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Best Software for Analyzing and Designing Structures



Best Software for Analyzing and Designing Structures

In order to ensure that the civil engineering project or a general construction project is efficient, what you need is an analysis of the project in question. Now, there are several different factors that have to be taken into consideration in order to give an answer to this issue. First of all, you need to ask about the specifics of the tool used, like, for instance, the variety of codes used. Second, you need to think about how well the tool in question covers some of the most commonly used construction materials, as well as some which are somewhat less used. Then, there’s the issue of output detail for reinforcements. Finally, the cost-effectiveness of the tool (or its price), cannot be ruled out either.

1. STAAD pro

This particular tool is one of the most widely and efficiently used digital tools in civil engineering all over the world. The benefits of using it are quite numerous, ranging from the fact that it doesn’t require you to do any calculation manually, all the way to the fact that it helps you to design and analyze the structure a lot faster. Moreover, it specializes in all sorts of different materials ranging from concrete and steel, all the way to aluminum. Lastly, due to the fact that it’s such a sophisticated tool, it boasts a substantial accuracy in results. This is particularly important when it comes to issues like the bending moment, which are responsible for the overall safety of the structure.



The most important thing you should have in mind when it comes to analyzing PROKON is the fact that it’s a tool developed by engineers for engineers (and not just software developers with some engineer backed ideas). When it comes to design, this tool excels in every material from steel and concrete to timber and masonry. Like with the above-discussed STAAD, what this tool does is gives you some quick answers to questions that may determine the safety on your project. As of lately, the tool itself also provides geotechnical analysis, which can turn out to be a deal-breaker for a lot of people out there who were, so far, reluctant to use it.


3. Autodesk ReCap Pro

Needless to say, not everything can be measured in an old-fashioned way before you do your analysis. This is where Autodesk ReCap Pro comes in. If you’re looking for a sophisticated 3d scanning software that will allow you to automatically register laser scans, you needn’t look further than this tool. The price itself is quite affordable and you have a chance to choose the version based on the number of users, the duration of a term and the renewal method.

Other than this, the tool itself can automatically mark up and tag all the models, intelligently clean up everything and help you view and edit files in the cloud. This is also quite useless for the concept of remote work. The latter is particularly handy due to the fact that the majority of civil engineering projects are group projects. 



Provided that you want a specialized tool, something that’s built for the purpose of designing and analyzing concrete floor and foundation, you really shouldn’t look further than SAFE. The use of the tool is quite intuitive, which gives the designer or an analyst the freedom to focus on what really matters instead of getting sidetracked by a difficult interface of the tool. Moreover, the tool itself is made to be quite collaborative and it allows for input of data from other tools. This is incredibly important in today’s hyper-connected world.


5. RAM Structural System

Tools like RAM Structural System specialize in allowing one to perform the complete analysis and design on a single platform. In fact, it seems as if this tool was tailored to optimize the workflow instead of just focusing on the subject matter at hand (the engineering project). The special emphasis is on the materials like steel and concrete, which allows you to get the results on this in no time. What it excels at is not just a general structural analysis. It’s also great when it comes to the analysis of beams, plates, columns, as well as the steel design and wind loading. In other words, it excels in all the crucial areas that you need.


6. Robot Structural Analysis

Sometimes, you need to pick the tool according to the scope of your analysis and when it comes to analyzing capabilities for huge complex structures, robot structural analysis is second to none. The reason why this is so important is due to the fact that while the margin of error may be the same on the major projects, the repercussions, both financial and safety-wise are much, much greater. The BIM-integrated analysis here is much more advanced and sophisticated, which is why the tool itself is slightly more complex to use than some of the above-listed software. All in all, there are a plethora of learning resources out there for you to use.


In conclusion

In the end, it’s more than obvious that the career path of a civil engineer in the 21st century requires one to be much more tech-savvy than their predecessors. Still, this also makes their work a lot easier and their errors a lot less frequent and definitely less devastating. Keeping up with all the industry innovation is a requirement in many different fields and there’s no reason why civil engineering would be an exception to this general rule.