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BricsCAD logo.png
Developer(s)Bricsys nv
Stable release
V20.2.03-1 English / March 20, 2020; 4 months ago (2020-03-20)
Operating systemWindows, Linux, macOS
Size408 MB (Windows)
256-361 MB (Linux variants)
339 MB (macOS)
TypeCAD application

BricsCAD is a software application for computer-aided design (CAD), developed by Bricsys nv. 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' headquartered are 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] and joined the BuildingSMART International[9] consortium in December 2016.

In 2018, Bricsys nv was acquired in full by Hexagon AB of Sweden.

Example of the bricsCAD user interface with a 3D model in the workspace.

BricsCAD editions[edit]

The BricsCAD software, is currently on version V20 available for the Windows, Linux and macOS operating systems, and has six editions:

  • BricsCAD Classic 2D CAD drafting, native DWG reading/writing, and a full LISP API for customization and automation of repetitive tasks.
  • BricsCAD Pro contains all the functionality of BricsCAD Classic, plus 3D modelling, 2D and 3D hardware libraries, rendering, 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, plus 3D constraint creation, surface entity creation and lofting, TIN surfaces, deformable modelling, automatic healing of imported solid geometry, automatic design intent recognition, and basic assembly creation & editing.
  • BricsCAD BIM that contains all the functionality of BricsCAD Platinum, plus Building Information Modeling. Its core database utilises Industry Foundation Classes (IFC). It is certified by BuildingSMART International as compliant with openBIM 'CV2.0-Arch IFC Export and Import'.[10]
  • BricsCAD Mechanical contains all the functionality of BricsCAD Platinum, plus a 3D mechanical design tools, assembly modelling functionality, sheet metal, kinematic animation, bills-of-material and exploded-view creation tools. It is based on a direct modelling and so is history-free.
  • BricsCAD Ultimate combines all the BricsCAD editions - Classic, Pro, Platinum, BIM and Mechanical - into one package.

Trial customers can use the RUNASLEVEL command to change the edition of BricsCAD during their trial period.

BricsCAD BIM, BricscAD Mechanical and BricsCAD Ultimate, were released in late 2018. Prior to V19, the BricsCAD BIM product was delivered as a module named "BIM for BricsCAD" this was an extension of BricsCAD Platinum. BricsCAD Mechanical was added for V19. It includes upgraded functionality from the pre-V19 "Sheet Metal for BricsCAD" module.

All BricsCAD editions use the Open Design Alliance Drawing API software development platform, giving BricsCAD read and write capability of the DWG file format, made popular by Autodesk's AutoCAD. BricsCAD reads and writes .dwg files directly, from AutoCAD. The software is capable of most contemporary AutoCAD release functions. BricsCAD is currently localized in 18 language versions.

Communicator for BricsCAD[edit]

Communicator for BricsCAD is an add-on that imports and exports 3D CAD data (geometry & Product Manufacturing Information [PMI]) for data exchange with major Mechanical CAD programs (e.g. CATIA, PTC Creo, Solid Edge, NX/UG, SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor) and several industry-standard neutral file formats. The BricsCAD Communicator works with BricsCAD Pro for single part import/export, and BricsCAD Platinum/BricsCAD Mechanical for assembly import/export.

BricsCAD Shape[edit]

In January 2018 Bricsys released a free-of-charge conceptual modelling tool called BricsCAD Shape.[11] This is derived from the BricsCAD Platinum solid modelling core.

The geometry domain of BricsCAD Shape is equivalent to that of BricsCAD and the native file format of both products is .dwg. BricsCAD Shape has a simplified user interface that reduces command options to a minimum for support of effective solids modelling.[12] 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.[13]

It comes in two versions:

  • Bricsys 24/7 for Design Teams a new, recoded version of the product that is given free to all BricsCAD maintenance customers. It works on both a computer browser and on a mobile device. A built-in 24/7 Panel gives BricsCAD users access to the panel directly from BricsCAD.
  • Bricsys 24/7 for Project Collaboration An extended version of the Bricsys 24/7 for Design Teams product includes additional functionality.

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, BricsCAD cannot read AutoCAD FAS (compiled LISP) files.

Most compiled application programs developed for AutoCAD's Advanced Runtime eXtension (ObjectARX) facility require 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 works with application development partners to bring AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction), Civil, GIS and mechanical CAD tools.

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 BricsCAD advocates, BricsCAD's OpenLISP-based run-time environment is faster than AutoLISP (in Autodesk, Inc's AutoCAD).[14]

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. ^ "Bricsys join buildingSMART as international members". buildingSMART. 2016-12-19. Archived from the original on 2017-09-17. Retrieved 2018-12-17.
  10. ^ "News - Bricsys joins buildingSMART to give the .dwg community access to the huge potential of the BIM approach". Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  11. ^ "You're going to love BricsCAD Shape! - Bricsys CAD Blog". Bricsys CAD Blog. 2018-01-22. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  12. ^ "New 3D-Modeling Software Increases Efficiency by Focusing on Fast, Intuitive "Shaping" Inputs". ArchDaily. 2018-03-27. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  13. ^ "Bricsys 24/7: next generation AEC collaboration - Bricsys CAD Blog". Bricsys CAD Blog. 2017-11-09. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  14. ^

External links[edit]