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RE: Wood Framed Structures - Software Survey

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We have heard our WoodWorks software is easy to use, especially the Sizer module which deals with beams, rafters, joists, columns, walls studs etc.  Pretty much anything you need to analyze and design wrt these members can be done with Sizer, including oblique members like purlins, any load configuration,  any material listed in the NDS (CSA086 in Canadian version), notches, up to 6 spans, including cantilevers.  It doesn’t include proprietary products other than a generic values for LVL / and PSLs but the user can add/modify whichever products they use to the customizable database.  You can analyze one member at a time but you can also represent all the components in one model, especially useful for checking hip roof systems, for example.


Sizer can be purchased as a standalone product or as part of Design Office, which also includes Shearwalls and Connectors, as you mentioned.  Sizer is by far the most used module, though most people buy the entire Suite as it seems to be considered cost effective.


Shearwalls, in my mind, gives the engineer a big benefit by automatically calculating wind and seismic loads and distributing these shear loads based on rigid or flexible diaphragms (NDS/IBC/ASCE7).  It still lets you add manual loads if you need to.  It also saves some time by allowing the user to import an AutoCAD drawing saved with a .wmf extension to be used as a drawing guide.


Connections is also a good tool and automatically generates connection drawings based on the NDS/CSA fasteners (lags, screws, nails, bolts etc).  Its easy to calculate the number of lags, but more time consuming to make sure they are spaced properly and the configuration drawn properly.  Some of these drawings can be exported to CAD as a dxf file to deposit onto your drawing (this is new in 2007 and we are planning to expand this to all connection types in the future). 


One drawback we are working on is that none of these modules talk to each other.  We have been working on that for a while but will be able to dedicate more time in 2008.


Take a look at the WoodWorks website and download a demo version to explore it a bit more if you like.



Robert J. Jonkman, P.Eng.

Manager, Structural Engineering

Canadian Wood Council

Toll Free: 800-463-5091 ext 252


From: Bill Allen [mailto:t.w.allen(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2007 10:40 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Wood Framed Structures - Software Survey


I haven’t seen anything on this in a while, so I thought I would check.


What programs are you using for design? What are the pros and cons of the software?


Some that come to mind are:


Woodworks (Sizer, ShearWall, Connectors)








T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E.


Consulting Structural Engineers
V (949) 248-8588 F(949) 209-2509

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