Maximizing 3D Modeling: Beyond Sales & Presentations

*Featured image courtesy of Rembrandt Landscapes.

There’s a common misconception that 3D modeling should only be used for selling projects or showcasing final design visions, and it’s often seen as an extra cost for clients. In this article, you’ll see why 3D modeling in Vectorworks Landmark has potential far beyond sales and presentations, why it’s easier than you might think, and how the benefits pay off in droves.

The Lesser-Known Advantages of 3D Modeling

3D modeling allows you to tell a holistic story about your design through its geometry and parameters. Moreover, using 3D geometry in Vectorworks enables intelligent workflows that vastly improve your ability to harvest data and analyze your project.

Let’s discuss a few ways in which these factors improve your landscape workflows.

Enhanced Data Management

Parametric/smart hybrid objects offer even more benefits by providing information in reports, allowing for revisions based on analysis, and appending data as needed.

These intelligent objects streamline the design process by facilitating quick adjustments and updates, so you can quickly and easily ensure that the final product aligns with the client's vision and requirements.

For example, the following image shows color-coded site contours and a legend that indicates their slope percentages. Were you to update these contours, the change would automatically reflect in the legend.


Additionally, the ability to extract detailed data from these objects enhances project documentation and communication, fostering a collaborative and transparent workflow. Embracing these advanced tools elevates the design process, empowering you to work efficiently and make more informed design decisions.

For example, the following charts were used to calculate stormwater runoff quantities. With their 3D model, the designers were able to extract the total area of the roof and pair that with average stormwater data for the project location to produce roof runoff quantities.

Screenshot 2024-04-26 at 10.22.36 AM

*Courtesy of Grey Leaf Design.

Sun/Shade Analysis

Conducting sun/shade analysis can contribute to energy efficiency, plant suitability, meeting client preferences, and supporting artistic/design treatments. This analysis can inform decisions on plant selection, placement of structures, and overall layout to ensure that the design meets the client's needs and enhances the overall aesthetic and functionality of the site.

Heliodon analysis

Simply put, you couldn’t conduct sun/shade analysis with 2D drawings. You conduct sun/shade studies in Vectorworks with the Heliodon tool, located in the Visualization toolset. You can find a free webinar later in this post that explores the various ways in which you can use the Heliodon tool to your advantage.

4 heliodon objects for shade-heavy zones maffei landscape design

Generating 2D Drawing from Your Models

When you have a 3D model, you can effortlessly generate 2D drawings by extracting plan, elevation, and section views from different perspectives.

This process involves slicing through the 3D model to produce precise 2D representations of specific areas or aspects of the design. Whether it's generating detailed planting plans or illustrating elevation changes, Vectorworks has the flexibility and accuracy required for producing professional-quality 2D drawings quickly.

Furthermore, Vectorworks’ intelligent parametric objects ensure that any changes made to the 3D model are automatically reflected in the corresponding 2D drawings, streamlining the design iteration process and maintaining consistency across all documentation.

Screenshot 2024-05-10 at 11.08.03 AM

Scalability of 3D Modeling

As you complete more and more projects with 3D, you’ll be able to amass a library of intelligent objects in your Vectorworks Resource Manager. Whether these objects are plants, hardscape materials, or detail specifications, as time goes on, you’ll be able to insert these objects very quickly into new projects, saving you from having to remodel something you completed on a previous project.

In this way, learning 3D modeling is a fantastic investment to make, because it pays off enormously in saved time, especially when you consider the other benefits of 3D modeling discussed in this post.

Take the Next Steps in Your 3D Modeling Journey Today

3D modeling offers a multitude of advantages beyond just sales and presentation. From conveying design narratives to enhancing data management and scalability, the benefits of incorporating 3D modeling into your workflow are undeniable. By investing in learning 3D modeling, you save time and improve efficiency, and you also elevate the quality and accuracy of your designs.

Dive deeper into the world of 3D modeling and see how it can revolutionize your design approach with the free webinar, “The Data Difference: 3D for Landscape Analysis.”


Topics: Landscapes


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