This time, we go down-under to the weird and wonderful land of Dynamic User Coordinate Systems (DUCS). This is a really powerful tool that allows you to draw on different planes in BricsCAD Shape. Not just on the “flat” x/y plane but the “vertical” z/y, z/x planes and pretty much any orientation in between.

What are the X Y and Z axes?

Imagine that X is “left and right” and Y “forward and backward” and Z is “up and down”.

By default, BricsCAD® Shape draws along the X/Y plane and the 0 point on the Z-axis. Just think about it as though it’s a large sheet of paper laid flat on the ground. This determines where you can start drawing a 2D or 3D object.

drawing flat bricscad shape
Here you can see that the logo is resting flat on the x/y pane “the ground”. This is the standard drawing plane for BricsCAD Shape.

How to draw on a different plane in BricsCAD Shape

If you want to draw at a different angle you need to change the UCS (User Coordinate System) – “move the sheet of paper”. The good news is that this is easy to do BricsCAD Shape.

You see this thing?:


That’s the UCSIcon. It basically tells you where the 0,0,0 coordinate is and which direction the x, y and z axes are.

To change the UCS (user coordinate system):

  1. If I have DUCS turned “on” (hit F6 to toggle it on and off)
  2. Execute a command.
  3. Hover over a face that represents the correct plane.
  4. Hit Shift to fix the UCS.
  5. Start drawing, the UCS will remain fixed for the duration of this to draw vertically in BricsCAD Shape

Did you know?

It doesn’t just work on flat surfaces, you can also use it on curves too!

why can I only draw flat in BricsCAD Shape?

Curiosity not satisfied? Learn more about UCS.

What’s next?

In this CAD lesson, we looked at ways to draw on different planes in BricsCAD Shape. In the next lesson, we’ll take a look at ways to export your models.

Are you using Shape yet?

Download BricsCAD Shape free

Watch the webinar “BricsCAD Shape in 10 minutes”

More CAD lessons:

  1. What is BricsCAD Shape?
  2. Download & Install
  3. Get started
  4. The Interface
  5. Commands
  6. Selecting Objects
  7. Transform
  8. Materials
  9. Components
  10. View Styles
  11. Layers
  12. Editing Entities
  13. More way to Edit Entities
  14. Arrays
  15. Dynamic User Coordinate Systems
  16. Export files and images
  17. Lazy Man’s Guide to BricsCAD Shape