A few decades ago when the computers and software were in their nascent stage, the planning and construction of buildings was quite slow. But the rapid technological revolution has now enabled the civil engineering companies to speed up the construction process while ensuring quality and strength of the buildings.
Today, there are several software available out there to design, analyze and build large projects in no time. The 3D integrated structural design and analysis software are widely common among structural designers. These structural analysis and design software boost productivity and are user-friendly. They make structural modeling and load analyzing more seamless and efficient, thus reducing the time and effort required for finite element analysis.
Many of these design/analysis software even include features like analysis of diversified profile of structural elements, modeling structure of various materials, outputting analysis and graphical files, and checking for geometrical errors. In this article, we have highlighted five best software for Civil and Structural Engineering.
Top structural design and analysis software tools
AutoCAD (Automatic Computer Aided Design):
This is the most popular software in the world of civil engineering. Designed by Autodesk, it helps in creating 2D and 3D designs, drafting, modeling workflows, architectural drawing, and more. It allows you to evaluate and understand the project performance, responds quickly to changes, and maintains data and processes consistently. Some of the important features it includes are:
- A powerful set of intuitive design and documentation tools to explore and visualize 3D concepts
- A user friendly interface that works across a range of integrated devices including desktop, mobile and cloud
- Eliminates the need of manual drafting to boost accuracy
- Provides the ability to share your work through TrustedDWG™ technology
Analysis & Design:
This is a structural design and analysis tool developed by Research Engineers which was later acquired by Bentley Systems, a CAD/CAM software company based in Pennsylvania. STAAD Pro is considered as the best structural analysis software and adopted by over a million structural engineers around the globe. It features ease of use and an array of essential tools required for accomplishing an analytical process on different structures.
STAAD Pro further integrates with a number of other Bentley products. The models created using STAAD Pro can be imported to OpenSTAAD so as to make the models transferrable to other third-party tools.
This software is mostly used in designing foundation slab systems and concrete floors. SAFE is a comprehensive package that combines all the aspects of engineering design process – from creating layout to detail drawing production in a single, intuitive environment. It enables highly advanced local assessment of foundation systems within larger structures and imports files from CAD, ETABS, and SAP2000. Some of the other benefits it offers are:
- Wide-ranging templates to quickly initiate a model
- Support conditions and loadings
This is another popular 3D analysis and design tool for creating general structures such as buildings, bridges, arenas, industrial structures, crane rails, and more. It is fast, productive and accurate. It has an intuitive interface that integrates with many other products like RISAFloor and RISA Foundation. It comes packed with the latest steel, cold-formed steel, concrete, aluminum, masonry and timber design codes. This, in turn, provides the tools you need to manage the multi-material projects with ease.
This is a comprehensive project review solution mainly used by design, engineering and construction management professionals to gain detailed insight into the project and enhance productivity and quality. It is developed and marketed by Autodesk and allows users to open, combine, review and share Detailed 3D Design Models in various file formats. It lets you import all file formats and merge all the files to create a model.
The time when it took several years to construct a building is long gone. With the help of the structural analysis software tools, construction firms are now speeding up their design, analysis and construction processes.
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