More details of Bricsys 2018 in London

As I mentioned in March, this year’s Bricsys conference will be held in London (yes, the British one) on 23 and 24 October. More details have now been revealed on the Bricsys Conference page and tickets are now on sale. We now know: Venue: The Brewery, 52 Chiswell Street, London EC1Y 4SD, UK. Cost: €150, which is about US$180 (plus taxes in the EU, which you may be able to deduct). This is the early bird rate until 30 June. Speakers: Ten have been named so far, including big-name signing Heidi Hewett. My attendance at the 2016 and 2017 conferences …

Steve’s BLADE presentation at the BricsCAD New Zealand and Australia Roadshow

Sofoco (Australia) and CAD Concepts (New Zealand) recently ran a series of seminars throughout Australasia demonstrating BricsCAD. I attended the last of these in Brisbane on April 19 and gave a presentation about BricsCAD’s LISP, with reference to AutoCAD compatibility and the tools available to CAD Managers and developers, including BLADE. The talk was aimed at anybody who is writing or maintaining LISP code for AutoCAD or BricsCAD. I had the just-before-lunch slot, which is never desirable for a presenter. People are dozing off and/or bursting to go to the toilet, and time adjustments have to be made if earlier …

The game has changed – Robert Green migrates to BricsCAD

Is anybody left who still thinks BricsCAD isn’t a serious replacement for AutoCAD? If that’s you, perhaps the latest news might make you take it seriously. No, not the Heidi Hewett news. Even more recent news than that! Robert Green, CAD Management guru, Cadalyst writer and consultant (not to mention a rather good guitarist) has been announced as the first Bricsys Certified Migration Consultant. Read all about what Robert has to say on this Bricsys blog post. Anybody who has been reading this blog for the last few years will be surprised by none of what Robert has to say …

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 …

Steve at the BricsCAD New Zealand and Australia Roadshow

Sofoco (Australia) and CAD Concepts (New Zealand) are currently running a series of seminars throughout Australasia demonstrating BricsCAD. Here are the dates and locations: Auckland – 9 April 2018, Jet Park Hotel and Conference Centre Christchurch – 11 April 2018, Christchurch Community House Melbourne – 17 April 2018, Airport Motel and Convention Centre Sydney – 18 April 2018, Stamford Plaza Sydney Airport Brisbane – 19 April 2018, Royal on the Park Each seminar is in two parts. The morning session is for leaders and decision makers and the the afternoon is less structured and goes into more details, with informal discussions, questions and answers and …

Heidi Hewett – Autodesk loses, Bricsys gains

The most excellent Heidi Hewett was, bafflingly, one of the big-name casualties in Autodesk’s latest experience cull. What was already a big loss to Autodesk has been compounded by her arrival at Autodesk’s most significant AutoCAD competitor, Bricsys. Heidi has accepted a position as User Success Manager with the Belgian company. I don’t blame her. Bricsys is where the action is. Here’s her opening salvo: For well over a decade, the world was told that the .dwg file format is not suitable for advanced design workflows. It can’t be used for mechanical design, and it certainly can’t be used for …

Video – 3Dconnexion fine tuning in BricsCAD and BricsCAD Shape

The second video in the cad nauseam YouTube channel is more typical than the first in that it’s a tips and tricks video. In this case it only applies to BricsCAD and Shape users, but future videos will provide information for AutoCAD and other DWG-based CAD applications.

Bricsys 2018 comes to London

I’ve had the pleasure of attending the Bricsys Conference in 2016 (Munich) and 2017 (Paris). This year’s conference will be in another great European city, London, on 23 and 24 October. Other details have not yet been revealed, but will be posted on the Bricsys Conference page as time goes on. You can sign up on that page for email notifications. This is a great opportunity for British companies looking at reducing costs and improving efficiency in their CAD and BIM operations to get an idea of what BricsCAD and related applications can do. If you’re further afield, it’s still …

CAD Panacea tip – startup files in BricsCAD

One of the things that might initially baffle a CAD Manager or power user when investigating switching from AutoCAD to BricsCAD is how to set up the startup routines. Head over to CAD Panacea for R.K. McSwain’s concise, handy description of how to do it. Due to BricsCAD’s high level of compatibility, you can maintain a common folder or set of folders containing LISP and other custom files for both applications. That way, you don’t need to do double maintenance during the transition period. I’ve done this successfully in a highly complex custom environment. Some code and other adjustments were …

BLADE – putting things back to “normal”

Disclaimer: I’m making money using BLADE. I’m using it on a paying project right now (well, not while I’m typing this, but you get the idea). I’m developing a routine to automate a massively repetitive task for one of my AutoCAD-using clients, and I’m developing it in BricsCAD and BLADE rather than AutoCAD and VLIDE. I can simply develop faster in the more modern environment, and BricsCAD’s significantly quicker start-up time helps with that. So does the fact that the routine runs several times faster in BricsCAD, making testing the large data sets much more efficient. I’m getting paid on …

Interviewing the creator of BLADE – CAD’s best LISP IDE – part 2

This post continues my interview with Torsten Moses about BLADE, the new LISP IDE that arrived with BricsCAD V18.2. See here for post 1. Steve: I’ve noted before that BricsCAD execution of AutoLISP and Visual LISP is several times faster than AutoCAD’s. How does the new technology affect that performance? Torsten: All the new BLADE-related stuff doesn’t really affect normal LISP execution outside the IDE and debugger. The connection is made by a few callbacks, which take zero time in normal processing. Therefore there is also no chance of breaking things. The BLADE implementation is very safe, and performance remains …

Interviewing the creator of BLADE – CAD’s best LISP IDE – part 1

Easily the most impressive new feature of BricsCAD V18.2 is the new Visual LISP IDE, BLADE (BricsCAD LISP Advanced Development Environment). The lack of any LISP IDE has been a BricsCAD stumbling block for a while, dissuading CAD Managers from adopting BricsCAD to replace their stagnant and increasingly expensive AutoCADs. As I will relate elsewhere, Bricsys has not just caught up with Autodesk here, but has shot so far ahead it’s unlikely to ever be caught. BricsCAD’s BLADE is so superior to AutoCAD’s VLIDE in so many ways there’s really no comparison. Yet it remains highly compatible. I have personal …

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 …

Setting your application or document window size using LISP

I intend to produce a few videos containing tips, tutorials, product comparisons and the like. I’ve set up a cad nauseam YouTube channel, but don’t bother visiting it yet because it’s empty. One of the things I need to do for these videos make sure I’m capturing the screen at an appropriate resolution. I knocked up a bit of Visual LISP to take care of this task quickly and accurately, and you might as well have it. It’s a simple routine that allows you to accurately size either the main AutoCAD application window or the current document window (drawing area) …

Why Bricsys makes the best AutoCAD for Mac

Bricsys has just released BricsCAD V18 for Mac. Here’s the download link and here are the release notes. BricsCAD V18 is an excellent DWG 2018-based CAD application, and the Mac version lacks little in comparison to the Windows version. It’s so much more capable than the perpetually half-baked AutoCAD for Mac that I struggle to comprehend why anybody with the choice would even contemplate the notably inferior and seriously overpriced Autodesk offering. That’s not just opinion, it can be supported objectively. Price first. US prices are shown here for a single standalone license over five years, inclusive of the cost …

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 …

Tip: what to do when your text becomes empty rectangles

Dear person who used the search terms “writing has become empty rectangle in cad” and “autocad text has become an empty rectangle” on this blog, I suspect you probably have a drawing where QTEXT has been turned on. To fix this, enter QTEXT at the command prompt, set it to OFF, and if the problem doesn’t go away by itself then issue the REGENALL command. Pedantic note: the command name is QTEXT, but this controls a system variable called QTEXTMODE. QTEXT OFF is equivalent to both SETVAR QTEXTMODE 0 and just QTEXTMODE 0. In LISP it would be (setvar “QTEXTMODE” …

Tip – making your 3D controller work sensibly in BricsCAD

This tip applies to BricsCAD V14 to V18 inclusive, and possibly other versions too. BricsCAD automatically works with a 3D “mouse” (e.g. 3DConnexion SpaceNavigator controller), and due to the generally excellent performance of BricsCAD in 3D, it works very smoothly and is a real productivity boon for 3D work. If you don’t already have one and you work in 3D, it’s well worth spending a fraction of the money you saved by switching to BricsCAD to get hold of one. Unfortunately, the way BricsCAD reacts to use of this device fails to lock the horizon by default. This means it …

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.