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Re: Visual Analysis/Visual Design + ENERCALC vs. STRUCT.etc.

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I currently am using Visual Analysis / Design 3.11.  I have used Visual
Analysis / Design for over a year and really like it. We did not upgrade to 3.5
this year since we had some other priorities for our software purchases.

Some pluses include static and dynamic analysis, natural frequency calcs.,
customizable reports and toolbars, tension and compression only members,
springs,  member splitting, nodes in polar or spherical coordinates, unlimited
undo, light gage database,  standard models (especially useful for finite
element modeling......can also create your own models), cut & paste generation,
2D and 3D modes, easy toggle and rotational commands, P-delta, thermal loading,
plates with linear and hydraulic pressures, full design modules for steel,
concrete and timber (I have not had the opportunity to use the timber module
yet), etc.

Some minuses include no tapered members, no tributory load generation (although
I understand their next version will have this feature), some Windows error
messages when too many windows are open, no analysis or design for warping, it
assumes no eccentric loading for single angles, it took me a little longer to
learn it than I would have liked but I did not have time to do all the
tuturials(I must be slow), etc.

I especially like the ability to customize your reports. You can arrange the
columns in your report in any order, eliminate those you are not interested in,
change the header titles to a nomenclature that you can identify with, report
all or only extremes, report selected members, change fonts, sizes etc. You can
save these report styles for future use.

Overall, I am very pleased and productive as a result. I believe for the money,
it is well worth the cost. Terry Kubat is very responsive and helpful at
answering your questions.
Consider getting Shapebuilder 2.0 also.

We are currently using Enercalc 4.4B.  We have used it for 8 to 10 years.

Some pluses include ease of use, spreadsheet format, easy to do "what if"
senarios, good selection of programs, consise printouts. I have ocasion to use
their program for torsional analysis of steel (which includes warping) and am
not aware of another one on the market.

Some minuses include DOS version running in windows environment (not sure if a
later version is Windows based), not in 100% agreement with  the output or
methodology on a few of the programs, answering questions or fixing bugs is not
always in a timely fashion.

I would be tempted, maybe next year, to take a closer look at Research
Engineer's STRUCT.etc 66 program Structural Engineering Tool Case. It looks
very thorough but I have not had the opportunity to get a demo.

Jim Kestner, P.E.
Green Bay, Wi.

Steven P. Osborn wrote:

> I am giving serious thought to purchasing Visual Analysis/Design software
> package.  I would appreciate feedback from anyone with experience with this
> software.  If you had it to do over again, would you still buy it?  How
> does it compare to say Risa, STAAD/Pro, SAP2000, etc.
>  Also, I am looking at ENERCALC's 44 program Structural Engineering Library
> vs. Research Engineer's STRUCT.etc 66 program Structural Engineering Tool
> Case.  Any thoughts?
> Thanks!!
> Steve Osborn, P.E.
> CE Solutions, Inc.
> Carmel, IN
> P.S.    Thanks to all who responded to my earlier inquiry.