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From: Joe McCormick <jmccormi(--nospam--at)>
To: 'seaoc(--nospam--at)'
Date: Wednesday, March 19, 1997 4:24 PM

Although STAAD-III has caused me headaches at times (what software
hasn't?), I think it is generally undeserving of the beating it took
recently on the listserver!  STAAD-III is a pretty good piece of software
although it can be very unforgiving to some user errors (i.e. fatal error
crashes), which is annoying.  This said, although I'm not as familiar with
it as STAAD, I have found ETABS to be quite efficient for *buildings* and
generally superior to STAAD in this regard, especially for dynamic
analysis.  ETABS is just plain set up better for doing buildings.  For an
*industrial* environment though, given only one piece of structural design
software to use, I would choose STAAD-III over all others for its
versatility and comprehesiveness, especially with regard to braced steel
frames!  I'd like to hear more from others on this thread, especially from
the smaller design offices.  Good topic!
From: 	James F Fulton[SMTP:James_F_Fulton(--nospam--at)]
Sent: 	Wednesday, March 19, 1997 12:39 PM
To: 	seaoc(--nospam--at)

In response to an earlier comments on STAAD3, I would be interested in 
knowing what other programs structural engineers on the listserver have
to be generally better to use than STAAD3 (and why).  I am particularly 
interested in petrochemical type structures, mainly braced structural steel

construction. Thanks.

I believe STAAD3 is a good "general purpose" analysis program because it
does just about everything (steel, concrete, timber, footings, dynamics,
non-linear analysis, etc.) Sort of like the open platform design of
AutoCAD. The latest versions have a good graphical interface to it which
makes modelling a lot easier. I am not really familiar with ETABS, but I
understand it will model buildings easier. However, either one of these
programs are fairly expensive (initially as well as maintenance) and they
are probably cost prohibitive to the small, one to four man office.

I've seen RISA, the input is fairly cumbersome. My basic computer
philosophy is that if I have to look at a manual to do build a basic model,
then it wasn't written properly. I downloaded Enercalc's Fastframe (version
5.0.8 I believe) and played around with it a little. Some kinks need to be
worked out, but I think (based on user interaction), Michael Brooks is on
the right track. I recommend that you either download the Beta or look for
a demo of the production model. Don't count on the Beta to meet a project
deadline today, though. I had trouble printing results. But it looks good.

I think good engineering software should be easy to use, easy to modify
files, Win95 compatable and only requires reading of the manual for fine
tuning and "tricks". It also would be nice if the output were Office 97
compatible (i.e., Access, etc.) so that I could use the result to do some
other work on, but dream on...

Bill Allen

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From: "Bill Allen, S.E." <ballense(--nospam--at)>
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