Likelihood to Recommend
Real estate is not really the most likely use for Sketchup, since it has so many choices and possibilities. But, it is an innovative way to differentiate yourself from the competition. The program is very well-suited to the myopic seller or buyer who can't visualize future changes and their effect on value.
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Vectorworks is just as useful for perfectly measured, hard-line CAD drawing as it is for making beautiful presentation drawings and renderings. Tools in the application allow you to transition between working drawings and presentation drawings without modifying the underlying geometry. DWG exchange with other design team members works very well
Read full review Pros Quickly exploring solutions in 3D: We get a lot of "what if" and "what would that look like" questions. While hand-sketching and hand-drafting can be fairly quick, SketchUp allows me to quickly create 3D and 2D views of a detail or solution, change dimensions and materials in a flash, and show a client or installer the plan in minutes. Creating professional design documents in LayOut: Projects of any scale need good documentation. Using a combination of SketchUp and LayOut, I can create a Design Intent Set, plans for permitting, a set for mechanical trades to mark-up, etc. Having clear, appropriately-scaled drawings with dimensions or notations is a must, and we don't always have the time or budget to get an architect involved! Using live files to guide discussions: Not all clients are "visual" people, so opening their model and orbiting around their space in real time has been extremely helpful. Clients and trades enjoy the perspective views so much that we often include them in the full-sized drawing sets to give a good "overall" view of the project intent. For complex or tight spaces, sometimes un-rendered plans and elevations just aren't enough! Read full review I tell people that Vectorworks is CAD for people who know how to draw. You can control the appearance of all the objects on a layer, or you can tweak the way a single object looks. Most of the barriers to producing good-looking, legible drawings are removed. Vectorworks Landmark is made for landscape architects.Creating hardscape, planting, and irrigation plans is pretty straightforward. Read full review Cons Ability to import Revit files and libraries. Ability to export true curved vector linework. There are some workarounds, needs to be refined. Create an OPEN MAPS connection. Since the split from Google, the source for high-quality aerials is limited. Ability to dock all menus to the master window on a Mac Ability to develop dockable menu trays on a Mac Read full review There's a bit of inconsistency in the operation of some tools that would appear to the user to be more similar. Importing complex Revit models takes a long time and, if the model has a lot of symbols in it, the import might not finish. Read full review Likelihood to Renew
We typically wait a few years in between renewing, as even older versions are powerful tools for modeling, and we make sure the amount of feature changes are worth the re-investment.
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Sketchup is so intuitive; I can't recall ever looking for official support. However, there are many user forums online that can answer more questions. The usefulness of the online forums is, however, tempered by the fact that there have been many versions of the software under different ownership and support regimes, and thus finding the right information for the right version of the software can be a challenge.
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It's great to give the customer an overview of how a project will look, but it will never replace the information that a blueprint or engineering drawing can convey. SketchUp is great for the casual user or someone who is just getting started in design work. Other high powered software, such as Solidworks or Inventor is more suited for 3D modeling on a regular basis
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I was an
user before switching to Vectorworks when coming to work with my current firm. Vectorworks Landmark includes tools specifically designed for landscape architects - it's not an
add-on. The initial investment for a new seat is much less than
, and the Service Select program pushes down the annual upgrade cost even more
Read full review Return on Investment SketchUp has definitely had a positive impact on the customer experience with our company. The model can be generated to give the owner a good idea of the final product before actually committing the resources to complete the project. Having simple models created before the work gets started in the field means that issues with elevations or odd angles can be ironed out beforehand and solved with the design team. This has greatly reduced the rework on our more complex self-perform concrete structures! Read full review There is a learning curve for new employees, as regionally Vectorworks is not in wide use and generally not introduced in the academies However, because it is more intuitive as far as WYSIWYG drawing, most people pick up the basics pretty quickly. It's a really powerful suite of tools. Sometimes it's good to spend some time afforded by a larger project to explore ways to use the software more efficiently (e.g., improving worksheets, using different smart object tools, etc.) Read full review ScreenShots