Video – Steve on BricsCAD Unplugged

Following on from Lynn Allen and Robert Green’s guest appearances on the BricsCAD Unplugged webcast a couple of weeks ago, this time it was my turn. Last night (my time) I was the special guest on the episode BricsCAD Unplugged – Steve Johnson 5 surprises moving to BricsCAD. I’m introduced at 2:12 and appear at 3:30. Here’s the full video: In this week’s episode, you’ll witness: Me discussing the five biggest things that pleasantly surprised me about BricsCAD. (I have more than five, but time was limited). Don Strimbu bribing me with drinks containers. An actual printed copy of Cadalyst …

Where on Earth is Lynn Allen going?

Well, this is a fun video for CAD geeks. The third in the BricsCAD Unplugged series of weekly webcasts, this one promotes the Bricsys 2018 conference which will be held on 23 and 24 October in London. These live broadcasts run on the Bricsys Facebook page and are then quickly transferred to YouTube. This one is interesting because of the people in it and some interesting news. It features Bricsys regulars Don Strimbu, Heidi Hewett, Vince Aman and Matt Olding, but also a couple of special guests. First on the scene is Robert Green (see 4:57) but the real surprise …

Why every AutoCAD CAD Manager should have a copy of BricsCAD – part 6, future proofing

This is the sixth and final post in this series where I explain why this statement holds true: As a CAD Manager looking after AutoCAD users, or a power user looking after yourself, it’s worth your while to have a copy of BricsCAD handy. This post explains why adding a copy of BricsCAD to your stable of AutoCAD licenses is a good thing for your future and that of your company. A CAD Management thing I did a few years ago was to examine the options for replacing AutoCAD and other Autodesk products. I was an AutoCAD loyalist (albeit a …

Why every AutoCAD CAD Manager should have a copy of BricsCAD – part 5, LISP

This is the fifth post in this series where I explain why this statement holds true: As a CAD Manager looking after AutoCAD users, or a power user looking after yourself, it’s worth your while to have a copy of BricsCAD handy. This post is about BricsCAD being better than AutoCAD at the one thing that made AutoCAD win the race against its competitors back in the 80s – LISP. That is, AutoLISP (added fully to AutoCAD in Version 2.18) and Visual LISP (fully integrated with AutoCAD 2000). If you’re a good AutoCAD CAD Manager, you’ll already know the reasons …

An email exchange with a friend about AutoCAD

Here’s an email exchange I just had with a friend. He’s a local person who I don’t normally discuss CAD with. He works for an architect. He has given me permission to use this discussion here. Hi Steve, We are looking to update from 2007 and 2010 versions in the office to more recent versions of Autodesk’s AutoCAD. We don’t need full version but if that’s what is available ok then. Lite version is ok as we use for 2D architectural only. We use other packages when 3D work required. We also have call to open consultants drawings which may …

Why every AutoCAD CAD Manager should have a copy of BricsCAD – part 4, efficiency

This is the fourth post in this series where I explain why this statement holds true: As a CAD Manager looking after AutoCAD users, or a power user looking after yourself, it’s worth your while to have a copy of BricsCAD handy. This post is about BricsCAD being more efficient than AutoCAD for some of the things a CAD Manager might need to do. What do I mean? BricsCAD starts up and closes down faster than AutoCAD, much faster in some environments. If your AutoCAD starts up slow (e.g. in some secure proxy server environments), pretty much any job you …

Why every AutoCAD CAD Manager should have a copy of BricsCAD – part 3, parts on demand

This is the third post in this series where I explain why this statement holds true: As a CAD Manager looking after AutoCAD users, or a power user looking after yourself, it’s worth your while to have a copy of BricsCAD handy. This post is about using BricsCAD as a mechanical and structural parts library for your AutoCAD users. As I mentioned in my last post in this series, I was writing a client-specific AutoCAD 3D training course recently. To demonstrate the concept of revolving profiles, and also to compare and contrast different styles of solid creation, I wanted to …

Why every AutoCAD CAD Manager should have a copy of BricsCAD – part 2, 3D operations

This is the second post in this series where I explain why this statement holds true: As a CAD Manager looking after AutoCAD users, or a power user looking after yourself, it’s worth your while to have a copy of BricsCAD handy. This post is about using BricsCAD to do things to help out your AutoCAD users who are having problems with 3D operations. Why would you bother using BricsCAD to mess with AutoCAD 3D models? Because sometimes AutoCAD can’t do stuff with them, and BricsCAD can. If you have a user who finally asks for help after fighting AutoCAD …

Why every AutoCAD CAD Manager should have a copy of BricsCAD – part 1, fixing drawings

Here’s a mega-tip with a lot of experience behind it: As a CAD Manager looking after AutoCAD users, or a power user looking after yourself, it’s worth your while to have a copy of BricsCAD handy. Why? There are too many reasons to fit in one blog post, so I’m going to do a mini-series. The first post is about using BricsCAD to fix up drawings that are giving your AutoCAD users problems. One of the things that surprised me most when evaluating BricsCAD as a potential replacement for AutoCAD was that my expectations were wrong when it came to …

BricsCAD Shape for Mac

BricsCAD Shape, the free DWG-based 3D direct modeling application from Bricsys, has now been released for macOS (formerly OS X). See my previous post on Shape for details of what it’s all about. This is the same, just on a different OS. That’s because unlike Autodesk’s versions of its DWG products, the Bricsys versions are not cynically watered down for Apple users. Those users can now do full 3D conceptual modeling as part of a workflow that leads to full BIM (or simply view and edit DWG files if you’re not that ambitious), and without paying for the privilege. It’s …

Bricsys shows Autodesk how to do mid-term updates – again!

BricsCAD V18.2 for Windows is out. The new stuff in this mid-term update is again showing up Autodesk’s lack of progress with its once-flagship product, AutoCAD. I’m sure Autodesk would love customers to accept that there’s only so much anyone can do with a DWG-based CAD product once it reaches a certain level of maturity. Customers should get used to nothing of significance being added year after year. Diminishing returns, and all that. Pay to continue using the product, but don’t expect it to get better. What a shame for Autodesk, then, that Bricsys exists. By consistently providing a raft …

BricsCAD Shape – can a free DWG product be a BIM game-changer?

At the Bricsys 2017 Conference in Paris, one of the biggest surprises was the announcement of BricsCAD Shape. This product was demonstrated live, very impressively, in pre-release form. As I live-tweeted at the time, the demo jock was able to create a pretty decent architectural model in minutes, from scratch, very easily. That product has now been released. What is BricsCAD Shape? Shape is a 3D direct modeling application. At the core, it’s a simplified BricsCAD BIM. That means it’s small, fast, stable and it uses 2018 DWG as its native format. These are all good things. It’s obviously aimed …

BricsCAD V18 – showing Autodesk how to do DWG CAD

For years now, Autodesk has done very little worthwhile with AutoCAD. There have been a few small but welcome improvements, but it’s really just tinkering at the edges. The product as a whole continues to stagnate and yet blimp out. It’s getting bigger and slower with each new release. The downloads get bigger. The install times get longer. The startup times drag out. The responsiveness suffers. And for what? Pretty much the same old thing, every time. Sometimes you don’t even get a new desktop icon. Don’t get me started on value for money. It’s as if Autodesk considers DWG-based …

Bricsys 2017 Conference

I have recently returned from the Bricsys 2017 Conference, held this year at the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris. There were many impressive things demonstrated at this conference and I will be posting about them in due course. In the meantime, here is a short video from Bricsys:

You may wish to check out my Twitter feed to see what I live tweeted at the time, along with the #bricsys2017 tag to see what myself and other CAD press and bloggers thought of it.

Press and bloggers at Bricsys 2017

Disclosure: Bricsys covered my travel expenses for this conference.

AutoCAD 2018 – why did the DWG format change?

In my review of AutoCAD 2018, I had this to say about AutoCAD 2018’s changed DWG format: Why does AutoCAD 2018 need a new DWG format? It probably doesn’t. The 2013 DWG format is capable of holding pretty much anything you want… Although Autodesk cites performance reasons with certain drawings, I strongly suspect the new DWG format was introduced purely to make life difficult for competitors, and to encourage wavering customers to stay with Autodesk for fear of losing compatibility. In other words, it seems likely this is an anti-competitive change rather than a technical one. In a recent blog …

BricsCAD V17 – the best AutoCAD upgrade in years?

I’ve been evaluating BricsCAD for a few years now, and have been looking at it pretty seriously as a DWG-based LISP-compatible AutoCAD alternative for a year or so. A couple of weeks ago, I flew to Munich for the Bricsys International Conference (at Bricsys’ expense – see the Legal page for disclosure) where I learned quite a few things I had failed to notice during my own evaluation of V17. As you may have noticed, I can be pretty hard-bitten and cynical about what CAD companies have to say about their products, but I came back impressed. The conference and …