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Design features blossom in Vectorworks’ 2017 software update
Jill Odom | September 15, 2016

Vectorworks 2017 irrigation tools can calculate the water efficiency of the design with ease.
Photo: Vectorworks

Ever wish you could show your client an immersive visual of their finished landscape before even breaking ground?

Vectorworks says that’s just one of the new features of its latest software update, Vectorworks 2017.

Among the most noticeable improvements in Vectorworks Landmark and Designer software are the new irrigation tools that streamline the site planning process. Users are now able to create and save zones with similar watering needs with the Hydrozone tool.

Built-in worksheets allow designers to calculate the water efficiency and meet water budget allowances. The coverage analysis tool shows where there is overlap between the outlets.

Designers can find content in the resource manager from irrigation equipment providers, such as Hunter Industries and Rain Bird, and calculate the pressure, velocity and flow rate of the project at any time.

Irrigation tools in Vectorworks 2017 offer the easiest, fastest, most accurate system I have worked with, giving us a massive competitive advantage in the market,” said Bryan Goff, a beta-tester of Vectorworks 2017 and director of design and sciences at Grey Leaf Design.


The resource manager is designed to make perusing the many Vectorworks’ libraries straightforward.
Photo: Vectorworks

Previously, the software used a resource browser that some users found difficult to navigate, so this has been replaced with a resource manager that allows landscapers to search for, find and insert the content they need into their projects.

The resource manager also provides ways to look at content from other websites. Also for the first time, all Vectorworks 2017 customers will have access to the Vectorworks Service Select subscriber libraries.

“Over the years, we have created several gigabytes worth of content that we put behind the paywall, but what we have done recently is open that up and the resources we put on the Vectorworks Service Select site, which is our subscription site, are only available to those customers for a year and after that it is available to everyone,” said Vectorworks CEO Biplab Sarkar.

The Plant tool has also been updated so hedges can be created with different rows and other plants can be inserted with some randomization so the design doesn’t look too cookie cutter. Users can also create 3D shapes for the plants to create an overall canopy planning to help calculate the amount of shade created.

For those collaborating with others who use Revit software, Vectorworks 2017 can now import Revit files directly, retaining the manufacturer-specific objects that are used in the Revit families.

Designers looking to add simulated depth to their 2D presentations can now add drop shadows to whatever elements they choose in the project.

Sharing projects with clients and collaborators is now effortless, Vectorworks says, with several different options. Once a 3D design is completed, you can export it to the web and the software creates a link that anyone can access and view on any device.

Vectorworks 2017 can also generate virtual reality versions of the model. Once exported in a stereoscopic version, the client can place a phone in a virtual reality viewer, such as Google Cardboard, and explore the 3D design.


The updates to the Plant Tools include a randomization feature so the design looks more natural.
Photo: Vectorworks

“I exported my first model to virtual reality, viewed it on my phone, iPad and desktop browser, and it was fabulous,” said Ion Webster, a beta tester and principal of Pults & Associates LLP. “I am chomping at the bit to send links like this to clients! I can’t believe how easy the transition has been, and I look forward to delving deeper into some of the other new tools.”

After customer complaints about not being able to share their models on Vectorworks’ mobile app, Nomad has been opened up for everyone to access so non-Vectorworks users can download it and view the 3D models as well.

Vectorworks Cloud Services is also now available for everyone. Non-subscribers will receive 2 gigabytes of file storage, Dropbox integration, and models can be generated for mobile viewing. Vectorworks Service Select subscribers will receive 20 gigabytes of file storage, the ability to publish on the cloud, generate PDFs for markups and measuring, and update and render viewports.

“The main thing is the tech support that they get from our technical support,” Sakar said. “We get their calls and those are calls we give high priority to and there is other content that we are creating, such as walkthrough contents and special webinars just for Vectorworks Service Select customers.”

Click to see more about the software program.


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