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RE: Structural Analysis & Design

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What's the address for getting literature on Visual Analysis?

Joe Baltar - Sacramento District COE

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Dave Morris [SMTP:davem(--nospam--at)]
> Sent:	Tuesday, November 24, 1998 1:05 PM
> To:	seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject:	RE: Structural Analysis & Design
> We used RISA-2D first and loved it.  Next we got Visual Analysis. We liked
> the graphical interface for setting up models better.  After you learn
> your
> way around it becomes very intuitive when creating nodes, members and
> loadings.  But we could only use it for analysis.  Code checks still
> needed
> to be performed by hand (Not a bad idea, but slow).  With the addition of
> Visual Design we now have a program where we can quickly set up models,
> load
> them and quickly check allowable stresses and unity equations.  We have
> gone
> to using Visual Analysis as our program of choice over RISA-2D.
> The scary thing here is that it looks too easy.  You put in numbers and
> you
> get answers.  It makes it look like if you can run the program you can be
> an
> engineer.  After going to a few code update seminars lately and watching
> the
> list for the last year the trend seems to be towards more complex design
> with more sophisticated computer programs required to generate these
> designs.  If Structural Engineering becomes a profession of people who are
> great with computers but really don't understand the codes they are based
> on
> or the construction process it takes to get them built we are in trouble.
> So I applaud programs like RISA and Visual Analysis that can be used by
> those of us who are not Computer whizzes.  I leave it up to us who can
> remember being thrilled the first time we learned how to use a slide rule,
> to keep preaching the lesson that tools are great but they don't replace
> the
> carpenter.  If the program spits out number we have to know what it means
> and where it came from.  We still have to know the codes and the theory
> behind them.  And we still need to know what can be built and what can't
> be
> built.  If we don't were not engineers we are just data entry technicians.
> I like both RISA and Visual Analysis/Design but the last time I checked
> neither was licensed to practice engineering in any state.
> Dave Morris P.E.
> Corvallis, OR