Allow me to introduce you to Jürgen De Zaeytijd and Sam Degheldere, not only are they lovely chaps but they are also the guys who created Propagate for BricsCAD. When you find out that Jürgen, came to Bricsys with the hope of combining algorithm design with 3D modeling and Sam is a recent industrial IT design graduate, you’ll understand how the pair managed to make something so complicated seem so simple.

What is Propagate?

A tool that allows you to model once and propagate throughout the rest of the model. No more need for repetitive and boring tasks.

Start by selecting the solid(s) to which the detail is attached, then launch Propagate. Select any detail that you wish and hit Enter. A box will appear around the element. Propagate will then detect the areas within the model where you may wish to duplicate this, automatically rotating it and removing intersecting structural elements at the same time. For example, cutting holes in walls for windows or mirroring brackets on cross beams and it does all this at lightning speed. When I saw it in action I was super impressed with just how intelligently Propagate calculated the placement of an element.

propagate CAD
elements for propagation appear within a box.

You’re not just limited to the suggestions of BricsCAD Propagate, you can go also go into the tool options and modify the arrangements suggested to you. It offers you a range of layouts to choose from, such as different orientations of the details or the choice between similar locations and grid patterns. Use the green tick to accept the suggestion and the red cross to reject the suggestion. An exclamation point will appear if the duplication intersects another object.

Select, reject and modify Propagate suggestions.

It’s not just limited to objects solids, however. At Bricsys 2018 the guys showed us how to us Propagate section details extruded across the length of the structure of a building.

Actually it’s an indispensable tool I think, if you want to go into high level of detail – Jürgen

There’s a whole host of variants for the Propagate tool:
  • BIMPROPAGATEEDGE extrudes an object along an edge and it even miters corners.
  • BIMPROPAGATEPLANAR propagates connections between planar elements (walls/slabs/roofs).
  • BIMPROPAGATELINEAR propagates connections between linear elements (beams, columns, pipes, ducts and their connections to walls and slabs).
  • BIMPROPAGATEPATTERN propagates a single element on a flat surface to multiple locations and grids. It can be used to propagate lights, light switches, windows, air diffusers, etc.

What was the design process?

Propagate started life as BIM Suggest. Which only looked at connecting slabs and walls. The product was expanded for V19 to create Propagate. Which allows you to Propagate, not only slabs and walls but junctions between beams and structural elements, windows, flow terminals, light fixtures… the list goes one.

How does Propagate work with other tools?

Grids are smarter and better for V19. They can be created on walls, floors, and surfaces in straight lines, along curved surfaces or radially. You can use any of the standard tools to edit your grids. If the element is created along a grid, there is no need to select the grid, propagate will automatically detect the grid and Propagate the object along. See it in action here.

Assigned material properties and even object colors are retained, when an object is propagated. Which makes adding BIM data to your designs even easier.

What’s Next?

They hope to be able to use it in the future to turn details into library files so that commonly used elements can be propagated throughout different models.

The guys would love to try and it out. Let them know what you think so they can add your feedback to their next development.

Ready to try BricsCAD BIM?

Easy to try, easy to buy, easy to own. That’s BricsCAD. Download free for 30 days at Freedom of choice, plus perpetual (permanent) product licenses that work with all languages, in all places. You’ll love what we’ve built for you with the BricsCAD V19 product family.