Sales FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


Who should use Vertex BD?

Vertex BD is an advanced building design software application for medium to large sized residential and commercial builders. Home builders have been utilizing our industry leading House Options Manager, included with the Vertex BD Total package, to automate the process of generating lot specific drawing sets, while wood and cold-formed steel framers and manufacturers have taken advantage of our extremely customizable framing generator to automate the process of producing cut lists, shop drawings, and manufacturing data.

Vertex BD has been delivered to thousands of companies all over the world, including:

  • production home builders
  • custom home builders
  • commercial builders
  • manufactured home builders
  • modular home builders
  • component manufacturers
  • architecture firms
  • engineering firms
  • material suppliers
  • plan service providers
  • educational institutions

How is Vertex BD different than CAD?

CAD refers to the old-fashioned software applications used for creating 2D line drawings, and eventually 3D models, that contain only simple geometry.

Vertex BD enables a designer to build a structure in 2D and 3D virtual space using objects that contain information about themselves. For example, when you draw a wall in Vertex BD, the wall object has information about its 2D and 3D geometry, building materials, framing rules, and connections to other components.

Once the building has been created in the software, all this information is used to generate architectural layouts, elevation and section drawings, structural layouts, production drawings, material reports, manufacturing data, and rendered images, all from one source. This eliminates the task of creating all of those drawings and reports separately, and ensures they are all consistent with each other.

Is Vertex BD a BIM software application?

Yes. Vertex BD has utilized BIM technology long before the term BIM was commonly recognized in the industry. BIM stands for Building Information Modeling, which basically means that the model created in the software contains information about itself. See "How is Vertex BD different than CAD?" to read about how Vertex BD takes advantage of BIM technology.

In recent years, many people have misunderstood the term BIM to mean a file format compatible with Autodesk Revit. BIM is a generic term used to describe a type of software, not any one specific application.

What makes Vertex BD different from other building design systems?

Vertex BD is an advanced software application designed with volume production in mind, specifically for medium to large sized residential and commercial builders.

Vertex BD House Options Manager, included with the Vertex BD Total package, automates the process of generating lot specific drawing sets, saving production home builders countless hours of having to recreate drawings for each customer's choice of house options.

The framing generator saves an enormous amount of time by automatically generating productions drawings, complete with dimensions, piece labels, cut lists, and more. Unlike some other framing systems, our framing rules, details, and materials are all customizable, and our final production drawings are completely editable.

Vertex BD is a complete architectural and framing package. There is no need to redraw the model in different software applications. Once the building has been created in the software, it is used to generate architectural layouts, elevation and section drawings, structural layouts, production drawings, and material reports, all from one source.  The CNC Manufacturing Interface add-on module lets you send framing data from the model to automated manufacturing equipment.  Vertex BD Standard, Premium, and Total can also generate rendered images right from the building model.

Vertex BD is the most customizable building design software available. Libraries of walls, floors, roofs, ceilings, doors, windows, trims, details, and more, can all be modified to fit the way you build.

What are the hardware requirements?

See the hardware requirement page.

Do you provide software training?

Yes, we can provide online training sessions. Training is always conducted by one of our expert software support engineers, and is private for each customer.

How much training should we get?

Our training sessions are tailored to specific needs. For on-site training, we recommend 2 to 3 days for Vertex BD Standard or Advanced packages, 4 days for Premium, and 5 days for Total.  Online training typically runs at a slightly faster pace:  12 to 16 hours for Standard or Advanced, 20 hours for Premium, and 24 to 36 hours for Total.  Additional time may be recommended based upon selected add-on software modules and advanced topics.  Click here for more information about training topics and recommendations.

Can you help us setup and customize the software?

Yes. Our support engineers can develop customized functionality such as modifying/creating component libraries, framing rules, and material databases to more closely integrate the system to a company's existing and long term goals. Services can be performed both on-site and off-site according to what best suits your company's needs.

Is technical support and software upgrades included with a subscription?

Yes. Software subscriptions include our Support and Maintenance service, which gives you direct access to our team of technical support engineers, along with software updates and annual upgrades. Technical support is available Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm Eastern Time, excluding U.S. federal holidays.  Support assistance can be provided via phone, email, and online conferencing with GoToMeeting.

How are Vertex BD licenses managed?

Vertex BD uses an internet based licensing system to control the product and module configuration, and number of users that can run the application at the same time. The software may be installed on any number of computers, but it can only run on computers that have active licenses. The licenses may be moved to different computers as needed. Each license key may have a different product and module configuration, for example, you may have one key for Vertex BD Advanced, and another key for Vertex BD Premium.

Can Vertex BD import and export files from other software?

Yes. Vertex BD can import dwg and dxf files as 2D vector drawings, and IFC files as 3D building information models. Pdf, jpg, bmp, tif, gif, and png files can be imported as raster images. 3ds, 3D dwg, igs, sat, and stl files can be imported as simple 3D geometry. The building information model can be exported as an IFC file. Framing information can be exported to Bentley STAAD Pro and ATIR STRAP for finite element analysis as an std file. 2D drawings can be exported as pdf, dwg, dxf, jpg, tif, gif, bmp, and png files. 3D geometry can be exported as 3D pdf, 3D dwg, igs, sat, 3ds, stl, and dae files.

What can I do with the free trial?

The Vertex BD 14-day free trial is very similar to the Vertex BD Total package but without rendering. It also does not include the CNC Manufacturing or Engineering add-on modules.  You can use it to create architectural and structural drawing sets, panel drawings, material reports, and even create and solve house options.

The free trial is for evaluation purposes only. Projects and documents created with the free trial version cannot be transferred to a paid version of Vertex BD.

Does Vertex BD perform structural analysis / which building codes?

The Engineering add-on module is only available in the European and Australian versions of Vertex BD, and is limited to lipped C-section cold-formed steel framing utilizing AS/NZS Standards, Eurocode and Chinese Standards.  Argos Systems does not provide training or support for the Engineering add-on module - arrangements may be made with another Vertex office.  For more information, please visit the Design Requirements and Limitations page.

Alternatively, framing information can be exported to Bentley STAAD Pro and ATIR STRAP for finite element analysis as an std file, and the building information model may be exported to other design software applications using the IFC file format.

How much does it cost?

There are 4 packages, plus a CNC Manufacturing Interface add-on module, available as monthly or annual subscriptions.  Package descriptions and pricing are available on our web shop.

Which package should I get?

The "Standard" package is ideal for creating architectural drawings, basic material reports, and renderings for custom projects.

The "Advanced" package is recommended for framers and component manufacturers that need to produce cut lists and shop drawings, but do not need to create architectural drawings.

The "Premium" package allows designers to produce both architectural and structural drawing sets, along with cut lists, shop drawings, and renderings.

The "Total" package is recommended for production home builders that want to utilize the Automatic House Options system to automate architectural drawing sets, and be able to produce structural drawings, cut lists, shop drawings, and renderings.

The "CNC Manufacturing Interface" is needed to send framing part data to manufacturing equipment.  It is an add-on module that can be added to the Advanced, Premium, or Total packages.

Can I change the subscription packages later?

Yes, you can change the subscription package and add-on modules later. Please contact an Argos sales representative to assist you.

How do I place my order and install Vertex BD?

  1. Click here to open the web shop in a new window.
  2. Select a Monthly or Yearly subscription near the top left corner of the web shop.
  3. Click "+Add to Cart" under the package that you would like to order.
  4. Set the quantity of licenses near the top of the shopping cart
  5. Click the checkbox if you also need the CNC Manufacturing Interface add-on module.
  6. If you need to order more packages, click the X in the top right corner of the shopping cart to close it, then repeat steps 3, 4, and 5.
  7. When finished making your selections, click the Checkout button near the bottom of the Shopping Cart then complete the payment form.
  8. Once the payment is processed, you will receive an email with a link to download the installer and see your activation code(s).  At first, the page will let you select wood or steel framing, metric or imperial units, and your geographical region.  If you ordered a CNC Manufacturing Interface, you will also be able to select from a list of CNC output formats.  Select the Submit button when complete.
  9. After submitting your selections, you will be redirected to a page that contains your new activation code(s) and link to download and install Vertex BD.  There will also be links for the installation instructions and other useful information.

*NOTE: The trial version of Vertex BD cannot be converted to a full version.  You will need to install the full version to run it with a paid subscription.  The trial version may be uninstalled to free up space on your computer.