What’s happening this afternoon on day 2, Bricsys 2018, London? MCAD, MCAD, MCAD, yet more BIM and AI in CAD. Who knows where things will go in the future?

MCAD CAD engineering
The mechanical team show us the future of MCAD

What’s happening in Mechanical?

If day 1 at Bricsys 2018 was BIM, day 2 was Mechanical Computer-Aided Design (MCAD).

If you’re an Engineer and think Catia is your only option, think again. Here at Bricsys, we think we can change the MCAD market with BricsCAD Mechanical. Our new bundle offers customers a way of buying BricsCAD Platinum & Sheet Metal for BricsCAD in one complete package. Our Russian allies talked us through all the new features BricsCAD Mechanical can offer.

Users can easily compute properties, check parameters, import a wide range of file formats, and assemble and disassemble objects with automatic callouts, without learning lots of programming and without the need for an internet connection. Plus, BricsCAD Mechanical offers a huge library of 1000s of standard parts, not just nuts and bolts, but holes too! It is also possible to make your own library files. The new library contains optimized models, for improved loading and handling speed.

And just when you think you’ve heard everything, the guys announced that BricsCAD Mechanical provides animation functionality. When the parametric animation was previewed, the audience gave an audible gasp of astonishment. There is also the option for users to animate exploded objects, quickly and efficiently. As a former technical illustrator, I’m shaking in my boots.

As the demo got underway, it became clear how customers can work fluidly with copy and select functionalities, to move faces and protrusions, to rapidly build complex models.

Then there’s Sheet Metal! The new developments in V19 mean that you can swiftly edit sheet metal and identify problems. Edit in the 3D or flat view and let BricsCAD Mechanical work out how this affects the other view.

Another thing to get excited about is Array pass. “But what’s Array pass?” I hear you cry. It’s pretty simple; we’ve combined our Array function with parameters. It means that you can easily replicate objects along a 3D path. In the demo, the guys showed us live, how they could make a caterpillar tread, for a digger, in seconds and then they animated it.

bricsys team ready and waiting
The team get ready for the afternoon.

What’s happening, not more BIM?

Believe it or not, we’re not BIMed out yet. After the audience had been dazzled by MCAD, we dove into the details of how to calculate highly complex details. We met several companies that are already using our software on a daily basis. It was great to see how BricsCAD is helping companies around the world to achieve their goals quickly and affordably, and to see how some of the abstract concepts that have been discussed throughout the conference are being used.

These demos included the return of the house that had been modelled live yesterday during the BIM demo. Using V19’s new .fbx export feature, it is now possible to import models into a software such as Blender (it’s free!) and create a fully rendered model. Until this week I would not have believed it possible to design, build a CAD model and render all in the space of a few hours! I think we can all agree that any architect that can present their client with a high-finish render in only a few days is going to win clients.

What’s happening next?

After a hectic 2 days, the conference closed with a snapshot of what the future holds for BricsCAD.

AI is loud, proud and it’s here to stay. At the moment there is a lot of buzz around Artificial Creativity – computers that can design. However there is no way to explain to a computer that you like the concept of the design, but it needs to be more “friendly”, that it’s “just not me” or that it needs to be more usable in real life. Maybe you can teach a computer how Frank Gehry designs, but if you prefer a traditional English cottage, the AI isn’t going to work out, even with a changing algorithm. Nor is a computer likely to be creating a new style any time soon.

What Bricsys imagines is a future where AI is used, not to replace designers, but to aid them. By building functionalities into BricsCAD that can intelligently perform tasks such as automatically simplifying complicated models, to optimize computer performance, or query BIM models in a database, Bricsys gives designers more chance to work on the good stuff and put the fun back into CAD!


Well, that’s it for me. I’m going back to my hotel room to freshen up and get ready for “the legendary” Bricsys After Party. See you again in 2019?