Any Bricscad users out there?

I would be very interested to hear from any of you who have adopted Bricscad (either partially or fully replacing AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT in your organisation), or at least seriously investigated using the product. This post is aimed at users and CAD managers rather than third party developers, who I expect to cover in future posts.

Why did you investigate changing over? How far have you gone? What are your experiences? What are the pros and cons? How is performance? Reliability? Bugs? Ease of use? Familiarity? Support and other aspects of customer service? Total cost of ownership? Are you experiencing interoperability problems when exchanging drawings with Autodesk software users? How did you go with incorporating in-house customisation and third party tools?

Please add a comment, or if you prefer, email me using my contact form.

28 comments to Any Bricscad users out there?

  • Martin Shoemaker

    I have moved the staff computers (2) to Bricscad. My production machine will follow as soon as they fix the grread issue with the arrow keys. I will be keeping one seat of Autocad on subscription for the Export Layout to Model capability and to assure I can work with the MEP files I get from other consultants.

    Cost to buy Bricscad Pro was about the same as the annual subscription for Autocad, so we will save in the long run. Differences are minimal. I had to rework a few of my lisp routines due to a vl- function that was not available in BC when we began the transition, but that was less than I have to do for a typical annual update of AC. I miss Owen W’s add-ons in BC, but they will be ported soon. We turn off a lot of stuff in BC, but the same is true for AC. No complaints on interoperability. I really like that BC is updated frequently and that the programmers keep up with and respond in their forums.

    There were several factors that led to the transition. I’ve been looking at alternate programs for years, and BC is the first that has reached a point of being usable. The annual upgrades of AC are a merry-go-round I want off of — too much of my time wasted each year to test and update my customizations, too much change for the sake of change, and too little “improvement” each year that has any value for my office. AC is getting slower and slower, which means productivity goes down. Autodesk seems to be totally out of touch with their real customers. Autodesk seems to have little interest in fixing bugs.

    I need a cad program that I can count on and a vendor that cares how their program works. I see that with BC but not with AC.

  • I went with BC over AC because of the approx. $3500.00 difference in cost (I have BC pro). Best of all, the LandFX software works with BC, with only inconsequential differences between that and the AC version. I’ve no problems so far with trading files between myself and AC users. The forum and frequent updates and bug fixes are great!

  • We have switch five copies of AC to BC for our engineering department. For us, the biggest incentive is the cost saving to enable us to read the newer CAD format and we have surveyed various AC compatible before settling to BC. It is the only program we found that will run our customization programs written in AutoLisp and VBA after some modifications. Overall you get a decent performing CAD software without the latest bell and whistle of AutoCAD functions(such as dynamic blocks). The functions relating 3D screen zoom and orbit also a tad slower than AutoCAD. It is still perfectly usable and we can live with those minor inconvience. The only thing really bother us is that when you try to copy CAD graphic object from Bricscad and pasting to other programs (such as MathCAD) resulting to degrading graphic resolution when resized for printing. We have filed this bug to service request to BC last year and now at version 10.4.11 and still no fix. That is why we still keep a copy of AutoCAD 2002 for this purpose.

  • James Maeding

    I wonder how people deal with compiled lisps (.vlx).
    Bricscad does not provide a vlide.
    I’m waiting for a .net API to move to BricsCAD.

  • Tanja Conradie

    Supprised by all of these comments. We are working on BC. Would like to know if there are any support in South Africa, as we do not hear anything from Cape Town’s office. We get errors like out of memory (I am working on a 64 bit 8Gig machine) which is imposibble to go out of memory. I had bigger drawings working on AC with no problems.
    We also get drawings when we zoom into the layout, then the layout multiply by the amount of turns we scroll the mouse. The program hangs up and sometimes it just go out without any message to tell the problem.

    I am thinking of moving back to AC if we don’t get any support soon.
    Kind regards
    Tanja

  • Martin Shoemaker

    Tanja,

    Are you on the latest release of Bricscad? They seem to have fixed some major problems with release 10.4.18-1. You can download the update at http://www.bricsys.com.

    The best support seems to be in the forums at their website. Bricscad is a 32 bit program, so it will be limited in the memory it can use just like any 32 bit program.

    Martin

  • MaDaVinci

    Switching to BricsCAD nowadays gives you freedom from expensive 2d softwares. well, if you only need common commands and its advanced functions with customizable cui’s (not cuix), loading lisps and other supports will do the edge. though, CAD drafting should not be expensive for delivery purposes, its really a good competition of AutoCAD “without burning your pocket”.

    you’ll me much surprised when acad support tools can be loaded too in this program.

    this program is edgy enough to create as much drawing as bentley microstation – talking about the file size. ;)

  • I worked at Rader Canada for many years. When I discovered Briscscad I started using it at work on my thumbdrive. For me its a much better program than Autocad, because the keyboard is 100% proggramable.
    I was the fastest draftsman there because of Bricscad. When they discovered I was using that program I was almost shown the door. They would try to blame that cad for all kind of problems, which were discovered to be all false. Its fully compatible with Autocad, better and much much cheaper and esy to install and use. Guess what! Rader Canada is now using Briscscad Instead of Aitocad and everyone loves it. It can really incresae an office production, due to the fact that its such a user friendly progra. A very smart choice for a Cad system which will not cost you a fortune and actually out perform Autocad. I’m sold.

  • Brian Tyhy

    I have been using the various versions of Acad for twenty years
    and have found that ACad is becoming too complicated and expensive.
    I like Bricscad because it’s faster and cheaper. We have had a
    few problems which have had to over come but it’s worth
    the trouble to migrate over to Bricscad.

  • Justice Mai

    I am a 16 year veteran AC user. I switched to Bricscad because it is easier to use than AC, it is geared for human use, very solid, lots of nice enhancements, can be used with leica disto d8 bluetooth for on site drawings, very fast support response via email ususally with good answers. I was able to start drawing immediately (within 4 hours – most time was for customizing settings, importing, fonts, plot styles, and drivers) since the environment was built for AC users. Five stars for Bricscad.

    • Justice: You are lucky. I have used autocad in the simplest of dwg applications for years. A year ago brought Bricsys and doing so apparently wiped out use of autocad. I can’t get started. Cannot even figure how to draw a border for 22′ X 34″ DWGS. Cannot crated title box. Cannot set an architectural scale. I cannot figure out how to get started. Cannot even access the command line. whem it shows it is not active. I am really frustrated. Spent $$$several for nought. Would you share any ideas for my making progress? Please. Bill Robinson

      mainstay@rochester.rr.com

  • Tom Lang

    Since I posted here in July, I had to drop Bricscad for the full Autocad 2011. I use (and used with Bricscad) an add-on called LandFX. I had too many problems swapping files with clients. LandFX tech support began to get very nervous when I sent them files, since most of them ended up loaded with REGAPPS and other problems that got missed by AUDIT, in spite of my my best efforts to clean them up before sending them in.

    BC is a good program, and the price is certainly right–it just didn’t work out for me. The folks at Bricsys, once I explained my issues and that I am now an owner of Autocad, agreed to let me sell my license.

    Any takers, by the way? Bricscad Pro All-in.

    Tom

    • Luis Peña

      I would like to know if you are still selling your Bricscad PRO licence. Also I would like to have more details about the Bricscad you are selling: version, language,…

      Thank you very much.

  • Stephen

    I have used acad professionally for about 5 years. I have not had a problem with bcad at all. I am not saying it is perfect but at least as good as acad if not better. I must say that I am have no affiliation with bcad other than a user. Auto$cad is so overpriced and under supported. I am so glad to put Auto cad behind me
    I miss nothing about it especially the arrogant “support” and sales people.

  • Jean Tessmer

    I used AC for 18 years. AC is a elegant stable CAD program. The switch to BricsCAD required answers to several priority issues. First, interoperability between AC and other CAD programs that used dxf of dwg; Second does it function like AC; Third could I use the standardized company set ups from outside sources (pac and go of plot styles, configurations); fourth stability, and fifth cost.
    BricsCAD is very stable and well-engineered. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the BricsCAD Platinum program. I can open old AC drawing (retaining all configurations as long as I set the settings correctly in BricsCAD). BricsCAD support is excellent and very willing to work out recommendations or glitches (most mine). Some functions are different from AC. The different functions are intuitive and fairly easy to figure out. I also work on a portable and on a PC in an office location with no problems using it on both computers. The cost for Platinum version at this time is around $675.00 very economical and reasonable. You are definitely getting a lot more for your investment.

  • Rudi Simon

    So far so good. I’m planning on migrating to Linux. My problems are more with Windows 7 than with Autocad. Windows will be dropping XP support in about 2 years. My first PC had linux so I figured I’d go back, since I gotta spend all that $$ to upgrade.

  • kantreddi

    I have a 50 member team of Draftsmen. Recently I shifted 12 of them from AC to BC. The feedback is , BC is not too different and people are comfortable working with BC.

  • xoan.ninguen

    Start switching to BricsCad two years ago, because of higher price price of ACAD and the complexity of dealing with ribbon-like interfaces. Also, antipiracy policy made companies (in Spain), adapt their ongoings, looking for propietary software. Tried ProgeCAD, ZWCAD and others IntelliCAD based. BricsCAD outperforms them all. I must recognize, CAD alternatives were, then, all very poor, continuous hangs, bad dealing with memory, lines wicht wasn’t made or general bad performance. They were (BricsCAD too), in the level of ACAD v13-14. Not now, still need to progress, but they are now 2008 level. Meanwhile, ACAD don’t understand where is going (I assume that a big majority of CAD software users are experienced enough, why dealing with big buttons when you need as much commands within your sight as you could?. And, >2Gb?, for Godness sake!).
    Also, that time I was starting with VBA for ACAD, so, no point learning another flavour of VBA when you get used to an specific one, BricsCAD did a perfect move here, although little referenced. This not make me a Third party developer, does it? ;)

  • CADzilla

    OK, here is my take.

    I used BricsCAD 11 just recently and I am never doing this again, hopefully. I guess if you are a CAD beginner it will do, as you won’t notice much difference, but if you are an expert veteran you will and big times.

    B-CAD lacks many useful advanced features that AutoCAD has, and switching to it made my productivity fall through the floor. Many of the small little tools aren’t there, like intellegent tables, multileader, no RIBBON, and 3D kinda sucks.

    Here is a comparison table from internet:

    http://www.bricsys.com/en_INTL/bricscad/comparison.jsp

    On a positive side I could mention two very good things though. Firtst, BricsCAD is cheaper, a lot. Second, its ascetic interface and lack of advanced functions makes it a very light program comparing to AutoCAD, so it flied much faster on slow machines.

    I definitely would keep an eye on this program, as they constantly come up with newer better versions, so it will get better with time. But it’s lagging a few releases from AutoCAD. For example, my impression of working with BCAD 2011 were similar to that of AutoCAD 2001, or may be 2004 at the max.

    My conclusion – BricsCAD is a poor man’s AutoCAD.

    Here are my .2 cents.

  • Martin Shoemaker

    CADzilla,

    The latest release of Bricscad is 12.2.8. There have been significant changes since version 11. My office has used both Autocad and Bricscad for several years. For what we do Bricscad is more than adequate. Our systems are highly customized and I’ve found that getting out lisp routines (20,000+ lines of code) to work in Bricscad is no more trouble than what I have to go through every year for the new release for Autocad. Bricscad also responds to bug reports and provides updates every few weeks, not just once a year, maybe, with Autocad. No ribbon? In our opinion that’s a good thing.

    You might want to look at the current version and share your opinion on what’s current rather than on an outdated version.

    • CADzilla

      Martin Shoemaker

      It’s very interesting, thanks for update.

      Does 12.2.8 have RIBBON? multileaders? Excel-style tables? Dynamic blocks?

      unfortunately, I don’t choose the software, my employer does. and the decision was to switch to BC from AC, which none of us here welcomed. I think we will be holding on to our old AC for as long as possible just to avoid switching to BC. May be then our employer will change his opinion.

      I disagree on RIBBON. I use Microsoft Office products a lot, and they all have RIBBON too. So it’s the next thing in software interface, I think. and now I am so used to it that I don’t like the old classic interface anymore.

  • Martin Shoemaker

    No ribbon in BC12. If the ribbon works well for you that’s great. The ribbon is not a good fit for what I do.

    No multileader support yet, but there is a routine posted in the BC forums that will convert an existing multileader to a block so that the elements can be manipulated.

    There are tables. I don’t use them so I can’t comment further.

    No dynamic blocks. There are some tools for dynamic blocks at http://www.lee-mac.com.

  • Kevin Kirby

    Just in the process this week of replacing Autocad with Bricscad V12. We let our licensing with Autocad lapse many years back and was facing about $24,000 to update. We only do 2D drafting and could no longer support Autocad’s bloated software. Could have moved to Autocad LT, but the lack of Lisp support (and other stuff) was critical. Had my software expert evaluate alternatives (he looked at four) and strongly recommended Bricscad. Cost for my 6 work stations: about $2300. I have been a life long user of Autocad (started with dos version 8!) and hate to see it go, but the costs have grown to great.

  • Oscar

    Hello guys.

    Very nice and interesting reviews and comments.

    I wonder if anyone have tried Zwcad+? Actually I tried a little and I found it more AutoCAD alike than BricsCAD.

    I like BC because of Linux, but since linux version lacks some functions I think I’ll stay with windows a little longer.

    Another thing is about the price, probably I’ll go for standard versions which is $420 for BCv13 and $795 for Zwcad+2012. And I’m not sure if worth to pay almost the double if there are just a few advantages.

    I appreciate any help or comment.

    Thanks

  • Chris Bell

    Oscar,

    You wouldn’t possibly be a steel detailer who moved to North Carolina for a short time a few years ago, would you?

    Tried Zwcad 2009 (free version, just to try it out) and it ran afoul with our security software. The security software actually ended up removing it from the three machines that we had it installed on, as well as from a jump drive installation. Made the obvious decision based on that experience.

    Talking about Linux, I wonder if anyone is making serious use of CAD on Linux.

    • Jim Vincent

      I was impressed with Zwcad. However, I found out that it was created in Communist China. A year or so ago, Chinese hackers stole the plans for over two dozen major weapons systems from US military contracters. Among the weapons were the Patriot missile system, the Navy’s Aegis ballistic missile defense system, the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

      I didn’t want to run the risk that the software comes with a “backdoor” to enable Chinese hackers to gain access to my employer’s designs. That may be paranoid, and it may be that BricsCAD also has leaks. But I thought it was safer that I recommend BricsCAD to my employer. We’re a small company and couldn’t afford full up 3D Autocad, but we were able to break into 3D on a budget with BricsCAD Platinum. Sure, there’s some bugs. But Bricsys is working hard on them. Their support is excellent.

  • Peter Kells

    We switched our small office over to Bricscad 13 (Linux) and are using it in a production 3D environment. There were a few blips at the beginning but the Bricscad team are very responsive and solved any problems that we encountered.

  • Peter Heel

    Hi Guys, an old(er) Englishman (sole trader) who has, up until now, stuck with Acad R14 because I only do simple stuff, control panel circuit diagrams, lines and circles, (no 3D) and to upgrade to Autocad 2013 is far too expensive an option for me. The stuff I do uses Autolisp a lot for auto numbering of cables and cable terminals etc. My clients are always asking if there’s a low cost Autocad alternative that will run my automation, so I tried Bricscad out of curiosity more than anything. There’s been a very small learning curve for me regarding MNU files to CUI files, and Bricscad doesn’t have the screen menu down the right hand side which I still use (in theory neither does Acad), but EVERYTHING WORKS !! All my lisp files and DCL files worked seamlessly. The one small thing I couldn’t figure out was sorted by the team at Bricsys really quickly. I reckon anyone going from Autocad 2012 or 2013 to Bricscad will find the transition effortless. One of my clients has Acad 2012, and Bricscad loads in a fraction of the time.

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