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Re: Structural Analysis Software for New One-Man Firm

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It really depends on what kind of work you will be doing. You may need several programs to satisfy the various types of jobs you described below.  Some of the ones you named below tend to be too expensive for a one man show like myself. I have SODA (Canadian 3D steel design and analysis program that does also include US requirements), Woodworks, and IES Visual Analysis. I also use TEDDS (pre-written calcs) for various quick problem solutions and over the years I have written lots of spreadsheets (last count approx 2500)which are great for checking.  There are lots of free spreadsheets available, but they usually require some tweeking.  Lots of luck and let us know what you decide.
On 1/17/2011 5:51 PM, Keith Erick Fix wrote:



I’ve delayed as long as I can and still can’t decide where to spend my hard-earned money for SE software, so I’m soliciting comments from the list regarding their experience with various software platforms.


My personal experience includes GTSTRUDL, STAAD, RAM (various products), a defunct DOS product by ECOM (à Eagle Point à Digital Canal “STRAAD” engine). I’ve also used IES’ Visual Analysis for some Master of Science work, and just  a touch of RISA.


I’ve got 15+ years with most typical materials (wood, masonry, concrete, str’l steel, lg steel), and expect my new practice to see the same breadth of work. Almost all my work is buildings projects, so bridges aren’t a concern. Same for towers, tanks, etc.


I’ve looked at some of the demos: they all seem to suffer from the same basic “flaws” of the usual hard work to get everything modeled, so I’m not finding any stand-outs with user interfaces.


I’m using Autodesk Revit to coordinate with my largest (by revenue) client. The others are on AutoCAD – so I can dumb-down my modeling for coordination with those firms.


Comments? What’s been your experience, and what would you recommend for an engineer working alone?


Keith Erick Fix

Principal Engineer

Red Pepper Consulting, Inc.


10201 W. Markham Street

Suite 215

Little Rock, AR 72205


+1 (501) 227 7183 office

+1 (501) 350 3629 mobile

+1 (501) 319 7319 fax


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