Vectorworks, Inc., a design and BIM software provider under the Nemetschek Group umbrella, started off their 2023 by announcing a number of updates to their Vectorworks 2023 product line. The moves, which we’ll detail below, generally follow trends we’re seeing throughout the design phases within the AEC industry, focusing on easing the process of collaboration, particularly given the proliferation of remote work, and leveraging new technology to make the process of 3D model creation more accessible. Specifically, per the company’s release announcing the news, the updates are “focused on providing users with a more efficient and reliable experience on Vectorworks Cloud Services and the Vectorworks Nomad mobile app utilizing Apple’s innovative technology.”
Previous versions of the Vectorworks Cloud Services platform allowed for photos-to-3D-model capabilities, but that process is now going to become easier as Apple’s Object Capture, their photogrammetry API, replaces their former photogrammetry framework. Vectorworks quality assurance manager for cloud and mobile Iskra Nikolova said in a press statement, “Apple’s Object Capture framework replaces our old photogrammetry framework used for the generation of 3D models from photos. It has higher success rates and creates a more optimized geometry in less time.”
Similarly, the new product release will also take advantage of Apple’s RoomPlan function, their room scanning framework. With this integration, Vectorworks’ Nomad mobile app – allowing professionals to continue their work seamlessly on the go – will now be able to “produce models with classified geometry, such as walls, windows, openings and doors, which can be imported directly into a Vectorworks model.”
“Apple’s RoomPlan scanning framework is great for capturing existing room layouts and bringing them into Vectorworks with almost no effort or time,” said Nikolova.
There are a few key needs being met by these two updates from Vectorworks for professionals in the design and BIM fields, including collaboration, accessibility, and remote work. The former is increasingly being recognized as a key piece for any project, particularly in these early design phases. More easily leveraging cloud technology with enhanced features allows for different stakeholders to more easily provide input on potential clashes in a design early enough to not affect the project’s timeline. Furthermore, Vectorworks is better utilizing developments in the industry from Apple, which allow for models to be more easily created with technology that most people already have in their pockets. While this technology is unlikely to ever have the ability to meet every need in this space, it’s a quick and easy method that can provide what is needed for most projects.
Vectorworks, which was created in 1985, is a top design and BIM software provider with users across 85 different countries. Their platform includes apps for both desktop and mobile setups, as well as a web portal that allows for that easy sharing and collaboration. They’ve also long taken advantage of augmented reality (AR) technology, introducing that framework in 2018 and still taking advantage of it today.
On these latest updates taking advantage of Apple’s new capabilities, Nikolova said, “We are using the power of the Cloud to bring the latest Apple technologies to our users and speed up and streamline their reality capture workflows.”