is to get you to use each option (mode) for each tool, and to learn how to use each tool.

When you have completed the instructions on the first layer go to the layer button and choose the next layer down in the list. Do the same for all the layers until you get to the bottom of the layer list.


This tool is used to copy attributes from an object and apply them to other objects that may or may not be selected. This is a very powerful tool and can be used to copy more than just the graphic attributes.

Select Similar

This tool will select all objects that are similar. This makes it easy to select all of your walls, without accidentally selecting other objects.

When you open the Preferences dialog box from the Tool bar, you will see all the options for choosing how similar objects are. The objects can be similar based on the object type, the class, or a combination of object and class. 
You will notice in this image that there are many more choices besides class and object.
You can also save your favorite settings making it easy to restore them.

Attribute Mapping

The attribute mapping tool can be used to adjust your graphics ( hatches, gradients, etc.) as well as being able to adjust textures and decals.

Reshape Tool

This is one of the most powerful tools that you need to learn and Vectorworks. Not only do you use this tool to reshape polygons, you also use it to reshape all polygon-based objects (plants, roofs, site models, etc.).
Also refer to the exercise called Stretch. It also uses the reshape tool.

Rotate Tool

This tool is used to rotate objects, groups, symbols, etc. Do not use this tool to rotate your view. You can rotate the selected object, or by changing your options in the Tool bar, you can rotate a copy of the selected object.

Subscribe to get the full manual here with 30 exercises and movies 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Is Other BIM Software Better Than Vectorworks?

I have been reading the Vectorworks tech board recently. Generally this community board is there for users to help each other and mostly it works well for that. There are some visitors to the site that seem to want to complain about Vectorworks. Be careful about believing the opinions on the tech board, sometimes it is like listening to talkback radio, where the opinions have no basis.
The implication is that Vectorworks is faulty and other programs are better. Some of these users even say how they are leaving Vectorworks for some other program. The odd thing is that a few of those people keep turning up to complain. I thought that if they stopped using Vectorworks and went to the other program, they would stop visiting the tech board.
I have been reading about some of these other programs this week. These programs are not without their own issues. I heard of a user that is so unhappy with Vectorworks that he is going to buy another BIM program. He says that it satisfies all his needs, is cheaper, and I guess he also thinks that is has no bugs. I was reading about this software today and there are some real issues with the software. I'm not sure that the user is aware that for finishing off the construction documents and detailing, they will also need AutoCAD LT for the detailing. So, when they leave Vectorworks, they will have to learn two new programs.
Some program's will force an upgrade of the operating system or the hardware needed to run the program at a reasonable speed. If you are thinking of a program that stores the whole model in one file then you also need to invest heavily in the network as well as the computer hardware.
Another user I have heard about wants to buy a different BIM program because of the 3D modeling on the walls and roof, the more powerful doors and windows, and the ability to work in sections and elevations. But when I had a look at this software, it was not able to link walls to the story heights, it had very limited 2D tools, and no automatic working planes. I have heard a lot of users have to use AutoCAD LT to finish off the detailing.
So, while these other programs look like the answer, users find that when they change from Vectorworks and they loose their current libraries and they often have to buy and learn more than one program. Then they find that the abilities of the new program are not as magic as they thought. All the BIM and CAD programs have some areas where other programs are better. The answer is to use your program of choice to the best of its abilities and stop worrying about the other programs.
My Irish friend in London used to say "Faraway hills look greener still.." I couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Back to Basics - Creating Exercises with Vectorworks

It is all very well learning how to customise Vectorworks, learning how to create your own Vectorworks tools, and other cool stuff. If you do not know the basics very well it is a waste of time. It may seem to be tedious that we go over the basics again, but I really feel that revisiting the basics will make your process faster and more productive.

I have a manual that teaches the basic creation tools. The reason for this is that all professional teams make sure that the players know the basics very well. I have been reading about a famous basketball coach who made his players shoot hundreds of shots each day from different parts of the court. If the basketball players are professionals why do they need to practice the basics so much? Well, the answer is that even professional sportsmen need to practice the basics because then the basics become automatic. When the players are under pressure they can carry out the basics automatically because they have been practicing.

Rencently,  I was teaching some highly skilled users. When I used the Select Similar and the Visibility tool they were surprised. Although they had seen the tools, they had never used or thought about using them before.Teaching these uses about these tools created a real spark of interest and they were very happy that the training covered these tools. The users felt that these tools gave them a real increase in productivity.

Often when I see users struggling, they are not struggling so much with the advanced features of Vectorworks, they are often struggling with the basic tools and concepts. That is why we are going to have some back to basics sessions. This manual session is looking at creation tools from the Basic tool set.

Selection Tool

cadmovie942 (you have to be a subscriber to watch the movie)

This is the first tool that you should learn and it is the most useful. This tool is used to select objects so that you can an work with them (copy, edit, modify, etc.). There are several options that go with this tool. Setting these options (modes) to suit your drawing style will make Vectorworks work better for you.
When you are finished using the other creating tools, click on this tool.

Pan Tool

cadmovie943 (you have to be a subscriber to watch the movie)

This tool is used to move the view around the screen. Typically, you would use this tool when you are zoomed in so that you can move the screen across to see the required area.

Zoom Tool

cadmovie944 (you have to be a subscriber to watch the movie)

This tool is used for zooming in or out. Drawing is a lot easier if you adjust the zoom level to clearly see the objects you are creating, editing, or dimensioning.

Text Tool

cadmovie945 (you have to be a subscriber to watch the movie)

This tool is used to create or edit text. If you create drawings without any text, it can be very difficult for others to understand the drawing. Text becomes important to write descriptions of the objects and to create instructions on the drawings.

Introduction to Lines

cadmovie949  (you have to be a subscriber to watch the movie)

Lines can be described by coordinates (X and Y) or they can be described  by length and angle. The coordinates are called Cartesian coordinates and the length and angle are known as Polar coordinates.
The Object Info palette allows you to select in which way you would like to see the coordinates.

This is a sample of the manual that is available in my store. The manual comes with the exercise file so that you can follow the instructions and learn to use the basic tools. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Vectorworks Teachers online webinar

If you are teaching Vectorworks this is a must! This session will help you to teach Vectorworks, it will give you a place to discuss teaching strategies and it will help you to use existing exercises, or help to develop new exercises. There are a huge number of resources on this site, these meetings help you to find the ones you need.

Book now (free to subscribers)

Vectorworks Webinars Bookings Page

Archoncad has updated the webinars booking page for December and January 2014. Don't wait, book now.

It is important at the end of the year to look back at the main topics we have covered this year. These sessions are are a quick run though all the topics we have covered this year. These sessions are a great way to get an overview of all the topics for the last year. 
There is a lot of talk about BIM and IFC at the moment. The UK is moving to a situation where all building projects will have to be created using BIM principles. But what are these? How do you set up your projects to achieve this? This workshop is an introduction to setting up your projects correctly. We will be having a new manual for this session, and it will lead onto IFC later in the year. Make sure you book for this session. 
Don't forget about these. A special interest group is interactive online webinar that lets you get drill down deep into Vectorworks. The interaction between attendees allows you get the best information, tried and tested by users around the world, but Jonathan keeps control over the session, making sure that everybody understands the topics. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

podcast160 - Converting a PDF from Vectorworks to Greyscale

podcast159 - Calculating the Volume of Concrete with Vectorworks

podcast158 - Clip Cube in Vectorworks

Vectorworks Guide to Productivity 2014

Here it is, the Vectorworks Guide to Productivity. This is the ultimate productivity guide. This is a collection of all my tips and tricks. I have designed this guide for people that can use Vectorworks to a basic level, but want to be really effective. So, you might find there are really basic topics here, and really advanced topics. I have included several basic topics to ensure you are doing the basics well, and the advanced topics for users that need to know much, much more.

There are 194 movies and a total running time of 5:44:49. 

On sale now for Black Friday...

Reviews of this manual:

Review 1 : 5 stars 
Just downloaded your file,,,,,,, whoooo, this is excellent, Just excellent, I went over some of the items, and its a great way to see and find the videos on any subject, I watched the roof dormer, excellent. Just used the search tool and found all the items I wanted with ease, the videos are just perfect.
Review 2 :  5 Stars
I purchased the first “Guide to Productivity” for Vectorworks 2010. The text, videos and exercises were very easy to follow and actually fun. Jonathan has an incredibly easy way of explaining and demonstrating the power of Vectorworks. Searching and finding topics is very easy. Building your BIM model or presentation marketing can easily be created when following the steps in the manual. As a production resource it is invaluable. Since I purchased it I’ve kept it on my computer desktop, sometimes open on my second monitor. I am delighted to have the update for 2014.
Great work Jon !!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cadmovie 1000 Posted

For the last seven years I have been making cadmovies for my subscription web site, This month I posted the 1000th movie. That is a lot of movies to make. Subscribers get access to all the movies, manuals and webinars that I post each month.

If you want to see the 1000th movie, you can click on this link. To celebrate this achievment, I have made this movie public. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

podcast157 - Settings for a Roof in Vectorworks

This is a short movie showing you how to set the attic, soffit and fascia on a Vectorworks roof. The attic settings can be useful for setting a ceiling height in the roof layer.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Learn to Customise Vectorworks in 29 mins

I have just added a new product to my store, a movie called "Customising Vectorworks". This movie works though several parts of Vectorworks and shows you how to edit the Vectorworks workspace to make it easier for you to find the tools you want and how to start creating custom tool (without learning any programming).

Table of Contents
  • Workspaces
  • Move Palettes
  • Editing The Workspace
  • Creating a New Menu
  • Adding a Menu Command
  • Adding a Keyboard Shortcut
  • Removing a Command
  • Removing a Menu
  • Adding a Separator to a Menu
  • Contextual Menus
  • Tool Palettes and Tool Sets
  • Create a New Tool Palette
  • Adding Tools
  • Adding Tools Together
  • Hot Keys
  • Deleting Tools
  • Export Workspace
  • Custom Selection
  • Custom Tool/Attribute

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

cadmovie995 – Basic Editing Tools – Part 5

Rotate Tool – This tool is used to rotate objects, groups, symbols, etc. Do not use this tool to rotate your view. You can rotate the selected object, or by changing your options in the Tool bar, you can rotate a copy of the selected object.

see movie...

cadmovie994 – Basic Editing Tools – Part 4

Reshape Tool – This is one of the most powerful tools that you need to learn and Vectorworks. Not only do you use this tool to reshape polygons, you also use it to reshape all polygon-based objects (plants, roofs, site models, etc.).

see movie...

cadmovie993 – Basic Editing Tools – Part 3

Attribute Mapping – The attribute mapping tool can be used to adjust your graphics ( hatches, gradients, etc.) as well as being able to adjust textures and decals.

see movie...

cadmovie992 – Basic Editing Tools – Part 2

Select Similar – This tool will select all objects that are similar. This makes it easy to select all of your walls, without accidentally selecting other objects.

see movie...

cadmovie991 – Basic Editing Tools – Part 1

Eyedropper – This tool is used to copy attributes from an object and apply them to other objects that may or may not be selected. This is a very powerful tool and can be used to copy more than just the graphic attributes.

see movie...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Layers and Classes

Layers and classes are always confusing until you have a good straegy for when to use Layers and when to use Classes. The manual is desinged to help you develop this strategy.

 Design layers and classes are the two most important organising concepts that you need to understand in order to create drawings in Vectorworks. I still find some users are confused about when to use a Design Layer and when to us a Class to organise their drawings. I use three simple rules to decide when I need a new Class, and three simple rules to decide when I need new Design Layers. 

If you understand layers and classes fully, you will find it a lot easier to create your drawings because you know when whether should be applying a class to an object or whether you should be putting that object in a layer. 

This short manual is a great way to understand when to use layer and when to use classes. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

archoncad store now open

For the last seven years I have been making movies and manuals for my subscribers. I have created a lot of content over this time (1500 movies, 80 manuals, numberous posts). But I can understand that some users do not want to subscribe to regular payment. I am making some of my manuals and movies avaialble on this new web site:

The breth and depth of manuals, movies, podcasts and online webinar is unbelievable, and far beyond what you can find on any other site. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

[Archoncad] Weekly Digest Email 21 (blogs and movies for Vectorworks)

These posts were added to my web site:

Why Customise Vectorworks?

Vectorworks has hundreds of tools and commands, and they have all been set out
in the interface, or Workspace as it's called, and they have been set out to
suit most situations.

0028 Numbers - Part 1 - Introduction

Numbers is the native iOS spreadsheet program. It does not come free with your
iPhone or iPad, you will have to purchase it from the iTunes App Store. It is
designed to be a very simple and easy to use spreadsheet program.

0027 - Newstand - The Place to Buy an Read Magazines and Newspapers

If you like to read magazines and newspapers, then you should check out the
that. This app is designed to collect together all of your subscriptions for
newspapers and magazines.

0026 - Clocks on the iPad with iOS6

Before iOS6 there was no clock app on the iPad, which I was always amazed about.
Now, Apple have finally fixed this with a new iPad clock app. This is not just
the copying of the iPhone app to the iPad, it’s a different app altogether.

0025 - Moving and Editing Notebooks in Evernote

In my business I use Evernote every day. It has become my main way of storing
notes that I want to access on my tablet, smart phone and desktop computer. It
does not matter where you happen an iPad one android tablet, a smart phone or an
iPhone, a Macintosh computer or a Windows computer. This cloud-based database
allows you to store notes and access them from any device.

Using Evernote 

I'm a big fan of using Evernote ( I use it to record
notes, photos, audio notes, and clippings from web sites. I have some overseas
colleagues that use even more than I do. You can sort noted into groups
(notebooks) that relate to a topic or project.

Business Card Scanner - SamCard-Business Card Reader 

I thought I would try out another another business card scanner to see if my
results were any better than the last one. Part of the challenge with business
card scanners is the graphic design of the business cards, they are not always

iPad Basics Part 18 - Organizing the Home Screen 

When you have installed several applications on your iphone or ipad, it can be
tricky to find the applications you want. There is a way for you to group
applications together and to rearrange the location of them.

iPad Basics Part 17 - Setting a Passcode Lock 

If you have a tablet, iPad, smart phone, or iPhone, you should set a passcode to
prevent unwanted people accessing your phone or tablet.

iPad Basics Part 16 - Push Email on the iPhone 

The iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch have an ability to click your e-mails
automatically. The way this works is that your e-mail server will automatically
push your e-mails to your device as soon as they are ready. This is known as
push e-mails.

iPad Basics Part 15 - Setting up Email on the iPhone 

When you start with your iPhone or iPad you have to tell the device where to
collect your e-mail from. This requires you going through a series of setting up

Introduction to Evernote 

Evernote is an application that I use on my smart phone, tablet, iPhone, and
computer. It creates an online database where you can store notes, and it
synchronizes the notes between your devices. This is a very powerful piece of
software, and it is one of my recommended applications.

Business Card Scanner - CamCard Lite for iPhone and iPad 

I quite often get business cards handed to me, and I am never quite sure what to
do with them. After all, I want run a paperless office, so I'm not very keen to
have a stack of business cards on my desk to look through.

iPad Basics Part 14 - Search on the iPhone

The iPhone and the iPad allow you to search through your contacts, calendars,
notes, and so on looking for information. This really means that if it is stored
on your phone you can search for it.

iPad Basics Part 13 - Splitting and Merging your Keyboard on iPad

The iPad has the ability to split the keyboard to make it easier to type with
your thumbs. This can make it a lot easier if you have to stand while using your

iPad Basics Part 12 - Adding International Keyboards 

If you need to write in different languages you can set your device to use
different keyboards. There is a huge selection of keyboards that you can use,
and it is easy to jump between the different keyboards.

iPad Basics Part 11 - Using International Punctuation 

If you write in other languages, other than English, you might have to access
international punctuation. Even if you said your keyboard to be English, you can
still access some of the international punctuation symbols that you need.

iPad Basics Part 10 - Multi-Task Bar

The multi-task bar on your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch allows you to access all
the applications the running on your device. It allows you to shut down
applications, jump to other applications, access your music player controls, and
so on.

iPad Basics Part 9 - Punctuation Tricks

When you are typing and you need to access punctuation marks, they can be a bit
slow to tap on the 123 button to access your punctuation, then you have to tap
on the ABC button to get back to your regular keyboard. I found the trick to
make this easier.

iPad Basics Part 8 - Download Previous App Purchases

Once you have purchased apps from your iTunes Store, may automatically download
to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod. But for some reason you have deleted your app you
can always download it again.

iPad Basics - Setting Autodownload on the iPad

You can change the settings on the iPad so that if you buy a song or app on
your desktop machine (or other iOS device) it will automatically download to
your iPad.

iPad Basics Part 7 - Signing Into iCloud on a Decktop Machine

If you want to use a desktop machine in conjunction with your iPad then you
should sign in to iCloud so that you can share information between your desktop
machine and your iPad.

iPad Basics Part 6 - Signing Into iTunes

You don't have to use iTunes on your desktop machine, but if you do, you can log
in to buy  apps, songs, movies, and so on. If you use a desktop macine, you can
backup your iPad to it, and so on. I use my desktop machine to store all my
iTunes songs movies, and TV shows. The reason is that I have got too many to put
on my iPad at one time so I need somewhere to store them.

iPad Basics Part 5 - Creating an Email Signature

Your ipad comes standard with an email signature, which usually says "Send
from my iPad". I think this can be improved and made more business-like.

iPad Basics Part 4 - Introduction to Safari

This movie is not designed to be an exhaustive look at Safari. This is designed
as an introduction to Safari to make sure that you understand the main parts and
how to use it.

epodcast179 - Using a Massing Model as a Site Modifier

A massing model can be used as a site modifier.

epodcast178 - Editing the Roof on a Massing Model

Massing models are great way to place existing buildings around your site, to
give your project a context. When you place a massing model, you can choose to
have a flat roof or a hip roof.

Landmark_SIG_029 Special Interest Group June 2013

In this session we looked at creating a hatch, tiling, applying the hatch and
tile to a hardscape, using a stir as a site modifier and the resources for
leaning how to control stairs.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Upskilling Your Office

When new poeple start in your office, it is the perfect time to make sure that they know Vectorworks well. Since they will be working for you, it's important that they know how to use Vectorworks first, then they need to understand how you are using it.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

[Archoncad] Weekly Digest Email 20 (blogs and movies for Vectorworks)

BIM_SIG_021 Special Interest Group April 2013

In the session had only one attendee. Lucky for him, he was able to have
one-on-one training as part of his subscription. His main area of problem was
roofing. So in this session we looked at his roof challenges and how we can cope
with them in Vectorworks.

BIM_SIG_020 Special Interest Group April 2013

In this session we started to look at how to control 2D graphics on elevations.
This session followed on from the recent epodcast that looked at the ability to
use the 2D graphics from the classes to give the elevations hatching it would be
live to the 3-D model.

epodcast176 - Unshaded Polygon Rendering for Elevations

For a long time we wanted to have the ability to automatically hatch our
elevations. There are several workarounds, but no one had yet figured out away
to make the hatching on our are elevations automatic.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

[Archoncad] Weekly Digest Email 19 (blogs and movies for Vectorworks)

This week I posted the following blogs:
SST_1304 - Creating Construction Details

Creating construction details is a major part of your contract documentation.
But how should you create  these details? Is it possible to use BIM techniques
to create all your detailing?

For some projects, using BIM techniques will not give the content all the
graphic style required for detailing.

Online Sessions for April 2013

This month the online workshop sessions will be looking at detailing in
Vectorworks. we also have special interest group meetings for Vectorworks
architect, Vectorworks landmark, and for the education sector. Do not forget to
book now....

Education_SIG_003 Education Special Interest Group March 2013

In this session we looked at the resources that are on this web site and we
looked at t

epodcast175 - Clip Cube for 3D Modeling

Vectorworks 2013 introduced this concept called the Clip Cube. The clip cube
is a 3-D modeling technique that allows you to hide all the 3-D objects outside
of the clip cube.

Education_m_002 - Extrusions and Modeling


3D modeling in Vectorworks is fun and it allows you to create objects that have
never existed before.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

[Archoncad] Weekly Digest Email 18 (blogs and movies for Vectorworks)

This week I posted the following blogs:

Education_m_001 - Introduction to 3D Modeling

Introduction to 3D Modeling

In this exercise you will create a simple 3D model using simple tools and
commands. You can then use this model to create drawings using a new concept
called Viewports. We will be using a quick command to create the viewports from
the 3-D model. This command is only available if you using Vectorworks
Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, or Designer. The command we will be using is not
available if you have Vectorworks Fundamentals.

Education_008 - Viewing


There are several viewing tools. Some of the tools are located in the Tool
palette, and some are on the View bar at the top of the drawing window. We will
look at the most useful tools and techniques later in this manual.

epodcast174 - 3D Snapping for 3D Modeling

In Vectorworks 2011 you could snap to objects that were not on the working
plane. In Vectorworks 2013 there is now a preference that controls whether you
can snap to points that are not on the working plane.

Education_007 - Dimensions


A drawing without dimensions is pretty useless. It is important that when you
place dimensions you place them accurately. Learning to dimension your drawings
accurately will allow you to draw more quickly in Vectorworks.

Education_006 - Applying Graphic Attributes

Applying Graphic Attributes

Vectorworks is a very graphic program. We have control over the stacking order
of objects ( the way things appear at the front or the back), we can assign
colors to objects, we can change line weights and line styles, and so on. It is
important that you understand how to control the graphic style of objects so
that you can make your drawings more readable.

Education_005 - Snapping


Snapping in Vectorworks means that you use other objects on the screen to draw

Education_004 - Basic Concepts

Basic Concepts

To be able run the software efficiently you need to learn the basic concepts of
Vectorworks first. This section of the manual is designed to show you the
concepts that form the basis of Vectorworks. We will learn to make a few simple
objects, how to select objects, who to delete objects, and how to delete

Apple Increases Account Security With Optional Two-Step Verification System for
Apple IDs

Apple has implemented a new two-step verification system for Apple IDs (via
9to5Mac), adding an additional layer of protection for Apple accounts with an
extra security code and a "trusted" device.


Landmark_SIG_023 Special Interest Group March 2013

This is the second session for the Landmark Special Interest Group for March
2013. The session started out with a discussion on what was included in my
latest Vectorworks Landmark Tutorial Manual for Vectorworks 2013.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

[Archoncad] Weekly Digest Email 17 (blogs and movies for Vectorworks)

This week I posted the following:

Vectorworks Landmark Tutorial Manual for Vectorworks 2013 Announced

I'm pleased to see that Nemetschek Vectorworks have announced my new Landmark
Tutorial Manual for Vectorworks 2013. All the movies in this manual have been
updated for the new version of Vectorworks. The feedback from this manual has
been very positive. Users are getting up to speed in a week with this

Landmark_SIG_022 Special Interest Group March 2013

The consensus for today's special-interest group was to look at Renderworks
styles and lighting. Renderworks styles were introduced in Vectorworks 2012 and
they allow you to create a rendering style with lighting options, quality
options, and background options, and then save those settings. If you store the
Renderworks style in your library, you will be able to access the style in every

New 'Yontoo' Adware Trojan Targets Major Browsers on OS X

Russian security firm Doctor Web this week highlighted a new trojan (via The
Next Web) affecting OS X systems and which installs an adware plug-in capable of
injecting ads into users' browsing experience.

As with other trojans, this new Yontoo malware relies on tricking users into
installing the package, which in this case masquerades as a movie trailer video

Book Review - Vectorworks Essentials Tutorial Manual 2013

The fifth edition of my popular Essentials Tutorial manual has been out for a
little while now, but i found this review of the manual posted on my friend's
web site yesterday.
This morning, I thought I would review Jon Pickups's excellent book
“Vectorworks 2013 Essentials”, it's the first in the series and probably the
one [...]

BIM_SIG_019 Special Interest Group March 2013

In this session we looked at two main areas of Vectorworks. The first area we
looked at was Constraints. Vectorworks has several constants that you can use to
set up relationships between objects. The other areas we looked at were the
Reshape tool and the Move by Points tool.

epodcast173 - Property Line on Site Model

I saw a discussion recently on the Vectorworks community board where a
Vectorworks user was trying to get an outline of the property onto the site

Monday, March 11, 2013

[Archoncad] Weekly Digest Email 16 (blogs and movies for Vectorworks)

This week I added new posts to my web site:

PDF Quality on Export PDF

Some clients want to make sure that the PDF files they export are to a high standard. There are some settings you can use to control the output of PDF drawings, but it depends on how you are trying to create the PDF's


New Vectorworks Architect tutorial available

I'm really happy that Nemetschek Vectorworks have just announced my new Architect Tutorial Manual for Vectorworks 2013. Each year when I update my manuals, I try to ensure that I have including the most up to date workflows.

I visited a client the other day for training, and I really wished that he had this manual. There were so many questions that he asked about roofing, setting up wall styes, creating areas, and so on, that were answered by this manual. It would have been easier for me to teach him and it would have made our training time more productive.


SST_1303 Vectorworks Service Select

Vectorworks introduced this service a few years ago. The aim of this service is to provide an upgrade each year, a video library, library objects and so on. The manual of now available for online reading and downloading.