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Evaluating for Practice and University Lab license

Hi All,
Evaluating the software for inclusion at my practice and as part of the curriculum at the University that I teach I find that there are some issues that disqualify my recommendation.
1. Installation in MacOS cannot be a workaround since it does not look professional
2. Activation has the same problem. At this time it cannot validate the license so I am running the basic version only.
3. Cannot open an existing DWG to evaluate since it immediately crashes in 11.0.1 Big Sur


I am taking the time to write this because I am always looking for alternatives to Autodesk stuff and it look like there might be some potential here but it seems that the mac version of the software is still undercooked.

Version 20.2.11

Comments

  • Hello Eduardo,

    We could not notarize BricsCAD V20. (notarize, meaning: upload to Apple's notarization server for automatic checking and registration) As it happens, the fbxsdk library that comes with BricsCAD V20 was too old to be accepted for notarization, and we could not upgrade this library in time.
    As a result, on installation and on first run of BricsCAD V20, it is required to give explicit permission, as described here: https://help.bricsys.com/hc/en-us/articles/360012663100-Is-BricsCAD-v20-supported-on-macOS-10-15-Catalina-

    This problem no longer exists in BricsCAD V21. We upgraded the fbxsdk library and BricsCAD V21.1.05 BETA was notarized successfully. It is something that must be repeated for every version - quite tedious, but so it goes... normally all upcoming BricsCAD V21 versions will be notarized before publishing.

    Can you please enter a support request regarding the immediate crash you experience? It is known that BricsCAD V20.2.10 immediately hangs/freezes on opening the main drawing window in 11.0.1 Big Sur. However, in V20.2.11 (and in V21.1.05) this was fixed. If you enter a support request, you may also request beta access if you are interested. With beta access you could try the V21.1.05 BETA version and future beta versions.

    Kind Regards
    Tijs

  • It is known that BricsCAD V20.2.10 immediately hangs/freezes on opening the main drawing window in 11.0.1 Big Sur. However, in V20.2.11 (and in V21.1.05) this was fixed. If you enter a support request, you may also request beta access if you are interested. With beta access you could try the V21.1.05 BETA version and future beta versions.

    Hi Tijs,
    Yes, latest V20 (20.2.11) works fine again on Big Sur.
    Same was for (most ?) previous V21 Betas.

    But with the latest V21.1.05 BETA this problem occurred again.
    (Open any File, 3D Cursor over Start Window, Bricscad Freezing)
    I have already a Support Request running and it was replicable.

  • Hello Michael,

    Both V20.2.11 and V21.1.05 contain the same fix for a hangup on opening any drawing (eternal paint loop) that occurred in V20.2.10 and V21.1.04.

    Indeed, in V21.1.05 BETA this hangup can still occur, but only in rendered visual style, as far as we could tell. We did a second fix, it will be published in V21.1.06. As far as we know this second fix is not needed in V20.2.11 - but we cannot be certain, this type of bug is quite unpredictable.

    I expect that maintaining OpenGL will get increasingly difficult. We intend to start working on migration to Metal and M1 chipset alike in the near future.

    Tijs

  • AFAIK I also tried to start in 2D Workflow and a 2D Template,
    with same result.
    And I think V21.1.04 was ok here.

  • We intend to start working on migration to Metal and M1 chipset alike in the near future.

    OMG !
    That made my day :)

  • Indeed, in V21.1.05 BETA this hangup can still occur, but only in rendered visual style,

    You are totally right.
    I can successfully open any true 2DWireframe File.
    (Visual Styles are saved in the File, no matter what Workspace)

  • Visual Styles are saved in the File, no matter what Workspace

    Yes, that is a quirk of the dwg format. I have wondered often before whether a per-workspace overrule could make sense, but that would make the visual style stored in the dwg more hidden, which is not necessarily a favour to our users...

  • Hmmh, yes, I think I would prefer a User/App wide visual style over a File based Solution.

    Especially in the Beta/Testing case.

    But would that hurt Autocad/DWG compatibility in any way if Bricscad would
    offer a Setting to explicitly ignore/switch Visual Style by user setting,
    when opening a File, while keeping the DWG setting as is ?

  • edited December 2020

    Sorry I have not been around, busy with midterms. Will give it a new trial.
    Wouldn't mind having access to the Beta also.

    Looks like I have a license for the Beta in my account. Thanks

  • "We intend to start working on migration to Metal and M1 chipset alike in the near future."
    Absolutely delighted to see that Tijs.
    BricsCad is one of my key bits of software and the availability in Mac & Linux and Windows platform was a major reason for my going to BricsCad in 2013.
    The first iterations of Apple Silicon look amazingly capable and efficient (Superior to my current MBP with 45 W i9 Intel CPU and 50 W Radeon Pro Vega 20 GPU compared to a 10 W M1 CPU + GPU) I will be migrating to AS as soon as the 14" and 16" laptops become available especially as a universal version of BricsCad will be available sometime in the future.

  • I second that.
    So far all that tried M1 devices were quite happy, even under Rosetta.
    Many even have just base 8 GB Macbook Airs and ran Vectorworks,
    Modo (beside general Big Sur quirks), Bricscad, ... fine.
    For any typical non demanding user it's a no brainer anyway.

    I am just testing my (very rare) worst projects on Vectorworks and Bricscad.
    (On my old legacy Trash Can, feels like 0.2 FPS Bricscad, 2 FPS VW)
    Regarding RAM+VRAM, I would be fine nearly with 32 GB shared RAM without much
    swapping. 64 GB would be fine.

    I think 85% of my typical projects would run flawlessly on any 16 GB M1 and feel much
    snappier than my 7 year old trash can or any 2 year old Apple mobile device.

  • @Tijs Vermeulen said:

    I expect that maintaining OpenGL will get increasingly difficult. We intend to start working on migration to Metal and M1 chipset alike in the near future.

    Tijs

    I very welcome migrating to metal for Bricscad Mac Version.

    But I think Bricscad is overall a bit weak in 3D graphics compared to my other
    3D or CAd Apps experience.

    Even in Windows Version.
    I have converted smaller projects that rotate flawlessly in Viewport.
    And I know Bricscad's Viewport doesn't like 3D Faces.
    So when I activate a Layer with 30-80 Tree Blocks(!), containing 3D Faces, will
    make my Viewport lag, from feels like 250 FPS down to 1-2 FPS.
    Doesn't Bricscad 3D View load the Blocks as instances but as unique geometry
    into GPU ? It feels like that.

    And I have a really large Project, but optimized, everything plain Solids and
    Solids in Blocks repeated in Instances. Many of them of course.
    While Viewport works fluid in Vectorworks, in Bricscad the same file is lagging
    at about 1-2 FPS.
    It feels even worse (slower) with 3DNavigator performance vs SHIFT+MMB to rotate,
    although the FPS looks actually the same.
    But when I watch my Windows Task Manager, Bricscad will only use less than 2 GB
    of available 16 GB of VRAM and 10-20 of available GPU power.

    Realtime Renderers like Twinmotion are able to use 100% of GPU power,
    don't need that much more VRAM, have no need for object CAD edit-ability and
    snapping, but provide screen space Global Illumination and such things in realtime
    instead.

    For me it looks like there seem to be a few bottlenecks in graphics performance.
    Also when loading a file it looks like needing 50% to load the geometry, until a halt
    that takes at least another 50% to just fill the GPU with geometry.

    Also on Mac for Vectorworks, my weak "lowest level" Apple Silicon M1 Mac mini with
    only 16 GB of unified RAM already seams to offer the same viewport performance with that
    extra large File in Vectorworks as the old Trash Can with 24 GB RAM and 2x 6GB D700s,
    but also similar to the PC with Ryzen 3950X, 64 GB and RX 6800 16 GB.

    Unfortunately Bricscad V21 doesn't even run on M1 Macs and V20 not really without
    crashing 50% of time. But if V20 is able to open a file, it seems to run great for that type
    of a low specced computer. It feels like I can open the same heavy files on this mediocre
    Mac as I can on a Windows or Mac workstation.
    If it doesn't really run on M1, it will be no fun on the workstation PC either.

    TL;DR;
    a) I think there is a lot of potential of acceleration in Bricscad's 3D Viewports in general.
    b) Apples unified Memory and other elimination of architectural bottlenecks worked out
    really well.

  • Hi MIchael,

    have you tried MTFLAGS settings ? Might help with display performance ...
    many greetings !

  • Hi Torsten,

    I have all MTFLAGS activated on all installations.
    (noticeably accelerating file loading or exports and such)
    I could just selectively deactivate them to see if it gets worse.

    But would it make sense to switch
    GsDeviceType3D from RedOpenGL to OpenGL
    or
    GLSWAPMODE to anything than default 0

    Or are these just meant to lower hardware acceleration in case of view issues ?

  • Hi MIchael,

    But would it make sense to switch
    GsDeviceType3D from RedOpenGL to OpenGL

    normally, the Redway device should be the best ... but depending on the GPU hardware (and its associated drivers), in some rare cases it might be possible that the standard OGL driver is faster ... but this is clearly the exceptional case.

    GLSWAPMODE : primarily intended to fight display artefacts (due to the many display interfaces on Linux) ... but might have (minor) performance impact, due to the different display buffer usage.

    many greetings !

  • OK, thanks.

    I should give them a try.

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