With approximately 17,000 students, Odisee University College is among the largest educational institutions in Belgium. For more than 15 years, Peter Denie, a lecturer at Odisee, has taught technical courses such as building construction, computer design, 3D and BIM to students graduating in Construction Technology. Recently, they decided to switch their student CAD licenses to BricsCAD.
“Last year after spring break, we started a project with a small but dedicated group of students,” said Denie. “I asked them to use BricsCAD as a test on this project. This went so successfully that we decided to switch the entire curriculum to BricsCAD at the start of the new school year.”
SMOOTH TRANSITION IN 2D
Almost 90% of Odisee Construction Technology graduates end up working in the construction industry. They are introduced to 2D CAD software from the first semester. Denie added, “On the construction site, they need to communicate how they see technical solutions for a certain building. It is important that when students graduate, they can easily read and make drawings, as well as interpret the projects quickly. That’s why we use 2D.”
The Odisee lecturers weren’t familiar with BricsCAD and had doubts regarding the CAD software change. However, once they were introduced to the platform and its capabilities, they were able to maintain their existing workflows easily.
“Instructors were able to teach students the same curriculum, at the same pace and during the same time period as with AutoCAD®. The lessons were maintained, and the colleagues who used 2D remained satisfied. The core 2D functionality is identical, allowing for a smooth transition.” said Denie.
Denie discussed the initial struggles connecting 2D and 3D using other software: “We weren’t happy with the way we had to convert drawings from SketchUp back to AutoCAD®. There wasn’t any connection between them. That’s the reason we went looking for another approach.”
During the second semester, Odisee brought in BricsCAD BIM to connect 2D and 3D and introduce BIM fundamentals within one platform. “We could maintain our current software use, keep the colleagues who needed the 2D materials happy, and introduce the students to the BIM world in a fast and consistent way.” said Denie.
“We feared that the distribution of the licenses would be difficult,” Denie mentioned. “These are often installed on multiple computers and on different networks. However, this went smoothly, and Bricsys responded quickly to all of our requests.”
Odisee has acquired over 200 BricsCAD volume licenses and 150 network licenses that float across the entire educational network, covering both students and teachers.
PROJECT COMMUNICATION - BRICSYS 24/7
The Odisee construction department is now looking into integrating Bricsys 24/7 to encourage better project communication. Denie commented, “Before we moved to BricsCAD, my colleagues in infrastructure had already experimented with Bricsys 24/7 as a communication tool between students and teachers. It was used as a central workspace where students can upload their files, and teachers can revise and directly give comments on the documents.”
Denie was clear about the value he sees in the Odisee CAD software transition: “Before, we had different software packages for every discipline. Now that we have made the switch, I think we will enjoy it for a long time. BricsCAD is an all-in-one package, effortlessly linking 2D, 3D, and BIM, which makes it easy for our students, and that’s all we need.”