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SOFTWARE: Do You Find "Woodworks Structural Office" To Be Useful?

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I'm asking the question.

I have had the software for about ten months and have used it from time to
time, but haven't put forth the effort to really learn it. The documentation
is rather dry and long-winded-there doesn't appear to be a "Quick Start"
type manual available.

The Beam and Column portions of SIZER are fairly useful, but it seems every
time I try to use the Concept Mode in SIZER, I run up against a "brick wall"
in terms of inability to correctly model an entire structure. This may be
due to my lack of understanding of the program's limitations, or it may be a
flaw in the user interface. I honestly don't know.

I wonder if anyone else here finds it very useful.

Another "weakness" that I, for one, perceive: The seeming "disconnect"
between the SIZER and SHEARWALL modules. At the VERY least the two programs
ought to be able to share a geometry database. It seems bizarre to have to
recreate essentially the same geometric information in each of them in terms
of where the walls and floors are. I understand they are probably different
algorithms, might even have originated as different products developed by
completely different people, but if I were Acronym Software I would
certainly put a good deal of effort into smoothing out those

I have been trying to model a fairly complicated two-story residential
structure, and I've all but given up trying to get the roof framing and
second floor ceiling framing into the same model. It appears that I erred in
not creating a "level" for the ceiling joists, but even at that I'm not sure
how to handle the fact that the joists and rafters share the double top
plate of the second story walls.

Also, it appears that you are "stuck" with a one-size-fits-all parameter for
the story heights. I cannot seem to get it to understand that I have
different top plate elevations along the same wall. Again, it's probably
just that I'm expecting too much from the program-but as it wasn't exactly
cheap, I WAS sorta hoping.

Finally, it would be great if you could at least export to DXF. The whole
idea of a "concept" implies that you are developing a view of the design,
sure would be great if it could give you a leg up on the drafting process by
creating a DXF file that you could use as a starting point for the drawings.

If anyone out there has any "tips and tricks" to share regarding this
software, I'd be glad to hear 'em.


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