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New to VW Not Impressed!


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After reading so many posts here from experienced users expressing disappointment in the product, I need to add my thoughts as a new user. (2013/2014)

I'm a new user of VW I have been struggling to learn it, its not as intuitive as I was expecting it to be, but i can cope with that.

But, i cannot believe the windows & doors cannot be re-sized on the fly by stretching them! Basics!

The program crashes constantly!

CLUNKY is a word I have now seen quite a lot to describe it, and I can now see why!

No Spline Tool!

I had used Archicad & Autocad in the past, unfortunately Archicad is too pricey, so I bought Chief Architect. I know people scoff at CA, but the scoffers should download the trial, and take it for a drive, if you are used to using VW you will be amazed at how good CA is at 3d para-metrics compared to VW.

Unfortunately CA is lacking in 2d tools and documentation tools which I found limiting, and left wanting an all singing dancing app and was led to believe that VW would fit the bill! I am feeling regret at buying VW now.

However I will have to persevere with it for the foreseeable future, but at this stage I find it disappointing and frustrating, maybe it will get better, or maybe I will just get used to it.

Edited by Rob NZ
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I generally like to keep standard sizes on the doors and windows, and the Object Info is good at keeping that under control.

Chief Architect is great at cabinets and counters - when I saw it stretch a counter, along with its base cabinet, I knew that Vw could not compete with that.

2D drafting in Vw is reliable and easy to manipulate. The Add Surface command gets the most use for me. And a 2D polygon can be converted to lots of 3D objects - floors, slabs, roofs, among other things.

I've seen lots of new features in Vw 2014 - better stability is one you might like.

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2d tool palette, Polyline tool, Cubic Spline mode (hit the U key to change the modes). Polyline tool modes: Corner, Bezier,Cubic Spline, various arcs

3d Spline equivalent is the NURBS curve tool in the 3d tool set.

Give it some more time and effort. Vectorworks can work for you.

Ask questions at this forum when you get stuck.

Vectorworks Help is even helpful sometimes.

-B

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I generally like to keep standard sizes on the doors and windows, and the Object Info is good at keeping that under control.

There are better ways of maintaining control over this sort thing than lack of functionality. Everything, including parametric objects, should be able to be directly manipulated in the model. Let's not give NV a reason to keep the status quo.

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I had used Archicad & Autocad in the past, unfortunately Archicad is too pricey, so I bought Chief Architect.

Well it kind of speaks for itself doesn't it, buy a budget app and that is what you get!? You are, (but shouldn't be) comparing ArchiCAD (or Revit) with VWs.

First of all the price should already prove that point (the fact that VWs does get compared to them proves how good a budget program it is)

Secondly VWs is a jack of all trades.....again not to be compared to dedicated building modelers like CA, ArchiCAD etc.

and left wanting an all singing dancing app and was led to believe that VW would fit the bill! I am feeling regret at buying VW now.

If there was a singing and dancing app everyone would already be using it and the others would have been abandoned.

The reason CA seems to be so good at first glance is because everything is so intuitive in regards to building modeling and presentation however this also automatically means that it is the least flexible of the lot, unless you design standard 'McMansion' (as Petri used to call them :grin:) type buildings.....

I would like to propose that VWs is the direct opposite to CA. Flexible to the max with no clear workflow, this needs to be created by the user, this understandably scares a lot of novice users.

You should have done a little more research before you bought it (eg you should have tried a trial version first) To be at least a little constructive I think you would have been better off having had a look at Revit Lt, probably suites your needs better as well as having a clear understandable workflow and being 95% parametrical.

Edited by Vincent C
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It never ceases to amaze me that people consider a $4,000.00 program a "budget" program. Last I looked that was pretty much the same price AutoCAD and Revit costs. Especially when $500.00 to $800.00 programs are considered "Pro" versions in other fields.

There are a lot of reasons VW is behind the times (which, thankfully, they seem to be earnestly trying to do something about now), but the price of the software is not one of them.

Just my 2 cents...

Just did a web search ...

AutoCAD 2014 = $4,195

AutoCAD Architecture 2014 = $5,245.00 (this is the closest Apples to Apples comparison)

Revit Architecture 2014 = $5,775.00

VW Designer/w Renderworks = $3,945

While VW is a bit cheaper, to me they are all in the same ballpark and would be grouped in the same class as $4,000 to $6,000 programs. None of those prices qualify as anything near a "budget" program. At least not in my world.

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Just did a web search ...

AutoCAD 2014 = $4,195

AutoCAD Architecture 2014 = $5,245.00 (this is the closest Apples to Apples comparison)

Revit Architecture 2014 = $5,775.00

VW Designer/w Renderworks = $3,945

Not here:

VWs ?2600

ArchiCAD ?5000

Revit ?6000

AutoCAD Architecture ?5500

So yeah, budget in this respect......and a good cad program can earn itself back through 3 or 4 larger projects, so also in this regard 4-5000 is not a lot of money.....

Edited by Vincent C
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It's also helpful to know that the Mac version of AutoCad LT ($900) is favorable to some, but to others is not very highly rated. I'm surprised to learn that it does not allow copy/paste between files, as in Revit.

There was some talk about a desktop Mac version of Revit a few years back. I'm guessing that Autodesk will never release one, because Windows Boot Camp has done the job for them. It is possible Autodesk may be ditching the desktop for a web-based Revit app, run by paid subscription like Adobe Creative Suite. It seems likely, because Revit already has a web-based rendering service. Autodesk's Green Building Studio is also web-based subscription.

I don't know if Windows 8 has anything to do with this, but it seems that MS Windows software is moving away from the desktop computer.

All opinions stated above are based on my perceptions of reality, distorted though it may seem.

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Just did a web search ...

AutoCAD 2014 = $4,195

AutoCAD Architecture 2014 = $5,245.00 (this is the closest Apples to Apples comparison)

Revit Architecture 2014 = $5,775.00

VW Designer/w Renderworks = $3,945

Not here:

VWs ?2600

ArchiCAD ?5000

Revit ?6000

AutoCAD Architecture ?5500

So yeah, budget in this respect......and a good cad program can earn itself back through 3 or 4 larger projects, so also in this regard 4-5000 is not a lot of money.....

In that situation I might refer to VW as a bargain program (at half price ACAD Arch) but still not a budget one. Again, that's based on my definition of "budget", something which means really, really cheap compared to the competition. Although half price is starting more to approach that.

And soon all AutoDesk products are going to be "rental" aka "Subscription" in the very near future. Following the Adobe lead, no more permanent single license products:

http://gfxspeak.com/2013/10/02/autodesk-sales-strategy-includes-discontinuing-upgrade-purchases/

And it seems no one is happy about it. It's funny reading the comments at the bottom of the page, some sound very similar to the complaints on this forum about VW. Here's one:

"This move is all about profit generation. They aren?t making enougoh money right now off software because people don?t buy into the yearly subscriptions since, for most users, the current version of software will work just fine for the next 3 ? 5 years, and sometimes longer. Not to mention that the yearly release cycle has made the software so buggy that it is unuseable until the second or third service pack is released (which means autodesk is using us end users as software testers to cut their operating costs)."

Speaking from personal experience, AutoCAD Architecture 2013 is almost as buggy and unstable as VW. So was 2012.

It seems us users are being left with not very pleasant choices, no matter our CAD program of choice. I'm guessing you'll see Nemetschek and Bentley following suit.

Maybe it's time to switch to Open Source. If only there were a good CAD one out there.

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I do not consider Vectorworks to be the budget option, we pay $6000 inc gst here in NZ for Architect + Renderworks.

There are plenty of designers & architects here in that NZ use VW so I know it should be up to the job. I am also very aware that there are complaints on every CAD programs forum, inc Archicad & Revit about their own apps.

I suppose I did dive in a bit quick, I could have done more research, but I have seen plenty of extremely good quality plan sets produced with VW, so I know it is a very good app, I am just finding the learning side of it a bit frustrating.

A bit surprising that things that I took for granted such as stretching windows & doors to size cant be done. I can learn to live with that, but the crashing & freezing! That shouldn't happen!

Vincent I did not mean compare VW with Archicad or Chief Architect! I was merely stating that I had used them both before!

I also dont believe that VW is a "jack of all trades" I have bought Vectorworks Architect!

Certainly sounds like a dedicated app!

Edited by Rob NZ
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2014 is actually the first release that takes a large step away from the budget app feeling ( equally so communication with the inside).

Lets just hope they keep listening to us, i thought i'd seen that request before:

http://techboard.vectorworks.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=114755

Rob if you're crashing and freezing a lot perhaps the fault should be found elsewhere? I' ve had a very stable ride so far, almost uncanningly so :grin:

Edited by Vincent C
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I can't speak much to the reshape-ability of plugin objects directly being added to Vectorworks, I have heard it discussed repeatedly here and apparently there are exceedingly complex concerns if all plugin objects were to be modifiable in that way.

However, in any case you should not be getting regular crashing, please reply back either in a post here or to tech@vectorworks.net with the following and we can have a closer look:

http://kbase.vectorworks.net/questions/627/DirectX+Diagnostics+and+System+Profiler

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It always helps to avoid converting current project field to the new version, but instead finish the project in the old version. Then later on, when the first and second service packs arrive, there is plenty of time to start new projects in the new version. Only then would I do the batch conversion of the old files.

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