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Rebar Sketching Tools

Rebar Sketching Tools

Rebar Sketching Tools

What digital tools are engineers using to sketck up complex rebar details?

I'm looking for an easy to use drawing application that I can quickly sketch bar layouts. I would assume it could make intuitive snaps, like placing bars at corners of a section user-defined covers.

It would be able to automatically show standard bend radii etc.

Although bluebeam is much faster and easier to test options than pencil/paper, I'm looking for something a little more geared towards RC detailing.

RE: Rebar Sketching Tools

I just use standard cad files showing the correct sizes for standard 90 and 180 hooks and stirrups.


RE: Rebar Sketching Tools

Autocad blocks for each bend, hook, or headed end. Every thing drawn to deformed bar o.d. I over-detail my rebar drawings - boss don't like that, but the rod busters love me and the client doesn't pay claims.

RE: Rebar Sketching Tools

Buggar, do you allow cover tolerances? Totally agree regarding drawing things to rebar OD.

RE: Rebar Sketching Tools

In my area, the final detailing (rebar tables, numbering, shop drawings) is usually left to the contractor, so I usually do everything manually in Bricscad.

However, I'm tring to gain some leverage over the competition by delivering shop drawings when working with some contractors, so I bought the full version of ProtaStructure (formerly CSC Orion) some weeks ago (Link). Besides the building analysis and design, it generates all the reinforcement and it has a detailing module where you can draw your own rebar and generate bending schedules. It also exports the analysis model to SAP2000 so I can check the results there.

It comes with an optional steel detailing module that can generate (and check) detailed connections and create assembly, part and detail drawings. Tekla-like.

I'm still testing it, so I don't yet fully recommend it. Let's see if it was blunder or not, especially when a downturn of the global economy seems inevitable at this stage...

RE: Rebar Sketching Tools

Within AutoCAD I use an app called AutoRebar Link

Super easy to use, both metric and US-pagan units, enter cover and bar size, draw it with polyline and it will convert to double-line bar with correct bend radius. Does stirrups, complex bends, sectional spacings, schedules and tags it too if needed.

Only real pain is that it has to be used in AutoCAD and it costs US$112.

RE: Rebar Sketching Tools

do you want a "to scale option" or "looks about right" option

"to scale option"
- Bluebeam (Windows , Ipad version no longer developed)
- Drawboard + pro features to allow drawing to scale (Windows only)
- Concepts (ipad or Windows 10)

"Looks about right"
- Autodesk Sketchbook - requires you to create custom brushes for each bar bend, probably an hourish task (Windows, Mac, IOS, and Android)
- Krita - same as above, create a custom brush - (Windows, Linux)
- Inkscape - same custom brushes requires - (Windows, Mac, Linux)

My Personal Open Source Structural Applications:

Open Source Structural GitHub Group:

RE: Rebar Sketching Tools

Celt, I would like a "to scale" option geared towards RC detailing. I'm essentially asking for a simple RC detailing package, but was hoping to avoid the costly proper packages available.

But then again, if I draw it in Revit/AutoCAD, it then doesn't mean it gets passed through another set of hands via markup, increasing the potential for errors and time-consuming backchecking.

RE: Rebar Sketching Tools

Considered Excel?

With the right VBA routines generating coordinates and some charts you can produce stuff thats not only to scale, but accounts for all the design/detailing requirements and virtually instantly reflects the actual design requirement with a visual representation so there are less miscommunications between design and drawings. Cut and paste it to an electronic markup in Bluebeam or similar and markup with notes.

Small example from a wall design spreadsheet I worked on demonstrating what can be achieved:-

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