CAD News: Revit, BricsCAD, HP ZBook 15V and More

Updated Jan 19, 2021
HP Zbook laptop - CAD News, Revit, Bricscad, HP Zbook

Welcome to the April 2018 edition of World of CAD, Scan2CAD’s monthly roundup of all the news you need to know from CAD, CNC, and their related fields.

This month sees news from major players in both hardware and software. Firstly, we’ll be checking out the release of Revit 2019 to see what innovations Autodesk have included in the latest version of their popular BIM software. Then, we’ll be taking a look at the latest budget-friendly mobile workstations from industry powerhouse HP.

Afterwards, we’ll head back to the world of CAD software, as we explore the MacOS release of BricsCAD Shape, the free conceptual design tool for engineers and architects. Finally, we’ll take a detour into an exciting new plotter that can draw on any surface: Scribit. Let’s dive in!

Autodesk launches Revit 2019

If you’re familiar with BIM (or have read our guide to building information modeling), you’ll know that Revit stands as top dog when it comes to BIM software. One of the most popular architecture software suites, the ability to create in 3D and 4D with Revit is hard to beat. It’s for this reason that the launch of a new edition of Revit always generates plenty of excitement.

Right on cue, Autodesk released Revit 2019 earlier this month. In creating the new version, Autodesk took inspiration from customer feedback, with the company inviting requests on its Revit Ideas pages. This prompted the company to improve the overall design environment, as well as the architectural design experience.

The Revit team’s goal was threefold: to help users designoptimize and connect. In keeping with this, Revit’s new features include:


  • Greater control over view graphics
  • Tabbed views and multi-monitor support
  • Levels in 3D views and uncropped perspective to make 3D design more immersive
  • Complex fill patterns and lifelike renderings
  • New features to help users capture design intent


  • More complex piping networks


  • More streamlined design-to-fabrication workflows for steel design
  • Dimensions for curved objects in section views
  • Enhanced 3D modeling and communication of fabrication instructions
  • Structural Precast Extension for Revit 2019
  • Autodesk BIM 360 collaboration tools

With yet more new features available at the Autodesk blog, it’s clear that the company aren’t resting on their laurels. In fact, it was only last month that the company unveiled AutoCAD 2019. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for Autodesk software in the near future!

HP releases “most affordable mobile workstation”

HP ZBook 15V

“The most affordable mobile workstation”—but is it worth the hype? Image source: HP.

Here at Scan2CAD, we know that behind all great CAD work lies a trusty computer. It’s for this reason that we created our rundown of the best workstations for CAD—as well as a guide for those who want to build their own ultimate CAD PC.

No matter which approach you take, however, the issue of getting a great machine for a low price is one that still plagues many a CAD professional. Thankfully, HP have ridden to the rescue this month by launching the ZBook 15V.

The new machine forms part of HP’s ever-expanding ZBook range, with the launch coming alongside revamped ZBook 15 and 17 models. The 15V attracts our attention, however, for the price, with a starting price of just $950.

With a price tag this low, it’s easy to see why HP called the 15V “the most affordable mobile workstation”. But can you really get a great mobile workstation for under $1,000?

Things do certainly get off to a good starting point, with the machine featuring up to 32 GB of RAM, plus up to 6 GB of storage. As for the CPU, both Intel Core and Xeon options are available. Meanwhile, when it comes to the all-important graphics card, CAD users may well want to opt for the NVIDIA Quadro P600 option.

Once you factor in the various extras that you’ll need to complete professional CAD work, the price tag may start to swell a little. Nonetheless, this could be an ideal workstation for any students learning CAD, offering users great specs at a low price. Check the ZBook 15V out at HP.

BricsCAD Shape comes to MacOS

A few months ago, we featured BricsCAD amongst our top 5 affordable AutoCAD alternatives. However, its developers, Belgian CAD firm Bricsys, aren’t happy to merely be an alternative: they want to put their own stamp on the CAD industry.

The company’s innovative spirit led them to create BricsCAD Shape, a conceptual modeling tool for architects and engineers. BricsCAD Shape boasts a simple UI that all designers should get to grips with in mere minutes. But it’s no slouch, featuring smart parametric doors, windows, materials and more. Oh, and did we mention that it’s free—including for commercial use?

So far, so good. Unfortunately, the software has, thus far, only been available to Windows users. Thankfully, the Bricsys team set to work to expand their software’s reach. In April, they revealed the results of their hard work to the world, as BricsCAD Shape for MacOS hit the market.

With the release of this software, both Windows and Mac users can create fully CAD-accurate, real 3D models. You can then remake and remix these models over and over again. When you’re ready, simply save the design as a DWG file, and then go direct to BIM. Put all of this together, and you have a free, simple-to-use design tool that fits within any organization’s existing BIM workflow.

Bricsys have established themselves as one of the most innovative names in CAD. To get in on the action—on Windows or Mac—head to Bricsys.

Scribit: the robot that can draw on any surface

Let’s be honest—plenty of companies resort to pretty hyperbolic language when announcing their new products. With this in mind, we were understandably sceptical when Carlo Ratti Associati announced they’d designed “a new way of drawing”. Thankfully, it seems that what they created really does live up to the hype. Meet Scribit.

Scribit is a vertical plotter system that can turn any surface into your very own canvas. The system takes just a few minutes to set up; just hammer a couple of nails into your wall, plug Scribit in, and you’re ready to let it draw.

Once you’re good to go, the possibilities are near-endless. As Scribit comes with internet connectivity, you can access visuals from across the web. Those who are feeling creative, however, are free to create their own designs. This makes it a perfect choice for applications as wide-ranging as restaurant menus, stock ticker updates or wall art. Plus, if you want to change anything, you can. Scribit can identify the placement of an image upon a surface, and go over it to erase and re-draw.

Those of you already itching to get your hands on Scribit still have a bit of a wait on your hands. In fact, we haven’t even reached the crowdfunding phase yet—so any commercial launch is still a long way off! Nevertheless, we’re certainly already looking forward to the possibilities offered by this neat little robot. To learn more about how it all works, visit Scribit.

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