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Fwd: Re: GOOD STRUC. S/W: Intergraph

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Sorry, the last email was sent prematurely, this one is complete.


Thanks for the comments about Rand-Micas (Micas-Plus was the name in 1992).
However, before you read on, I should identify myself as the development
manager for Intergraph's latest structural package, FrameWorks Plus.  I hope
I don't get flamed for replying to this, but I'm a structural engineer who
learned how to program, not a programmer who learned structural engineering
(I'm convinced the latter cannot be done ;).

 Your comment about Intergraph "pretty much bail[ing] out of the CAD/CAM
systems market"  bothers me alot, although it is a common misconception
because of many reasons.   The decision not to "port" Micas-Plus to the PC
was reached mainly because of the stiff competition in the analytical world,
and the view that discussions like this would ALWAYS include newcomers who
would be the next best thing since... you know the story.  The appearance of
stable, do-it-all programs for under $500 seem to justify this decision.

Instead of porting the analysis and design engines of Micas-Plus, we
semi-ported all of the modeling and drawing features, then teamed with
popular analysis and design engines, GTStrudl (NT version out later this
month), and STAADIII.   We would gladly discuss adding others (any vendors
please email me).
The concept is very similar to the strengths of Micas-Plus, mainly a physical
member concept.   This allows designers to model structure by placing a
girder as one member, and then as intermediate framing members are placed,
the member is "split" when the analysis input file is generated.   This
allows MANY benefits, including accurate, yet customizable drawings, which
FrameWorks Plus also produces.

Think about it... when you "complete a project", how many times do you
re-enter basically the same data to complete the drawings?  It might be
something like this:  1.  Design sketches
2.  Draftsperson redraws them
3.  Engineer "models" structure in analysis package.
4.  Detailer redraws erection drawings
5.  Quantity take-offs are produced manually.
6.  Interferences are visually checked but rarely 100% solved.
7.  Sometimes (albeit rarely anymore) 3d drawings are produced

FrameWorks Plus addresses the entire structural workflow, quite an
undertaking, but we've been somewhat successful.  It runs one Windows 95 or
Windows NT, and the most recent version began shipping in February, 1997.
  We have an active SIG (Special Interest Group) of our customers who use and
direct the development of FrameWorks Plus.   The SIG even has a home page,
you can email the members who use FWP.
Go to

Our main home page is

Although I have much more to say, I'd better stop.   If anyone is interested,
please email, call, or respond to this post.   I fully respect the rules of
this newsgroup and don't intend to violate any.

Jim Barr
Intergraph Corporation
(205) 730-8209

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Richard Lewis, P.E.
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