One of the hardest parts of design is presenting a concept in a way that the client can understand. Although it may be easy for those of us who work with CAD every day of our lives, to picture the final result based only on a single, A3 plotted technical drawing. For those non-visual thinkers, outside of our comfy CAD bubble, it can be much harder to create a mental image of the final design without some additional help.

As well all know, BricsCAD is a high-powered geometry engine, but it’s not the final destination!

Explaining your design concepts

When you’re selling your idea to a client, be it a design for a new expresso machine, office block or stage design, it’s important that your client can visualize the final result. Whilst you might have the winning idea, if the client doesn’t understand it, they won’t choose you.

The sad truth is, people are often more easily dazzled and impressed with high-quality renders than by high-quality technical CAD skills.

So, let’s take a look at why this is.

Technical Drawings

Take a look at this basic table design.

technical drawing
Although informative, this type of drawing is unlikely to win you any deals. It’s difficult for the client to visualize the final result, even with an isometric view.

Whilst the carpenter probably has everything they need to get started straight away, to your average Joe, it’s not the most inspiring design. Your client might have a hard time imagining the final product.

3D CAD Models

To make things clearer, let’s create a 3D model of the table.

3d model of table to materials added
This model helps to give the client a better idea of form, but it is hard to understand what the materials will look like.

As we all know, a good 3D model can provide a great way of explaining an idea. Indeed, it’s still common for architects to build maquette models. However, CAD models have the upper hand when it comes to practicality, they cost nothing to make in materials, are easy to modify and can’t get squashed by a clumsy co-worker!

This model has given the client a better idea of how the final design will look, but it’s still unlikely to evoke an emotional response or really engage them. So, let’s take it to the next level and add some materials.

Adding Materials

As standard, BricsCAD comes with a lot of great render materials that can help add some realism to your models.

table with simple wood materials applied
Adding simple materials gives a better understanding of how the final design will look.

Now the client understands a little more about the materials and how the final assembly might look, let’s take it a step further with rendering.

2D Renders

Once we’ve created our model in BricsCAD, thanks to its highly compatible .dwg format, we can export it to a wide variety of software packages and create some truly stunning renders.

rendering a BricsCAD model in Unreal Engine
BricsCAD .dwg model imported directly into the Unreal Engine workspace using Datasmith.

There are plenty of free and open-source software packages that allow you to take your designs to the next level; Unreal Engine, Blender and Unity, to name but a few. And of course, when it comes to talking about rendering, the BricsCAD Enscape Integration is not to be forgotten!

Rendered coffe table 3D model
Sending your BricsCAD .dwg file to a rendering engine can give your designs life.

Using Datasmith I was able to import the BricsCAD-native, .dwg file directly into Unreal Editor. I then added some free, open-source materials (but you can also make your own) and rendered it.

Rendered Videos

But what if you take this a step further and create an interactive or moving visual of your rendered design? Wouldn’t that give your design an edge on the competition? With the BricsCAD Enscape Integration, you can!

video rendering of a CAD model in a small flat
Seeing your design as it could look in their home could be the thing that sells your idea to a client. Living room .dwg drawing credit: Wood Stijn.

And, of course, if you combine rendering technologies with VR and augmented reality, there is really no limit to where you can take your BricsCAD models!