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On Vectorworks Architect BIM development


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I'm sure many at Nemetschek are annoyed or saddened by level of complaints about Vectorworks Architect development. They shouldn't be. They're a sign that people are invested in and still care about it. It's when the complaints stop that the game is up.

As much as price seems to be the deciding factor I just don't think VWA development can continue on like this. I think we're getting close to the point where the complaints are going to stop.

One of two things needs to happen it seems to me.

1. Stop developing and pushing VWA as a BIM design solution that competes with Revit/ArchiCAD and make into something else. And tell their customers this.

2. Hugely increase the development speed of VWA BIM.

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I would incline to agree with this reasoning/conclusion.

The thing is, it has worked until now why would 'they' change? Can it be so that we the users (complainers) have outgrown VWs or has the need for BIM, even for small practices, simply overtaken NVs R&D?

I've seen a lot of options offered by users on this forum to solve this (e.g.. willingness to pay more etc), however not much actually seems to indicate a change is under way.....?


Probably VWs will end up being an alternative to the likes of Chief Architect etc. and no serious architect considers that a reasonable alternative, do they?

Edited by Vincent C
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I see that possible with VW. All the raw stuff is there, it just needs a finesse or UI that makes the data easy to see.

The reason I asked is that some folks, or blokes see BIM as only a 3d model generation process (tools for example)and no info involved.

VW is a 3d program, and can do a great deal. I am concerned though about file sharing, as apposed to info sharing. VW allows for export to IFC programs for clash detection, which makes collaboration possible, so why is it not a BIM program?

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I have a question, what are you defining as BIM?

Two things:

1. The production of a virtual digital model in the form of 3D geometry and specification.

2. The sharing of this information to support decision-making about a building/facility from conception through to demolition.

We've only recently been able to implement a fully 3D workflow in our office (three decades after Archicad users). It's proving difficult and expensive and is constantly at risk of being abandoned for a return to 2D.

With regard to item 1, there is far too much reliance on dumb general modelling tools that don't talk to each other, so there are a million and a half ways to achieve any given modelling task, many of which are best described as workarounds and most of which require obscure modelling skills. It's also extremely difficult to have more than one person working on a model.

With regard to item 2, we haven't even begun trying to share BIM data in its modern form (I shudder every time I test the IFC export facility). We're still struggling to output traditional 2D information. As well as lacking critical features such as support for 3D vector-based hatches/materials there are also critical bugs related to workgroup referencing that force us to keep our sections in our model file (finding that out killed about a week in the middle of a major project).

So when I say VWA BIM development needs to be sped up, what I mean is we want to be producing all our information from a single model and we want to be doing this more efficiently than we did in 2D.

Seems to me Nemetschek got hung up on IFC being the be all and end all of BIM and forgot a couple of things:

1. It's customers were struggling to produce 3D models worth exporting in the first place.

2. Their customers need to output traditional 2D information, not 3D BIM output.

Edited by Christiaan
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