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Design process and software

Design process and software

Design process and software

I am considering starting my own company and I am very interested in your experience with analysis & design process and which software you use for each stage of documentation. I want to specialise in timber construction as I have most experience with this type of structures plus concrete and steel design is poorly paid in my area. Anyway, I am interested in your experience with any type of material.
Here are some questions I am most interested in:
- Which FEA software you use? I use Dlubal RFEM and RSTAB.
- Which software you use for drawings? Till now I've used only Autocad. But sometimes I would like to present some details in 3D.
- Do you do shop drawings/detail drawings? In timber construction shop drawings are usually made by the contractor. What is your opinion? Could be added value for an engineering firm to offer also shop drawings?
- Which software do you or your partner use for drawings (like for reinforcement in concrete structures, steel or timber connections)?
- Do you use a general BIM software in your company like Revit, Allplan... ?

I think it is hard for one engineer to do his/her engineering and also draft at the same time, but maybe I am missing something. Please share your thoughts.

Best regards

RE: Design process and software

I'm not in the timber construction segment, so I'll leave several of these questions to those who are more experienced. Anecdotally though, I've heard many in that line use a finite element program like RISA in combination with lots of in-house spreadsheets for connection details, etc.

We've found a combination of AutoCAD (LT) and Sketchup (Pro) are useful for conveying our details quickly and with adequate detail. BIM is a large investment, financially and upfront time to learn software and build a library of details. You'll find a number of good threads on this subject on the forum.

RE: Design process and software

Heavy timber construction or the multifamily/mixed use crap everyone is putting up nowadays? Timber design is easy to do with just basic spreadsheets, unless you're doing some more sophisticated designs with curved glulams or CLT or something similar. At my firm, we are always given 2D drawings (for the mixed use junk) and we put it into Revit to make it easier on us.

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