Design and analysis software

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    Engineers rely on software to help with many elements of the design process — evaluating construction materials, creating building information models, and more. And as software capabilities become increasingly advanced, engineers need to make sure they have the latest programs at their fingertips to help them perform their jobs.

    In response to an open invitation from Structural Engineering & Design magazine, a number of companies provided the following information about their products. Company web addresses are provided for immediate access to additional information (and, in some cases, trial versions of software). To participate in Structural Engineering & Design Specifiers Guides, visit www.gostructural.com/specguide.

    AceCad Software (www.acecadsoftware.com) provides several integrated technologies, including StruCad (3-D computer-assisted design software) and StruM.I.S. (MRP system). AceCad’s evolution suite helps the steel engineering and fabrication industries make gains through advanced interoperability and communication tools.

    ADAPT Corp. (www.adaptsoft.com) offers a comprehensive suite of software for the design of concrete floor systems, foundations, beams, and bridges. Highlights include a fast and easy 2-D strip method, advanced 3-D finite element analysis, dynamic rebar modeling and design, and more.

    ADS Design Pro from Advanced Drainage Systems (www.ads-pipe.com) enables engineers to determine the proper components and lay out the design of retention/detention systems. It contains technical resources for creating a high-density polyethylene pipe project that can be shared and saved. The resulting plan is delivered in PDF or DXF format.

    All View Systems’ (www.allviewsystems.com) JoistLab is a professional Windows-based program created to select, analyze, design, check, reinforce, and detail K-, LH-, DLH-, and KCS-Series joists, girders, v-girders, and floor girders, following the standard load tables of the Steel Joint Institute.

    Applied Science International, LLC’s (www.appliedscienceint.com) SteelSmart System 6.0 cold-formed steel design software helps users design curtain walls, shear walls, load-bearing walls, floors, roofs/trusses, and partial walls. The company also provides Extreme Loading for Structures, an advanced non-linear structural analysis software program that automatically calculates yielding of reinforcement, generation of plastic hinges, buckling, and more.

    Autodesk (www.autodesk.com) offers two programs: Revit Structure 2010, which provides building information modeling (BIM); and Robot Structural Analysis Professional 2010, a collaborative application that extends BIM with analysis capabilities for buildings, bridges, and civil/specialty structures.

    Bentley Systems’ (www.bentley.com) RAM Connection can be used as either a standalone or a fully integrated steel-connection design solution with RAM Elements, RAM Structural System, and STAAD.Pro. It includes AISC 341-05 seismic design, automated computer-assisted design details, new detailed calculation reports, and new base-plate design with anchorage per ACI 318 Appendix D.

    Bluebeam PDF Revu from Bluebeam Software, Inc. (www.bluebeam.com), can be used to create, mark up, and edit PDFs for digital project communication and collaboration. Users can redline PDF shop drawings with industry-standard markups and share comments with others in real time using Bluebeam’s Studio feature.

    BQE Software, Inc.’s (www.bqe.com) BillQuick automates the time-entry process by allowing access for employees to electronically enter their time and expense for projects and tasks to which they are assigned.

    CADRE Analytic’s (www.cadreanalytic.com) CADRE Pro 6 with advanced modeling solves mechanical and architectural structures for internal loads, beam section or plate stresses, displacements, vibration modes, and natural frequencies. Advanced features address stability, buckling, shock, and seismic loads.

    The Canadian Wood Council’sWoodWorks (www.woodworks-software.com) structural design software lets users quickly design light-frame or heavy-timber structures based on the latest codes and standards, including IBC 2009, ASCE 7-05, NDS 2005, and SDPWS 2008.

    Commins Manufacturing (www.comminsmfg.com) offers AutoTight, a free, Excel-based, continuous rod tie-down design program. The software allows users to design for strength, elongation, and shrinkage.



    For professionals in engineering, construction, and architecture, ColumbiaSoft’s (www.documentlocator.com) Document Locator is an enterprise-class engineering document manager designed with specialized capabilities for the construction industry. It improves collaboration with more efficient review and approval processes, as well as reduces risk with greater accountability and control.

    Computations & Graphics, Inc. (www.cg-inc.com), provides two programs: Real3D-Analysis, a structural analysis and design program that features a fast sparse–solver, an extremely accurate 128-bit floating point-solver, and more; and RcSections, an RC beam/column section-design tool that analyzes regular and irregular section capacity, presents 2D interaction diagrams and 3D interaction surface, and more.

    Computers & Structures, Inc. (www.csiberkeley.com), develops several structural and earthquake engineering software programs that are used in more than 160 countries worldwide, including SAP2000, ETABS, SAFE, CSiBridge, and PERFORM 3D.

    ConstructioLnCalc, Inc. (www.constructioncalc.com), publishes Excel-based software that provides 30-second solutions for beams, joists, rafters, posts, studs, and footings.

    CONTECH Construction Products, Inc.’s (www.contech-cpi.com) DYOB (Design Your Own Bridge) online design tool now is able to provide drawings for structural plate and truss shapes, in addition to CON/SPAN and BEBO precast arch structures. Users can input parameters and receive a schematic bridge drawing via email within minutes.

    CSC, Inc., (www.cscworld.com) supplies both small and large structural engineering firms worldwide with software for engineering calculation and building design. The company’s technical teams serve users globally with high-quality training, consultancy, and technical support.

    CULTEC, Inc. (www.cultec.com), released a web-interactive Design Tools CD that allows customers to download the most up-to-date product information, computer-assisted design drawings, design assistance tools, literature, and videos.

    Daystar Software, Inc.’s (www.daystarsoftware.com) Multiframe provides a full range of analysis and modeling tools, including plate, buckling and dynamic analysis, tension- and compression-only members, 3D rendering, and a range of design codes (including AISI and AISC 2005).

    SDS/2 from Design Data (www.sds2.com) provides automatic detailing, engineering information, and other data for the steel industry’s fabrication, detailing, and engineering sectors. As building information modeling software, SDS/2 allows for the sharing of data between all partners on a project, reducing the time required to design, detail, fabricate, and erect steel.

    Devco Software, Inc.’s (www.devcosoftware.com) LGBEAMER v8 provides analysis and design of complex span and loading configurations, including system design for framed openings, shearwalls, x-braces, floor joists, and roof rafters.

    Dimensional Solutions, Inc.’s (www.dimsoln.com) Foundation Design Suite is comprised of integrated single-program analysis/design tools that complete soil- and pile-supported foundation design in minutes.

    The SES software library from Digital Canal (www.digitalcanal.com) contains two full-featured frame-analysis and -design programs (3D finite element analysis with integrated concrete and steel design) and 16 “utility” modules to design steel, aluminum, timber, and concrete beams and columns, as well as footings, piles, retaining walls, masonry walls, shear walls, composite steel beams, and more.

    Structural Engineering Library Version 6 from ENERCALC, INC., (www.enercalc.com) provides dozens of modules to perform the most common engineering tasks for low- and mid-rise buildings according to current American codes in steel, concrete, masonry, and wood.

    Eriksson Technologies, Inc. (www.lrfd.com), specializes in engineering software development and the rendering of consulting engineering services to the precast/pre-stressed concrete and highway bridge markets. Software products include PSBeam, ET-Pier, and ET-Culvert. Engineering services include design, review, shop-drawing preparation, plant engineering, and construction support.

    KinnosaONE from First Trace, Inc. (www.firsttrace.com) is a family of engineering document management software products — built on industry standards and a service-oriented architecture — that streamlines design activities by removing common documentation breakdowns and automating repetitive manual processes.

    GT STRUDL from Georgia Tech Research Corp. (www.gtstrudl.gatech.edu) provides comprehensive linear/non-linear and static/dynamic analysis features for frame and finite element structures. The program includes moving load generation, response spectrum, transient, and pushover analyses.

    IES, Inc. (www.iesweb.com), creates high-quality structural analysis and design software for engineering and related professionals. The software tools support the latest building codes and a range of materials, including steel, wood, concrete, masonry, cold-formed steel, and aluminum.

    iLevel Forte by Weyerhaeuser (www.ilevel.com) is a free single-member sizing program that designs joists, beams, columns, and studs. Forte software performs gravity, wind, and seismic load calculations, identifying code-compliant solutions for engineered wood products and dimension lumber.

    Interactive Design Systems (www.ids-soft.com) develops and markets three software products for bridge design/analysis: BD2 (Bridge Designer 2) for 2D structural design analysis, BD3 (Bridge Designer 3) for 3D structural design analysis, and MC3D for bridge construction/geometry control.

    Keystone Retaining Walls, Inc. (www.keystonewalls.com), provides an updated 2010 technical CD containing detailed and technical retaining wall information. It contains a variety of design information, wall specifications, the Keystone KeyWall design software, and more.

    The structural and bridge analysis software from LUSAS (www.lusas.com) is used throughout the United States by consultants, Departments of Transportation, and other government bodies to assess existing structures and assist with new design.

    MDX Software’s (www.mdxsoftware.com) steel bridge-design and rating software allows users to design and rate curved and straight steel-girder bridges in accordance with the latest AASHTO specifications (LRFD, ASD, and LFD).

    MIDASoft, Inc.’s (www.midasuser.com) Midas Civil 2010 bridge-design and -analysis software is for curved- and straight-girder, composite, segmental post-tensioning, suspension, cable-stayed, skewed-slab, frame, arch, and culvert bridges with live-load optimizers. The software is fast, user-friendly, and equipped with innovative graphic components and bridge-engineering-specific capabilities.

    NEi Software’s (www.neisoftware.com) NEi Nastran is a general-purpose finite element analysis tool with an integrated graphical user interface and model editor, which is used to analyze linear and nonlinear stress, dynamics, and heat-transfer characteristics of structures and mechanical components.

    Omnitech Associates, Inc.’s (www.desconplus.com) offers two programs: DesconWin, for designing shear and moment connections, as well as column and beam splices; and DesconBrace, for designing connections of steel-braced-frame structures.

    Opti-Mate, Inc. (www.opti-mate.com), produces several bridge-engineering software titles, including Merlin Dash (for steel and concrete girders), Descus (for curved I and box girders), SABRE (for sign bridges), and TRAP (for trusses).

    GRLWEAP from Pile Dynamics, Inc. (www.pile.com) performs wave equation analyses, which are used to find the relationship between bearing capacity, pile stress, and blow count (known as the bearing graph).



    POSTEN Engineering Systems (www.postensoft.com) offers Multistory, a full-feature post-tension design package. The software helps users produce sustainable designs with automatic documentation of material savings for LEED certification while enabling architect creativity and reducing construction and design costs.

    RISA Technologies (www.risa.com) develops RISA-3D and RISAFloor, which allow users to work with steel, concrete, timber, and cold-formed steel all in a single, seamlessly integrated model.

    VersaBEAM 2.1 from Romak, Inc. (www.romak-inc.com), allows users to quickly produce accurate diagrams and reactions for limitless beam problems. Beam-analysis features include concentrated loads, constant and variable distributed loads, boundary conditions, beam hinges, and more.

    CFS 6.0 from RSG Software, Inc. (www.rsgsoftware.com) is a comprehensive, general-purpose cold-formed-steel component design tool with a friendly graphical interface. It computes full, net, and effective section properties using exact integrations; strengths for compression, tension, moments, shears, and web-crippling; and more.

    Simpson Strong-Tie Anchor Systems’ (www.simpsonanchors.com) Anchor Designer Software for ACI 318 analyzes and suggests anchor solutions using the ACI 318, Appendix D strength design methodology (or CAN/CSA A23.3 Annex D limit states design methodology). It provides cracked and uncracked concrete anchor solutions for several Simpson Strong-Tie Anchor Systems mechanical and adhesive anchors.

    Standards Design Group, Inc.’s (www.standardsdesign.com) Window Glass Design 5 performs all required calculations to design window glass according to ASTM E 1300-90 standards. The software also performs window glass design using ASTM E 1300 02/03/04, ASTM E 1300-98/00, and ASTM E 1300-94.

    Stat-Ease, Inc. (www.statease.com), produces two easy-to-use Windows programs for design of experiments (DOE): Design-Ease, for finding breakthrough factors; and Design-Expert, for optimization. The company also offers several computer-intensive DOE workshops.

    Strand7 Pty Ltd.’s (www.strand7.com) finite analysis software offers preprocessing capabilities (with computer-assisted design importing and automeshing), solvers (linear, nonlinear, dynamic, and thermal) and postprocessing capabilities. Release 2.4 includes staged construction, a moving load module, and new solvers (including quasi-static for shrinkage and creep/relaxation problems).

    Structural Desktop (SDT) from Structural Desktop, Inc., (www.structuraldesktop.com) integrates STAAD Pro, RISA 3D/RISAFloor, GT STRUDL, and SAP2000 with AutoCAD. Users can build an analytical model inside AutoCAD, import that model into a program for analysis and design, then import the model back into SDT for automatic creation of annotated AutoCAD DWG contract drawings.

    StructurePoint (www.structurepoint.org) — formerly the PCA Engineering Software Group — offers a suite of concrete-design programs updated to ACI 318-08 for reinforced concrete buildings and structures. The suite includes spColumn (pcaColumn), spSlab (ADOSS), spMats (pcaMats), spWall (pcaWall), and spBeam (pcaBeam).

    Struware, Inc.’s (www.struware.com) Code Search program provide pertinent wind, seismic, snow, live, and dead loads in just minutes. Struware also offers programs to analyze tilt-up concrete wall panels (typical reinforcing and panel legs next to openings), concrete beams with torsion, and steel framed floor vibrations.

    Tekla Structures from Tekla, Inc. (www.tekla.com), helps structural engineers expand their role in building projects, increasing value by moving to construction-oriented structural engineering. Tekla’s building information modeling offers more services for the other disciplines in a project (such as contractors), supporting the whole design-to-construction process.

    Tilt-Werks from Tilt-Up Design Systems, LLC (www.tilt-werks.com), is an online application for complete structural design, reinforcing design, automatic drawing generation, project sharing, and management for tilt-up concrete construction. Tilt-Werks is delivered as Software as a Service (SaaS), requiring no downloading, maintenance, or space requirements.

    Transpo Industries, Inc.’s (www.transpo.com) Break-Safe Sign Post Selection CD is for State Department of Transportation engineers, highway consulting engineers, and highway sign contractors. Upon input, the program automatically selects the appropriate sign post section and the corresponding Break-Safe breakaway sign-support assembly. A design matrix and specification sheets for assemblies and shop drawings are included.