Bricsys 2017 Conference: The 3D MCAD and Sheet Metal Presentation in V18
At the 2017 Bricsys conference in Paris this year, this is a report on the BricsCAD V18 MCAD presentation by Dmitry Ushakov and Ilya Tatarnikov, with Don Strimbu as the moderator.
Dmitry Ushakov, CEO of Bricsys Technologies, Russia and Ilya Tatarnikov, the ever helpful support and product specialist of Bricsys Russia drove the MCAD modeling presentation during this 2017 conference. This is one segment where Bricsys has made significant improvements and inroads in the past few years after the acquisition of LEDAS in 2011. Acquiring LEDAS was perhaps one of the most incredible things to happen in Bricsys history, as Erik already pointed out earlier. The acquisition drove not only MCAD but BIM as well, within the BricsCAD platform, as we will learn later during this conference.
In the MCAD 3d modeling presentation, Dmitry Ushakov starts off showing us all that is new and happening in the 3d modeling space.
Dmitry started off with a little history saying BricsCAD introduced 3d constraints and parametrics in 2014. AutoCAD makes claims to constraint based modeling but it exists only in 2d. The more advanced stuff is only found in Inventor. BricsCAD can bring in proprietary components from multiple 3D CAD software, neutral formats like STEP, STL and also create from scratch. All types of data is supported: ground up.
In 2015, BricsCAD introduced full featured surface modeler with a number of enhanced loft and sweep functions. Today, BricsCAD can generate surfaces from a variety of different faces, solids edges and all other primitive geometry in ingenious ways. The QUAD exposes you to a lot of these functions, something that is now central to all data access in BricsCAD.
“In 2016 last year, we introduced 3d compare, which allows you to compare two 3d models and highlight the differences between them”, said Dmitry Ushakov, concluding what is a small history wrap-up of the last 4 years.
“You can even use models created in BricsCAD and SolidWorks and compare the differences between them”, said he, in an apparent message to highlight the fact that the source of data or method of creation does not matter.
What is new in v18 MCAD?
Exploded views from an assembly: An assembly has many components and exploded views help to trace out the flow and detail in them. “We can now generate exploded views and produce detailed manufacturing instructions more precisely than ever before.”
You can now copy features like holes, stampings, punch etc. from one 3d solid to another. You can also recognize existing features straight from imported geometry and copy them across. Many designs follow similar pattern and BricsCAD v18 now recognizes them (remember, this is predictive AI at play).
Intelligent balloons are now part of standard 3d modeling data-set and can be used to connect with quantity take-off data.
The scope of parametrization has been expanded significantly. It is now possible to parametrize repetitive elements. This opens the door to many, many possibiities, like creating bearings & staircases etc., which, you can see, are a result of this feature.
Another very useful new feature that Dmitry showed us are the Design Tables. This lists the possible combinations of various parameters that you can use to fullfil your your final design. Design Tables allow you to quickly change component parameters and apply it to your overall model. Think of it as an on-the-fly replace of different dimensions for your parts and see how your complete model responds to it.
For the live demo, we are now shown a real model from a customer, a elevator (lift) manufacturing company. Don Strimbu is back on stage telling us “These guys used a legacy system which was history based and pain to work with.”
Dmitry and Ilya Tatarinikov on the live demo.
Ilya Tatarinikov is a familiar name for us, the main support analyst for BricsCAD Mechanical, who we interact on a regular basis for support.
This time he is proving a point by showing us how to model an elevator inside a building. Yes, that is detailed MCAD design, a machine component inside a BIM model. Dmitry proudly states that this is perhaps the first CAD systems where you see someone model both of them together in one system.
“Elevator casing is mainly sheet metal and earlier they were using legacy software that failed after many fold and unfolds”, said Dmitry, “But not anymore”.
“It is typical that buildings have elevators, but not typical that both are modeled using the same CAD system. That is what we are doing today”, said Dmitry with a lot of pride. “We created the lift as a parametric model, so it was easy to embed it into the building”.
The first design with the original elevator engine
The live demo now is going to show us how to replace one engine with another.
The combination of direct modeling + parametrics + sheet metal + communicator + detailed drawing documentation and drafting is what is gong to bring in the big difference in V18.
In V18, MCAD modeling has improved and is really cool, can now give a run for the money for the big guys in 3D modeling.In this case, we see that the building, the elevator casing (sheet metal), and the individual parts were all modeled independently in a parametric manner, and finally it was possible to bring all of it together and fit them in one composite environment.
“Our story today is how to customize the lift and make it fit into the available space”, says Dmitry
Dmitry then went on to show a feature that allowed to select a few faces belonging to a single or similar feature and copy the same together and it automatically applies the same geometry across the solid model.
The 3d compare tool in BricsCAD V18
“Designing a ball bearing that is supposed to fit into a given space is not possible using plain direct modeling, but with a combination of 3d constraint, we make it happen”, is the message from Dmitry.
Ilya Tatarnikov shows live how a ball bearing is made to fit into a give shape and all design features copied across easily.
Don Speak: “I have been working on 3d design for 30 years. This is really an innovation in doing mechanical components”, says he pointing to the model of the elevator component. “Designing mechanical components using parts from different sources is now as easy as copy and paste”.
Alexy Kazhakov is the Chief Technology Officer at Bricsys Russia and is now on stage showing how to use 3d constraints to model.
Alexey is showing a live demo of how design tables attached to the model can be used to evaluate different sets of design parameters, and the best part is that all of it happens inside the same workflow.
The power of many different drawing and documentation tools of BricsCAD meets with the advanced modeling tools of direct parametric modeling to create a single workflow solution that works with multiple data-sets.
Exploded view of an assembly in BricsCAD v18
And finally the quantities
The new balloon tool in V18 can connect the balloon location with the corresponding entry in the quantity table.
We heard: “We have shown you the power of direct modeling, we have shown you how 3d constraints and the power to design with the freedom push-pull when required and with tight constraints otherwise, makes this a unique design platform.”
Christian Lecomte is the public face of Sheet Metal in Bricsys and his passion at explaining the technology or the procedures is amazing. He starts off by saying that a part of the lift cabin was done using another CAD program and therefore we are importing that part in STEP format.
STEP format does not have parameters, so in BricsCAD, after importing, we re-parametrize the same, automatically.
The live demo now quickly parametrizes the part but is this correct? asks the Sheet Metal guru
“We are not prisoners of intelligent design in BricsCAD”, says Christian. “If we do not agree, simply delete the parameters that yo do not like.”
Sheet metal design is fully prametric. All the parameters of the roof of the elevator panel are linked to the main design parameter. It is magic, says Christian.
Parametrize and set all the constraint
When it is time to create shop-floor drawings (as we call in India) or manufacturing documents in Europe and elsewhere, the sheet metal parts and non sheet metal parts are automatically recognized and detailing done, unfolded geometry created.
Bricsys has taken pains to ensure that shop-floor drawings are created to the highest possible detail. The sub-assemblies and parts are even classified in their own folders and organized efficiently.
It just takes a few minutes of processing for this complex model, and a whole lot of manufacturing drawings are all ready for direct consumption or minor tweaks and editing.
Bricsys has the entire process automated, from design to redesign to manufacturing to anything else you want.
And finally a complete report is generated with the parts – both unfolded geometry as well as solids and parts
In html and PDF formats.
One thing is crystal clear to me: With BricsCAD MCAD, it is not just user-friendly but idiot proof as well. Reworking of the design is very easy. Here the SM magician showed how a junction was converted into a bend and updated in a few clicks.
“We can rework deeply and create manufacturable parts easily”.
Lest we forget, Christian Lecomte signs off stressing deeply on the word deeply.
Some vendors do some of the Sheet Metal features in their software. BricsCAD does it all.
- Christian Lecomte, Bricsys Sheet Metal
This was a great presentation on MCAD & Sheet Metal. I am convinced BricsCAD is a mature MCAD 3D modeler platform but one that is highly under-rated and not fully recognized by industry. If you want a compelling value proposition and one that offers you perpetual license, BricsCAD Platinum is the way to go. The Sheet Metal is an additionally priced module on BricsCAD.