Hexagon acquires Bricsys for AEC workflows

Oct 23, 2018 | Hot Topics

Hexagon just announced that it has acquired Bricsys, a company that’s been around a long time and keeps reinventing itself — most recently, as a provider of open, collaborative solutions for the construction CAD market with BricsCAD. BricsCAD today is a 2D/3D CAD product used in mechanical and sheet metal design but also for building information modeling (BIM) and its this last that interests Hexagon. Bricsys tried, for a long time, to topple Autodesk with its .dwg-based format, with solid tools at a competitive price. But that is then, and this is now — Hexagon’s CEO, Ola Rollén, said that “the Bricsys acquisition extends our [piping, HVAC and other routed system] domain expertise into building design, adding walls, floors, doors, and other construction related features. More importantly, we can now provide the AEC market with an end-to-end platform – with conceptual design, CAD design, BIM software and collaboration tools, project and cost controls, in-field construction execution tools (work packages), and progress documentation (reality capture) – to connect, automate, and ultimately ‘autonomise’ the entire building and construction ecosystem through our HxGN SMART Build solution.”

Do you remember a couple of years ago, when Hexagon’s PP&M division announced that it was moving into AEC? And the market asked, with what? Now we know. Rather than trying to turn SmartPlant into an architecture-friendly offering, Hexagon will leverage BricsCAD as the front end for design, coordinating with CADWorx’s AutoCAD-based plant design where needed, and then SmartPlant Construction (augmented, it seems by Bricsys’ construction offering).

These companies have been working together in recent years, so this announcement isn’t a total surprise. Many design/build companies look for alternatives to the typical Autodesk/Bentley/Trimble/etc. vendor set for cost, accessibility, partner network and other reasons. PP&M’s CADWorx Plant Design Suite already has some level of integration with BricsCAD, so they should be able to quickly bring something to market.

The press release didn’t disclose transaction details, except to say that Bricsys’ revenue in 2017 was “approximately 13 MEUR”. Hexagon announces Q3 results in a few weeks, and we might learn more about the transaction at that time.