Earlier this month, BIM software provider Vectorworks teased some of the changes that will be coming to the 2024 version of its product line, which they say will be “dedicated to providing comprehensive solutions that automate processes and let designers tackle more complex problems with less effort.” The changes will affect products for general design as well as a few more specialized use cases, and builds off of changes they made at the start of this year.
"Continuing our tradition of excellence, Vectorworks 2024 embodies our quality initiative, emphasizing solutions to complex problems," said Vectorworks Chief Product Officer Darick DeHart in a press statement. "We believe in the power of comprehensive workflows that address the challenges faced by designers and can't wait to share more on the exciting improvements in quality that await our users in the new version."
In terms of their general improvements for all kinds of design projects, Vectorworks has made improvements to their interface, collaboration tools, and just general quality of life for users. The 2024 update will include, for example, reorganized “View’ and “Mode” bars, making more tools readily available at a glance and giving users an opportunity to organize said tools in a way that makes sense for their projects. Furthermore, they’ve made changes to their Project Sharing capability, as Vectorworks notes it’s been rebuilt to ensure data and geometry is current in any project file, while also making Project Sharing+ track every change.
Along with these improvements, along with others, being prepared for the company’s 2024 release, they also announced improvements for some specific industries and use cases, including enhancements for architects and interior designers. Here, they talk about how they’ve improved the usability of their BIM tools. For example, they say “customers will see more options to control interior and exterior conditions, gaps around doors and windows can be controlled for each side of the opening, and door handling has been standardized.” Users will also be able to assign materials to doors and windows for the first time, as well as have access to more parametric objects to ensure more accurate design.
Vectorworks also introduced new improvements aimed at landscape architects and designers, as well as lighting and live event designers. For the former, they have added a new automated Fence tool which they say will save significant time for design workflows while also allowing for more accurate material reporting. They similarly have added a new Equipment Lists feature for lighting and live event designers to provide more automated solutions to the design process.
Even without using the words “artificial intelligence” at any point in their announcement of the news, Vectorworks’ latest improvements still manage to stay in line with industry trends as they continue to automate parts of the design workflow. It is, of course, crucial for these models and design projects to be as accurate as possible in order to minimize the number of potential mistakes that can be made working off of the design. A lot of the work required to achieve that accuracy, however, is often tedious, making the workflow more cumbersome. By automating these and allowing for other customizations to allow users to adjust products to their individual workflow, many of these barriers are taken out of play.
"Vectorworks 2024 represents a significant move forward in integrating our tools into specific design workflows. By taking a holistic and high-level approach, we work hard to ensure that our software aligns seamlessly with the natural processes of designers," said Vectorworks CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar. "From ideation to final execution, this latest version has been carefully crafted to ensure new tools and existing features work together harmoniously to diminish disruptions and enhance productivity."