7 key New Features in BricsCAD V20 That Make AutoCAD Obsolete!
That is a bold statement but after attending the Bricsys annual conference in Stockholm earlier this month it is clear that BricsCAD has surpassed AutoCAD and that Bricsys is positioned to take on Revit and Civil 3D.
I first wrote about BricsCAD in 2015 when I did a deep analysis of the software and concluded that it was the only Real Alternative to AutoCAD. I called it AutoCAD on steroids.
Now it is much more than AutoCAD as new features and functions are added that do not exist in AutoCAD. So what are these key new features?
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to automate many common drafting functions
- Performance enhancements allows users to move 500,000 entities effortlessly
- Site Design (surfaces/alignments/grading) provide direct access to Civil 3D objects
- Very impressive point cloud and image processing
- New more intuitive user interface with dark mode
- 24/7 collaboration tool now added to BricsCAD with their Maintenance Plan
- BricsCAD BIM continues to get better. Revit file read/write expected later this year.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) for CAD Automation
Bricsys has been working hard on AI for its BIM application. This was most evident in the BIMIFY command and to a lesser extent in the BLOCKIFY command for BricsCAD.
Now it is gaining real traction in assisting users with some complex drafting issues. For example, consider a door comprising lines and arcs embedded in a two line wall.
If you want to place copies of the door, you can use the new COPY GUIDED command to copy the door anywhere in the drawing. Not only will the door be copied, but it will automatically trim out the underlying wall.
And don’t forget about the QUAD cursor which intelligently gives you command options based on the type of entity selected. New users may find this distracting but the more you use it, the more you will love it.
General Performance Enhancements
Performance enhancements are hard to quantify – they include faster loading, faster LISP processing etc.
Finally there is something that is dramatically quantifiable – watch this video showing 500,000 entities being moved in real time – something that engineers and surveyors have to do routinely.
And don’t forget about the QUAD cursor which intelligently gives you command options based on the type of entity selected. Although foreign to AutoCAD users, this AI engine will save you hours of effort once you take the time to experiment with it.
The civil objects in BricsCAD have been moved from the BIM version to the Platinum version and greatly enhanced. They offer some basic features for surface, alignments and grading. These are idea for conceptual design and provide the framework for more advances in the future.
What is more significant is the BricsCAD is exposing the Civil Objects API to 3rd party developers. This has significant potential once fleshed out. For example, Civil Site Design on BricsCAD could potentially read and write Civil 3D objects allowing users to transparently share drawings between the two systems.
Point Cloud and Image Processing
With the rapid growth of scanning and drones, the need for a streamlined scanning and image processing engine is critical today. And BricsCAD has responded in spades!
If you are interested in point cloud processing, this video compares BricsCAD point cloud support with AutoCAD. Again, BricsCAD is miles ahead. The partnership with Leica is only going to make this better.
As a civil engineer, I am much more interested in faster image processing in BricsCAD. With the advent of drones, images sizes are getting larger - we are no longer talking about megabytes or gigabytes but now petabytes.
BricsCAD’s new image processing engine handles petabytes of data. You can see the overall image – about 3 miles in length and the detail which is instantly available with the standard zoom function. See it live in the video below.
New More Intuitive User Interfacee
This seems to be a minor point but it was high on the list of many user requests -Bricsys is listening to it's users.
The new User Interface and Ribbon design is significantly more intuitive then the earlier design. Dark mode was one of the most requested enhancements that users asked for.
This is a catch up to AutoCAD. Bricsys is listening to you and adding the most requested features. Remember, if you have your own CUI, it can be easily loaded into BricsCAD.
Free Collaboration Tools with 24/7
Another significant addition to BricsCAD V20 is the direct integration of the cloud based 24/7 application.
This application allows users to easily share and check out project drawings from a free cloud service. This feature will be available to all users on software maintenance.
24/7 is an extremely useful feature for smaller offices. Even a one man office can benefit by accessing their drawings on a mobile device when in the field.
BricsCAD BIM Keeps Getting Better
The first version of BricsCAD BIM was released three years ago. It was an interesting concept of creating a DWG based CAD and BIM product – something that Autodesk could not even attempt.
It got much better last year with the addition of rapid modeling and MEP tools and the introduction of the BIMIFY command.
Rather than describe these features, if you are interest in the future of BIM – I would recommend that you watch the full presentation.
Revit is of course the dominant BIM application in the United States. BricsCAD BIM will not replace Revit in the near term.
The most interesting statement made at the conference was that we can expect the ability of BricsCAD BIM to read and write Revit files with an update that is likely to be released in 2020.
That would be game changer.
Three years ago, I concluded that BricsCAD was the only real alternative to AutoCAD. It offered:
- DWG compatibility
- LISP compatibility
- Command line compatibility
- The ability to load existing CUI files
- Better performance
- And offered perpetual licenses at a lower cost than AutoCAD annual rental
- A CEO committed to DWG based solutions
With BricsCAD V20, Bricsys is offering true VALUE to its customers.
- Much higher performance than its competition
- Better drafting tools based on AI
- New civil objects for conceptual design
- Point cloud and image processing that is outstanding
- 24/7 collaboration features
- An integrated, easy to understand BIM workflow all based on DWG
- With flexible licensing (perpetual and subscription)
- Continuous aggressive software updates
- A CEO who has proven his commitment to an integrated DWG based workflow
If you have been skeptical of BricsCAD in the past, it is time to take a serious look because your competitors certainly are.