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BricsCAD Offers Advanced Tools and a Familiar Feel at a Lower Cost

14 Nov, 2020 By: James Coppinger

A BricsCAD Solution Partner explains why a switch from AutoCAD won’t disrupt the daily routines of drafters, designers, and engineers — and may even help them work faster.

Let me start out by saying that to anyone working in design or construction, it’s not really a surprise that there’s been a distinct lack of upgrades, and a dramatic uptick in prices, over the past decade for the most widely used CAD system. We all know it, feel the frustration, and wish there was a better answer. I promise there is one, if you’re willing to listen to the word “change” without running from the room in a screaming panic!

BricsCAD may be a new CAD system for you, but before you start thinking that you’re getting some knockoff, or that you’ll have to start rebuilding your standards from scratch and retraining your staff at ridiculous expense, please bear with me and read through these bullet points:

  • BricsCAD uses the same DWG file format you use today
  • BricsCAD’s commands, tools, and menus are identical to the ones you use today
  • BricsCAD will use all your current standards, customizations, and LISP routines
  • All your current plotting standards (line weights, color styles, etc.) work in BricsCAD
  • BricsCAD can be purchased as a perpetual (permanent!) license
  • BricsCAD perpetual licenses cost far less than the annual CAD fee you pay now
  • BricsCAD offers network multiuser licenses with no named user requirements
  • BricsCAD has faster, more intelligent tools than you have in your current CAD system.

OK, so if you’re still here, I think it’s safe to assume you’re interested in a better way of doing things, as long as it’s not going to have too dramatic an impact on your daily work. That’s really the entire idea behind BricsCAD. Let’s get into some of the features in this system, and I’ll let you decide for yourself if it’s as good as I say.

Native DWG Files

BricsCAD uses the Open Design Alliance DWG format as its native file type. That means you can open a DWG file from your current CAD system, work on it in BricsCAD, save it, and open it in the previous CAD system with no conversions. The Open Design Alliance DWG format is the international standard for CAD files, so you never have to worry about compatibility issues or loss of data between systems, or how to collaborate with other firms. This is a key feature of BricsCAD: You just open the project drawings you’re currently working on, without worry.

Familiar Interface and Tools

One of the biggest fears people face when considering changing their CAD system is the downtime of staff learning an entirely new set of tools. With BricsCAD, that’s not an issue. The interface, toolbars, commands, and even the keyboard shortcuts are nearly identical to the ones you’ve used for decades. Most users don’t require training of any type to work in BricsCAD — it’s that similar to what they already know. While there may be a bit of work required on the CAD management end, even that’s only a matter of a few hours. BricsCAD was designed from the ground up to keep the drafter, designer, and engineer productive with processes they already understand.

Automatic Configuration and Customization Transfer

You’ve spent decades developing workflows, standards, tools, processes, and apps that make your daily work run smoothly and give you the output that you need. None of us want to lose that one LISP routine we’ve used for 15 years that saves us hours of work each week! In BricsCAD, all your standard configurations and custom apps still work (that includes CTB/STB files, layer states, templates, utilities, etc.). Just point the BricsCAD system to where they are on your servers, or copy them to the appropriate BricsCAD folder on your local machine — whichever works best for you.

It’s a Better CAD System

I can’t stress this one enough. BricsCAD is a faster, smarter, far more powerful CAD system than the one you’re using today, even in terms of basic 2D work (which most of us still do regularly). BricsCAD has advanced tools, including:

  • Quad Tool — an adaptive “head-up” design tool that gives you all the editing tools for any object you select on screen, plus much more, to eliminate the need to search for menus and toolbars
  • Adaptive Snap/Grid tools — scales and sizes adjust as you zoom in/out on your plan
  • Manipulator — a tool that lets you move/copy/rotate any object around any selected point without launching a command
  • Nearest Distance — adjust spacing between objects without selecting a command
  • Parametric Controls — add min/max and other default control parameters to any line, block, or text object you create to limit how they can be changed/edited.

These are just a few examples of the development that’s gone into BricsCAD. Bricsys is actively developing 2D CAD tools, while their competition hasn’t provided any type of reasonable upgrades in almost a decade, despite charging hefty annual fees.

It’s Faster and Smaller

BricsCAD takes advantage of multicore processing and the latest graphics engines for its 2D workloads, not just the rendering and 3D stuff. It’s noticeably faster than its competition, and it also has an installer footprint that’s a fraction of the size of the one most of us have installed today. That means a lot of time and cost savings on the installation, upgrade, and IT support side!

You Can Buy It Once, For Less

BricsCAD offers a perpetual license option, meaning you can buy it once and use it as long as your computer and operating system will support it. The BricsCAD one-time purchase option costs less than you’d pay for one single year of a subscription for AutoCAD. On the other hand, with all the development work Bricsys is doing with BricsCAD, the low-cost BricsCAD Maintenance program helps you stay up to date with the latest major versions of the software, for one low price. For those who prefer a pay-as-you-go plan, yearly rental subscriptions are available.

In the design world, there is no “one size fits all” product that answers all our needs. Whether we work in 2D, 3D, or BIM, we need to have tools that improve our workflows and make our jobs easier. BricsCAD brings both a better way of working and a better business model for licensing and upgrading as we move forward. That’s the kind of customer-focused development we need more of!

ZenTek Consultants is a premier BricsCAD partner and we’d be happy to give you a private demonstration to show you exactly what this system can do for you! And feel free to reach out with any questions you have.


About the Author: James Coppinger

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