BricsBIM v16 - revolutionary!

I am almost lost for words - pleasure, relief and gratitude - for BricsBIM v16 incl Brics Direct Modelling etc.

Pressed to get architectural work out, I had been getting good results in BricsCAD 2D since purchase in August - like I had for many years previous in Acad 2D - effective but gruelling hard work. At last, in this wonderful New Year, I've had time to get round to Brics 3D - and am blown away! Expecting a steep learning curve, it's turned out easy, reliable, clear, fast, do-anything versatile. As super-easy as simple projects in SketchUp - but here I'm doing complex, off-angle old-building stuff that quickly stalls SU in ambiguity and dimensional chaos.

My gratitude is about relief from an old story that goes much further back - to 1995 - pen and ink days on drawing board. Not at all interested in 'modernising' to 2D electronic drawing board, I bought 3D BricsWork (BIM before BIM was invented) running on Bentley Powerdraft (the Microstation equivalent of Acad LT). I couldn't make it work for my kind of local-builder architecture, and when Bentley adopted BricsWork as Triforma1, it was no better. I soon put my investment on the shelf, went back to the drawing board, and eventually adopted Acad 2D.

Trying for 3D again in 2012, after research and demos I bought industrial-strength BentleyBIM - now called AECOsim - confident that 17 years on it would work fine. Turned out, as far as geometry creation and modification, it was still completely undeveloped from 1995 BricsWork. Well, from 2012-15 I invested more than a year of my 'spare' time trying all ways, eventually establishing in great detail just why it still would not work for my kind of local-builder architecture. Again my investment (£1000s initial license + £1000 a year subscription + Irish 22% VAT) went back on the shelf, never having earned a penny on either BricsWork or AECOsim. As far as I could tell, there was no alternative - all the BIMs had similar limitations.

Until Brics - this topic continues that story.

What more can I add? I am in awe at how BIM should have been, all these 20 years of frustration and wasted time - as smooth and easy as Word. While working on in 2D, I have felt my career and development 'on hold' - obsessed, really. Am I free at last? Is this new ease just because Brics 3D is just like old familiar Acad, while Microstation seems difficult, unpredictable, full of 'unwritten rules', unhelpful? Is it just because I have put in enough hours to have crossed some line into 3D fluency? Is it because Brics Tech Helpdesk was fantastic at getting me going, with prompt, clear answers?

Who could think that a piece of software could be, really, life-changing?


  • Tom, what hardware are you using?
    I'm currently trying out v16, and I was hoping I could use it in the way you describe, getting away from Sketchup. I've been modeling everything in Sketchup since 2001, but the transition to 2D drawings is always cumbersome.
    But on my computer (Win7 Pro x64 SP1, 2.53 ghz Core2Duo, 8 gb RAM), which can handle detailed models in Sketchup as fast as I can move the mouse, the simplest 3D work in Bricscad 16 is impossibly slow. I can't even draw a line on a 3D model, because by the time the grip I want appears on the screen the cursor location has actually moved beyond it, and clicking then doesn't get the point I wanted.
    I'd like to know what hardware it would take to use Bricscad BIM, or at least to do some 3D modeling.
  • It's better to use a dedicated pc for 3D Cad cause standard computers have a dozen more apps that can lead to problems.
    If on a standard setup, there a few things to look at.

    On 64bit hardware, stick to 64 bit videodrivers and mainboard drivers and be sure to use the latest drivers.
    Do not mix critical drivers with 32/64 bit.

    As usual, even a recent videocard will have speed related problems as soon when hardware acceleration is disabled.
    take a look at taskmanager and if it's going over 50% , sure it wil run slower.

    Describe you computer more detailed towards video,  Is this a laptop?

  • Absolutely agree with Stefaan.

    Over a period of time, all computers have a tendency to slow down - and it has a lot to do with the large number of software we keep adding and removing. It may not be practically possible for offices to run only CAD software on dedicated systems, but I would not use any sundry software, games, trials and experiments on my main design workstation.

    Also, make sure you run the REDSDKINFO from time to time and assure yourself you have the latest drivers.

    Best Regards
    Rakesh Rao
    Smarter .dwg CAD

  • My machine is quite old - i3-2120 3.30Ghz with 4GB but it does have what was an entry-level professional graphics card of the time - Nvidia Quadro FX580, and W7 64bit. My current model is up to 2MB and growing, but showing no slowness so far, except rotating in e.g X-ray visual style.
  • Tom:  Thanks for the info. CPU Benchmarks gives your CPU a score of 3870, and it gives my P8700 a score of 1651. But two and a half times faster than what I'm getting now would still be impossibly slow, so maybe the graphics card makes most of the difference.

    Stefaan & Rakesh:  Thanks for the tips. The only other software I have running while trying to do Bricscad 3D is Outlook, Jungledisk, and Hamachi.

    Yes, my computer is a laptop. I assume it has onboard video. Device Manager lists two display adapters:
    - LogMeIn Mirror Driver
    - Mobile Intel(R) 4 Series Express Chipset Family

    LogMeIn Mirror Driver's Driver File Details lists only one driver: \system32\DRIVERS\lmimirr.sys
    Mobile Intel 4's Driver File Details lists 59 drivers in system32 and 11 in SysWow64.

    REDSDKINFO reported the following, which means little to me:
    [code]RedSDK product version: 3.5 (build 10)
    RenderUsingHardware: Hybrid hardware/software mode with preferred hardware rendering.
    OpenGL window creation succeeded.
    Operating system: Win_seven64
    Local GPU:
        GPU information:
            name:     'INTEL GL40 GS45 GM45 GM47'
            chipset:  'GMA4500MHD'
            class:    'HW_INTEL_GMA_4000'
            asicID:   '0x2a43'
            vendorID: '0x8086'
            recommended driver: 'Intel(r) Graphics Media Accelerator Driver'
        Installed driver:
            driver:      ''
            dll version: ''
            This driver is older than all internal known revisions.
            validation: ' ==========>>>>>  Not certified  <<<<<=========='<br>        =====>>>  You could also try out this driver: ' Graphics Media Accelerator Driver'  <<<=====<br>Local GPU:
        GPU information:
            name:     'INTEL GL40 GS45 GM45 GM47'
            chipset:  'GMA4500MHD'
            class:    'HW_INTEL_GMA_4000'
            asicID:   '0x2a42'
            vendorID: '0x8086'
            recommended driver: 'Intel(r) Graphics Media Accelerator Driver'
        Installed driver:
            driver:      ''
            dll version: ''
            This driver is older than all internal known revisions.
            validation: ' ==========>>>>>  Not certified  <<<<<=========='<br>        =====>>>  You could also try out this driver: ' Graphics Media Accelerator Driver'  <<<=====<br>Selected GPU:
        Chipset: HW_INTEL_GMA_4000
        Vendor: Intel ( IsINTEL )
        IsNoRayTrace: true
        IsLimitedRayTrace: true
        IsLimitedAreaLighting: true
        OpenGL version: 2.1.0 - Build
        Renderer: Mobile Intel(R) 4 Series Express Chipset Family
        OpenGL extensions: GL_EXT_blend_minmax GL_EXT_blend_subtract GL_EXT_blend_color GL_EXT_abgr GL_EXT_texture3D GL_EXT_clip_volume_hint GL_EXT_compiled_vertex_array GL_SGIS_texture_edge_clamp GL_SGIS_generate_mipmap GL_EXT_draw_range_elements GL_SGIS_texture_lod GL_EXT_rescale_normal GL_EXT_packed_pixels GL_EXT_separate_specular_color GL_ARB_multitexture GL_EXT_texture_env_combine GL_EXT_bgra GL_EXT_blend_func_separate GL_EXT_secondary_color GL_EXT_fog_coord GL_EXT_texture_env_add GL_ARB_texture_cube_map GL_ARB_transpose_matrix GL_ARB_texture_env_add GL_IBM_texture_mirrored_repeat GL_EXT_multi_draw_arrays GL_NV_blend_square GL_ARB_texture_compression GL_3DFX_texture_compression_FXT1 GL_EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic GL_ARB_texture_border_clamp GL_ARB_point_parameters GL_ARB_texture_env_combine GL_ARB_texture_env_dot3 GL_ARB_texture_env_crossbar GL_EXT_texture_compression_s3tc GL_ARB_shadow GL_ARB_window_pos GL_EXT_shadow_funcs GL_EXT_stencil_wrap GL_ARB_vertex_program GL_EXT_texture_rectangle GL_ARB_fragment_program GL_EXT_stencil_two_side GL_ATI_separate_stencil GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object GL_EXT_texture_lod_bias GL_ARB_occlusion_query GL_ARB_fragment_shader GL_ARB_shader_objects GL_ARB_shading_language_100 GL_ARB_texture_non_power_of_two GL_ARB_vertex_shader GL_NV_texgen_reflection GL_ARB_point_sprite GL_EXT_blend_equation_separate GL_ARB_depth_texture GL_ARB_texture_rectangle GL_ARB_draw_buffers GL_ARB_pixel_buffer_object GL_WIN_swap_hint GL_EXT_framebuffer_object GL_EXT_texture_sRGB GL_ARB_color_buffer_float GL_ARB_half_float_pixel GL_ARB_texture_float GL_NV_conditional_render GL_EXT_texture_swizzle
    I downloaded the driver it recommended from Redway3D, but when I tried to install it I was told:
    [code]The driver being installed is not validated for this computer.
    Please obtain the appropriate driver from the computer manufacturer.
    Setup will exit.[/code]
    I've already got the latest drivers from the manufacturer (Lenovo).
  • Look no further, the video controller is still good for 2D but simply too slow for 3D
    And sure if the laptop is not connected to the ac grid then windows will slow down video to save battery power.
    so this laptop has to be connected to the ac grid anyway and so configured that power saving is disabled as soon when connected to the ac grid.

    If You start Bricscad in 3D mode, then the cursor should work fluently.
    create a cilinder or box should still go acceptable but as soon when the 3D model evolves, it will get slower, slower , slower.

    Tom foster: Your FX580 is literary about 30% slower  compared to a low cost K600 even if this card has DDR3.


  • Stefaan, what is 3D mode, and how would I start it? I can't find anything about that in the Help files, and none of the mode buttons at the bottom of the screen mention 2D or 3D.
  • There is no such thing as 2D or 3D mode in BricsCAD (and AutoCAD) all drawings are fully 3D. Stefan is referring to different Workspaces. Currently there are 5 in BricsCAD: 2D Drafting, 3D Modeling, Mechanical, Sheet Metal and BIM. Available commands depend on your license: Classic, Pro or Platinum. An additional license is required for Sheet Metal. You can switch between Workspaces using the Workspaces toolbar or in the Workspace field in the Status Bar. See the Workspaces tab on the Customize dialog box to check which menus, toolbars, palettes, ribbon panels and Quad command groups are available in each workspace.
  • I believe Stephaan was thinking of the visual style. Louis is correct, of course, in that BricsCAD is always in 3D mode insofar as the model space is fully 3D Cartesian.

    Looking at an object in simple a wireframe mode, the main CPU's integrated graphics are sufficient; a separate GPU isn't required. However, once some level of surface rendering is needed then a GPU, if available, is called on to pick up the load.
  • My speed problem was solved by Hans via a support request. I don't understand how it was solved, and I can't make the problem re-appear, but I'm very glad it's gone. Now Bricscad 3D is as fast as Sketchup on my ancient laptop -- surprisingly fast, actually, considering the low benchmark score of my CPU and the fact that I don't have a GPU.

    So now I'm trying out the BIM module, which looks very promising so far. I like the idea of using the BIM tools to create standard DWG-format 3D entities rather than special BIM entities.
  • Can anyone tell me which GPU is better with 3D in BricsCAD - will there be any benefits from using nVIdia Quadro instead of much cheaper nVidia GTX, as Quadro cards are dedicated for Autodesk products...
  • If you do a web search for "Quadro versus" you'll find a lot of opinions and a few answers. As best as I understand it, the short version is that the gaming GPUs are optimized for frame rate whereas the Quadro line is optimized for accuracy.
  • That's a good way of looking at it - but 'accuracy' in what respect, do we mean exactly?
  • Dual precision floating point arithmetic. Everyone says that's disabled on the GeForce cards but not on the Quadros, which they say use the same GPU. Also, higher standards for quality control on the Quadros. But even Quadros come in a range of prices. NewEgg has one they're selling right now for $160.
  • So I'm guessing that Quadro GPU's are fully supported by BricsCAD in exactly the same way as in Autocad? The benefits will be similar/comparable?

    I'm asking because BricsCAD uses the Redsdk engine and on the Redway site you can find list of supported chipsets, but no comparation/test or comment. What I'm afraid is that I'll buy the Quadro card, pay much more than for cheap GTX version and the difference will not be significant because of the different engine BricsCAD uses. In other words "supported" might mean "it will work" instead of "you'll get much better performance because that chipsets is designed especially for AutoCAD tasks".
  • When I had a look, as far as I remember, a comparably-equiped Quadro card of twice the price had one-third the raw speed of a GeForce card. But we don't need speed in that sense. Or do we?

    I was looking to get a machine that would process multi-photo Reality Capture datasets, and for that the raw speed of a top-end GeForce was essential (as well as 8-core CPU). So unless a computer could be switchable between alternative installed graphics cards, I concluded that a CAD machine wouldn't do Reality Capture, and vice versa.

    However, Bentley Microstation is apparently happy on a GeForce, the key thing being that it uses DirectX not OpenGL
  • There's a Bricscad support page that appears to be recommending the GTX and not the Quadro:
    Jacek: you could file a support request and ask for clarification of that.
  • The Redway site does list the Quadro GPUs as supported. Still doesn't answer the performance versus accuracy in a particular application environment, though.
  • HI !  I have to say that I'm really impressed with the 3D that has come out lately. I dont have much use for it as we mostly do schematics. Have recently been playing with a cabinet i 3d and sometimes its frustrating to move around the drawing with snaps on. One of my guys imported a FE file and asked me about this.  Try the attached file set enpoint and intersection snap , start line command and try. The crosshair goes crazy. He has a Quadro card and I have a Geforce there is no difference.    Just interrested. Have a nice weekend / Patrik 

    PS how does one change the text and arrowsize on a sectionline in generated views ????? cannot figure it out. DS


  • The cursor wasn't erratic for me under those conditions.
  • Zooming and rotating is fine, but if you zoom in slightly and start moving the cursor around it starts jumping around due to all the little lines everywhere. This makes it very difficult to navigate to the line you want to address .

  • AAHH Much better in V16 even with intel4600.  Both other tests where V15. GREAT
This discussion has been closed.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!