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Vectorworks in North America Residential?

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I have been watching / looking at Vectorworks (and other BIM platforms) for some time now and was curious if anybody had insight into what is Vectorworks target market in North America? The reason I ask is because I don't know of any architects or builders that I work with (or try to get business with) that is using Vectorworks. My focus is on residential and light commercial.

Is residential and light commercial a key market for Vectorworks and if so where are the users?

Personally, I really like the Vectorworks product but don't understand why it does not seem to have a more dominant base in the North America (at least from my perspective). I know AutoCAD / AutoCAD Architecture / Revit are the King Kongs here for the residential industry but I think it is quite possible VW actually has a better product....Maybe, I dunno????



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The strength of Vectorworks is that it does not pigeon-hole you into residential or light commercial. I don't think there is a limit to the size of a project that you could do with Vectorworks (or project type).

I would contrast this with a product like Chief Architect that is fantastic for residential, but is difficult to use for commercial or institutional work.

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I agree on the pigeon-hole statement but I know plenty that use Chief for residential and "light" commercial.

But I rarely even run into anybody that uses Chief. 90% or more of all organizations I am aware of use some flavor of an Autodesk product. I think some of it is a case of the blind leading the blind and one user is just keeping going what the guy before him did but I am indeed still curious where or how large the Vectorworks user base is in the USA.

It really seems like a better product that most Autodesk offerings and their customer service and support seems MUCH better but I don't see it used anywhere (as it relates to residential and light commercial use). I was just curious if I was just in a bad region for its users or if it just does not have much US market penetration and if that is the case does anybody have opinions of why?

Thanks, AJ

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In the US, AutoCAD is the default. I like to think of them as the Microsoft of the CAD world - ubiquitous products that are far from the best.

I didn't know anyone who used VW either, until I started using it myself. Then I discovered a whole community of users in my area.

Try making contact with a local users group. See the NNA site for info:


It looks like there is one in Dallas.

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Great idea Bill. I'll check into that option as well.

I wonder if it is more of a marketing / advertising issue? I don't see VWorks or GSoft advertising anywhere. Well I do see some GSoft in some high end commercial / architect mags but that is about it. Maybe they have the penetration they like and don't feel that marketing/advertising would offer that much additional value.



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I know AutoCAD / AutoCAD Architecture / Revit are the King Kongs here for the residential industry but I think it is quite possible VW actually has a better product

I think this goes to the heart of many of our problems, in that the cream doesn't always get to the top. People who praise capitalism often state that it is the most efficient economic system, yet time and again we see fallacies in that proposition (one might ask, efficient to what end? but that is a whole other can of beans).

I've been using Apple OS' since 1986 and had to use Windows for a year on a job and could not believe the difference. I asked the same question - if the world were rational, how could such a piece of crap possibly dominate the computing world? And what does this say about our future?

Apologies for the digression...

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That's kinda what I was thinking. It is probably more of a marketing $ issue than anything else. And yes the 1,000,000 pound gorilla in the North American market will be Autodesk with AutoCAD in the majority and AutoCAD Architecture and Revit pulling in behind it.

It would indeed take one heck of a marketing program to knock those guys off their mountain even if you have a better product. They got it soooooo integrated into the fiber of the build market.

Many thanks for all the input.


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