Interoperability in focus

CAD software Interoperability in focus

Consistent and efficient workflows from idea to detailed design – that’s what the Bricscad product family wants to enable its users to do. Manufacturer Bricsys is celebrating its anniversary this year. In an interview, CEO Rahul Kejriwal explains how Bricsys solutions ensure security thanks to openness.

providers on the subject

Brics-CAD Mechanical is a complete machine tool set.

(Image: Bricsys)

Mr. Kejriwal, Bricsys celebrates an anniversary this year: 20 years on the market – congratulations! First, can you tell us a little about the beginnings of Bricsys?

Bricsys was founded in 2002 in Ghent, Belgium by former CEO Erik de Keyser. The first version of Bricscad was launched at the same time as Vondle in 2004 – now known as Bricsys 24/7. This was the starting point for Bricsys’ cloud-based Common Data Environment (CDE) for document management and workflow automation.

In 2007, we introduced the Bricscad Run-time Extension or BRX API. This allows more than 400 third-party application developers to integrate their products with Bricscad. Since 2010, Bricscad has been available on the Open Design Alliance platform, of which we are a founding member. Around the same time, 3D parametric solid modeling features were added to Bricscad, followed by sheet metal design tools and finally Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows.

A nice development!

In fact, our company and our products have evolved significantly over the years. We have grown from a small team in Belgium to more than 300 employees in four major regions and eight offices worldwide. Our partner ecosystem has also expanded and now includes a global network of over 400 resellers who have played a vital role in our success.

Rahul Kejriwal is the CEO of Bricsys.

Rahul Kejriwal is the CEO of Bricsys.

(Image: Bricsys)

Today, Bricsys is part of Hexagon – how has your business evolved as a result?

In 2018, Bricsys was acquired by Hexagon AG, a Swedish technology company that has grown into a global leader in industrial information technology. Hexagon has supported our rapid expansion in the AECO market, but we continue to operate independently. But since the advent of Bricsys, we have experienced double-digit annual growth and we have doubled our global team.

And how has the Bricscad product evolved over the last two decades?

On the product side, our latest release, the Bricscad V22, shows a whopping two decades of progress made by our development teams. Our focus is to deliver more power, features and ease of use to our customers, especially in the core products for 2D drawing and 3D modeling: Bricscad Lite and Pro.

With each major annual release since 2018, our team has delivered more than 100 new features and workflows to Bricscad. We are the only CAD provider with machine learning opportunities in our commercial software. As we continue to develop Bricscad, we want our customers to be able to solve their design problems faster.

Bricscad is widely used in building design, engineering, civil engineering, industrial engineering and manufacturing with more than 300,000 users in over 110 countries. Strabag, Mazda, TAL Engineering, Bosch, Mitsubishi and many of the world’s largest companies rely on Bricscad for their core workflows.

You just mentioned machine learning – what features are integrated into Bricscad?

Bricscad has unique AI and machine learning driven capabilities. These intelligent design tools automate repetitive or manual tasks and maximize user productivity with smarter ways to reuse 2D and 3D design data. Smart features in Bricscad include the Copy and Move Guided commands, which use automatically generated guide curves to align copied objects to relevant geometry, and an automatic polyline optimization that helps simplify 2D drawings and data. With these and other intelligent tools in Bricscad, designs can be made more efficient, where the designer always has the last word. He or she may freely reverse, override, or simply ignore any design suggestion they deem appropriate.

Which intelligent tools are still integrated?

Bricscad’s AI-powered tools are designed to transform design workflows by streamlining drawings, supporting user input, and dramatically reducing manpower. For example, the Blockify command is unique to Bricscad and automatically converts repetitive sets of 2D or 3D drawing geometry into blocks, resulting in cleaner, more powerful, and more organized drawings. Users can use it to reduce the size of DWG files by up to 10x and even improve loading and unloading times for drawing by 10x to 100x.

How is Bricscad different today, and how is the software different from other solutions?

Bricsys is a technology-driven company at the forefront of the AECO industry. Designers looking for an alternative to traditional software will find it in our multifunctional CAD platform, Bricscad. Our “one platform, one file format” approach to Bricscad sets us apart from the competition. It allows us to deliver 2D and 3D CAD, mechanical design and building information modeling on one platform – all in the industry standard .dwg.

By designing our products for consistent and efficient workflows from idea to detailed design, our platform has become future-proof. Let us e.g. say a customer uses Bricscad for their 2D and 3D designs today and later needs BIM and mechanical capabilities. If so, they can easily, seamlessly and cost-effectively add these options to their existing Bricscad solution.

Why this openness?

Our product must be consciously available to as many users as possible, and therefore flexible licenses and fair prices are also important to us. Bricscad customers are free to choose how they want to use it – be it perpetual, subscription, single, volume or network license.

Interoperability in focus

As a founding member of the Open Design Alliance (ODA), Bricsys is committed to an open and fair CAD industry by supporting the development of open file formats and standards. Bricsys claims to be the largest source code contributor to ODA, supporting IFC 2×3 and IFC4, because software solution selection should be based on how robust the technology is, not the small print. The open APIs and direct integrations with independent software solutions emphasize the commitment to interoperability.

Learn more about ODA.

What challenges do designers have to solve today?

The pressure to become more productive under tighter deadlines and lower profit margins is certainly one of the biggest challenges designers face today. In this environment, designers are also struggling with rising licensing costs without the software providers offering much innovation.

How does Bricscad support them?

Bricsys solves these challenges by offering an affordable family of CAD and BIM software to designers with flexible licensing models. Businesses can provide more users with access to CAD software at no cost. Bricscad’s lower cost of ownership often allows customers to increase CAD seats as they migrate to Bricscad from older CAD solutions, while achieving greater speed and productivity. Bricscad automates tedious tasks with artificial intelligence, providing huge productivity gains on top of operating cost savings.

Bricscad was developed on top of the global industry standard .dwg file format for CAD drawings. Full DWG compatibility allows customers to bring their existing LISP routines, menu files, macros, and template files from other CAD products to Bricscad. With the all-in-one DWG platform, companies can choose the combination of CAD and BIM functionality that best suits their needs, further optimizing operating costs.

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For which applications is the software predetermined?

For example, Bricscad Mechanical caters to manufacturers with complex assembly, sheet metal and pipe design needs. The latest version of the Bricscad family of products puts design first, resulting in improved design, engineering and manufacturing workflows. Our core platforms, Bricscad Lite and Bricscad Pro, meet different design needs such as 2D drawing and 3D modeling.

With Bricscad BIM, we have taken a completely different approach to other vendors, as we are the only BIM software vendor that puts artificial intelligence and machine learning at the heart of our workflows. What is special is the ability to seamlessly switch between 2D, 3D, BIM and mechanical products within a CAD platform. This avoids loss of information and reworking, which guarantees accuracy. Bricscad Ultimate provides this hassle-free workflow by combining conceptual design, BIM and manufacturing in a single process. In addition, hundreds of development partners have used our Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to develop a variety of applications built on top of Bricscad.

Thank you Mr Kejriwal.

Editor’s recommendation

Monika Zwettler, editor of Konstruktionspraxis

(ID: 48283736)

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