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Does VW 2024 handle large site models better?


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I work on a lot of larger properties--100+ acres--for my design work. I've always had the worst of luck with site models at this scale, especially where road or earthwork modeling involved. If the site has significant elevation change, it will take ages to make any changes to the site model. Does 2024 make any improvements here or does it still stink at modeling large site models?


I'm trying to avoid becoming a subscription slave to VW as long as I can, but it's now affecting my productivity and I'm looking for alternatives (Rhino/Lands for example) that are less clumsy. Anyone working on larger properties in 2024 that can comment?


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  • 3 weeks later...

I make very large site models within Vectorworks on occasion.

The stability and speed of how a site model performs seems to be directly related to the quality of data the initial site model is built from.


The following situations result in problems for 2024 and earlier for sure:

  • If the center of the site model is far from the Internal Origin
  • If your data includes many overlapping elements that have different elevations such as overlapping contours, grade breaks, retaining walls, etc.
  • If you use highly detailed contours instead of point data or coarse contours to build a site.
  • If you include large amounts of data that are not necessary for the intended purpose, like points at 12" or less spacing from a LiDAR scan of very large sites.

If you are needing to do engineering for road and earthwork for large sites, you might be better off using more appropriate software with the tools for expediting that type of work.  If it's just visualization and non-engineering grade site models, Vectorworks is probably fine.


Here are some threads about some of my very large site models:



Here's a screenshot from within Vectorworks of the model mentioned above.  The distant areas are modeled at a lower resolution than the actual study area.  Those house models are highly detailed and had round doorknobs modeled, yet Vectorworks is able to chew on it because it has none of the problem mentioned earlier.  The site model for the higher resolution subject area was based on survey points, the low resolution stuff was actually based on coarse contours with a 10' interval IIRC.



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