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FW: Structural Analysis Software Wish List

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Sent: 	Thursday, July 23, 1998 10:46 AM
Subject: 	RE: Structural Analysis Software Wish List

I agree with the wishes listed below as well as I have some of my own.

Every analysis and design software has a model database file with members geometry, member sizes, releases and so on.  This file is usually in some proprietary format and is not accessible to the user.

I have 2 suggestion:

1. Have vendors of analysis and 3D structural drafting software (like Softdesk or Rebis) come up and agree on the unified database file format.

2. Make this database accessible for later postprocessing, and /or provide the export capabilities that would allow this information to be used by structural design/drafting software.

If this becomes possible, the transition from the design phase to drafting and detailing could become close to seamless.  Now if you want to build a 3D model in AutoCAD, you have to first build an analysis model, DXF it out, and defined all of the member sizes again.  When you have a model of the building with several thousands nodes in it, this is a pretty lengthy task.

This is especially important in the building and plant/facility design where building a 3D model is required in order to avoid interference and for presentation purposes.  I think there is big enough market for it, and the first vendor who offers something like that will definitely receive a competitive advantage over others.

Sasha Itsekson, PE
Eichleay Engineers

From: 	MSSROLLO[:mssrollo(--nospam--at)]
Sent: 	Thursday, July 23, 1998 2:25 AM
To: 	seaint
Subject: 	Structural Analysis Software Wish List

I have noticed several (possibly all) structural analysis software companies
monitor this List.  I was wondering if this group put together a wish list,
how many companies would respond.

For purposes of this posting, I would like to address large structural
analysis/FE programs only.  Assuming the programs are running properly
internally (i.e. their MC/I calcs are right), my biggest problems are the
input and output I get on a daily basis.  On FE runs, I have a mountain of
data to sift, when I only need a few critical values in most cases.  The fact
a member is defined as "between 2 joints" also generates a lot of data when a
steel beam for example has numerous framing members.

I was wondering how many people thought the following would be a benefit if
incorporated into a software package.  Quite frankly, once their job of
creating the output is over, my work is just beginning.  I am posing these as
additions to the software and am assuming the current abilities would remain
in the software.

1.  Ability to define a "Master Member".  Example....Beam1 starts at joint 5
and goes thru Joints 7,9, 23,17 and then ends at Joint 26.  We input it this
way, the program subdivides it for calcs and then puts it back together for
output.  This would consolidate the results for output.  A "smart"
consolidation routine would be great when I am dealing with a 50' beam that
has members at 5' oc framing into it.  This should also help in getting
consolidated concrete reinforcing.

2.  A similar ability in FE routines for large walls/floors.  Define a master
wall/floor area and have the results of the subdivided area consolidated to
show the maximums for the wall if desired.

3.  Ability to output the data from FE elements, members etc into a text file
for those of us who write routines to "further process" the information.  I
have several that do further processing for special cases, but always have to
read through an output file with headers and page numbers to get what I need.
It would be nice if all companies used the same format (RISA, SAP, STAAD, etc)

4.  Ability to define the brace points on a beam/column rather than an
unbraced length.  I typically have different unbraced lengths for top flanges
vs. bottom flanges.  Allowing the input of a brace code such that directs
which flange a brace is bracing would be helpful.  Examples of  the options
could be IF (inner flange) , OF (outer flange), BF (both flanges) etc.  I
worked for one company that had their own software any this definitely was
nice and leads to more economical designs rather than giving a worst case
scenario.  This coupled with the Master member would be helpful.