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TOP 10 SOFTWARE PROGRAMS A CIVIL ENGINEER MUST KNOW

Civil engineering design software allows users to draft complex 3D designs of municipal buildings and structures. These tools include those with functionality for railway modeling, road and highway design, and mapping tools—essentially helping with anything pertaining to the city’s infrastructure. These tools have the functionality to help in every stage of the design and construction process, including drafting, designing, visualizing, analyzing, and more….

CIVIL ENGINEERING SOFTWARES

These solutions can assist engineers in determining factors like cost, resourcing and scheduling. Although they are intended for structural engineers, civil engineering design platforms can be utilized by engineers in nearly every subset of the field. If they are lacking the specific functionality, civil engineering design software can typically integrate with general-purpose CAD software.

If you’re curious about, or interested in joining the field of Civil Engineering, you should probably be familiar with the following programs. These programs help civil engineers in their daily duties – whether it’s modeling pipe networks or detention/water quality ponds, or making sure they’re staying on schedule, these 10 programs are fundamental to the job!

To qualify for inclusion in the Civil Engineering Design category, a product must:

  • Provide users with the ability to modify 3D primitives.
  • Offer basic drawing tools like lines, circles and polygons.
  • Enable users to visualize their structures in 3D.

1. AUTOCAD

AutoCAD is a commercial computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting software application. Developed and marketed by Autodesk, AutoCAD was first released in December 1989 as a desktop app running on microcomputers with internal graphics controllers.Before AutoCAD was introduced, most commercial CAD programs ran on mainframe computers or minicomputers, with each CAD operator (user) working at a separate graphics terminal. Since 2010, AutoCAD was released as a mobile- and web app as well, marketed as AutoCAD 360.

AutoCAD is used in the industry, by architects, project managers, engineers, graphic designers, city planners and other professionals. It was supported by 750 training centers worldwide in 1994.

2. AutoCad Civil 3D

Easily the most used program in the industry, Civil 3D is a civil engineering drafting software with a multitude of design, analysis and simulation tools for civil engineering design. If we’re talking high level,

we use CAD to create sets of plans known as construction documentation. From polylines to feature lines, pipe networks to profiles, Civil 3D’s range of tools will allow you to create innovative and detailed designs.

3. Autodesk Revit

Autodesk Revit is building information modelling software for architects, landscape architects, structural engineers, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineers, designers and contractors. The original software was developed by Charles River Software, founded in 1997, renamed Revit Technology Corporation in 2000, and acquired by Autodesk in 2002.

The software allows users to design a building and structure and its components in 3D, annotate the model with 2D drafting elements, and access building information from the building model’s database. Revit is 4D building information modeling capable with tools to plan and track various stages in the building’s lifecycle, from concept to construction and later maintenance and/or demolition.

4. STAAD or (STAAD.Pro)

STAAD or (STAAD.Pro) is a structural analysis and design software application originally developed by Research Engineers International in 1997. In late 2005, Research Engineers International was bought by Bentley Systems.

STAAD.Pro is one of the most widely used structural analysis and design software products worldwide. It supports over 90 international steel, concrete, timber & aluminium design codes.

It can make use of various forms of analysis from the traditional static analysis to more recent analysis methods like p-delta analysis, geometric non-linear analysis, Pushover analysis (Static-Non Linear Analysis) or a buckling analysis. It can also make use of various forms of dynamic analysis methods from time history analysis to response spectrum analysis. The response spectrum analysis feature is supported for both user defined spectra as well as a number of international code specified spectra.

Additionally, STAAD.Pro is interoperable with applications such as RAM Connection, AutoPIPE, SACS and many more engineering design and analysis applications to further improve collaboration between the different disciplines involved in a project. STAAD can be used for analysis and design of all types of structural projects from plants, buildings, and bridges to towers, tunnels, metro stations, water/wastewater treatment plants and more.

5. Microsoft Project

Project is Microsoft’s project management tool. It is similar to Microsoft Office, specifically Excel, with its user interface, making navigating the program easy. Scheduling is very important when it comes to managing engineering projects.

With the knowledge of basic scheduling concepts such as activity relationships, critical paths, Gantt Charts, and more, Microsoft Project will enable you to create detailed schedules to manage your different projects.

6. SAP 2000

SAP 2000 follows in the same tradition featuring a very sophisticated, intuitive and versatile user interface powered by an unmatched analysis engine and design tools for engineers working on transportation, industrial, public works, sports, and other facilities.

From its 3D object based graphical modeling environment to the wide variety of analysis and design options completely integrated across one powerful user interface, SAP2000 has proven to be the most integrated, productive and practical general purpose structural program on the market today.

This intuitive interface allows you to create structural models rapidly and intuitively without long learning curve delays. Now you can harness the power of SAP2000 for all of your analysis and design tasks, including small day-to-day problems.

Complex Models can be generated and meshed with powerful built in templates. Integrated design code features can automatically generate wind, wave, bridge, and seismic loads with comprehensive automatic steel and concrete design code checks per US, Canadian and international design standards.

7. Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office, or simply Office, is a family of client software, server software, and services developed by Microsoft. It was first announced by Bill Gates on August 1, 1988, at COMDEX in Las Vegas. Initially a marketing term for an office suite (bundled set of productivity applications), the first version of Office contained Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Over the years, Office applications have grown substantially closer with shared features such as a common spell checker, OLE data integration and Visual Basic for Applications scripting language. Microsoft also positions Office as a development platform for line-of-business software under the Office Business Applications brand. On July 10, 2012, Softpedia reported that Office was being used by over a billion people worldwide.

8. MICROSTATION

MicroStation is another genius civil engineering software and closely rivals civil 3D when it comes to modeling different infrastructure projects.

The software actually edges the rest on several fronts.Users looking at a program that doesn’t hog system resources like RAM are the first winners since Microstation typically runs pretty light. The system is also a favorite for engineers searching for speedy modeling, viewing, documentation, and visualization of projects.

Microstation is lately very simplified and the interface made so easy that total engineering newbies get the hang of it pretty fast.Civil engineers need as many technologies as possible to meet the expectations of demanding clients and the program doesn’t disappoint.

It comes with a raft of traditional CAD capabilities supported by a horde of revolutionary inventions including 3D parametric modeling making it a versatile choice for varied infrastructure projects.The quality of the paper plots, i-models, 2D/3D PDFs, reports, and 3D physical models is up there with the very best.

9. GOOGLE SKETCH UP PRO

GOOGLE SKETCH UP PRO,Because of their diversity and power, not many potent civil engineering applications come cheap.

And therein lays the biggest surprise about Sketchup! Sure, it’s one of the most complete 3D visualization programs for civil works yet, one can virtually do all site modeling with the free Sketchup version.

On the same note, there’re fantastic possibilities in SketchUp and its powerful extension warehouse.

For example, one can utilize pre-built assets from fellow users to speed up the foundational design process. Plus it makes the drawing and design forthright.

One simply draws shapes and lines. Then engineers just push and pull the surfaces to convert them into crisp 3D forms.It additionally, stretches, copies, orbits, and paints to easily and quickly make anything desired. Better still, it has super-fast rendering performances for even complex designs.

In a nutshell, this could be the real deal for a civil engineer striving to grow into 3D visualization on a shoe-string budget.

10. ETABS

ETABS is an engineering software product that caters to multi-story building analysis and design. Modeling tools and templates, code-based load prescriptions, analysis methods and solution techniques, all coordinate with the grid-like geometry unique to this class of structure. Basic or advanced systems under static or dynamic conditions may be evaluated using ETABS.

For a sophisticated assessment of seismic performance, modal and direct-integration time-history analyses may couple with P-Delta and Large Displacement effects. Nonlinear links and concentrated PMM or fiber hinges may capture material nonlinearity under monotonic or hysteretic behavior.

Intuitive and integrated features make applications of any complexity practical to implement. Interoperability with a series of design and documentation platforms makes ETABS a coordinated and productive tool for designs which range from simple 2D frames to elaborate modern high-rises.

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