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Nemetschek North America Releases Free SketchUp? Plug-in for VectorWorks Design Series

The SketchUp plug-in allows VectorWorks users to reuse?not recreate?data, eliminating extra steps in workflows, from concept to completion

Columbia, Maryland (December 6, 2005)?Nemetschek North America has announced the release of a free SketchUp? plug-in for VectorWorks. The plug-in eliminates the need to re-create SketchUp models in VectorWorks, reducing design time and allowing designers to make the most of the VectorWorks precision design environment.

Developed for the conceptual stages of design, SketchUp allows designers to quickly create, view, and modify ideas in 3D. VectorWorks, a complete design-to-construction solution, can now take SketchUp models to another level, permitting users to continue with more complex aspects of the design process through construction documentation, without having to duplicate work.

The SketchUp plug-in allows architectural models to be imported from SketchUp into VectorWorks as wall, roof face, and floor geometry. It also maps SketchUp components to VectorWorks intelligent building objects. This will allow further editing and refinement of architectural models in VectorWorks. The command provides control during import, during which SketchUp geometry is converted to architectural elements based on SketchUp materials, layers, or geometry. Users can also let the command convert objects automatically using the orientation of the SketchUp geometry.

?We?re pleased to offer our users yet another option to make their workdays more productive,? says Paul Pharr, chief technology officer, Nemetschek North America. ?There is no question that SketchUp is a very popular design tool. Now our users can import their SketchUp models into most of the VectorWorks Design Series version 12 programs and transfer SketchUp models into intelligent VectorWorks architectural elements, such as roof faces, walls, and doors, and put that data to work.?

?The Nemetschek team has created an import plug-in between SketchUp and VectorWorks that is fantastic,? says Brad Schell, founder of @Last Software. ?It gives users the best of all worlds. Conceptual designs can be quickly created in SketchUp and then easily moved into VectorWorks for project completion.?

The free plug-in supports SketchUp version 4 and higher. Macintosh? and Windows? plug-ins are available for download to all VectorWorks Architect, VectorWorks Landmark, VectorWorks Spotlight, and VectorWorks Designer version 12 users at www.nemetschek.net/sketchup.

Founded in 1999 with headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, @Last Software?s mission of 3D for Everyone is about bringing 3D design to the masses. SketchUp is a conceptual modeling tool with a unique user interface that allows quick and easy 3D model creation, viewing, modification and presentation. @Last distributes SketchUp directly and through distributors worldwide. SketchUp for Windows? and Macintosh? OS X is available in six languages. For more information, visit www.sketchup.com

Nemetschek North America is a wholly-owned subsidiary of European software giant Nemetschek AG. A global leader in design technologies, Nemetschek N.A. has been developing CAD software for the AEC, entertainment, landscape design, and manufacturing fields since 1985. VectorWorks, its flagship product, is one of the world's best-selling cross-platform CAD applications. It is available in more than 85 countries and is translated into eight languages. An all-in-one solution that's easier to learn and use and more cost-effective than most other CAD programs, VectorWorks is ideal for firms that don't have unlimited IT budgets. For more information, visit www.nemetschek.net.

[ 12-08-2005, 10:33 AM: Message edited by: Andy Stratton ]

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Alanmac, I'm going to quote our CTO, Paul Pharr, in responding to your question:


The SketchUp import plug-in is specifically for importing architectural SketchUp models to VectorWorks as editable architectural drawings. We have included it in all products which are targeted at markets where this functionality is useful. To import polygonal SketchUp models, we recommend using DXF or DWG.

VectorWorks Fundamentals is targeted at users who have limited volume production drawing needs, who

have no need for specific AEC market functionality, and who value the relative simplicity of the product and its interface. Adding all of our new functionality (and in particular, the SketchUp architectural import plug-in) to Fundamentals would be actively counter-productive in all of these respects.

While we might like to provide our functionality a la carte as some have suggested, we are forced by

our commitment to provide high value software at a reasonable price to collect our features together

into packages of functionality. For many products, you need to pay a huge premium for increased

flexibility or custom specification - e.g. cars, homebuilding, furniture, cabinetry, lighting,

plumbing, hardware, groceries, telecommunications, medical care. I could go on forever. Software is

just one more product or service where you get a discount for buying the package. This is the way we have always sold our functionality.

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Just in case you miss it on the VW list, perhaps NNA would be so kind as to please tell us why this plug in does not work with the now called Fundamentals version of Vectorworks ?

As a user of Sketch Up I see no reason from the SU side of things why the models I make in SU cannot be imported into VW using this plug in.

As a loyal and supportive user of VW, but only requiring the features of the base version so only have this license, I'm not going to be able to use this plug in, but I'm hoping you can tell me why.


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Too bad it's not a plugin for Fundamental users. At our office there aren't many Architects features we could use, because most of the plugins are not suited for the Dutch market. We use Sketchup and the 3ds format often. So it's a real pity that there not included in the Fundamentals. Well maybe in a later version. (or I have to convince my boss to buy 1 VW Architects licence) :-)

Thanks for bringing the Sketchup plugin to this great program anyway!!!



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Is there a way to import all the texture materials assigned to the model in sketchup into vectorworks using the plugin?

I have tried meterial method in geometry mapping for one of our existing sketchup model and it seems to stall during the import process.

The plugin works fine for import using the layer option.

Any help much appreciated.

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  • 3 weeks later...


Originally posted by Setter1:

I am running 11.5 and can't seem to find the Sketchup menus to load. I go through File-Workspaces-Workspace Editor and can't find the Sketchup menus. Can anybody help me with this?

If I am not mistaken, it is a VW12 only function.

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  • 2 months later...

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