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Re: questions about 3D modeling software for steel structures

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Cliff,

XSteel is really a program that currently is primarily used by
fabricators.  Since it does not really do any structural analysis/design
(at least that I am aware of), most engineers are not interested in
"wasting" their time with it.

Basically, until structural analysis/design software can export models in
a fashion that fabricators can use, engineers won't be doing this type of
3D modeling too much.  Some programs can do this to a certain degree.  I
believe that you can now export a RamSteel module that can then be used by
a fabricator to imported into a detailing program.

Even though some analysis/desigm programs can export, many engineers are
somewhat reluctant to do so...partly from a liability point of view (at
least as I understand it).

That is not to say that some design firms make use of 3D modeling software
on occasion.  Chrysler has had a requirement that their projects be
modelled in Catia.  This was mainly to easily coordinate/route things like
piping, ducts, and electrical work.  Does not really do much (at least the
last time I say it about 2 years ago) structurally, but can actually
determine length of pipe and types of couplers require for piping stuff.

HTH,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Wed, 16 Apr 2003, Clifford Schwinger wrote:

> In this weeks ENR magazine the cover story is about
> how the structural drawings for the Soldierís Field
> project in Chicago were developed in part using XSteel
> and then the model was given to the steel fabricator
> for use by their detailers for production of shop
> drawings.  From what I read in the article it sounds
> like there were some glitches, but it appears that
> this team approach where the engineer produces a model
> and then passes it to the steel fabricatorís detailer
> might standard procedure in the near future (at least
> for complex projects).  Personally, Iím really looking
> forward to this cool stuff!
>
> Iíd like to learn more about XSteel and SDS/2 (a
> competing product).  We have some pretty complicated
> projects in our office with architecturally exposed
> structural steel and it seems that there would be some
> obvious benefits to being able to create a precise
> virtual model of the structure during design.
>
> Does anyone on the list use either of these programs?
> I would be curious to here some opinions about each Ė
> advantages, disadvantages, ease of use, ease of
> learning to use them, are they worth the cost, etc.
>
> Thanks for any advice or comments anyone wishes to
> share.
>
> Cliff Schwinger
>
>
>
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