Live from Ghent, Belgium
Alight, here we are in the heart of Belgium, the beautiful town of Ghent (also spelled Gent and Gand), the home town for Bricsys, the CAD software company that's invited a dozen CAD media in for two days. We are here to learn about the company, its BricsCAD software, direct modeling, mechanical design, sheet metal, BIM, and future technologies. The last bit will be under NDA (non-disclosure agreement) -- sorry!
Bricsys CEO Erik de Keyser (at left, in image below) is recounting his company's history, with notes like Bentley being a one-time shareholder in Bricsys, which ended with Bentley buying TriForma AEC software, and then Bricsys began again on IntelliCAD. There was a key-high rocketing of share value in 2001, which crashed with the Internet crash, and Mr de Keyser resigned as CEO.
He needed to do something and so restarted Bricsys with some of the old staff in 2002. They helped improve IntelliCAD but then realized that they could work faster than the ITC. There is a secret agreement that allowed Bricsys to split off its own development. ITC has the right to check the new code, and agrees that today's BricsCAD is completely ITC-code free.
Bricsys almost rebuilt AutoCAD using Teigha from ODA, and reverse-engineered nearly all APIs code-compatible. But Bricsys was determined to no longer be a big corporation; run lean.
Another new bit of history: Bricsys had a contract to interface SpaceClaim with BricsCAD to give access to direct modeling, but after six months or so interest lagged on both sides. Then Bricsys uncovered LEDAS, and bought their software portfolio, which includes direct modeling and 2D/3D constraints -- forming a new division called Bricsys Technology Division based in Russia.
Its online service, Chapoo, was spun off from Bricsys in 2010 so that it would not be seen as CAD-only. The Brussels airport is apparently managed by Chapoo. This year will become a moder server for BIM.
BricsCAD already has BIM, 3D mechanical, translator, and sheet metal design available from Bricsys. Now they are adding another category: civil engineering design.
The company currently spend 40% on R&D, but may reduced that in the future. They want to maintain 25% profit on EBIAT (earnings before interest after taxes).
[Disclosure: Bricsys provided me with transportation, accommodations, and some meals.]