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Bannu (Structural) (OP)
22 Apr 02 7:07
I am looking for a mat foundation design software. Anybody  aware of free spread sheets or programs for download?

thanks for ur help
Helpful Member!  JAE (Structural)
22 Apr 02 13:28
Not free software but the Portland Cement Association has "MATS" for sale:

Eng-Tips seems to get a lot of posts asking for free software to download.  As an engineer I find this very disconcerting.  How can you justify designing a structural system by downloading free software, where you probably don't know anything about the authors, don't have a software agreement where you can exchange notices of bugs, and haven't a track record of accurate success with the software?  

Guest (visitor)
23 Apr 02 9:03
If you do know about the authors and have a software agreement, how good is that if you can't see the inner working of the program? The black box theory. I prefer to write my own spreadsheets, however if someone gives me a copy of their's, then I can verify all the formulas and test it myself. Can you say that of your paid for compiled programs?

If you report a bug, and they even listen to you, the next version will come out with "improvements and additions" that will carry a whole new list of bugs. Also, you don't know what may have changed of the program you have tested.
JAE (Structural)
23 Apr 02 9:14
I agree that in-house written software or spreadsheets have a whole level of confidence above that of purchased software....we are in agreement there.  What I was comparing was the purchased software vs. "free downloads" or shareware.  

The firms that develop, market and sell software most likely have a vested interest in doing a good job.  After all, they've invested money and time into developing their software and user feedback does get around town.  If they have lots of bugs, engineers will know it and this will hurt their company and investment.  Free downloads, on the other hand, are from unknown sources who don't necessarily have a vested stake in the quality of their product.

Also, in-house written software can be just as full as bugs as purchased....its just depends on the talents of the writer.
Guest (visitor)
23 Apr 02 12:31
please i have this software
Bannu (Structural) (OP)
23 Apr 02 23:13

Thanks for your reply. I have designed the mat foundation by hand calculations. What I meant was asking for free software was to quick check my results. I always try to write a spread sheet after i finish a new design, which i don't mind to share among our engineering comunity for evaluation if anybody requests.

I do not mean in any other way.

craigory28 (Structural)
24 Apr 02 7:45
I was wondering if anyone has used PCA Mats and what there thoughts on it are?  

My company is also looking at the following programs and were wondering what people thought of them.  

Foundation Design Suite.
PCA Column
ETABS - For Seismic analysis

We currently are using RAM International and Risa.  

I would be really interested in hearing what anyone has to say about any of those programs.  

PRENG (Structural)
24 Apr 02 9:00

I notced in your post that currently use RISA.  I use RISA3D and think it is great, are you using the 3D version of RISA?  I wonder why you are still looking, perhaps I don't know what I'm missing but I have never found a "want" in RISA3D.

craigory28 (Structural)
25 Apr 02 2:39

I actually don't use RISA 3d that much I use RAM a little bit more.  I did use Risa on one very odd building.  We weren't using RISA for a bit because we found some errors tha twere corrected in the last update.  The reason I was asking about the software was that my boss reads about them in technical magazines and asks me to research them.

However a good concrete program would be very ideal since Risa don't do concrete yet.

Bannu (Structural) (OP)
25 Apr 02 8:04

I have been using Risa 3D for past six months. This softwarwe did not got popular upto its full capability as compared to other so called best softwares (Stadd pro, RAm etc.)

whymrg (Structural)
25 Apr 02 10:34
PCA Mats is very good program for mats and footings with more than one column.
PCA Column is also good program that you can design columns as well as shear wall.

And frankly speaking I will not try to write spread sheet for mats.
JAE (Structural)
25 Apr 02 13:44
Both RISA and RAM are developed by competent firms.  We have both and they work well -

RISA is coming out with concrete design later this year (we think).

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