Jump to content
Taproot

2021 - Teasers this year?

Recommended Posts

I am also excited, even though I have the feeling this year more beans have been spilled in regards to VW 2021 than the years before.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I've also read this open letter and the subsequent discussion are very interesting. I am hoping it's kickstarting a general discussion about the use of digital tools amongst aec professionals and who should develop them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

@Jonnoxx i didn't know about blender BIM, this on their wiki made me laugh =: "A small commercial building project was first designed in Blender. We were then faced with the task of remodeling it in Autodesk Revit. We figured it would be easier to build an entire BIM application and construction documentation tool from scratch rather than face the pain of remodeling it in Revit. It turned out that it was."

 

as for vectorworks 2021... due to the last couple of releases I'm resigned to having low hopes , seems too many of the tools are reliant on third parties or abandoned after first release. 

The marketing version will be good though!!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

@Jonnoxx Some good points, though it's hard to take that open letter seriously.  The publicity stunt just demonstrates the firms are operating from a position of serious weakness if they can't change to a different software package.  It's not like there aren't off the shelf choices that can replace Revit and do a better job.  I mean if they were worth their salt they would just pull a Frank Gehry and "develop" their own software if their hardship is so severe.

 

I find the Blender example extremely compelling after watching a documentary on the founder.  What they have done with their 3D package is just amazing and has a lot of potential to be disruptive in AEC.  The current generation of graduating or recently graduating architecture students are facing a reality of limited job prospects and aren't running out to buy Revit, but probably will invest some time in learning Blender.  This will push that platform forward kind of like how AutoDesk became ubiquitous by emulating the sales model employed by drug dealers 😉 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, jeff prince said:

It's not like there aren't off the shelf choices that can replace Revit and do a better job.

 

The "switching problem" between Revit and competing packages (and vice versa!) is not a straight-forward decision. 

 

There is a significant sunk cost (investment of money and expertise and building an ever-increasing project legacy!) in an existing software (whichever that is) of both workflow and expertise that cannot be suddenly casually uprooted without VERY significant consequences (some of which are only discovered very painfully afterwards). 

 

Because of Autodesk's very smart decades-long marketing policy of actively encouraging students and kids to play with their software (pirated or not!), and publicly - and freely - providing plentiful excellent Tutorials and Help files (that ARE helpful - I'm looking at you, VW!), they have naturally built up a HUGE public reservoir of enthusiastic operators that is very easily tapped - anywhere in the world - to competently operate their software at short notice. 

 

This is in sharp contrast to almost all the other Architectural software suppliers. 

 

The other thing that Autodesk got right - at least with 3DS Max, if not Revit - is that they made an interface and workflow that was genuinely easy for youngsters to understand and get the hang of quite quickly. And use to a level of competence that in some cases, is really impressive.   While VW marketing may claim their software is "easy-to-use", I (and many others, it seems) find it incredibly complex to learn, and the workflow and concepts (around stories and classes for example) needlessly obtuse.  An intuitive, user-friendly work-flow? Not!

 

So, need a couple of Revit operators quickly? Check!  Need a VW expert?  Not so fast!

 

The second problem is that the differences between the software packages are not tremendously dramatic.  This is a HUGE sales problem for would-be alternatives. 

 

It's still very much six of one, half-a-dozen of the other.  This "not-big-enough-of-a-difference-to-count" causes a major marketing or sales-friction which inhibits product switching. 

 

If you currently drive a Mercedes Benz and think changing to BMW isn't going to make much of a difference to your life, why would you be persuaded to change?  A 5% difference in the purchase price?  Nope!  Not worth it.  You know what you've got.  A 25% reduction in price, ..?  Maybe.  Or otherwise some other dramatic feature difference that has become important to you (say, performance? ... or reliability? ... or fuel economy?).  Now you're talking! Maybe that could be sufficient incentive to make you consider a change!  Whatever ... it HAS to be a BIG enough incentive - important to YOU - to change your outlook.

 

If VW wants to gain traction out of this Autodesk furore, it HAS to provide REAL step-changing incentives to prospective buyers who, even though they are quite angry and frustrated with their current software, are actually still too comfortable to actually make a change.  

 

Quite frankly, VW have done a terrible marketing job to alleviate this sales-friction problem to their own advantage.  This is not some suddenly-developed VW marketing problem.  It has been an ingrained sales-attitude problem of many years.  "We supply a very complex software!  You wanna learn how to use it?  You gotta PAY for us to show you how to use our stuff!"  Just WHO is doing WHO the favor in this sales relationship???  Certainly not VW!

 

 

2 hours ago, jeff prince said:

I find the Blender example extremely compelling after watching a documentary on the founder.  What they have done with their 3D package is just amazing and has a lot of potential to be disruptive in AEC.  The current generation of graduating or recently graduating architecture students are facing a reality of limited job prospects and aren't running out to buy Revit, but probably will invest some time in learning Blender.  This will push that platform forward kind of like how AutoDesk became ubiquitous by emulating the sales model employed by drug dealers 😉 

 

Spot-on observation!

 

Blender is an existential threat to EVERY current software house in this field that refuses to acknowledge this problem, and doesn't get its act together quickly.

 

It will take its time to work its way into customer production pipelines (that sales-friction problem again!).  But it has now moved from a wild hippy idea to actual demonstrated capability for the animation industry.  As the new Blender-inspired youngsters start rising through the employment ranks, so they will naturally take Blender along with them.  Competent capability in the hands of legions of young - and expert - evangelists.  For FREE !

 

Competing against EXPENSIVE, stuck-in-the-mud, navel-gazers??? 

 

Watch this space !

 

 

Edited by Jonnoxx
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

@Jonnoxx You make some excellent points that I had to weigh heavily before switching to Vectorworks personally and evaluating it for deployment across a department within a large firm.

 

11 minutes ago, Jonnoxx said:

The "switching problem" between Revit and competing packages (and vice versa!) is not a straight-forward decision. 

 

There is a significant sunk cost (investment of money and expertise and building an ever-increasing project legacy!) in an existing software (whichever that is) of both workflow and expertise that cannot be suddenly casually uprooted without VERY significant consequences (some of which are only discovered very painfully afterwards). 

 

The software cost is negligible in comparison to the period of reduced efficiency during transition.  Large firms can mitigate this with training, standards, and hybrid workflows during transitionary periods.  Small firms and solo practitioners who do not have in-house training and R&D really get penalized here.

All firms had to manage this during the transition from CAD to BIM with the added burden of the 2D/3D transition.  I'm old enough to remember the same growing pains when we transitioned from hand drawing to CAD as well.  So yes, firms have to adapt during industry disruptive cycles.  It's funny that a particular software company is partially responsible for this disruptive event though, the other portion of blame resides with firms who ignore MacLeamy/Paulson Curve and actively work against it.

 

11 minutes ago, Jonnoxx said:

So, need a couple of Revit operators quickly? Check!  Need a VW expert?  Not so fast!

There is some truth to that.  I almost passed on Vectorworks for this reason.

 

If a firm is more of a domestic chop shop operation with thin margins and pushing projects entirely through BIM quickly, you've got a business killing problem potentially if you can't find staff.  However, these noted design firms typically use a whole suite of modeling tools, some bespoke, during design.  They train their employees on using their specialized or proprietary systems for design and fabrication.  They entirely REBUILD the projects in Revit once they hit Design Development.  Sometime this is done in-house, but more typically it is with a joint venture partner in the country where the project is and/or through outsourcing to one of the many BIM sweatshops around Asia and eastern Europe.  The dirty secret behind a lot of glamorous BIM projects is they are developed by people who are far from BIM experts.

 

They are juggling chainsaws, driven by the illusion of profit rather than process.

That, or they are simply designing buildings that are too complicated for their abilities to document 🙂  

I imagine it is a bit of both in all honesty with a healthy disregard for the aforementioned curve(s).

 

They wonder why their profits are flat while their operating expenses are increasing?

It's not the software price that is killing them, it's their process.

Shrinking design fees and more competition for those contracts is eroding profits because the process is inefficient.

 

Firms that get it will survive this disruption aggravated by the pandemic, 

those who don't write open public letters or develop stockholm syndrome with their software provider.

 

Maybe it's time to go back to ink and mylar?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, jeff prince said:

Maybe it's time to go back to ink and mylar?

 

Ha ha!  You wish  ...  I DO miss the hordes of pretty young girls in the tracing office though, and the endless discussions over drafting tables! 🤣

 

We are living through another amazing step-change stage in the continuing development path of CAD.  For the past few years the improvements have been pressing in the right direction, but were quite incremental only.  However, the foundation was being steadily laid for this next spurt.  Now ... it is arriving upon us ... really fast SSD's ...  huge increases in computing speed and graphic power ... AI being directly put to use in compiling code more quickly, more intelligently, and more reliably than before.  An internet that is ever-faster ...

 

Quite literally, a Game Changer!

 

In a few weeks time, for example, the new MS Flight simulator FS2020 will be released for PC games, and will be followed not long after - in time for Xmas season - by the arrival of the new gaming consoles (X-Box Series X and Sony PS5).  These bring revolutionary improvements in computing power and access not possible before.  The spill-over from everything that made them possible is going to effect the CAD industry in every which-way imaginable.  And then some!

 

All this, literally driven both commercially AND technically by the huge market of excited, demanding kids (from 5-70) and money to be made in the Games Industry (now bigger in revenue than the film industry).   Imagine that ... the development of VR has been driven by the Porn industry.  And everyone else from Medics to Architects to Estate Agents benefits in ways yet to be realized.

 

Exciting times ...

 

And if you've been along from the beginning ... what a Ride it has been ...!!!

 

🙂

Edited by Jonnoxx
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
58 minutes ago, Jonnoxx said:

And if you've been along from the beginning ... what a Ride it has been ...!!!

 

It certainly has and will continue to be.

I started back in the early 90's doing manual drafting for an architect and moonlighting as an illustrator.

While my love is in traditional media, Vectorworks at least gives a nod to that heritage with its beautiful graphic qualities fused with 3D power.

Graphic quality was one of the determining factors.  Tools should be visually appealing if our work is to be 🙂

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


 

7150 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, Maryland 21046, USA   |   Contact Us:   410-290-5114

 

© 2018 Vectorworks, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Vectorworks, Inc. is part of the Nemetschek Group.

×
×
  • Create New...