Bricsys, of Gent, Belgium, this week released the latest version of BricsCAD, version 17. The release is for English for Windows with other languages and operating systems to be released in the following weeks—including Mac and Linux.
Three Editions—Direct Modeling Workflow
BricsCAD V17 is a full, DWG-native 2/3D CAD system that supports professional 2D drafting, 3D modeling with push-pull functionality, sheet metal design, and BIM (Building Information Modeling). As a CAD system, it is unique in the global CAD industry to combine all these focus areas in a .dwg file format.
BricsCAD V17 features intuitive “push-pull” modeling enabling users to model fluidly as they do in SketchUp. This intuitive Direct Modeling (explicit modeling) workflow is a core technology in the program and works in all versions. BricsCAD V17 comes in Classic edition, BIM edition, and Sheet Metal Design edition. There is also the Communicator edition.
What’s New in BricsCAD V17
BricsCAD BIM edition advances further than in past editions with new full IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) support (certification), better intuitive direct modeling, and automatic classification of model elements. IFC 2×3 coordinated view V2 is supported. A single DWG file can contain one site and multiple buildings. Live sectioning is supported and the program can automatically generate 2D sections showing all building materials. Integration with Chapoo enables the mirroring of the BIM geometry and data on your desktop with a connected version in the cloud.
There are many new features in the BIM edition of BricsCAD V17. A new Structure Panel helps you see the organizational structure of the BIM model. Section views—cuts through the BIM geometry model—now allow the ability to specific section depth and limit how much information is shown in the section. Associative dimensions respond to changes in the model space (with the BIM geometry model) to the generated drawings from the BIM model.
There is a new way to create Rooms. You can click a point inside the room area and the enclosing walls define the room, or you can select a 3D solid and it becomes the volume for the room.
Sheet Metal Design
For the Sheet Metal Design edition, BricsCAD V17 adds parametric form features that work like virtual forming tools to modify a sheet metal blank. It comes with a library that contains the most commonly used form features, such as bridges, louvers, and embossed features.
Sheet Metal for BricsCAD V17 lets users import or create, rework, unfold, and export sheet model parts using 3D direct modeling (e.g., explicit modeling as opposed to parametric, history-based modeling). The advantages of direct modeling can mean you never need to restart your models from scratch after a CAD modeling failure.
Other items of improvement for Sheet Metal edition include Flange Bends, a new command that lets you bend an existing flange along a line with a given bend radius. When importing geometry from other CAD tools BricsCAD V17 Sheet Metal Design edition recognizes incorrectly-made bends and can fix them automatically. Loft bends also gain a feature validation function, assuring users the bend can work.
Some of the general features updated or created new in BricsCAD V17 include the new dimension style families that let you simply create derivative styles from a single parent dimension style. With this capability, it is easier than ever for users to set up and organize their dimension style catalog.
New section views help the modeling process along, and these include the new full, half, offset, and aligned section view methods. These section views are essentially viewports of cuts through the model, and they are now automatically generated and stay associated with the model as you refine your design.
A significant new feature in BricsCAD V17 is the next evolution of the “dynamic block.” With BricsCAD V17 parametric components can help make the creation of pre-defined features (eg: parametric holes, forms, etc) far easier and adaptable.
Finally, the new BricsCAD V17 now has a unique new function called 3D compare, which lets the user open two DWG files (with 3D content) and compare them. The function uses intuitive color coding to instantly report differences between the solids and surfaces, using “green” and “red” to show what is added or subtracted from one from the other. On a final note, BricsCAD V17 supports high-resolution screens like 4K and 5K monitors like Apple’s Retina Displays.