BricsCAD Is Now Available for Mac OS

Bricsys has released a Mac OS version of its BricsCAD Shape 3D modeling tool.

Bricsys’ new CAD product, BricsCAD Shape, has been released in a format compatible with Mac OS. (Image courtesy of Bricsys.)

Bricsys’ new CAD product, BricsCAD Shape, has been released in a format compatible with Mac OS. (Image courtesy of Bricsys.)

In January, CAD software provider Bricsys released BricsCAD Shape, a 3D modeling tool aimed at architects, designers and engineers. Now, the software is available for Mac OS. 

According to a company email blast about the release, “BricsCAD Shape for macOS brings the power of solid-based schematic design to architecture’s favorite computer.”

Released as a competitor to Trimble’s SketchUp software, BricsCAD Shape has several claims to fame. Unlike SketchUp, BricsCAD Shape is a solids modeler, meaning that it models the entirety of an object rather than just its observable surface. Solids modeling trades some of the convenience and aesthetic appeal of surface modeling for a more accurate picture of how the objects might actually perform. The software comes with a library of common materials and architectural shapes, like doors and windows, but also supports the creation of custom 3D shapes.

Bricsys also bills BricsCAD Shape as “CAD-accurate from the start,” since it uses the modeling engine in its CAD software. Indeed, BricsCAD Shape files can open right into the Bricsys’ building information modeling (BIM) platform, which purportedly speeds up workflow. The data are also stored in industry-standard DWG files, which means that you can drag an AutoCAD file in without needing to convert it first.

And, unlike its competitors, BricsCAD Shape is completely free. For comparison, Autodesk’s competing product, FormIt, is tiered into a free version and a pro version for $2,690 per year (it comes bundled with Revit, AutoCAD and several other products), and SketchUp has a free version and a pro version for $695 outright, plus $120 per year for continuing updates and technical support.

Bricsys is offering the software for free for the same reason the company has made its software’s interface so user friendly: its main struggle has been convincing people to try its relatively new BIM workflow over more established options. Offering the CAD software for free is an attempt to get people in the door. “If this product can create a buzz and get people to use a Bricsys product, half the battle is won,” Steve Johnson of tech blog cad nauseum, said of the new software. “It’s free, it’s easy, it’s DWG, it’s CAD, it’s 3D and it’s a pathway to BIM. It could change the game.”

Currently, there isn’t a Linux version of the software available. But, after its initial release of the Windows version of the product on January 22, the company promised both a Mac OS version and a Linux version on its site. The Mac version was released less than three months after that announcement, giving those eagerly anticipating a Linux version hope that it might be released soon.