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# Affordable Structural Analysis software

## Affordable Structural Analysis software

(OP)
Hello All,

Is it still possible to actually purchase a structural analysis package for two and three dimension frame type problems? Everything seems to have gone to subscription or quasi-subscription models. I am not interested in becoming someone's "after-work" or "forever" payee.

I had wanted to purchase a copy of Microstran, but Bentley purchased them and has converted them to the "forever" payment model. Quite unfortunate as it was my favourite analysis package by a mile.

Not to side track my own thread, but I have half a mind to try to find someone's old copy for sale. Buying someone's old license might be an option; Not illegal here or in Europe.

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

I have used MicroStran for the last 20 years and was disappointed that the boys sold to Bentley. I too have a dislike for subscription-based usage.

When I worked on Canada (1989-1991) I used a Canadian program called P-Frame (2d) and S-Frame (3d). It was a great program and very advanced at the time for graphic input via grid line and mouse click for members etc. I am not sure if it is still around.

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

Last I checked RISA-3D offered both subscription and stand-alone licenses. I'm trying to get my boss to get me copy since Bentley went towards a subscription model.

I really wonder if they realize how many people are being driven away because of this?

Maine EIT, Civil/Structural.

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

I use a Mac and have been using frame-mac since 1991. It is 2D only, but is a breeze to use. Does all my beams and frames.
I have to run it under an emulator now as it is not compatible with the newer operating systems, but I would be lost without it.

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

Splitrings: Last year when I was looking at RISA they confirmed that it could be USB hardlocked and you can install on as many machines as you like as the USB key was your "license" and thus limited how many actual users could run the software.

Maine EIT, Civil/Structural.

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

Yes, RISA still uses a USB key and it is a perpetual license. Meaning if you choose not to pay any maintenance, then you keep the software. You just wouldn't be entitled to upgrades or tech support or such. If you keep your install CD (or downloaded exe) then you should be able to install it on new computers for quite sometime.

Not perpetually, of course, because at some point the install routines or the program itself will cease to function on the newer operating systems. And, the farther out of date you get the more computer savvy you have to be. For example the hardware key driver that gets installed with the driver functions for the Operating Systems used when that installation routine was put together. But, when Microsoft updates to version 9.0 of Windows then you have to be smart enough to go to Sentinel's website (the maker of our hardware keys) to find and install the newer drivers.

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

Or you just keep a legacy PC around or know how to run multiple operating systems.

Maine EIT, Civil/Structural.

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

I don't know what it costs, but I know SAP2000 still does traditional licensing.

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

CELinOttawa....JoshPlum is too professional to offer to sell RISA 3D in the forums and will not likely give you the price. He's a long time contributor to the forums and makes it clear that he works for RISA and doesn't promote RISA in the forums.

However, I'm not an employee of RISA so I can give you my opinion!

I am a RISA 3D user and have been for about 7 or 8 years. I've been using a variety of structural analysis programs over the past 30 years including STAAD, STAAD-Pro, ALGOR, mTAB-STRESS/FeMAP and a few others. RISA 3D is, in my opinion, very cost effective, robust and accurate. Several other active members that I know of in the forums use RISA 3D (Mike McCann, JAE, others). I would consider myself to be the biggest impediment RISA 3D has to overcome in analysis!!

When I took the plunge to purchase software after I started my business in 2005, it was a large purchase for me. I closed my eyes, pushed the button and bought it. Glad I did. At least part of the cost is deductible as a business purchase!

Any time you can get something that allows you to show more capability to your clients, helps you be more accurate with documentation and backup and saves you time...all for about \$3k or less, it is worth serious consideration.

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

I would second Ron's view - Used RISA for a long while and like it.

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### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

(OP)
Hmm... Well, looks like I may have to pony up a few thousand dollars, but at least you can still get a "real", not needed to pay for annually, package.

Thanks all, it is appreciated.

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

CEL,
Not current with any costing, but Spacegass might be an option.

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

Anyone tried Cadre FEA ? I use it for small stuff.

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

(OP)
Beerion: Very neat tool. I am impressed; I'd given some thought to doing something similar in Open Office Calc. I suppose now I'll just need to see if your program will run there. Thanks!

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

CELinOttawa - Excel VBA won't work in Open Office (or any other free program, as far as I know), and even though Open Office runs a variant of Basic, translating VBA to OO Basic is a non-trivial task, at least it was the last time I looked. I spent a few weeks working on a fairly simple translation a few years ago, and eventually gave up.

At the risk of flooding the forum with Sydney Opera Houses, I would also offer:
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/fr...

All of the downloads are free and open source, but do require Excel (sorry).

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

RISA here as Ron said.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

I've been thinking about writing my own software for 2D work. Somewhat similar to STAAD in that you can pass it a simple text file with all of your points, loads, member types and then it spit out a text file with all of the results in some readable format that I can then pull into other programs like Excel or custom web apps. Basically a matrix analysis engine that is a 2D general solver.

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

(OP)
Medeek: That is a laudable goal, and I have done similar work back in Uni *cough* twelve years ago *cough*. Starting to feel like I'm really not the "YoungStructural" who started out here in '04.

Anyway, while a solver like that is a great personal project, I'm starting to think about putting what spare time I have into an open project. There are already very good solvers available (Frame3DD for example, see http://frame3dd.sourceforge.net) and, if done right, we should also be able to pass models to specialised EQ code and full FEA packages like Open Sees, Calculix, etc.

There are dozens of university based or started projects that have addressed the number crunching. What we in the industry need is for a bunch of people to start working together on a free GUI. GUI built = Job done. Sounds simple but would not be; I'm just trying to decide if I am up to the challenge!

### RE: Affordable Structural Analysis software

Well, here I am giving some list of software's that can be use
1.DIANA:-This is the software which has multifunctional qualities and excellent performance.
2.MASTAN 2:- It is basically used by practicing engineers on nonlinear analysis.
3.DLUBAL:- It is mostly used for designing of constructions of steel, timber and aluminum.

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