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printers/ wood software

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Printers
For home and moderate use, a scanner/printer combo like Canon MP160 or one of the HPs (forget what I have at home) have worked for me just fine. I find scanning redlines and sketches to be the way to go for e-mail communication and saving it to a compute file vs fax. Though we use E-fax anyway so we can save and send all of our faxes as PDFs/JPGs.
 
The two A & E firms I have worked for have had HP4MVs for 8.5x11 and 11x17, and they are simply workhorses. I don't remember them having much more problems then paper jambs. And they can go all day it seems, and are supposedly pretty skimpy on the toner powder so your cost per sheet is low. So I bought one for our office, a factory refurbished one off of E-bay with a full one year warranty. So far so good, and it is great for check sets, detail checks, and 11x17 finals. We happen to have a print shop on the first floor of our building so this is all we need.
 
Wood Software
The new Wood Works has caught my eye for its shear wall and diaphragm analysis power (though I have not bought it yet), along with the standard member sizing and lots of other features. I think the price compared to other types of software is quite reasonable. It depends on how much wood design you do and how complicated you get. If you are just looking to design individual floor and roof beams, posts, etc., I have had no issues with Enercalc...
 
RISA 2D
And maybe off topic but speaking of software, a few months ago I bought RISA 2D for doing mostly steel frame design, and I LOVE IT. As always there are a few things I would change, but it is pretty intuitive and easy to use, especially if you are a graphic/Autocad type of person. I would like to see it morph into an even more graphical program like Autocad especially when manipulating or drawing your model.  I love the moment/shear diagrams, deflected shape and animation features, and results report for individual members, it really gives you a feel for what your model is doing, to make sure you accurately modeled it and are getting results that make sense. I asked a few people on this list and went with their reccomendation, thanks. I made the money back on my first big frame job.
 
 
Andrew Kester, PE
Principal/Project Manager
ADK Structural Engineering, PLLC
1510 E. Colonial Drive, Suite 301