Welcome to the Vectorworks User Group of Boston web site.

This meets on the first Wednesday of every month (except in July, August, and November) to share information on the uses of Vectorworks in the building industry. All practitioners at every level of familiarity with this software are welcome to join us. For more information, contact Tom Parks (617-459-8579) or Brian Hores (617-894-8482).

Latest News

Vectorworks is Coming to Boston for BIM Camp on March 5 and 6 Jan 5, 2013

Discover How Easy BIM Can Be-
Transitioning to BIM has a reputation for being daunting, frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive. So when clients pressure you to adopt BIM workflows, jumping in probably isn't your first reaction. But it could be...

Attend our BIM Camp and learn how easy adopting a BIM workflow can be.

Our BIM Camp teaches the skills you need to thrive in this new world of BIM, better understand how IFC-based standards benefit design teams, create sustainable and high-performing designs, and collaborate through Open BIM. Attendees also receive a BIM Survival Kit, loaded with presentation materials and other resources.

Click here to RSVP

Recent News

News story archives and other updates.

Upcoming Meetings

Meetings are typically held on the first Wednesday of the month. Keep an eye on the schedule here for upcoming topics and other events.

Past Meetings

We will keep a back log of previous meetings in an effort to provide meeting notes or other interesting info given out at the meeting.

  • September 2, 2009

    Brian Hores presented "The Power of Polygons"- The manipulation of 2D objects by adding and clipping surfaces, adding and subtracting polygonal vertices with bezier, cubic spline, and fillet conversion tools was explained. Polygons were extruded for quick 3D massing models or converted to BIM architectural, landscape, and engineering objects.

  • October 26, 2009

    Brian Hores & David Caruso discussed online tutorial and technical-support resources, third-party add-ons, and social-networking opportunities to enhance collaboration and communication.

  • November 4, 2009

    Brian Hores presented "3D Modeling 101"- The use of 3D primitives to create cubes, cylinders, spheres and cones and how to use multiple extrusion techniques to create 3D volumes was demonstrated. More complex models were built through add, subtract, intersect and section solids. 3D PowerPac tools and NURBS to create complex loft and free form surfaces were introduced.

  • December 2, 2009

    Joe Artley presented "Quick Design and Modeling with Vectorworks: A Residential Case-Study"- The process of site layout and modeling, existing conditions building plan and model with a schematic presentation were covered.

  • January 6, 2010

    Paul Humphreys presented "Fine Tuning the Look of Your BIM Model"- Part Line Styles to fine tune 2D plan views of doors and windows and Class Styles to control the look of a rendered model were demonstrated.

  • February 3, 2010

    A Vectorworks Webinar video "From Lines to Models" was presented with a discussion about workflow and tools involved in basic BIM modeling with Vectorworks.

  • March 3, 2010

    Wes Gardner of NNA presented "BIM in Perspective"- A 'big-picture' presentation about building information modeling (BIM) and its historical and technological precedents. How BIM differs from CAD, how BIM affects the design and construction team, and the implications of BIM for the design and construction process were explained. The presentation was followed by "What's New in Vectorworks 2010".

  • April 7, 2010

    Brian Hores presented "Getting the 'I' out of BIM"- The difference between spreadsheets and database worksheets was explained. The use of built-in reports to generate schedules and quantity take-offs. Custom records linked to objects and symbols and filters and criteria to create custom worksheets that report specific information were shown.

  • May 5, 2010

    Brian Hores and David Caruso presented "Working with PDFs"- Discussed importing and exporting Vectorworks documents to PDFs. Presented functions that can be preformed with PDFs through the combination, extraction, and compression of PDF pages outside of Vectorworks.

  • June 2, 2010

    David Berner presented "A Case Study Presentation: Exploring Sketch Up and Sketch Styles"- A demonstration on how to export Vectorworks drawings and import AutoCAD files into Sketchup to use as a base for a massing model and utilize Sketch Up to create quick conceptual massing models with applied material textures. Qualities of Sketch Styles in Vectorworks for different presentation uses and audiences were compared and evaluated along with the creation of custom Sketch Styles for producing unique modes of presentation.

  • September 1, 2010

    Sean Stewart presented “A Case Study: 3D Instructional Lessons from Wentworth's Interior Design Program”- Fundamental 3D modelling techniques and tools to produce preliminary study models and the application and modification of textures on 3D models were discussed along with a range of rendering styles and the utilization of 3D visualization tools to create building sections and section perspectives.

  • October 6, 2010

    Brian Hores will present "A Case Study: Combining Hand Drawing and Computer Modeling for Conceptual Design" Learn how to import hand drawn sketches to be combined with orthographic drawings. Create scanned sketch symbols and patterns for use in rendered presentation drawings. Create massing models to be used with entourage colored marker rendering techniques. Use Vectorworks paper space and viewports to create presentation boards and project plates.

  • November 3, 2010

    Chas Norton from WGBH presented “Cross Country and Cross Platform Communication” between clients, producers, and engineers to stage television productions. Demonstrated how PDF scans and DWG files of existing conditions were used as a base for laying out venues for television productions. Applied Spotlight tools to design truss structures for lighting, video, and audio. Exported DWG files to review equipment loading with structural engineers and for production managers for determining camera angles. Used modeling tools to coordinate the stacking and packing of equipment for cross-country transport.

  • December 1, 2010

    Brian Hores shared "Reasons to Celebrate 2011" showing how 3D is as easy as 2D with Vectorworks 2011. The Push-Pull tool allows for interactive modeling like SketchUp. Planar graphics text and dimensions can be applied to any surface in any 3D orientation. Planar objects can be extracted to apply hatches and tile fill patterns. Tile Fills are much easier to create and manage vs hatches.

  • January 5, 2011

    Brian Hores presented "Hybrid Symbols". Symbols that have both 2D Plan and 3D Model components. Graphic attributes can be applied to 2D components. Textures can be applied to 3D components. Parametric plug-in objects and resource symbols are hybrid objects.

  • February 2, 2011

    CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER

  • March 2, 2011

    Jim Woodward, exhibit and lighting designer with his company Exhibit Logic and expert Vectorworks trainer, will present "Strategies and Techniques for Enhanced 3D Modeling in VW2011". Presenting principles and strategies for 2D / 3D integration in VW2011. Creating and mapping textures in VW2011 Renderworks. Demonstrating 3D tools for effective solids modeling. Utilizing advanced lighting techniques for illuminating 3D models.

  • April 6, 2011

    Paul Humphreys will present "Starting your Project Right with Templates" Templates are an ideal way to start a new project and create a standard setup between projects. VectorWorks comes with predefined templates that can be customized. The proper organization of classes, layers, and sheets saves time and creates consistency. Plug-in objects and symbols can be auto-classed keep drawings organized.

  • May 4, 2011

    Brian Hores will present "Online Resources". Where to go when you have a question. Resources and online training to improve your Vectorworks skills. Resources for Plug-ins, textures, and customization to improve performance and productivity.

  • June 1, 2011

    "Show-and-Tell"- Committee members present a variety of uses for Vectorworks from their personal projects. Meetings are free and open to all. Dinner will be provided to those who RSVP by May 31 to rsvp@architects.org with “VWUG 6/1” in the subject line. This will be our last meeting before we break for summer; we resume regular meetings in the fall.

  • September 7, 2011

    "Graphic Design with Vectorworks"- Tom Parks and Brian Hores will share examples of Vectorworks as graphic design tool. Presentation boards, project plates, business cards, and banners can be created. Gradients, image fills, and tile patterns can be used to enliven 2D plans, elevations, and presentations. A wide range of color pallets both paint and pantone colors can be used to for architectural studies and graphic publications. Custom office standard color pallets can be developed. Members are encouraged to bring in samples to share.

  • October 5, 2011

    Joe Artley will share “Presenting Options to the Client” - 2D and 3D presentations of window and siding alternates can be controlled with layers and classes. Interior and exterior 3D views can be set up with the 3D View tool and manipulated with the Walk Through and Flyover tools to present realistic rendered scenarios to the client.

  • November 2, 2011

    Vectorworks 2012 has arrived and they are sending their experts to show us what is new. Learn about the improved functionality and efficient features and tools. Cast your votes for what you would like to see presented. Select the features you would like to see covered during registration and you will be helping to create the agenda for the meeting. Experience the innovations and advancements to help save time and increase productivity. Seating is limited. Click here to register: Vectorworks 2012 User Group Tour. A hands-on Test Drive event will be offered Wednesday and Thursday mornings and afternoons. See Latest News

  • December 7, 2011

    “GIS-Geographic Information System”- BAC landscape architecture graduate student Terence Duffy will offer a presentation of current work illustrating the use of GIS in landscape design. Drawing upon work that he is currently doing for the Brook Farm Gateway Project, Terry will illustrate how data accessible through GIS can be a powerful resource and tool for designers. His presentation will demonstrate how MassGIS can be used to access shapefiles and the data that is associated with them, and how shapefiles can be imported and manipulated in the design process.

  • January 4, 2012

    "2012 at the new BSA |SPACE|" Our meeting location has changed to the new BSA building at 290 Congress St., Boston- We'll explore the new space and discuss topics for the new year as well as look at users' favorite features in the Vectorworks 2012 update.

  • February 1, 2012

    "Digital Terrain Modeling (DTM)"-Eric Gilbey, RLA, Landscape Industry Product Specialist at Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc., shows how DTM is a powerful site analysis tool, which assists with the site design process. The presentation covered how use the information a surveyor can provide to create a site model, to discover how to build a model and analyze sites, to examine how to use basic site modifiers to set designs into models, and to create sections and understand cut and fill.

  • March 7, 2012

    "Stories & Story-Bounded Objects: A new and easy BIM organizational scheme"- Don Ward Vectorworks lead trainer will present: The powerful new additions and BIM capabilities in Vectorworks Architect 2012. Learn how to leverage these capabilities to organize BIM files and share files with others. Understand how editing story elevations updates all linked design layers and objects. Learn how walls, columns, slabs, and stairs respond to elevation changes when “bound” to Story Layers

  • April 4, 2012

    “Exterior Rendering Techniques” - Brian Hores will share methods for setting camera views and lighting for exterior renderings; creating and applying textures to the architecture and landscape; creating and adding entourage image props for the final rendered scene; utilizing and customizing rendering styles that can be saved as a resource for consistent rendering results.

  • May 2, 2012

    “Event Planning with Spotlight”- Brian Hores will look at the Spotlight module of Vectorworks and illustrate how Event Planning tools can be used to quickly develop an event with stage, podium, and video/LED screens. Soft Goods tools for creating drapery and trusses with lighting and audio speakers will complete the venue.

  • September 5, 2012

    "Summer Vacation Slide Show" - What did you do on your summer vacation? Brian Hores shares some small projects he has been working on this summer. We will explore deck and bathroom design, furniture and fabric patterns, as well as taking models into the virtual 3D world.

  • October 3, 2012

    CASE STUDY 1.1- Preparing to Create a BIM model of Case Study House #1 Over the course several sessions we will create a complete BIM model based upon the un-built drawing for Case Study House #1 (1945). We will evolve the model from conceptual drawings through construction documents. In the initial session we will: Import documents and images to use for the basis of design. Create scaled reference drawings to develop the model. Utilize stories, layers, classes, views, and sheets to organize the the model. Develop a rough framework of the model for further development. Click here to RSVP

  • November 7, 2012

    CASE STUDY 1.2 - Constructing the BIM model of Case Study House #1 A BIM model of Case Study House #1 will be constructed in an interactive and discussion-based format. Attendees will learn how to: Build a model using parametric objects, use components to represent the materials of construction in walls and floors, create custom doors and windows, create presentation views and sheets that will update to reflect revisions as the model is developed. Click here to RSVP

  • December 5, 2012

    CASE STUDY 1.3 - Kitchen and Bathrooms in Case Study House #1 The BIM Model of Case Study House #1 will be continued with the development of the interior fixtures and furnishings. Vignette images from the research will be analyzed to develop the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, fixtures, and appliances. Parametric cabinets and symbols will be used to construct the interior decor. Enlarged plans, interior elevations, and perspective views will recreate the original design intent. Members are welcome to bring their laptop and explore the model during or after the meeting. Click here to RSVP

  • January 9, 2013

    CASE STUDY 1.4- Furnishings and Material Textures for Case Study House #1 The BIM Model of Case Study House #1 will be continued with the development of the interior furnishings and application of material textures. Vignette images from the research will be analyzed to develop the interior decor. Stairs and handrails will be created Furnishings will be installed and custom millwork modeled. Material textures will be applied to the model. Perspective views will recreate original design intent. Members are welcome to bring their laptop and explore the model during or after the meeting. NOTE NEW MEETING DATE JANUARY 9, 2013 Click here to RSVP

  • February 6, 2013

    CASE STUDY 1.5- Landscape Plan for Case Study House #1 The BIM Model of Case Study House #1 will be continued with the development of the exterior landscaping of the site. Eric Gilby from Vectorworks Landmark will be presenting new features of Vectorworks 2013 Landmark. Vignette images from the research will be analyzed to develop the landscape plan. Planting beds and landscape elements will be added to the site. Hardscape objects will define the outdoor living spaces. Solar animation will show the areas of shade and sunshine throughout the day. Members are welcome to bring their laptop and explore the model during or after the meeting. Click here to RSVP

  • March 6, 2013

    BOSTON BIM CAMP The regular monthly meeting will not be held due to BIM Camp. See the Latest News for information and registration. Click here to for more information or to RSVP

  • April 3, 2013

    CASE STUDY 1.6- Information Modeling for Case Study House #1 The BIM Model of Case Study House #1 will be continued with the development of worksheets, records, and schedules to report information from the model. Differences between manual spreadsheets and automated databases that report records will be explained. Records will be attached to objects and information will be reported in customized worksheets. Door, window, finish, and other schedules will be generated. The Space Tool will be customized to report select information on the floor plan. Members are welcome to bring their laptop and explore the model during or after the meeting. Click here to RSVP

  • May 1, 2013

    CASE STUDY 1.7- Detailing Case Study House #1 The BIM Model of Case Study House #1 is continued with the development of construction details and export as an IFC model. Architectural details will be developed through the refinement of the model’s parametric objects. Building sections and construction details will be defined from wall and slab components. Automated framing plans will be created from the model. An IFC export of the model will reviewed with Solibri. Members are welcome to bring their laptop and explore the model during or after the meeting. Click here to RSVP

  • June 5, 2013

    CASE STUDY WRAP/SHOW & TELL The Vectorworks Users Group will wrap up its schedule for the year with a review of the Case Study House No. 1 and a collegial show-and-tell. We will review the status of the Case Study House project that has been ongoing since last September, and discuss potential ideas for further development. We also invite VWUG members to share examples of one or more of their projects- past or current, large or small, refined or in-the-works. Members who wish to share their work should notify Brian or Tom. Click here to RSVP

  • September 4, 2013

    GROPIUS HOUSE 2.1 - Creating a BIM Model of the Gropius House Over the course several sessions we will create a complete BIM model based upon the the home of Walter Gropius (1937). We will evolve the model from conceptual drawings to construction documents. In the initial session we will: Import documents and images to use for the basis of design. Set up scaled reference drawings to create the model. Utilize stories, layers, classes, views, and sheets to organize the presentation of the model. Develop a massing model for further development. Click here to RSVP

  • October 12, 2013

    GROPIUS HOUSE 2.2 - Site visit to the Gropius House (NOTE SATURDAY MEETING) Field trip in conjunction with the development of the BIM model of the house in the other meetings! Take a tour of an icon of modern architecture in America, the Gropius House, designed by Walter Gropius in 1937. Please note, there is a $10 charge for the tour, payable by cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or AmEx, upon arrival. Please also note that parking is limited, so drive your Mini or ride your bike if possible! Click here to RSVP

  • November 6, 2013

    GROPIUS HOUSE 2.3 - Constructing the BIM Model of Gropius House The BIM Model of the Gropius House will be constructed using parametric objects and presentation sheets that update to reflect the development of the model. The model will be constructed using parametric objects. Walls and Slabs will include components representing the materials of construction. Custom doors and windows will be created. Presentation views and sheets will be setup to reflect revisions as the model is developed. Click here to RSVP

  • December 4, 2013

    GROPIUS HOUSE 2.4- Slabs and Stairs The BIM Model of the Gropius House will be continued with the development of the floors and roof. Stairs will be created. Floor slabs will be developed with exterior and interior finish materials. The roof and trellis structure will be created. The interior winding stair will be fabricated as a custom stair. The iconic exterior spiral stair will modeled. Members are welcome to bring their laptop and explore the model during or after the meeting. Click here to RSVP

  • January 8, 2014

    GROPIUS HOUSE 2.5 - Kitchen and Baths in the Gropius House The BIM Model of the Gropius House will be continued with the development of the interior fixtures. The original interior elevation drawings will be used to develop the kitchen and bathroom layouts. Parametric cabinets will be used to fabricate the millwork. Resource symbols will be utilized for the plumbing fixtures and appliances. Keyed enlarged plans, interior elevations, and perspective views will be added to the drawing set. Members are welcome to bring their laptop and explore the model during or after the meeting. Click here to RSVP

  • February 5, 2014

    GROPIUS HOUSE 2.6- Landscape Plan for the Gropius House Nemetschek Vectorworks Inc.’s Landscape Architecture Industry Specialist, Eric Gilbey, PLA, ASLA, will continue this study from a site perspective. Using smart hybrid objects such as plants, walls, and hardscapes, he will demonstrate collaboration between the building and site. Convert contour data from regional GIS sources and site plans into a 2D/3D (hybrid) terrain model and analyze it for slopes, water flow, and cut and fill calculations. Graphically represent and document the plant material using information-rich plant objects. Combine parametric wall and hardscape objects with site modifiers to manipulate the terrain and recreate the low-stone retaining walls and pavements. Test the effectiveness of shade trellis structures throughout any given day of the year. Click here to RSVP

  • March 5, 2014

    GROPIUS HOUSE 2.7- Furnishings and Material Textures for the Gropius House The BIM model of the Gropius House will be continued with the development of the interior furnishings, application of material textures, and presentation of rendered views. Develop interior decor from analysis of images collected from research. Create and apply furnishings and custom millwork in the 3D model. Apply material textures to the model. Explore options for various rendering styles. Click here to RSVP

  • April 2, 2014

    GROPIUS HOUSE 2.8- Detailing the Gropius House The BIM Model of the Gropius House is continued with the development of construction details and export as an IFC model. Architectural details will be developed through the refinement of the model’s parametric objects. Building sections and construction details will be defined from wall and slab components. Automated framing plans will be created from the model. An IFC export of the model will reviewed with Solibri. Click here to RSVP

  • May 7, 2014

    GROPIUS HOUSE 2.9- Building Information Model Reporting of the Gropius House The BIM Model of the Gropius House will be continued with the development of worksheets, records, and schedules to report information from the model. Differences between manual spreadsheets and automated databases that report records will be explained. Records will be attached to objects and information will be reported in customized worksheets. Door, window, finish, and other schedules generated. The Space Tool will be customized to report select information on the floor plan. Click here to RSVP

  • June 4, 2014

    GROPIUS HOUSE 2.10- Wrap-up and Members Show & Tell The Vectorworks Users Group will wrap up the year with a review of the Gropius House and a collegial show-and-tell. We will review the status of the Gropius House project that has been ongoing since last September. We also invite VWUG members to bring examples to share of one or more of their projects--past or current, large or small, refined or in-the-works. Members who wish to share their work should notify Brian or Tom. Click here to RSVP