Well matured

Long-matured CAD systems, such as Allplan, AutoCAD or SolidWorks, have the advantage of having a wealth of features and being based on a solid, fast graphics engine. In order to ensure this, a lot of personnel is needed and thus a good financial cover. The disadvantage is obvious: the products are expensive.

The small ones

This is where the small CAD systems come into play. One of them has become more established in Germany and Europe in recent years: BricsCAD from Bricsys. To be fair, we would also like to mention ZWCAD, TurboCAD and SPIRIT. The complete list would be much longer and the qualitative differences can be very big.

Catch up

Of course, the small ones cannot offer all the functionalities of the big CAD systems.

Since the system has become more widespread in the last few years and has also been able to attract large vendors such as Hexagon, AKG and others, requirements have grown and gaps have been closed. New creative functionalities have also been added. Version V17 of 2017 makes a particularly good impression as a system that can be used in areas such as mechanical engineering, structural engineering and civil engineering. Especially in connection with new available specialized addons.

Some topics BricsCAD has set out to do better, such as the historization of drawing and drawing elements and the comparison of drawing versions. Here they stand out with impressive performance.

Graphic engine

One of the strengths of both BricsCAD and ZWCAD is that they are based on a graphics engine that has improved in stability and performance in recent years. Both applications can read, write, and reliably render DWG, DXF and DGN, the file formats of AutoCAD and Microsoft.


The extensibility of the program via addons should be emphasized. Especially since Autodesk sued a few years ago all the companies that bored AutoCAD LT and enabled loading addons. One of them was the LT Extender by Torsten Moses. After a court settlement, this low-cost option fell away, which created an opening for BricsCAD and co. They jumped on the opportunity and the program spread more and more.


A well matured system. It wants to differentiate itself from the big players using rules, like supporting the four latest versions and selling real license as opposed to the rental model. It remains to be seen whether Bricsys will stick to its rules and prices as it slowly evolves from a small to a medium CAD system and gains market share.

Our experience

Cadida Software GmbH develops addons for BricsCAD and also ports AutoCAD, Allplan, and other addons to BricsCAD.