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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is anybody working with any GOOD Wood Frame Lateral Analysis Software? We had a bad experience with one that was priced between $500 - $1,000.00 and are willing to pay more for something that can be used to generate structural calcs that will pass the 2009 IBC requirements for Seismic Design Catergory D.

We're looking at the Structural Soft 'BuildingWorx Whole Building Design Suite. It sounds nice but the other one sounded nice (but not nearly as nice) as this one.

TIA for any input.....................
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How do you figure any engineering software will do you any good when California municipalities require a wet stamp for stepping stones...
We have a licensed and fairly competent architect on staff who will be running that end of things and who can stamp the majority of the projects we work on.

He can toil through ASCE7-05 and get help from engineers we contract with for parts he has trouble with but as with many things it makes sense to take advantage of the current state of technology.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The new code book is out now. Why the 2009 IRC?
We're still under the 2010 CBC (California Building Code) which is based on the 2009 IBC (International Building Code). California is always behind on when they change the current code. We were using the 1997 UBC until a couple of years ago and then were using the 2007 CBC.

As an aside on that we work with different engineers and one that we work with has developed his own spreadsheets with formulas and references the 2006 IBC all the time.

I asked him about that and he said he never gets a problem with it and does large and complicated additions all the time all over southern California............ Go figure! I certainly can't because when we turn in plans we have to write on them that they will comply with a whole list of codes and none of them are earlier than 2010
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Let the Archy/Engineer do their job....

A cheapo software will not replace them.
No, but a good software package can make their work not only more productive but also provide a check for what they're doing. There's some wonderful software out there for this profession now and it makes sense to take advantage of it or risk becoming an anachronism. Almost every engineer we work with is using software now.

It's a similar issue going on with BIM (Building Information Modeling) vs. a regular CAD program and the same issue came up with CAD vs. hand drafting.
 

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I'm not sure why you want a software that is limited to lateral load analysis. If you have solid bodies from a CAD program, NASTRAN and PACTRAN is best to upload to for stress analysis, if you have the correct impact loads. It can handle any industry or material design but it's not cheap.

Drafting and drawing's are old news to most industry replaced by 3D "Moldel Based Definiton" MBD..it's all in the 3D model now including drawing def and inspection criteria.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm not sure why you want a software that is limited to lateral load analysis. If you have solid bodies from a CAD program, NASTRAN and PACTRAN is best to upload to for stress analysis, if you have the correct impact loads. It can handle any industry or material design but it's not cheap.

Drafting and drawing's are old news to most industry replaced by 3D "Moldel Based Definiton" MBD..it's all in the 3D model now including drawing def and inspection criteria.
Thanks for the suggestion. Ideally I want a program that links structural analysis of beams, joists and the like with the lateral analysis. I did a little research on the MDB and it looks like it's more for solid model engineering and not really applicable for what we do.
 

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I have a similar situation. I'm a CA-licensed architect and have been using a lateral analysis software which will remain unnamed for now for several years and am not sure if the company will be around to update the software to the new Codes.

Before that, I previously used LateralPro (a bit too cumbersome for me), and am considering that as well as the software by WoodWorks.

I'm actually looking for a program that I can import a CAD drawing into it, and when it is done it exports a CAD drawing as well.

Any ideas?

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks to all for the suggestions. We have tried the old version of LatPro (which I think is the same as Lateral Pro) and it didn't work out too well. I noticed the other day that they have a new version out and was wondering, Josta, if you tried that one?

We also are thinking of trying Enercalc but think it might be a little too sophisticated.

The BuildingWorx Suite from StructuralSoft looked perfect but they seem to have dropped off the face of the internet globe.

Thanks for the link to Digital Cannel S.A.; We took a quick look at it and will check it out more, was having a little trouble finding the information we were looking for on their website but didn't have a lot of time then.
 

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The program I am leaning towards is by Wood Works; I downloaded the trial version of the lateral analysis and it seems pretty good:

http://www.cwc.ca/index.php/en/woodworks-software/us-edition/products

Essentially, you import your drawings into this program, and select which walls are to be shear walls and go from there.

For under $1000 for the entire suite (lateral and vertical analysis) it is not a bad price at all.

I have not tried the new LateralPro but past issues of timely support have been a concern for me. Another architect I know, uses it and isn't too happy with it. But it definitely beats doing it by hand, which I did for 14 years.

Andy, thanks for the website!

John
 

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Digital Canal looks pretty good and easy to use, vertical and lateral loads, static and dynamic, comprehensive report, moments, deflection, etc. I tried to call got no answer.

http://digitalcanalstructural.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Versaframe-Analysis-Report.htm

If your input loads are correct you can size structure with software like this knowing the materials allowables I presume they are not embeded. Then you would update your CAD model from FEM.....not sure how a good a detail job it does with bearing, tensile, compression, shear, other mechanical and thermal properties it looks like a basic report to me.
 

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No answer? To me that's a red flag.

I also want to know about the company behind the software; don't want to invest time and money learning it only to have it go belly-up in a few years. :mad:

I think Wood Works and Risa are the largest companies.

John
 

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I talked to a nice rep at Risa no prob getting through see if they can talk my talk, answer yes! You build your model in real time in rista-3d it checks and sizes to allowables/codes, no import/export. More for industrial/commercial, pain for residential he said but can be done. $3,000 license not bad.

Wood works I could not find.

I'm use to very expensive software with large capabilities like NASTRAN and PACTRAN I can't afford ;)
 

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OP can you give a lot more detail on exactly what stress analysis (FEA) parameters you are looking for in a software? I mean other than ‘lateral loads” please break down what impacts lateral loads in themselves have on structure so I have a better idea what you are looking for?

What about vertical loads, why did you not mention them in your OP, or their effect, or is all you want are lateral load analysis software? Can you elaborate on the effects of lateral loads on vertical more so I have a better understanding of what you are looking for? Or do you think there is none and that is why you did not mention it?


I keep on getting emails on this thread now that you have me all interested again.l :laughing:
 
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