Building information modeling
BricsCAD V15 is shipping today, and it includes the first edition of the return by Bricsys to architectural design. Recall that the company created the AEC software that was purchased in the 1990s by Bentley Systems for its architectural needs, TriForma.
Here is the excerpt from the V15 release notes that talks about the new BIM functions:
Instead of creating a set of dedicated BIM primitives like walls, slabs, columns, etc..., each with their own restricted behavior and properties, we opted for offering maximum flexibility. Any 3D solid can be used in a BIM model, whether it is created and edited by using existing BricsCAD modeling tools, new powerful BIM commands, or even imported from 3rd party software or edited by 3rd party tools.
At any stage one can decide to classify 3D solid or other entities, as Building Elements of type Wall, Slab, Column, etc... Classification can be done automatically and manually.
The automatic classification tool analyzes and classifies entire buildings in a few seconds.
IFC import/export ensures optimal cooperation with other disciplines and applications.
BIMDRAG: Main editing tool for 3D solids which resemble walls and slabs. Geometry of 3D solids is analyzed on the fly. Depending on this analysis and on which face is selected, BIMDRAG allows you to easily perform following operations, which can be toggled on the fly by pressing the CTRL key:
- Drag a single face to extend a wall or slab over a distance or to a point in the model
- Automatically connect to the nearest solid
- Select any solid(s) to connect to
- Move an entire wall or slab, specifying the distance relative to any other wall or slab in the model, dragging along faces of connected walls or slabs
- Modify the thickness of a wall or slab
BIMCONNECT: accepts a selection set of 2 solids, and will try to create an L-connection between the two solids. Press Enter to accept the suggested connection or tap the CTRL key to switch to alternative connection types. This command works for walls and roof slabs, or any other set of 3D solids for which a connection can be found.
BIMINSERT: inserts a window or door (see section below on windows and doors).
About Windows and Doors. Windows and doors are native .dwg files which can be inserted in walls or slabs by the command BIMINSERT. Using dynamic UCS, a window will automatically align with the 3D solid face it is inserted on. A 3D solid in the window drawing on a layer named "BIM_SUBTRACT" will be used to automatically create an opening in the wall, keep the window in its position in the wall, and keep the opening associative with the window.
Optionally, the window drawing can contain 2D symbols. These 2D symbols will either replace the actual 3D solid section of the window, or be added with the 3D solid section, depending on their layer: symbols on a layer with prefix 'BRX_2D_' will be used to replace the geometry resulting from the actual section, symbols on a layer with prefix 'BRX_2D+_' will be added to the section result. Only those 2D entities in a plane parallel to the section plane are considered.
BIMWINDOWUPDATE: updates the opening made by a window or door in a solid, in case the definition changed in such way that the opening was not correctly updated automatically.
BIMCLASSIFY: this command allows to classify an entity to any of the elements listed below. Each type is separately available in the Quad when an applicable entity is highlighted.
- Automatic: BIMCLASSIFY has an option to automatically classify a set of entities. Currently automatically classified elements are walls, slabs, windows and doors.
- Unclassify: Any classified element can be unclassified, removing all BIM data from the entity.
About BIM Classification: At any time, any .dwg entity can be classified as a Building Element and get a name and an internal guid (a globally unique identifier). Specialized types of Building Element are:
- Wall: applicable to any 3D Solid
- Slab: applicable to any 3D Solid
- Column: applicable to any 3D Solid
- Beam: applicable to any 3D Solid
- Window: applicable to any Block reference
- Door: applicable to any Block reference
BIMEXPORT exports the model to a .ifc file containing all 3D geometrical and BIM related data. Entities which were not classified, or were classified as Building Element, are exported as Building Element Proxy. Others are exported to the corresponding IFC element.
Clearly, it will take a while for BricsCAD BIM to catch up with the Graphisofts and Vectorworks of the world. Bricsys tells me that they plan to rapidly add BIM functions over the next several months.
The interesting aspects to this, however, is that (a) any commands found in the Windows vesion will also be available in the Linux and Mac versions when they ship; and (b) all the data is stored in DWG files, and not in proprietary formats, like RVT. This makes it the first BIM system for Linux users, and the first .dwg-based BIM system for Mac users.
You can download a 30-day demo of the V15 Windows version from http://www.bricsys.com/common/open.jsp?m=%2Fcommon%2Fdownload.jsp%3Fpl%3Dwin