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From Nemetschek North America:
VectorWorks is a CAD program for firms that don't have unlimited IT budgets. Precision 2D drafting. Powerful 3D modeling. Spectacular presentation capabilities. Cost and materials tracking. Automatically generated schedules.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. from their web site, released on 12/7:
As promised, weÃ¢??re happy to announce the release of Vectorworks 2009 SP5. This new update fixes stability issues between Vectorworks 2009 and the new Mac OS X Snow Leopard (V.10.6). for a complete list of fixes and improvements in this service pack please visit this page: http://www.nemetschek.net/downloads/notes/2009SP5_Notes.php
And as a personal note, I installed 10.6 the week it came out, used VW9 for weeks before I read it was 'not compatible.' As I recall there are only a handful of commands one had to avoid, and it worked fine. Maybe I was just lucky.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. I'm glad I picked this program to specialise in when I was younger. The current team at Nemetschek are taking this program to new heights, and 12.5 is no exception. Of particular note for me in this update so far is improvements to the Window and Door Plugin Objects and improvements to Workgroup Referencing.
Minor niggles include the Resource Browser not been redesigned, broken Artlantis Export plugin (again) and still no support for more than 32 characters when exporting from Artlantis.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. Other than having to wait for a few minutes to have a download link emailed to me, the update went smoothly and quickly. This release has been stable so far; I can't remember the last time Vectorwork crashed. This is my bread and butter app; I use it every day for my architecture business. It's cost-effective and does everything I ask of it. The new sketch rendering mode is terrific. My only caveat is that transitioning from annotating a viewport to editing a design layer and back again is slow on my 933 mhz G4. I understand that a third-party plug-in will be out by the end of the summer to address this.
VectorWorks is more intuitive than ArchiCAD or AutoCAD, but is very much a professionals-only application. I wouldn't advise purchasing VW unless you intend to make your living with it.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. Outstanding update!! V11.5 is much faster on my G5 2.5 DP and now has a true OS X interface- tool palettes are now resizable!!! This is by far the best CAD app out there. I have been using this for 10 years and it keeps getting better.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. I used AutoCad for 10 years at a firm I worked at, and hated every minute of wrestling with it just to get normally easy tasks done. When I started my own firm, I went all Mac and Vectorworks, and the experience has been nothing but joy. Vectorworks gets out of my way and lets me design and draw. Production is at least 25%-50% faster on Vectorworks, and I can actually use it to design, something that AutoCad will probably never be able to do. Every update that Nemetschek puts out just makes it better, which is something that AutoDesk hasn't been able to do since Release 14. And the price doesn't hurt, either ($1995.00 versus over $7000.00 for Acad and required add-ons to "match" capability of Vectorworks).
...choice. This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. VW is the only CAD application that I am aware of that can be "self-taught" and have the user achieve a reasonable degree of proficiency. A testament to its ease of use.
Support is the best. We have never had a software problem but have sought advice on CAD issues. If the tech cannot solve the problem over the phone we e-mail the file for examination. We ususally have a response in less than 36 hours.
Documentation could be better - and it is getting better. Documentation for earlier versions indicated that someone skipped 8th grade Enlish. Things a better now but the occassional lapse is distracting.
Stability under OS X is excellent. I have had only one crash and none since increasing RAM to 1.12 GB on a G4.