Bricsys Conference 2017: CEO Erik de Keyser’s opening address
I returned home two days back from an 18-day business trip, which took me to a bunch of places in India before heading to Europe, first to Croatia and then to Paris for the Bricsys Conference, back again in India to Mumbai and Ahmedabad in India before returning to base-camp in Bengaluru. A 100% BricsCAD driven trip this time.
It was an eventful 18 days on the road, and I have several things to write about from this trip. The hectic pace of the trip and other commitments left me with little energy to do a live blogging during this conference and keep posts updated. Instead, I tweeted live, listened, engaged in conversations with fellow attendees and thought I will put up a blog post after the event. Here I am with my first post.
Erik de Keyser’s opening address on October 25, 2017:
Photo courtesy: Ralph Grabowski blog
In his opening keynote message, Bricsys CEO Erik de Keyser set the tone by telling us what he thinks is important for the CAD user. Opening his address with his first slide talking about the cloud, he pointed this is where a lot of Bricsys action and attention is focused. CAD on the cloud is important but Bricsys does not believe in duplicating the desktop on the cloud. In other words, he made it clear that there is no move to provide (duplicate) .dwg CAD functionality on the cloud or mobile devices. “Instead, we want to make CAD-BIM output accessible on the cloud with the ability to derive, analyze and process that information for informed decision making.”, said Erik de Keyser..
Strongly refuting the notion that BricsCAD only adds 3D functions in each new release, Mr. Keyser says this is untrue. Better and efficient drafting techniques enabled by AI is just one example to prove Bricsys is innovating in 2D as much as in other areas. The Structure Browser is one such new feature in V18 and we were promised that an exciting demo would follow. We would see more of it in Hans de Backer’s presentation later.
Speaking about 3D modeling, Erik said the direct modeling technology is the current standard and supports history-free based modeling. 3D constraints enables parametric design within the framework of direct modeling. You have all the latest tools of the modeling industry.
“What makes our 3d modeling engine unique? It is the intelligent interpretation of connected geometry.”, declared Erik de Keyser.
This lets you model immediately after importing the geometry, while predictive AI and smart design intent recognition connects most of the links for you to make the model behave the way you expect. This is something that is amply proofed by the combination of using Communicator with BricsCAD Platinum.
This is unique to BricsCAD. One platform, many technologies. Mr. Keyser said the same 3d modeling engine allows BricsCAD to offer Mechanical modeling for engineers & designers, BIM for architects and Sheet Metal for fabricators and manufacturers. He also promised more products in the future but did not elaborate!
“I don’t know of any other product in the industry which can boast of this and provide it all on the same platform.”, said Erik emphatically.
Citing another hot development of 2017, Erik went on to explain the CADWorx story. Hexagon PPM, which makes CADWorx, had to ask users to buy AutoCAD, CADWorx and Inventor to enable customers to complete the design of a pressure vessel from inside and outside. Now, with CADWorx running on BricsCAD Platinum, all of it now just simplifies to using BricsCAD + CADWorx.
Switching gears to BIM, which is the center-stage theme in Bricsys 2017 conference, Erik said 50% of the .dwg market is on AEC, and BIM is for real and hot technology in this space. We have known BricscAD BIM to be primarily an architectural offering. Erik stressed that V18 can now import and export Structural BIM elements with ease and accuracy, having certified itself completely with BuildSMART earlier this year. “We can now import data from Revit MEP and Tekla using the IFC route.”, claimed Erik.
An interesting statistic Erik brought up next is about BIM adaptation in industry today. He says that after 15 years of BIM software being around, the adoption rate is still very low, 19% to be precise. That means 81% of the AEC users are still using traditional CAD technology.
This is not the first time we are doing BIM, said Erik as he took us back a bit on Bricsys history and said his team was the one that developed TriForma, a BIM-like product for Bentley 20 years back, and sold it to them, and that technology is still used by Bentley as part of their software portfolio. “But we wanted to do it better, and decided to start again from scratch.”, declared the Kaiser of Bricsys.
The low 19% adoption of BIM in industry today has something to do with ROI, said Erik as he went on to explain how Bricsys wants to do it better by focusing on better ROI in their software. “It is good to have a nice 3d model with attached data and intelligence, but if it does not notify key data pro-actively to its stake-holders during its life-cycle, then ROI is limited.”, said Erik. In other words, here he is telling us that the integration of Bricsys 24/7 and BricsCAD is the one that we must look out for to complete the conceptualize-design-build-manage experience.
“We have spoken to a number of Revit users and implementation of advanced stuff requires specialist software knowledge. We think software should speak the language of architects and make it easy. We are striving to go in that direction.”, said Erik, in what I think is a clear statement that BricsCAD BIM promises to be easier to use than its predecessor versions. I really look forward to seeing this being true as earlier BIM versions, though technologically sound, lacked the ease of use.
It is all in the detail
The fine print is important. The fine detail is what matters. “We are moving today from LOD 200 to LOD 400″, said Erik, stressing the importance to the detail in software output.
And finally, which market are we targeting? BricsCAD opens the door for millions of AEC specialists all over the world using .dwg.
Learning BricsCAD is only a couple of hours for a .dwg user. Learning BIM takes about 3 weeks – to be BIM productive with BricsCAD.
The ROI comparison between BricsCAD & Revit
Photo courtesy: Paul Wilkinson @EEPaul
Lastly, performance of BricsCAD BIM is significantly better than the competition. Unlimited XREFs and BIM workflows can all fit into one single .dwg model with ease.
Finding data within your BIM model is key to productivity. Dynamic searching and indexing using the new Structure Browser is going to change the way you look at managing and using data.
In conclusion, Erik says “We will continue to innovate. The most important thing for us to deliver a high ROI for you.”
A few of Erik speak captured from this presentation:
- “We are giving a lot of attention to the cloud in the past 10 years but we believe that duplicating the desktop on the cloud is not a priority.”
- “ODA and the Teigha is the future of dwg, and Bricsys is going to leverage that technology to greater heights.”
- “12 million registered AutoCAD users. CIMData counts 5 unregistered users for every registered. That makes it a user-base of over 60+ million AutoCAD users.”
- Autodesk has stalled all further development of dwg
- Bricsys and ODA believe .dwg is a great platform and has a great future.
- The ODA brings us not just the file format but a platform to us. We have to build new and innovative features on top of it.
- AutoCAD has 3d capabilities in it but there is no unified path to its growth.
- We have a continuous mission to help user migrate from the A to B of CAD.
- We are enhancing the efficiency of the 2D CAD user by bringing in new innovation, driven by artificial intelligence and software learned features.