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Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?
5

Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

(OP)
Hello.

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

Excel (by MS office).

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

Yes!

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

RISA Connection does a great job for the connections it covers. I am a bit disappointed in how many common situations aren't covered, however. I haven't used other packages, so they might be similar.

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

Ideastatica

http://www.nceng.com.au/
"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning."

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

(OP)
retired13, until you get excel to work with Euroces or AISC you'll get retired! risa kai ideastatica are very expensive though. I am looking for economical ones.

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

You get what you pay for. If you want a robust and thorough program to automate connection design, you either need to invest in the money in an expensive software package or invest the time in writing spreadsheets or scripts in Excel, Mathcad, or other customizable calculation platforms. I'm partial to writing things in excel - you don't need any knowledge of programming, but if you do know VBA you can do some really neat stuff. It's also easy to track problems and verify solutions with hand calcs. I would suggest doing a "model" calculation of a "general case" for each type of connection you want to design. Turn that into a spreadsheet. Then solve the spreadsheet for a handful of specific cases and do the hand calcs for them, too. If the numbers match, your program (probably) works. Give it to a colleague to test for bugs and try to break it. If it stands up, put it in your file for future use.

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

What is your definition of economical?

RISA Connection is $1050

Lets say your billable rate is $65/hr

if it takes you 2 hrs per connection to do the calculations by hand vs 0.5 hr per connection in RISA

The software break even point would be about 11 connection designs.

Open Source Structural Applications: https://github.com/buddyd16/Structural-Engineering

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

Cheapest and most widespread: Microsoft Excel w/ Visual Basic expansions.

I prefer Mathcad for individual connection designs and job standards for shear and bracing connections.

I work on a lot of very large projects, and I'm not too interested in automated stuff like Qnect or Tekla Structures stuff.

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

Just to add to the Excel discussion, RISA connection is set up to do all the connection design using hand calcs, just like you would do with a spreadsheet (it is not FEA). So, if RISA Connection can do it, you can write an Excel spreadsheet to do it. What I like about RISA Conneciton, is that it will link to RISA 3D and import all the loads/load cases to check them all. If I am just designing a one-off connection, I prefer spreadsheets I have built rather than using RISA Connection as a stand alone program.

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

Caveat: I was the project manager for RISAConnection for a few years (back before Nemetschek bought the company and I left).

What I like about RISAConnection is that it gives me a really good tool to TEACH engineers how to do connection design. What I'm referring to is when you have a young engineer who was never taught connection design in school. He / she is now trying to understand how to do a connection design and what limit states to consider and such. Well, RISAConnection shows so many limit states (even ones that will never control). This gives me and the young engineer a good discussion about all the possible failure modes. And, it cites all the different spots in the AISC manual (or design guides) where the formulas come from.

Now, the program has a limited number of connections, and doesn't consider a lot of atypical cases. The big complaint I've seen is that the cases it does consider can all be done by using the AISC tables and charts and such. And, that the not so common cases aren't included. However, I can still have a good discussion with a young engineer about how the "not so common case" is similar to one in the program and how it is different.... This allows the young engineer to learn much more quickly than he / she would have been able to.

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

johnie134,

While I am an advocator of self-reliance, I don't generally against others who are willing to leave matters to the others that with better hand. My only advice to you is, if you want meaningful responses to your question, you have to make people understand your question first, usually start with why you need such information, and what is your area of interests. Just a "Hello" to open a discussion seems way too short.

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

(OP)
what about software <cross section analysis design> ?
retired13 love2

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

(OP)
moreover do computers&structures offer a connection package? ashraf said they would, does anyone know?

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

2
Check out the following "Watch and Learn" video regarding connection design in ETABS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVizXjMznYA

While I now work for CSi, I am not yet very familiar with the connection design aspects of our programs, which is why I didn't mention it before. My belief is that ETABS has most of the same connections that are in RISAConnection. It might be a little easier (and maybe less expensive?) to use within ETABS since it's all within the same interface as opposed to RISA which requires interaction between multiple separately purchased programs.

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

(OP)
Wow, perfect, they did that!! Thanks JoshPlum !!

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

Descon / DesconPlus was (or is) a very good system when designing individual connections.
By very good, I mean detailed and comprehensive with a complete output of detailed calculations.
Furthermore, it includes most types of connections.
The big drawback for Descon is it is stand-alone (not integrated with a structure analysis program). That is why it is good for
designing individual connections, particularly a few critical connections. If using it for numerous different connections and trying to
consider numerous load cases, it will be very time consuming.

In terms of ease of use and seamless interface with analysis program, RISA 3D - RISA Connection is the best I've seen SO FAR.

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

I think it depends what field you are working in: are you the building designer that designs many one-off connections? Or are you the connection designer working with repeated connections day-in-day-out? Or are you working directly for a fabricator?

For the first two roles mentioned above, you are probably better off getting an established connection design package. Grind a few out and get on with your own activities. But, also consider using the subscription to mooch a little knowledge off of the program. Print detailed printouts and understand how the forces transfer, what checks are involved, and what you can expect. Then, make your own tool and quit the subscription. Or keep the subscription if it's worth it.

If you are working for a fabricator, there is probably an argument to be made to have software do the work rapidly. However, sooner or later you need to compete with other fabricators and that's where it will come down to your understanding of the connection design. After all "connection design is the last bastion of rational design" (William Thornton).

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

(OP)
for the time being i'll try using a speadsheet in combination with "cross section analysis and design" that i have. descon is ok but overprices as i see.

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

(OP)
Hello to all. thanks a lot for your kind feedback.

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

Hi JoshPlum (Structural)!

Quote (While I now work for CSi, I am not yet very familiar with the connection design aspects of our programs, which is why I didn't mention it before. My belief is that ETABS has most of the same connections that are in RISAConnection. It might be a little easier (and maybe less expensive?) to use within ETABS since it's all within the same interface as opposed to RISA which requires interaction between multiple separately purchased programs. )


I really liked your review of the programs "Risa 3d Alternate?" https://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=439252.
Is it worth updating? We must look for an alternative RISA-3D v.18 - New format ?
RISA 3D v18 new format (https://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=457065) have connect to RISAConnection?

Amicus Plato, sed magis arnica Veritas

RE: Dear Sirs, any good software for steel connection design?

AFreeM -

I responded to this comment in one of the other threads. Please try to avoid posting the same questions or responses in multiple forums. That's considered bad form here on Eng-Tips.

Regarding RISA-3D's new format and RISAConnection link: I'm not sure whether or not the new version is linked to their other programs yet or not. That's a question for the RISA folks. I'm sure it will be linked eventually, it just might not be hooked up yet.

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