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What Happened at the Bricsys® Digital Summit 2020?

By Rose Barfield 19 min October 26, 2020
What Happened at the Bricsys® Digital Summit 2020

It's that time of year again when the Bricsys® product leaders and experts take to the stage to showcase this year's improvements, design revelations and innovations. Last year we packed our bags and left for the fairytale city of Stockholm. This year, due the current pandemic, we went digital, which means more people that ever had the chance to get involved.

Live product demos, the launch of BricsCAD® V21, real-world Bricsys® customers, industry partners, the Bricsys® Band and a special guest. That was Bricsys®Digital Summit 2020

Despite the fact that the majority of the team has been working remotely this year, the level of innovation and development for BricsCAD® V21 is unprecedented and stands as a testimony to the commitments of the Bricsys® team to deliver the best possible all-round CAD solution to its customers.

If you missed all the action at the Bricsys Digital Summit 2020, don't worry, you can now stream it on our YouTube Channel or keep reading.

More than 2,800 people registered for this year's digital summit! But for those of you who haven't seen it yet, here's a rundown:

The Bricsys® Digital Summit

The event was hosted by our very own Aryna Kharytonenka, Bricsys Global Communications Manager. Aryna guided us through the various sessions with relentless energy.

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Aryna welcomes everyone to the Bricsys® Digital Summit 2020

The theme of the day: Bricsys® continued commitment to ensuring that BricsCAD® and Bricsys® 24/7 remains open format and fair to its users.

Keynote Session: Delivering on the Promise of DWG

Mark Van Den Bergh -- COO Bricsys®

Watch the Keynote session again on our YouTube Channel

First to the lens was Mark Van Den Bergh, Bricsys® COO who started with a promise to our customers:

Today, we will be launching BricsCAD® V21, the next major release of our flagship product... BricsCAD® V21 delivers hundreds of new features, improvements and fixes. Continuous product development is more than a marketing tagline at Bricsys®...We embrace OpenBIM standards, and we understand that people work in a multi-solution environment. -- Mark

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Mark promises to stay for to users and keep BricsCAD® open format

BricsCAD® case studies

Aryna Kharytonenka -- Bricsys® Global Communications Manager & special guest

Next on the schedule was a surprise visit from a familiar face: Ted Rossdale. Ted returned for a light-hearted chat with Aryna, where they looked at some "real-life Ted Rossdales": Mazda Motor companyPrototyp and StageCo.

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Aryna and Ted on set

Product Simplification

Don Strimbu -- VP Communications

Next came the turn of our colleagues in the United States. It during this time that Don announced the first big news of the day: BricsCAD® V21 Product simplification.

Bricsys® wants to make choosing the right version of BricsCAD® easier. That's why Bricsys® have decided to simplify the BricsCAD® product range this year.

BricsCAD® Classic has been renamed BricsCAD® Lite. BricsCAD® Platinum will no longer be available, all BricsCAD® Platinum features will be moved to BricsCAD® Pro. This is to make it easier for users to choose the right product. BricsCAD® BIMMechanical and Ultimate licenses remain unchanged.

It's easy to replace your current CAD system with BricsCAD®

Robert Green -- Director of Implementation

Next on the mic was Robert Green, who asked the question: "Can BricsCAD® really replace our existing CAD system?" The answer: "Yes, it really can."

Go in depth with Robert Greens CAD Manager Migration tips →

A real-world historical restoration project using BricsCAD® and Bricsys® 24/7

Melissa Rivera -- Product Specialist & Sebastian, Perez Jara -- BIM Specialist Hexagon PPM

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Real world restoration project using BricsCAD® and Bricsys® 24/7

We then returned to Bricsys® HQ: Ghent, Belgium to learn how BricsCAD® and Bricsys® 24/7 were used in a real-world historical restoration project on a national monument: Patrimonial House, built in 1783. The restoration of this building was a complex project that required working with many different types of collected data, external references, file types, complex technical specifications and external contractors working on other platforms.

BricsCAD® is innovative, modern CAD

Tjerk Gauderis -- R&D Team Lead

To conclude the first session Tjerk explained how the BricsCAD® development team works to keep BricsCAD® compatible with most of the major CAD software pages whilst still putting users first: reducing the time you spend on repetitive tasks and improving productivity.

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Tjerk R&D Team Lead

If you look at the CAD market in general. You see that there are a few large players in the market...you seldom see that existing functionality is redesigned, you just have layer after layer of extra complexity.... the goal of BricsCAD® is to lift the creativity of the users not to increase the complexity of the product... -- Tjerk

It was then time for a short break. During the break viewers were greeted with a Bricsys® Digital Summit surprise: The Bricsys® Band, featuring our very own Luc De Batselier on the keyboard.

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For those of you that have been to our yearly conference, you'll already know them. The band normally play at our yearly conference afterparty.

BricsCAD® Core session: Imagine unlimited design capabilities -- BricsCAD® V21

Jan Jolly -- BricsCAD® Product Owner, Chi-Yan Tang (demo) -- Product Specialist & Wouter Nys -- R&D Software Engineer

Watch the Lite and Pro session again on our YouTube Channel

Back to the main room, it was time for the latest developments for BricsCAD® V21 Core.

"There's so much to discover in V21, you'll see" -- Jan promised, with a smile.

And, he was right! After 45 minutes I was blown away! Feel free to watch it more than once!

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Jan and Chi-Yan

What's new for 2D drafting?


We've engineered a better alternative to Dynamic Blocks, we call them Parametric Blocks. -- Wouter

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New Parametric Blocks introduced as Bricsys® solution to dynamic blocks!

The functionality of parametric blocks is further boosted in BricsCAD® V21 with a whole, block specific toolset, including: VISIBILITYSTATESPARAMETRICBLOCKIFY and SETBYLAYER commands, plus enhancements to the Properties Panel.

Move Guided

Another cool, new functionality is MOVEGUIDED, built on the success of COPYGUIDED, introduced last year. It intelligently moves details to other, similar locations using guide geometry and automatically heals any line and hatch gaps left behind.What Happened at the Bricsys<sup>®</sup> Digital Summit 2020- move guided

Healing tools

The team also introduced some tools to automatically clean up drawings. The new OPTIMIZE command tool heals common 2D drawing errors, such as misaligned line work, whilst the long-awaited, SIMPLIFY  command drastically reduces the number of unnecessary vertices in polyline and reduces the size of drawings.

Even More

There were even more cool features announced, but I don't have time to mention them here! You'll just have to watch it to find out.

What's new for 3D modeling?

We constantly enhance BricsCAD®'s Direct Modeling engine to create more complex geometry, more accurately, in record time. In V21, we've added more than just new modeling features -- we've also refactored portions of our modeling core to better utilize multi-threading, wherever possible. -- Jan

Improved Meshes

Extra mesh properties have been added to the properties panel and you can convert meshes to solids using the CONVTOSOLID command. Complimenterrily, SketchUp file imports have been greatly improved.

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Mesh editing has been improved for BricsCAD® V21 and so has SketchuUp import.

Fillet & Chamfer

In BricsCAD® V21 you can now create asymmetrical fillets and chamfers. Fillet editing has also got easier with improvements to the radius editing.

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Create asymmetrical fillet and chamfers in BricsCAD® V21

3D geometry-driven constraints

Maybe it's the CAD geek inside me but, for me, the highlight of the presentation was the demonstration of 3D, geometry-driven constraints. Geometry driven constraints mean that you can still freely model in model space.

Manipulator enhancements

The manipulator has also gained additional functionality, but you'll have to watch the keynote.

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Manipulator enhancements

Civil design

Andrej Kogovsek -- Civil Product Specialist,  Chi-Yan Tang (demo) -- Product Specialist

Chi-Yan got the Civil demonstration off to a visual start by creating a TIN surface from multiple files, with a clip boundary and placed a raster image on top. All at lightning speed.

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Use the new Corridor functionality in BricsCAD® Pro V21.

Create Corridors for civil road design

The highlight came when Andrej began to explain the new Corridor modeling function. This allows you to design linear infrastructures, such as roads and bridges, with a polyline profile template.

Balance Grading

Combine this with the GRADINGBALANCE  command to calculate the cut and fill volumes of the TIN grading.

Civil 3D import

You can also now create multiple civil entities, from an external Autodesk® Civil 3D drawing, in one operation with the new CIVIL3DIMPORT  command.

Point Cloud

Piet Lelieur -- Product Specialist,  Chi-Yan Tang (demo) -- Product Specialist

Performance enhancements

Piet, started with some great news: point cloud import for BricsCAD® V21 is more than x5 faster, thanks to multi-thread point cloud processing.

Bubble Views

BricsCAD® V21 also introduces point cloud Bubble Views. Click on the bubble to open a pop-up window and get a scanner's-'eye'-view. They also form the basis for automatic geometry creation.

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Automatically generate 2D layouts and 3D geometry from a point cloud.


Last year we announced our Scan-to-BIM initiative with Leica Geosystems and we are pleased to say, we've taken real steps towards making it a reality! In BricsCAD® BIM V21, you can now automatically detect stories, generate 3D geometry, and create 2D floor plans, 2D lines and raster images directly from a point cloud.

BricsCAD® BIM Session: Bricsys® design-first path to Building Information Modeling

Tiemen Strobbe -- BricsCAD® BIM Product Owner, Jacob De Sutter (demo) -- Product Specialist, Jurgen De Zaeytijd -- R&D software engineer, Miklós Svéd -- Product Manager, Greg Schleusner -- Technology Director at HOK, Pieter Clarysse -- Product Manager, Belinda Ercan -- Product marketing manager at Twinmotion, Ruben Decuypere -- BIM Product Specialist, Neil Peterson, President of the ODA

Watch the BIM session again on our YouTube Channel

During this demo we watched as the BricsCAD® BIM team moved from pure geometry to BIM model, adding LOD without having to start from scratch. Their aim was to demonstrate how BricsCAD® BIM can fix the "broken workflow" of other BIM solutions.

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Tiemen introducing what's new for BricsCAD® BIM V21 at the Bricsys® Digital Summit 2020

#1 Conceptual design

Jacob began by using direct modeling tools, along with some innovative LISP and some clever use of customizable user-definable quantities.

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Take a look and you'll see the Bricsys® HQ building in the background!

#2 Adding information to you BIM

BIM Quick Building

Once happy with the external shape, Jacob was able to convert it into a building automatically using the new BIMQUICKBUILDING  command. BIMQUICKBUILDING will automatically shell a solid and create floors, walls and slabs!

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Use the new QuickBuild tool to automatically convert geometry into a BIM model.

Performance enhancements

They then moved to a real world example of a BIM model: the Kentucky Event Center, created with our industry partners at HOK. Even though this was a complex file, Jacob was able to open the model and immediately start navigating around the drawing, because Xrefs now load in the background.

With the return of some old BricsCAD® A.I. favorites, the team demonstrated how to quickly increase the LOD of a BIM model in BricsCAD® without remodeling. But you'll have to watch to see how it was done.

If you have a hated bottleneck in your workflow, you can always let us know! -- Jurgen De Zaeytijd

#3 Construction documentation

Custom BIM documentation templates

But building design isn't all about 3D modeling! In BricsCAD® BIM V21, you can create your own custom BIM documentation templates to automatically generate sheet sets, in different styles, for different phases of the project. BIMtags have also had an overhaul!

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Customize your documentation with style sheets in BricsCAD® BIM V21.

#4 Visualization

Of course, no architectural design presentation would be complete without high quality, 3D renders. This year's BricsCAD® BIM V21__ Twinmotion Integration __ blew last year's Enscape integration out the water. The team previewed some photo-realistic, moving renders, created directly from the BIM itself.

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Use the new Twinmotion integration to generate photo-realistic views.

#5 Collaboration

Multi-User workflow

And they haven't forgotten about collaboration either! BricsCAD® BIM V21 introduces a multi-user workflow that is based on GIT version control and is built on top of DWG.

File formats

And just when you thought it was all over, Ruben announced the news we've all been waiting for: you can now import RFA and RVT files directly into BricsCAD® BIM V21.

The vision of BIM SDK

As you all know, Bricsys® is a founding member of the ODA. To conclude we invited Neil Peterson, President of ODA, to explain the vision of BIM SDK.

BricsCAD® Mechanical: Assembly Design, Sheet Metal and Documentation

Dmitry Ushakov -- BricsCAD® Mechanical Product Owner, Christian Lecomte -- Sheet Metal Expert, Evgeniy Gromov -- Development Team Leader, Alexander Yarovenko -- Development Team Leader, Maxim Shilovsky -- Development Team Leader, Ekaterina Filippova -- Software Developer, Ilya Tatarnikov (demo) -- QA Team Leader*,

Watch the BIM session again on our YouTube Channel

Next it was the turn of the BricsCAD® Mechanical team, not just another 2D drafting tool! Every year they demonstrate new functionalities with a perfectly oiled, mechanical model to showcase their plethora of new features and this year was no exception.

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The bottle filling station

For BricsCAD® Mechanical V21 the team built a fully parametric, brewery bottle filling station in BricsCAD® Mechanical and opened with an animation, created with the animation panel, introduced last year for BricsCAD® Mechanical V20. The model comprised some 3000+ parts, 500 of which were unique and the entire assembly, inspired by the maltese cross mechanism (geneva drive) was built from scratch, using BricsCAD® Mechanical V21!

Sheet Metal

The team began by using direct modeling tools to create a solid, or "poor sheet metal" and then convert it to sheet metal. Which brought us straight into the new features.

Sheet metal properties per body

In BricsCAD® Mechanical V21 you can allocate, sheet metal properties, such as thickness per body.

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Set thickness per sheet metal body.


Then it was straight to the new T-junctions tool. This allows you to connect sheet metal flanges with T-junctions. T-junctions can be created between two solids, that don't even need to touch or used on one solid to separate it.

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Mind blowing demonstration of tabs and junctions.

Tabs-and-slots for lofted bends

You can now use the tab function, introduced last year, along curved edges and with the new T-junctions feature.

Sheet metal conversion

For BricsCAD® Mechanical V21, during sheet metal conversion, junctions are intelligently allocated to allow for unfolding, and bevels are automatically detected from fillets. Bends with a radius of zero are also automatically recognized.

Pipe design

Evgeniy explained how it's possible to use the cool new set of pipe design toolset, available to BricsCAD® Pro V21 users and above. If you thought our current HVAC toolset was impressive, then you ain't seen nothing yet!

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New part library full of hundreds of pipe assembly parts.

New Parts Library

The newly improved Standard Parts Library, features 182 new pipe parts that cover German, US and international standards. The parts are parametric and a new set of commands has been added so that parts adapt automatically to other parts already in the drawing during insertion.

2D Drafting

Break down drawing views

In BricsCAD® Mechanical V21 you can now break down drawing views of long parts and assemblies (such as pipes) into shortened views using VIEWBREAK. No more need for a ridiculously long view or, manual editing!

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Break down long objects with the new ViewBreak command.

Advanced BOM Manager

For BricsCAD® Mechanical V21 The BOM (Bill of Materials) Manager has new functionalities: custom columns, advanced column filters, aggregation by parameter, and many others to help you get the information you need.

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Advance BOM management features added for BricsCAD® Mechanical V21

Assembling/Disassembling Animations

To conclude Ekaterina Filippova gave a demonstration of how you can use the BricsCAD® Mechanical Animation Panel, introduced for BricsCAD® Mechanical V20, to animate the parameters and constraints in a model.

Of course we showed you only the most impressive tools, there are many more try them yourself in BricsCAD® V21 --  Maxim

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And after that mind-blowing use of parametric modeling, I'm not sure I took it all in! Who knew you could do so much with BricsCAD® Mechanical V21?  You might just have to watch it a second time!

Introduction to Bricsys® 24/7

Mathias Everaert -- Business Development Manager of Bricsys® 24/7

Watch the Bricsys® 24/7 session again on our YouTube Channel

The first news of the day was that the Bricsys® cloud solution has been named:

Bricsys® 24/7 for Design Teams (launched last year) is now BricsCAD® Cloud. Bricsys® 24/7 for Project Collaboration has returned to its original name of Bricsys® 24/7.

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Bricsys® 24/7 cloud solution

BricsCAD® Cloud is a BricsCAD® user only product that is used to store and share drawings from within BricsCAD®.

Bricsys® 24/7 is used as a Common Data Environment with the purpose of managing documents in and around AEC projects.

BAM case Study: Digital Construction

Joining us in the studio was a real Bricsys® 24/7 user: Martine Deloz who works as part of the Digital Construction team at BAM Belgium.

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Martine Deloz who works as part of the Digital Construction team at BAM Belgium

Royal BAM Group is a construction group with approximately 20,000 employees and 9 companies, operating in 9 European countries and other locations worldwide.

Currently, BAM Belgium has 170 projects running on Bricsys® 24/7 and 3,400 active users.

She outlined some of the benefits of using 24/7 and noted that, when Bricsys® 24/7 does not meet BAM's business needs. BAM has the opportunity to talk directly to the product owners of Bricsys® who help create a tailormade solution. Now how many companies can offer that level of personalization?

The future of Bricsys® 24/7

Jens Akkermans -- Bricsys® 24/7 Product Owner

To conclude the Bricsys® Digital Summit we beamed over to the UK, our newly appointed Product owner, Jens Akkermans. Jens announced his plans for the future of Bricsys® 24/7:

  • Usability
  • Interoperability
  • Cloud diversification
  • Virtual Reality
  • Cloud diversification

Thanks for taking part

The Bricsys® Digital Summit 2020 was a first for everyone at Bricsys®. We'd like to thank everyone that made this possible, from the team at Bricsys®, our guest speakers, our AV partners: our industry partners: AX3000Civil Site DesignEnscapeHOKLeica Geosystemsthe ODARobert McNeel & Associates,  Royal BAM Group and Twinmotion.

If you missed it or just want to watch it again, you can relive the action and check out our in depth sessions, at any time.

We hope to see you again next year, in person or digitally!

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Relive the Bricsys® Digital Summit 2020

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Try BricsCAD Free

Enscape for BricsCAD will be discontinued and taken down from the Bricsys App Store on 22/10/2023. All active subscriptions purchased before this date will keep receiving support until the subscription expires. Bricsys will provide a version of “Enscape for BricsCAD” that will be compatible with BricsCAD v24.1 If you have any questions please click the “Contact” button in the App Store and create a Support Request.

Rose Barfield

by Rose Barfield - CAD User Experience & Interface Design Specialist

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Rose is responsible for taking user feedback and improving the BricsCAD product. Before coming to BricsCAD, she was a CAD user and worked in the Automotive, Aerospace, and Defense industries as a Technical Illustrator. She loves finding out how things work, taking them apart, and (hopefully) putting them back together again.

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