LandworksCAD Lt or Pro versus Vectorworks Landmark

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums STORY BOARD LandworksCAD Lt or Pro versus Vectorworks Landmark

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    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    Any drawing software or method of producing design deliverables is legitimate if some designers like to use it and it satisfies their clientele.

    One thing that is becoming more and more important other than the graphic representation of a design is the different way landscape architects are now working with other design professionals rather than producing stand alone deliverables.

    A lot of people in our profession complain about other design professions taking over our work. Part of that is because a lot of projects have the need for some of our work to go back to other professionals to be incorporated into their drawings -usually a Land Surveyor or CE who needs to certify the location of our work on a site to show regulatory compliance. That is a breeze for those other professions if we are using the same or a very similar software.

    It can be a disaster if they import our work created by a different software regardless if it has been converted to a matching file format. I had it happen several times in a CE office (worked there doing civil plans) where something in the imported file altered existing objects in the CE’s file. It was not always the case, but the few times it happened made it a policy not to import files created by other programs. Now as an LA working on lots of projects that come and go to various PLS/CE offices they are telling me that one of the reasons that they refer me is because I use an Autodesk software and they trust my files.

    I’m not a fan of the Autodesk dominance, but it is what it is in my region and a lot of great designers are not getting the same referrals because some of us are saving other professionals tons of work because they don’t have to re-draft the stuff that we draw. That goes for hand drawing as well as non-compatible software.

    The hardest thing in this business is getting work. Anything that you do to encourage others to refer you is a huge deal. Anything that you do to make it harder for them is not a smart thing to do. Sometimes we have to go beyond what works well in our own office to see that we are fitting in the big picture.

    Jennifer Mann

    Hi Kathy,

    I purchased VWL about five years ago.  How are you doing with it now after over a year working with it?  It took me a while to get it figured out but that’s mostly because I am so busy running my own design/build and maintenance company and I’m a mom….just no time!  Lately I’ve been doing one on one go to meetings with Eric Gibley, the VW main instructor.  That has been very beneficial and not too terribly expensive.  I am a service select member, too, and have found it worth the money as well.  I don’t live near Denver (the closest city where VW workshops are held) so the go to meetings are a great alternative, I can work on my questions directly, and I think at the end of the hour I’ve learned more than I would in the workshops.

    Anyways, just wanted to connect with another VW user.  I do think it’s a great Mac based software specific to landscape design.  I plan on doing more contract drafting work in the future.

    nigel varley

    Andrew, you are right. It is important for many that the files you export or import are essentially the same on your machine as they are on your associates.

    Surveyors, Architects, HVAC engineers Electrical engineers and Structural engineers etc all have the same issues as Landscape Architects, however it is a myth to think that because you use one product from Autodesk it will produce a file that is the same on another product from Autodesk. For instance, if you use AutoCAD it does not produce the same file format as someone using Revit and so there is a conversion process that takes place. The same is true for LANDWorksCAD and AutoCAD. LANDWorksCAD make sure the conversion is as close to perfect as possible. If it is a big concern however there is a version of LANDWorksCADthat runs as an app for AutoCAD (or BricsCAD) and this will maintain your original DWG file format without conversion.

    Historically the DWG interchange issue has bee a problem with software such as ArchiCAD, Vectorworks and others but due to the OpenDWG Alliance the DWG format is available from just about all up to date design software.

    Kathy Robert

    Hi Jennifer, 

    Thank you for reaching out.  

    I purchased VWL a year ago last December.  From January to March, I worked through the training videos faithfully, until I got busy.  I am also a Design/Build company.  

    This year, I have recommitted myself to learning VWL.  It takes time to make time.  Right?!. I have to find the time to get my training done, so I don’t waste my investment, and so that I hopefully will be able to get my designs turned out faster.  I am also a service select member, and do appreciate the help that they provide.  I will keep the one-on-one go-to meetings in mind for the future.  

    Sincerely, Kathy Robert


    I had the same response as Robert. Never heard of the other one, but VW Landmark has been building software for landscape architects for quite some time now, and it’s good stuff.

    Jennifer Mann

    …..and interfaces very well will all sorts of files, too.  the 2017 release is awesome!

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