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Bricsys 2017 Conference Highlights: The Path to BIM in V18

Bricsys 2017 Conference Highlights: The Path to BIM in V18


Photo courtesy: R.K McSwain @cadapanacea

“In V17, we took small steps in BIM. In V18, we have taken a giant leap forward”, says Don Strimbu as the BIM presentation started at the Caroussel du Louvre, the venue of this year’s Bricsys conference. Kevin Settlemyre (KS) is the man driving this presentation for the second year, at the annual conference.

Kevin is a relatively new face in Bricsys having been around for about 18 months or so, but today, he is driving the BIM face of the company from the customer experience side. Introducing himself, he calls himself a hybrid, an architect, an engineer and an ex-Autodesk (ex-Revit to be precise) guy. Kevin was part of Revit Technology Corporation, a startup founded in 1997 in the Boston area that eventually got acquired by Autodesk in 2003. So, he is not a newcomer to BIM and has seen it, been there and done it all up close and in person. This year we get to see many of ex-Autodesk faces come to the fore in Bricsys.

“In this session, we are going to dig deeper into the BIM features. It is all about the workflow now”, he says, as design and productivity is measured in how the team delivers, and not just the CAD designer. In other words, we are headed into a session where Bricsys 24/7 integrates tightly with BricsCAD BIM on the desktop.

The content for this presentation comes from a live project that we understand is happening somewhere in the United States and the building complex we see is an inspiration from the San Fransicso Federal building.

This presentation is going to be in 4 sessions, says Kevin as he prepares the syllabi for us (in how own words):

  • Session 1: The front part of the building: The Yoga studio: we will improve the design, put some glazing and do a bunch of architectural parts editing. We will also get to see some parametric components like staircases.
  • Session 2: We are going to look beyond architectural BIM as we introduce for the first time some of the BIM structural tools.
  • Session 3: We are going to see how documentation is built, accessed and classified. BIM tags that are intelligent and dynamic, which connect with the working drawings in 2d.
  • Session 4: We are going to see some cool stuff done on the multi-storey tower and how we can quickly study different design options for the facade, and involve 24/7 in collaboration mode.


CaptureSession 1 of the KS presentation starts off with Bricsys 24/7 showing uploaded model of the project in a manager’s view.



The key message here is that BIM is a multi-user, multi-stakeholder workflow

The project in hand has 4 parts:

  • A multi storey tower
  • A day care center
  • A Yoga studio
  • An administrative block


In Bricsys 24/7, we see several sections of the the project and with live sections, it is possible to move around dynamically and see how the building exposes details in real-time. Do you need multiple PDF files to be sent to your clients any more? This is a new way of delivering .dwg content with a very high level of intelligence and detail.

The 24/7 part of the demo is to show us how attached (and processed) data can be viewed, but we just see that the Yoga studio does not have data attached to it. So, that is a good opportunity now to see how data is attached.

The entire project has about 30 XREFs, says he.


The Yoga Studio

The Yoga studio is bare, just a little glazing here and there, but no floor classification, structure browser etc.

So, the next step is automated in BricsCAD BIM: let the system automatically put floors and slabs and do a BIM classification.


Next we add some glazing by using BIM insert in the way we always did in V17. But the new thing we see is that these can be copied across easily and repeated.


The new in V18: Create a rectangle (or any shape) and use the window creating tool to place parametric windows on the fly.



Parametric stairs setup as arrays can now be now placed to fit any length and height.

The BIM data can now be stored in an external database rather than embedded in DWG and this makes it easier to upload and view in 24/7.


Moving on further, Kevin is now showing how the face of the tower can be examined for different design options and shades, and all of it is driven using parametric arrays. Changing any parameter is only a matter of entering the updates values.



Multi-user approach: Collaboration is the buzz-word



The hardest part for a newcomer is where to start: Design Assistance BIMIFY does it easy and quick for you based on preset logic. you can over-ride and make exceptions.




You may know the SELECTSIMILAR command in BricsCAD. BIM takes it further with a CONNECTSIMILAR-like tool that can heal and connect across the model by searching for similar connections and repeated geometry.
Session 2

Until now, we knew BricsCAD BIM to be an architectural BIM only. With V18, we are now shown the new vertical BricsCAD BIM is heading into. BricsCAD BIM structural tools can add more to your BIM data.

In this session, we are shown how a structural cross-section can be picked up from a library and applied to a number of beams and this helps structural model. Joints and intersections can be modeled with ease and the details captured.



If you are familiar with BIM connect, this is similar. You can now connect two structural elements and have them heal correctly at the intersections.


Complex structural joints and intersections. Now we are within striking distance to Tekla and Revit Structural.



And quickly copy them across.

We are also shown an eccentricity option that allows axes offsets to be entered precisely to ensure that connections are accurate and precise in a non-symmetric scenario.

Session 3

In this session, are are being told about the design documentations. Starting with room tags, this is a basic element that gives information about the room and other extended properties.


Here, Kevin is showing again how to create & use live sections and have elevations generated with detail, and have the same into a composition in paper space.



The entire model stays updated across 2d and 3d workflow as you modify the model and come back to layout documentation.

Creating accurate and detailed interior elevations is now easy from your model.

Session 4

Without data, the graphic or geometry is of limited use. We are now being shown how a pre-defined (and pretty exhaustive already) set of IFC classification and data is now part of the BricsCAD BIM already. And yes, this includes Structural BIM as well.

Kevin also showed how some of the services, the HVAC ducts and other stuff can be easily placed and modeled within BricsCAD BIM and information exchanged via IFC.

The IFC data is extensible and open ended. You can add your own data into it as well in the custom  properties fields.

What do I conclude from this presentation?

  • I have always maintained the analogy that BIM is next level of progression for the old-style CAD drafter, similar to what GIS is for the old-style CAD cartographer. BricsCAD BIM has arrived. With V18, I can guarantee that you can make the switch from CAD to BIM using BricsCAD as the platform.
  • Once again, like in MCAD, nearly everything in BIM is driven  using the QUAD. Don’t forget to embrace the QUAD.

Thank you Jacob & Kevin Settlemyre for this wonderful presentation.


About Rakesh Rao

Director, DesignSense Software Technologies Private Limited, Bangalore Proprietor: Four Dimension Technologies CAD Developer, Product development, reseller management,
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