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Can anybody buy RAPT?


Just wondering, since it seems anyone can buy structural analysis software. But the software for energy rating of houses (FIRSTRATE ?) can only be bought by persons who pass through a course for the software. And output of the software is only accepted for regulatory approval, if output signed by a registered user.


And not talking about qualified HVAC engineers performing an energy efficiency check, or anyone else who may understand the climate models used. Just someone who has completed a short course on use of the software. The Australian way: create legislation to sell products which otherwise have no market.


Has RAPT ever considered restricting sales to qualified structural engineers (eg. NPER(structural)), and requiring completion of a short course. Or does it rely on the regulatory system to pick up misuse of the software. When the regulatory system fails then what? Or does the software have a flash screen requiring the user to acknowledge responsibility for the results before they proceed?


All products when released into the market place have the potential to be used for purposes beyond the expectations of the designers. The designers still tend to be held responsible. It is thus imposed upon designers to forecast potential modes of failure, and variations, and provide features which minimise the hazards resulting from misuse. Noting that all products are simply raw material to someone somewhere.


So to be extreme. For RAPT to be quality robust, only competent structural engineers should be able to use it. Compare child proof medicine bottles: inconvenient for everybody, people most in need of medication cannot open, especially the elderly. Thus structural engineers have to suffer some inconvenience if want the benefits from off-the-shelf software.



Conrad Harrison

B.Tech (mfg & mech), MIIE, gradTIEAust



South Australia