A few years ago the Bricsys blog asked Bricsy’s employees for their favorite BricsCAD features. However, since then we’ve added so many new functions and features, and so many new members of staff, it seemed time for an update!

So here are the top commands, as voted by the Bricsys staff.


#1 BLOCKIFY

lightnigh fast automatic block creation BricsCAD

What is BLOCKIFY?

BLOCKIFY automatically detects identically shaped 2D and 3D entities in a model and replaces them with block references. Optionally, it also replaces block patterns with arrays.

Who’s favorite tool is it?

Wouter Nys – R&D Lead

Why?

A tool that automatically adds structure to your data, reduces file sizes, increases application speed… must be a gift from heaven. The command options and settings give you the right amount of control (e.g. to specify block names or to recognize arrays). And it is lightning fast!

Tip

If you like BLOCKIFY, you should try PARAMETRICBLOCKIFY. This command works in a similar way to BLOCKIFY but also identifies blocks that match the selected parametric block but are parametrically modified. For example, the length or visibility state is different.


#2 The Manipulator

use the manipulator to move copy rotate

What is The Manipulator?

With the Manipulator, you can move, rotate, scale, copy and even mirror entities. It works in 2D and 3D and even on faces and polyline sections.

Who’s favorite tool is it?

Melissa Rivera – BricsCAD BIM Product Specialist

Why?

Besides the fact that you can, move, copy, array, rotate (copy rotate), mirror (copy mirror), scale, I have the accuracy that when I’m copying and moving I’m also staying at the elevation I want.

Tips

Use the grey balls to reposition the Manipulator. If you hold down the Ctrl key during an action, the selected entities are copied. Right-click the Manipulator to bring up more options.


#3 COPYGUIDED

copy entites
Copy guided is the smart way to copy entities in BricsCAD

What is COPYGUIDED?

COPYGUIDED automatically aligns copied entities relative to the geometry in a drawing, using temporary guide curves. You can explicitly select entities to use as guide curves or let BricsCAD determine them.

Who’s favorite tool is it?

Hannes Ledoux – Bricsys Designer

Why?

I love the way Bricsys utilizes AI to speed up your work. It’s a smart tool, but you don’t need to be smart to use it.

#4 VIEWBASE

automatic view creation
A selection of view, automatically generated with the VIEWBASE command and it’s companion commands. Including detail views, 2D and 3D drawing styles and section views.

What is the VIEWBASE command?

VIEWBASE automatically generates associative, isometric and orthographic “flat” views, known as “drawing views”. These can then be used to create section and detail views using the VIEWSECTION command.

There are many advantages to using the VIEWBASE command over viewports, including speed, accuracy, control and automatic generation of section and detail views.

Who’s favorite tool is it?

Ilya Tatarnikov – Mechanical subject matter expert

Why?

To see how it evolves and be a part of the process is really exciting.

Tip

The drawing views generated with the VIEWBASE and VIEWSECTION commands have their own, set of commands, that don’t work on regular viewports. These commands make light work of adding additional detail view to a layout.


#5 The Connect Commands

What are the connect commands?

TCONNECT & LCONNECT commands create and edit T & L-connections respectively.

TCONNECT, sometimes referred to as “Connect To Nearest”, connects solid faces and edges of planar surfaces to other solids, planar surfaces or regions. As the name suggests, the connections created are T-shaped.

LCONNECT Creates or modifies an L-connection between solids. Optionally disconnects L-connected solids.

Who’s favorite tool is it?

Alessandro D’Ausilio – R&D software developer

Why?

The first command I intuitively started using back to my first days. I use this to connect to walls far from each other with no need to push-pull and snap to the right vertex.

Tip

Use the HotKeyAssistant (hit Ctrl) to cycle through the different junction options when creating a connection.


#6 BIMPROPAGATE

propagate detail

What is BIMPROPAGATE?

BIMPROPAGATE, aka “Propagate”, can be used to copy details throughout your model. It intelligently detects copy locations similar to its current location. Anytime a certain detail is needed in multiple locations in the model, chances are the quickest way to solve it is by using BIMPROPAGATE.

Who’s favorite tool is it?

Alina Leskovskaia – QA engineer

Why?

Propagate is just great. Perfect productivity enhancement.

Tip

Propagate comes in 5 “flavors”. Each flavor works in a limited set of situations. These were designed to guide new users through the process of BIMPROPAGATE. However, everything you can do with the flavors, you can do with the standard BIMPROPAGATE command and more!


#7 DMSIMPLIFY

simplify 3d models

What is The DMSIMPLIFY?

DMSIMPLIFY quickly an effectively cleans up 3D geometry and is particularly useful on imported geometry. It does this by removing unnecessary edges and vertices, merging seam edges, and replacing the geometry of faces and edges with analytic surfaces and curves.

Who’s favorite tool is it?

Kin Chung Chu – BricsCAD BIM Product Specialist

Why?

When setting up a new project, it comes in handy cleaning up redundant lines coming from imported location models, provided by surveyors or GIS/Geospatial data libraries. Quick, accurate and intuitive!

Tip

Have you met DMSIMPLIFY’s 2D cousin: SIMPLIFY? Use it drastically reduce the size of complex polylines.


#8 BIMQUICKDRAW

quick draw
Use QuickDraw to get your modeling up and running…well, Quickly!

What is BIMQUICKDRAW?

BIMQUICKDRAW, aka QuickDraw, blurs the lines between playing with a computer game and real-world 3D modeling. Use BIMQUICKDRAW to create and edit rectangular and L-shaped rooms and buildings with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Even the newest CAD users should be able to get started with this command quickly!

Who’s favorite tool is it?

Wouter Nys – R&D Team Lead

Why?

Wouter said:

BIMQUICKDRAW is like sketching the layout of your building with pen and paper, but directly in CAD. And you get the BIM data and spatial locations for free! As this BIM command is so simple, it is even more powerful.

However, this author thinks it might be because he co-created BIMQUICKDRAW? Hmmm…


#9 ACTIVATESECTIONVIEW

activatesectionview active section view

What is ACTIVATESECTIONVIEW?

ACTIVATESECTIONVIEW allows you to look at a BIM model from a section plane perspective, without actually generating the section. It automatically clips the model, turns off perspective, and changes the UCS to match the current view.

Who’s favorite tool is it?

Piet Lelieur – BricsCAD BIM Product Specialist

Why?

It allows you to draw and model directly in the section plane view.


#10 DMSTITCH

convert surfaces into a solid

What is The DMSTICH?

The DMSTICH command does exactly what it says on the tin: it stitches regions and surfaces together. If the entities form a water-tight area, it also automatically converts the surfaces to a solid!

Who’s favorite tool is it?

Igor Sachek – Mechanical subject matter expert

Why?

It allows you to create complex objects and obtain watertight solid bodies.


#11 Smart insert option of the BMINSERT command

smart insert option of the BMINSERT command

What is The smart insert option?

The smart insert option of the BMINSERT command automatically connects standard, piping library parts by creating 3D constraints between them. BricsCAD resizes the inserted part automatically and by copying parameters from the existing part to the new part. You can hover directly over piping standard parts inserted into the drawing, even nested ones (contained in subassemblies).

Who’s favorite tool is it?

Natalya Aladinskaya – QA engineer

Why?

It reduces the time to finish the design dramatically, civil corridors are impressive, the creation process is interesting and the result looks really beautiful.

Tip

You can combine the Smart Insert mode with the Flip, Multiple, and Rotate options. Hit the Ctrl-key to switch between Regular, Edit, and Smart insert modes.


#12 Sidebar

What is The Sidebar?

The sidebar allows you to organize and access your panels, in the BricsCAD workspace, in a cleaner and more modern way.

Who’s favorite tool is it?

Sander Scheiris – Design and Marketing Team Lead

Why?

The component panel was a first, with more (and nicer) to come in V22!


#13 Temporary UCS

CAD short cuts you need to know BricsCAD
Dynamic UCS in 3D

What is Temporary UCS?

With the Dynamic UCS feature enabled, the coordinate system is automatically aligned to the entity under the cursor. If you hit Shift during a command you can set the UCS temporarily for the duration of the command. Once the command is finished, the UCS returns to the way it was before you started the command.

Who’s favorite tool is it?

Rose Barfield – Bricsys Blog Editor

Why?

In brief: it’s a huge time saver. I can’t imagine how long it would take me to create a drawing if I couldn’t dynamically set the UCS during a command using only the Shift key.

How about you?

Have you got a favorite BricsCAD command? I’d love to hear what it is?