BricsCAD is a software application for computer-aided design (CAD), developed by Bricsys nv. The company was founded in 2002 by Erik de Keyser,[1] a longtime CAD entrepreneur.[2][3][4][5] In 2011 Bricsys acquired the intellectual property rights from Ledas[6][7] for constraints-based parametric design tools, permitting the development of applications in the areas of direct modeling and assembly design. Bricsys is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium, has additional development centers in Nizhny Novgorod and Novosibirsk, Russia; Bucharest, Romania and Singapore. Bricsys is a founding member of the Open Design Alliance,[8] and joined the BuildingSMART International[9] consortium in December 2016.

In 2018, Bricsys nv was acquired in full by Hexagon AB of Sweden.

Example of the bricsCAD user interface with a 3D model in the workspace.

BricsCAD editions

The BricsCAD software, is currently on version V20 available for the Windows, Linux and macOS operating systems, and has six editions:

  • BricsCAD Classic provides familiar 2D CAD drafting functionality, native DWG read/write, and incorporates a full LISP API for customization and automation of repetitive tasks.
  • BricsCAD Pro contains all the functionality of BricsCAD Classic, and adds 3D Direct Modeling, 2D and 3D hardware libraries, high-definition rendering, a render materials library, mechanical assembly viewing and an AutoCAD ObjectARX-compatible development system that supports hundreds of third-party application programs.
  • BricsCAD Platinum contains the features and functions of BricsCAD Pro, and includes 3D constraint system creation, surface entity creation and lofting, deformable modeling, automatic healing of imported solid geometry, automatic design intent recognition, and basic assembly creation & editing.

Three new editions of BricsCAD were released in late 2018. Prior to V19, the BricsCAD BIM product was delivered as a module named "BIM for BricsCAD" this was an extension of BricsCAD Platinum. BricsCAD Mechanical was added for V19. It includes upgraded functionality from the pre-V19 "Sheet Metal for BricsCAD" module, along with additional assembly modeling, kinematic animation, bills-of-material and exploded-view creation tools.

  • BricsCAD BIM is a Building Information Modeling system that is based the .dwg file format. Its core database schema leverages the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), and is certified by BuildingSMART International as compliant with openBIM 'CV2.0-Arch IFC Export and Import'.[10] BricsCAD BIM supports design capture / mass modeling based on ACIS solids. Conceptual models can be classified automatically using BIMIFY. Another use of machine learning in BricsCAD BIM is PROPAGATE, a workflow that analyzes connections between solids. PROPAGATE then finds and presents similar situations in the model where the same connection can be applied.
  • BricsCAD Mechanical is a 3D mechanical design tool with assembly modeling functionality. It is based on a direct modeling approach that is history-free. The product creates sheet metal features using lofted surfaces. This approach was chosen as a way to eliminate co-edge degradation as model features are created, modified and deleted.
  • BricsCAD Ultimate combines all the BricsCAD editions - Classic, Pro, Platinum, BIM and Mechanical - into one package. It allows customers who wish to run BricsCAD BIM and BricsCAD Mechanical together on a single machine to do so, on a single install and a single activation key. The free thirty-day trial of BricsCAD is delivered as BricsCAD Ultimate. Trial customers can use the RUNASLEVEL command to change the edition of BricsCAD during their trial period.

All BricsCAD editions use the Open Design Alliance Drawing API software development platform, giving BricsCAD read and write capability of the DWG file format, made popular by Autodesk's AutoCAD. BricsCAD reads and writes .dwg files directly, from AutoCAD. The software is capable of most contemporary AutoCAD release functions. BricsCAD is currently localized in 18 language versions.

Communicator for BricsCAD

Communicator for BricsCAD is an add-on that imports and exports 3D CAD data (geometry & Product Manufacturing Information [PMI]) for data exchange with major Mechanical CAD programs (e.g. CATIA, PTC Creo, Solid Edge, NX/UG, SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor) and several industry-standard neutral file formats. The BricsCAD Communicator works with BricsCAD Pro for single part import/export, and BricsCAD Platinum/BricsCAD Mechanical for assembly import/export.

BricsCAD Shape

In January 2018 Bricsys released a free-of-charge conceptual modeling tool called BricsCAD Shape.[11] This is derived from the BricsCAD Platinum solid modelling core.

The geometry domain of BricsCAD Shape is equivalent to that of BricsCAD and the native file format of both products is .dwg. 3D concept models created in BricsCAD Shape open in BricsCAD BIM for automatic classification of building elements and their spatial locations. BricsCAD Shape has a simplified user interface that reduces command options to a minimum for support of effective solids modeling.[12] BricsCAD Shape also includes a library of parametric windows and doors, materials libraries and a set of 3D furniture and objects.

Bricsys 24/7

Bricsys also provides a cloud collaboration SaaS (software as a service) Common Data Environment (CDE) called Bricsys 24/7. Prior to 09 November 2017, Bricsys 24/7 was known as Chapoo.[13]

It comes in two versions:

  • Bricsys 24/7 for Design Teams a new, recoded version of the product that is given free to all BricsCAD maintenance customers. It works on both a computer browser and on a mobile device. A built-in 24/7 Panel gives BricsCAD users access to the panel directly from BricsCAD.
  • Bricsys 24/7 for Project Collaboration An extended version of the Bricsys 24/7 for Design Teams product, it included additional functionality such as a 3D viewer.

APIs and customization

BricsCAD implements many AutoCAD Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). In general, BricsCAD provides a nearly identical subset of AutoCAD-equivalent function names. In the case of non-compiled AutoCAD applications (e.g. LISP, Diesel and DCL), these programs can be loaded and executed directly in BricsCAD. Specifically regarding LISP routines, BricsCAD supports AutoCAD Vl, Vlr, Vla and Vlax functions. Bricsys also supports developers who wish to use LISP encryption, BricsCAD cannot read AutoCAD FAS (compiled LISP) files.

Most compiled application programs developed for AutoCAD's Advanced Runtime eXtension (ObjectARX) facility require only a recompilation with the BricsCAD Runtime eXtension (BRX) libraries. BRX is source code-compatible with AutoCAD's ARX 2018, with a few exceptions. Bricsys also supports the deprecated Autodesk Development System (ADS) through BricsCAD's (also deprecated) SDS interface.


Bricsys works with application development partners to bring to market solutions for the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction), Civil, GIS and mechanical CAD markets.

Bricsys offers LGS 2D and 3D, two component technologies that enable 2D and 3D constraint management.[7] Bricsys offers licensing of these modules to software developers that build products on Windows (32/64-bit), MacOS, and Linux, for integration into their own software products. Licensees for these modules include ASCON (CAD), Cimatron (CAD/CAM) and others.

Comparison of speed

According to BricsCAD advocates, BricsCAD's OpenLISP-based run-time environment is faster than AutoLISP (in Autodesk, Inc's AutoCAD).[14]

See also


External links