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BricsCAD logo.png
Developer(s) Bricsys
Stable release
18.2 English (Windows x64) / February 20, 2018; 7 months ago (2018-02-20)
Operating system Windows, Linux, OS X
Size 259 MB (Windows)
133-192 MB (Linux)
209 MB (OS X)
Type CAD application
License Proprietary

BricsCAD is a software application for computer-aided design (CAD) developed by Bricsys. The company was founded in 2002 by Erik de Keyser,[1] a longtime CAD entrepreneur.[2][3][4][5] In 2011 Bricsys acquired the intellectual property rights from Ledas[6][7] for constraints-based parametric design tools permitting the development of applications in the areas of direct modeling and assembly design. Bricsys is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium, has additional development centers in Nizhny Novgorod and Novosibirsk, Russia; Bucharest, Romania and Singapore. Bricsys is a founding member of the Open Design Alliance.[8]

BricsCAD Editions & Add-on Modules[edit]

The BricsCAD software, available for the Windows, Linux and macOS operating systems, is available in three editions:

  • BricsCAD Classic provides familiar 2D CAD drafting functionality, native DWG read/write, and incorporates a full LISP API for customization and automation of repetitive tasks.
  • BricsCAD Pro contains all the functionality of BricsCAD Classic, and adds 3D Direct Modeling, 2D and 3D hardware libraries, high-definition rendering, a render materials library, mechanical assembly viewing and an AutoCAD ObjectARX-compatible development system that supports hundreds of third-party application programs.
  • BricsCAD Platinum contains the features and functions of BricsCAD Pro, and includes 3D constraint system creation, surface entity creation and lofting, deform-able modeling, imported geometry healing, automatic design intent recognition, assembly creation & editing.

In addition, Bricsys builds three add-on modules that deliver discipline-specific workflows (when installed with the BricsCAD Platinum edition):

  • BricsCAD BIM brings Building Information Modeling to the .dwg file format. It includes an advanced 3D sketch modeler with full Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) certified BIM functionality.[9] All building elements – walls, floors, columns, windows doors, etc. – are automatically classified. Automatically generated 2D sections show all building details – keeping everything synced with the final construction document set.
  • BricsCAD Sheet Metal, provides tools for creating sheet metal parts with a focus on manufacturability. The product uses lofted surfaces to create sheet metal features. This methodology assists in maintaining the model's integrity as a design is created, un-folded, re-folded and modified. BricsCAD Sheet Metal also exports ready-to-manufacture parts to specific CAD systems. BricsCAD Sheet Metal functionality is included in BricsCAD Platinum, and is enabled by purchasing a license activation key.
  • BricsCAD Communicator, imports and exports 3D CAD data to allow data exchange with most major Mechanical CAD programs (e.g. CATIA, PTC Creo, Solid Edge, NX/UG, SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor) and several industry-standard neutral file formats. BricsCAD Communicator is a separate software download from the core BricsCAD product, and is enabled by purchasing a license activation key.

All three BricsCAD Editions use the Open Design Alliance Teigha software development platform, giving the products native read and write capability of the DWG file format, made popular by Autodesk's AutoCAD. BricsCAD V18 reads and writes DWG files directly, from AutoCAD Release 12 through 2018. The software is capable of most contemporary AutoCAD release functions. BricsCAD is localized in 18 language versions.

BricsCAD Shape[edit]

In January, 2018 Bricsys released a free-of-charge conceptual modeling tool called BricsCAD Shape.[10] Derived from the BricsCAD Platinum solid modelling core, BricsCAD Shape was built to give architects and designers a CAD-accurate "digital clay" modelling environment for the conceptual design of buildings and structures. A main design aspect of Shape centers around its ability to create accurate, non-ambiguous solid models, without forcing users to classify building elements early in the design cycle.

The geometry domain of BricsCAD Shape is equivalent to that of BricsCAD BIM, and the native file format of both products is DWG. This lets 3D concept models created in Shape load directly into BricsCAD BIM for automatic classification of building elements and their spatial locations. Keeping conceptual modeling inside the BIM workflow lets the design study model be the basis for a full Building Information Model, without re-work or re-modeling.

BricsCAD Shape has a minimalist, simplified user interface that reduces command options to a minimum for support of effective solids modeling.[11] BricsCAD Shape also includes a library of parametric windows and doors, materials libraries and a set of 3D furniture and objects.

Bricsys 24/7[edit]

Bricsys also provides a cloud collaboration SaaS (software as a service) Common Data Environment (CDE) called Bricsys 24/7. Prior to 09 November, 2017, Bricsys 24/7 was known as Chapoo.[12]

APIs and Customization[edit]

BricsCAD implements many AutoCAD Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). In general, BricsCAD provides a nearly identical subset of AutoCAD-equivalent function names. In the case of non-compiled AutoCAD applications (e.g. LISP, Diesel and DCL), these programs can be loaded and executed directly in BricsCAD. Specifically regarding LISP routines, BricsCAD supports AutoCAD Vl, Vlr, Vla and Vlax functions. Bricsys also supports developers who wish to use LISP encryption, but as expected, BricsCAD cannot read AutoCAD FAS (compiled LISP) files.

Most compiled application programs developed for AutoCAD's Advanced Runtime eXtension (ObjectARX) facility require only a recompilation with the BricsCAD Runtime eXtension (BRX) libraries. BRX is source code-compatible with AutoCAD's ARX 2018, with a few exceptions. Bricsys also supports the deprecated Autodesk Development System (ADS) through BricsCAD's (also deprecated) SDS interface.


Bricsys is focused on the development of the core CAD software platform and works with application development partners to bring to market solutions for the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction), Civil, GIS and mechanical CAD markets.

Bricsys offers LGS 2D and 3D, two component technologies that enable 2D and 3D constraint management.[7] Bricsys offers licensing of these modules to software developers that build products on Windows (32/64-bit), MacOS, and Linux, for integration into their own software products. Licensees for these modules include ASCON (CAD), Cimatron (CAD/CAM) and others.

Comparison of speed[edit]

According to independent tests, BricsCAD's OpenLISP-based run-time environment is faster than AutoLISP (in Autodesk, Inc's AutoCAD).[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Erik de Keyser, CEO, Founder of Bricsys
  2. ^ Can You Make Money Selling $500 CAD Software? The Bricsys Story, CAD Insider, October 3, 2012.
  3. ^ Randall Newton, Bricsys aims to expand its low-cost CAD empire, GraphicSpeak - A Jon Peddie Research Publication, October 11, 2012.
  4. ^ Randall Newton, Bricsys delivers viable alternative universe for DWG-based CAD development, GraphicSpeak - A Jon Peddie Research Publication, October 26, 2011.
  5. ^ Get brisk with Bricscad, Geospatial Today
  6. ^ Menhirs NV Acquires Intellectual Property Rights from LEDAS
  7. ^ a b Ralph Grabowski, Exclusive Q&A: What it means, now that Bricsys bought IP from Ledas, WorldCAD Access, October 5, 2011.
  8. ^ Open Design Alliance - ODA Members
  9. ^ "News - Bricsys joins buildingSMART to give the .dwg community access to the huge potential of the BIM approach". Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  10. ^ "You're going to love BricsCAD Shape! - Bricsys CAD Blog". Bricsys CAD Blog. 2018-01-22. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  11. ^ "New 3D-Modeling Software Increases Efficiency by Focusing on Fast, Intuitive "Shaping" Inputs". ArchDaily. 2018-03-27. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  12. ^ "Bricsys 24/7: next generation AEC collaboration - Bricsys CAD Blog". Bricsys CAD Blog. 2017-11-09. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  13. ^

External links[edit]