Skip to main content

VectorWorks for students

If you register (and qualify as as student) at you can download and activate VectorWorks as an educational version.
  • The student version is always the "previous" version. Will very soon be r2010 when r2011 is released. Now only r2009 is available. (edit: according to the comments, it seems that the most recent 2011 version should be available for students soon)
  • It is free and available for OSX and Windows.
  • The student version has a visible banner on all output. When your school has a lab-license, this allows you to print without banners.
  • The software is fully functional and additional modules such as RenderWorks are included.
The software has come a long way since the old "MiniCAD" I used in architectural practice. But despite that, I'm not still not fully convinced on the 3D interface. But even then, I did create some very usable 3D scenes even with the "first" VectorWorks version, so it can only be better than what it was.

What I still don't get is in how far this really is "2D, 3D & BIM" whenever you want. It does not go as far as ArchiCAD or Revit on the BIM side, but it gets closer with every release.


  1. Stefan,
    I would like to correct the statement you made on what versions are available on the student portal. We ALWAYS have the most current shipping version on the portal. On September 14th, our English resellers released 2011, and it is now available all over the world. Other non-english countries are going to release in the near future, and at that point we will make those versions available on the portal also. If you have any other questions about the student version, e-mail me:
    -Nicholas La Forest

  2. Thank you for your addition. AFAIK, the dealer who contacted me today told me that the student version would still be one version behind the commercial one. I personally don't care too much, as long as the version we would use in our class is the same as the version students request.

  3. You can find Vectorworks tips and tricks at this blog:

    an youtube movies at this link:


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Improve usage of BIM during early design phases

When I was collecting ideas for a book chapter on BIM (that seemed to never have emerged after that), I collected 10 ideas, which I believe still reflect good recommendations to improve the usage of BIM during the early design phases. These ideas are related to BIM software, but you can apply them in any flavor, as long as you can model with Building Elements, Spaces and have control over representation. Introduction This article gives an overview of several recommendations and tips, to better apply BIM applications and BIM methodologies, in the context of the early design phases. Many of these tips are applicable in any BIM application and they are based on experience gathered from teaching, researching and using BIM software. Sometimes they could help software developers to improve the workflow of their particular BIM implementation. Tip 1 : Gradually increase the amount of information In the early design phases, the architect makes assumptions and lays out the main design in

Getting BIM data into Unity (Part 9 - using IfcConvert)

This is part 9 of a series of posts about getting BIM data into Unity. In this post, we’ll discuss the IfcConvert utility from the IfcOpenShell Open Source IFC Library to preprocess an IFC model for integration with Unity. This is (finally?) again a coding post, with some scripts which are shared to build upon. Conversion of IFC into Unity-friendly formats The strategy with this approach is that you preprocess the IFC-file into more manageable formats for Unity integration. Most Web-platforms do some sort of pre-processing anyway, so what you see in your browsers is almost never an IFC-file, but an optimised Mesh-based geometric representation. However, it wouldn’t be BIM-related if we’d limit ourselves to the geometry, so we will parse the model information as well, albeit using another, pre-processed file. IFC to Wavefront OBJ I used a test IFC-model and used the IfcConvert-utility converted it into OBJ en XML formats. The default way to use it is very simple:

Getting BIM data into Unity (Part 8 - Strategies to tackle IFC)

This is part 8 of a series of posts about getting BIM data into Unity. In this post, we’ll discuss IFC as a transfer format towards Unity. As with the previous post, this is not a coding post, although hints and examples are provided. Open BIM and IFC Everybody who ever met me or heard me present on a conference or BIM-lecture will not be surprised to hear that I’m a strong believer in the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), an open standard, with already two versions published as an ISO standard, being IFC2x2 and IFC4 (but surprisingly not IFC2x3 which is widely used). In the ideal world, this would be the format to use to transfer BIM data into another environment, such as Unity. So what are our options? Looking in the Unity Asset Store Assimp is a library which supports multiple formats, including IFC.   I did a few attempts, but alas without any success. It is possib