BricsBIM v15 - revolutionary!

AFAIK the new BricsBIM v15 is unique amongst the Building Modelers - Revit, Archicad etc and the one I've paid for, Bentley Building Designer. Only BricsBIM AFAIK has abolished specialist BIMsolids of limited ability, and instead uses standard dwg Solids, with all BricsCAD's flexibility in creating and modifying geometry, which is greatly improved over AutoCAD, both in its basic Solids tools and in BricsCAD's built-in Direct Modeling.

This is extremely significant, revolutionary, a massive liberation in everyday use and practice, perhaps more than immediately meets the eye. If anyone's interested, here is comparison between BricsBIM and its nearest relative, industrial-strength Bentley BD.

Bentley BD still uses specialist Forms, straight from original 1993 BricsWork, which Bentley bought in 1995. BD can also, as a workaround, make use of standard Bentley Microstation dgnSolids with BIM data (Parts) applied, same as BricsBIM applies Materials to dwgSolids, but it's unsatisfactory for several reasons -

While BD Forms have the vital ability to be multi-layered into Compound Parts for grouped installation and modification, that ability is lost when using Bentley dgnSolids as workaround instead of BD Forms; whereas in BricsBIM using dwgSolids, Materials can be so multi-layered into Compositions (albeit a bit primitive as yet).

While BD Forms have another vital ability, to effectively Extend To as well as Trim Back to Connect to other Forms, that ability is much degraded when using Bentley dgnSolids as workaround instead of BD Forms - dgnSolids can only be Booleaned, after being manually stretched to overlap; whereas in BricsBIM using dwgSolids, Extend and Trim to Connect is just as wonderfully free as on 2D linear elements.

While Bentley dgnSolids enjoy a very sophisticated PushPull tool, using this (and most other dgnSolid Bollean tools) on a BD Form results in its demotion to a 'dumb' dgnSolid, losing the important abilites of BD Forms mentioned above; whereas in BricsBIM using dwgSolids, the full range of its basic Solids tools and Direct Modeling tools are 'legal'.

While BD Forms do have the ability to effectively Extend To as well as Trim Back to Connect to other Forms, that is fatally limited, only Wall end to Wall end, and Wall top to Roof underside. BD Forms fuss a lot as to which is their Top, Bottom, Ends and Sides, and refuse to Connect in most of the combinations; whereas in BricsBIM all faces of dwgSolids can be equally and easily Connected one to another in all combinations. In BD, the workaround for this is to resort to using dgnSolids instead of BD Forms, but the penalty is loss of vital abilities, as described above.

Putting all of this together, the effect is that Bentley BD is fine for conventional commercial cuboid office blocks and 'decorated sheds' but struggles with any creative shapes, even quite ordinary intersecting pitched roofs.
BD has tools to create a limited range of dumb roof-shape blobs, but it very soon fails in creating novel roofs out of intersected full-ability BD Forms.
BD also has tools for creating complex slabs - but similarly crippled by inability to do so as multi-layered Compound Parts;
whereas in BricsBIM there seems no limit to the intersecting 'planes' that can be easily Extended and Trimmed together to Connect, in any kind of funny orientation and weird rhomoidal shape, typical of 'interesting' roofs - just as easily as in SketchUp.
And these 'planes' can be installed, modified and Connected as multi-layer Compositions (equiv of Compound POarts in BD).

In short, BricsBIM can do all the complex intersecting that SketchUp, dwgSolids and dgnSolids can do, but BD can't;
and BricsBIM can do that using multi-layer Compositions, which SketchUp and dgnSolids can't, and BD can only do (Compound Parts) for simplistic cuboid buildings.

BricsCAD is being sold as 'SketchUp for dwg users' i.e. drop SketchUp and do it all in BricsCAD. As BricsBIM develops the massive superstructure of full BIM (way to go), it will make equal sense to drop all the other building modellers - Revit, Archicad, BD - and do it all in BricsBIM. Now BricsBIM has shown the way, the others have a lot of catching up to do.

Comments

  •  Hello Tom,
    Thanks for describing exactly what it is all about. We strongly believe in this new way of doing BIM, but it does feel so good when people like you all of sudden give a very personal and clear comment that explains so well what is wrong with older systems and why it has to be changed if BIM wants to become a really common practice - not a painful complex process.
    You really made my day !  Many thanks,    erik.
  • Yes Eric...i would say..

        Don't simply model complexity,  encapsulate it with simplicity !!!

  • I have been following up on Bricsys BIM of late and see the great potential that it has to take on with the leading BIM software of today. With a completely new path that Bricsys chose to take and deliver .dwg BIM based on a 3d modeling kernel, Bricsys charted its way through an unknown territory, and we are beginning to see light (v 15.3) at the end of the tunnel .

    Bricsys BIM may not have arrived yet but the promise is huge and a lot of people are waiting to see it unfurl. We look forward to V16 with great anticipation, as are a lot of CAD users across the globe.

    The key to success will be how much of the BIM API Bricsys will be able to open up for third party developers, including Lispers like me.

    Best Regards
    Rakesh Rao
    Smarter .dwg CAD
  •  I have been trialling Bricscad BIM for a while now and I like very much the direction that Bricscad is going. It seems to allow a lot of flexibility while designing (very similar to Sketchup). 

    I have now started on a project that will be undertaken using only Bricscad BIM.

    I hope that Bricscad continue developing Bricscad BIM. I think that they picked a winner here.
  • Just to be honest - BricsCAD is still very limited in working with 3D geometry compared to AutoCAD! No explicit surfaces, no NURBS surfaces, no meshes and even no LOFT! Viewbase in AutoCAD is much better and polished!
  • Maybe, for MechEng , but we're talking BIM here, where these facilites aren't relevant, except Loft maybe, to make extruded sections. That is, for buildings made of ordinary straight cuboid builders merchant stuff, which is all the other BIM aps cover.

    If hoping to do the curvy NC-manufactured extravaganzas of 'signature architects', which they do the geometry of in Rhino, Gehry etc and then import into their BIM ap to do all the 'business data' stuff, then that's a whole nother step.
  • I would add to Rakesh's statement that the #1 complaint I hear from third-party developers about Revit is how poor its API is, both in documentation of existing functions, and the availability of sufficient functions. Revit is only popular with developers because it offers a larger market, not because they want to write for it.

  •  I am curious how the drawings look when the BIM module is used to create a set of plans? How customizable is the output, can we set layers for objects, hatch patterns and the display of certain items? For me the most important part of any software that I use in my day to day work is the ability to produce a drawing/view that I don't need to spend all day cleaning up; it is another story to add dimensions and details, but when it comes to my drawings there is a specific way things need to look and deviating from that isn't something that I will consider...
  •  I am curious how the drawings look when the BIM module is used to create a set of plans? How customizable is the output, can we set layers for objects, hatch patterns and the display of certain items? For me the most important part of any software that I use in my day to day work is the ability to produce a drawing/view that I don't need to spend all day cleaning up; it is another story to add dimensions and details, but when it comes to my drawings there is a specific way things need to look and deviating from that isn't something that I will consider...


    These are the exact questions I wanted to ask too. does anyone use BIM module in his/her work to create construction documents? With some level of automation (not having to re-create sections after every change)? I see creation of 2D documentation very unflexible. The only one who is sharing his know how is Mikael - see here, very useful tips:
    https://forum.bricsys.com/discussion/23504

    And he's actually not using BIM module. I see little advancment in BricsCAD V15 in creating construction documents. I've been able to create CD only for small pieces of furniture (single piece in one file). I stlll run into roadblocks when trying to create CD of building.

    I am currently thinking about switching my workflow to complete 3D workflow, I am excited by BIM module, but I don't see it production ready for the near future. Even though I'd much rather stick with CAD software I know (BricsCAD), I am considering REvit or ArchiCAD. In my testing, modelling in BricsCAD is good enough, but creating CD is not.

    My other worry with BIM module is actually the dwg. format, which is promoted as advantage. This format is very old and origianly was only 2D, wasn't it? Is dwg good enough to handle large 3D files? I know even Autodesk products are meant to work with large 3D dwg files, but it still seems there's lot's of 2D legacy in this format which makes it not-so suitable for 3D work. Does anybody here work with large 3D files (e.g. house with equipment)?

    I hope BIM module will progress fast.

    TOm
  • Hello Tomas,
    We are working on improving Construction Documents right now and I'm optimistic about it for BricsCAD V16 which will be released in October this year. For sure CD's are elementary in BIM and I'm confident we will have a good viable solution for it. Regarding the file format: we are sure we will come up with solutions where the file format (and the size of the files) is not a show stopper, also for really large projects and not just housing projects. And don't forget that the file formats of ArchiCAD and Vectorworks are +/- 30 years old and Revit's origin is PTC with a file format of several decades of age too.

    Best regards,    erik
  • Very good.

    Until then, now that I can build in BricsBIM the roof that I couldn't in Bentley BD, i'm gonna see whether, after import into BD, BricsBIM Materials/Compositions can be mapped to BD Parts/Compound Parts, to acquire resymbolisation that way, working in BD from then on. Mapping either directly, or via Layers/Levels.
  • Hi Erik,
    I am looking forward to seeing what's new in V16 regarding CDs.
    Regarding file formats, it's true that ArchiCAD and vectroworks have also started as 2D software I think. I didn't know the foundation of Revit was Pro/E. My point was that dwg is originally 2D format, isn't it? I feel BricsCAD foundation is 2D drafting with 3D attached to it - with all of advantages and disadvantages. I am not sure about ArchiCAD, but I think Revit was developed as a 3D modelling software (if it's origins are Pro/E), again with it's advantages and disadvantages.
    Don't take me wrong, I really wish BricsCAD BIM could develop into software which joins easy 3D modelling with parametric BIM stuff plus easy CD creatinon all in one software. I really appreciate Bricsys' effort and I am pleased you are actually working on CD creation and also thinking about large file support.
    Best regards,
    Tom
  • Dear Tomas,


    My point was that dwg is originally 2D format, isn't it?


    That is true on one side - but also false :-)

    When Autodesk designed DWG database format, it was an extensible format, mainly using "tagged data + structure" and a set of rules to follow  ... only at that time, 3D was not the main target yet, due to limited computer capabilities (PC);
    but from design, it is not limited to 2D at all.

    In other words, you have a huge level of freedom to put wahetever data into DWG ... see all the so-called "custom entities/objects" that can be added to the database by any plugin - like Autodesk's own AEC/ADT, MCAD etc. stuff ... same applies to thousands of applications that can add their own objects and entities.

    You might have a look at a DXF file, using a good text editor ... DXF is somewhat similar as the DWG database is structured.

    Hence it is much too simple, to draw that kind of conclusion, for sure.
    This means, you will not need to worry whether DWG format can be extended to provide whatever stuff :-)

    I hope this sheds a bit of light here ?
    Many greetings & a nice weekebd

    Torsten
  • Hi,
    thanks for clearing this up for me. I must say I am no programmer with deep understanding of what file format means for the usage in software (as you could have probably guessed :) ).
    TOm
  • The 2D/3D thing is something of a theoretical arguement, in my opinion. We design in 3D, create 3D models, but at the end of the day we have to output 2D plans which can be read, understood and worked from by the tradesmen on site. I can remember back in the 60's having to set out a retaining wall, about 60m long and 4m high (probably the imperial versions) which was poorly drawn and described as being elliptical in plan with an arc to the facing elevation and not having the faintest idea how to translate that into sheets of ply and pieces of 4×2. The 3D concept needs a 2D reality.
  • The 2D/3D thing is something of a theoretical arguement, in my opinion. We design in 3D, create 3D models, but at the end of the day we have to output 2D plans which can be read, understood and worked from by the tradesmen on site. I can remember back in the 60's having to set out a retaining wall, about 60m long and 4m high (probably the imperial versions) which was poorly drawn and described as being elliptical in plan with an arc to the facing elevation and not having the faintest idea how to translate that into sheets of ply and pieces of 4×2. The 3D concept needs a 2D reality.

    The need to output in 2D will probably remain for the forseeable future. However, when one looks at some of the high quality 3D details prepared using Trimble Sketchup and Layout, I can see that 3D details and views will be the future.

    I quite like the way that Bricscad is heading with its 3D modelling and BIM. It offers and easy to use and fairly flexible. I just hope that some of the presentation styles that are used in Sketchup are incorporated into Bricscad BIM to help with the 3D and 2D presentations.

    My 2c worth.
  •  Hi,
    This has turned into quite a varied topic on the pros of 3D drafting and BIM. I notice some discussion on the end reliance on 2d representation for translating the 3D into a site readable format. In the past it has been necessary to have sophisticated software (and hardware) to show any 3D drawing in all its glory; however now there are numerous easily accessible programs that run on iPads and even phones that can show off a 3d drawing.
    There are also programs that can package a 3d model into a 3d Adobe file readable by the free Adobe Reader: QuadriSpace produces Publisher3D that functions like MS PowerPoint to create a viewable file that a 3rd party can view, manipulate in 3d, turn layers on/off, section etc. using Adobe Reader. As a company we are starting to use this file type to successfully demonstrate a model in 3D to non-technical colleagues, clients and team members for valuable and informed feedback.
    As 3d printers become more mainstream (we purchased one to "play" with for under $1000.00) then this will also become a viable output for a 3D model.
    I attach a basic sample of a 3d PDF - you MUST open it in ADOBE Reader for it to work.

    Column Repair.pdf

  • An intermediate aspect of 3D is to present 'dumb' 3D views as part of a 2D drawing. Usually we rely on for example a vertical section through a window head and a horizontal section through its jamb, but how the two actually met at the top corner, is left to the builder to visualise - and all too often the builder is the first person to realise that they don't marry up! The Architect hadsn't worked it out properly.

    A 'dumb' 3D view of the corner, on possibly the same 2D drawing as the 2 sections, gives everyone, including the Architect, full confidence that the details actually work. The builder can stop putting in a cost allowance for the 'on-site unexpecteds' that seem to be inevitable.

    How to easily produce such 'dumb' 3Ds, just 2D graphics really, from a 3D BIM model? What is needed is very easy tools to place multiple section planes and peel-back individual layers until the diagram makes full explanatory sense almost at-a-glance. Several iterations of the 3D view might be presented on the 2D drawing, in different states of peel-back, if necessary to visualise how multi-layers butt, mitre or lap over each other.

    This is very different from say a 3D pdf, where the builder has to get busy turning layers on and off, rotating etc, until he has formed a mental picture of how these butts, mitres and laps fit together. His exporation trajectory through the 3D pdf is unique to him - another builder wiould turn layers on and off, rotate etc in a different order. He has to retain his understanding in mental visualisation as he tells his tradesmen what to do. The understanding does not remain fixed on paper, for everyone to view in the same way.

    Someone who's looking deeply into the philosophy, technology and practice of all this is Bentley's Rob Snyder https://www.linkedin.com/pub/rob-snyder/7/8/48b - it's a lot more than just this 'dumb' 3D idea (which is actually my own wish - even Snyder doesn't really go to that particular possibility).
  •  in regards to 3D vs 2D, I suspect that for many industries a 2D drawing is the best choice.  I can see two reasons for this. 

    The first reason is that 3D drawings generally take more time than a 2D one.  Of course, if you have a program that makes the 3D drafting easier, such as aBricsBIM , and you have a library of 3D objects to populate the drawing, that can ease the time burden.  

    The second issue, is that drafting is about creating an abstraction of the real object.  It is, by its nature, a symbolic representation of the real world, and a realistic view may be undesirable.

    For example I often create drawings that show how to assembled a walk-in cooler. These are assembled using 4ft wide panels, that lock or snap together, with one side of the panel being male, and the other female.   But, in the plan view, I do not show the profile of the locks realistically.  I just put a line that looks like a greater-than sign ">".  The reason is that the actual profile's gender would not be possible to see at the scales I typically draw the chambers.  I also use the ">" to indicate gender on a top view of the ceiling panels.  In that orientation, the gender would not even be possible to see at any scale.

    A 2nd example of the abstraction is even applicable to a 3D modeling.  For our instructions, I recently started working on a 3D view of a chamber in the process of being assembled.  But, then I realized that the male-female profiles were way too dense, and all the lines simply merged into what looked like a single wide line.  Since that 3D view was converted into a flat 2D drawing, I was able to delete many of the lines, to make the profile clearer.  Also, if the view of the object was at a small enough scale, I have occasionally scaled small objects up in size, such as the door handle, so that it is possible to see it better.  Otherwise in print, it would simply have been a black blob. 

    For the above reasons, 2D drafting will always be with us.

    -Joe
  •  

    For the above reasons, 2D drafting will always be with us......

    -Joe
    I don't think anyone is denying 2d drawings will always be with us (I haven't read all the comments above), it is more about what is driving the increased use of 3d. Tom Foster mentions including "dumb 3d views", which is a very valid idea.
    Creating 2d sections, views and details of 3d models has been around for a long time but was previously in the domain of the hardcore draftsman with hardcore soft/hardware; no one outside of the design office got to see the 3d model.
    I attach a sample of the 3d dumb views that my son recently produced for our house renovation. These views add so much to ones understanding of the building and with more people understanding what is going on you get some useful feedback from the non-techie types (like your wife!) who would not normally have a grasp of a plain 2d drawing.
    Alan

    AML-16BAR-STR005 - VERANDAH (EAST).pdf

  • Hi,
    I see lots of people are looking for workflow improvement - there's no set way of using 3D right now. It's good to hear experience of others. I've been researching options and right now this is my point of view:
    BricsCAD - 3D modelling is OK, creating construction documents is ok only for mechanical parts. Currently not usabel in architecture field (too limited).
    SketchUp - I am not a user, but form what I gathered form internet - good and easy 3D modelling capabilities, creation of complex CD is possible with LayOut but it's not that easy and has some limitations
    Revit, ArchiCAD - hard to learn, not so easy to create custom shapes. Good CD creation. Models are parametric, so lot's of changes one has to do manually in SketchUp/BricsCAD are propagated automatically with REvit/ArchiCAD. The price is higher.

    From what I gathered, BricsCAD BIM and Sketchup are moving in the direction of REvit/Archicad - more parametric BIM stuff. Revit/ArchiCAD are moving more in the direction of Sketchuo/BricsCAD - it's gettion easier to model custom shapes. The advantage of BricsCAD over SketchUp is better construction documentation tools - these are the basics of BRicsCAD.

    I agree that 2D documentation is and will be the most important to export form our software, but "dumb 3D" views are very useful for others (doesn't matter if technical or non-technical) and even for ourselves. I know myself that I could avoid some problems if I wasn't creating elevations in plain 2D, but using 3D modelling instead.

    Tom
  • Your son's 3D is v good and clarifying, Admin Admin. In this case it's a simple construction - just joists and sheeting.
    When you start getting many layers - plasterboard, battens, sheathing, roof joists with insulation between, more sheathing, insulation over, breather felt, downslope battens, tiling battens, tiles - and all that meeting up with similar multi-layered wall, that's when easy placement of section planes including easy pushing-back of individual layers, is essential for progressive 'tweaking' to best show what lies beneath what and what laps over what.
    I don't think any of the modeling programs - niot Revit, Archicad etc, not SketchUp, not BricsBIM, can do that easily, yet.

    'Dumb 3D' is equiv to the traditional isometric/axonometric view, which would be drawn on flat 2D paper (or 2D modelspace) - 2D linework that gives a 3D impression.

    What's different here is that the end result is the same, but instead of drawing it as 2D linework, it's just a camera-view of a 3D model.
    Apart from that easier production, other benefits are:
    1) it need not stick to the angle-of-view conventions of isometric/axonometric but can be spun round to give the optimum view of each particular assembly
    2) it can be a true 3D perspective, not subject to the unrealistic (but useful) convention of isometric/axonometric, which don't taper away into the distance.

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