Advanced technologies for structural design and detailing
There are a lot of improvements and new features:
– capacity based design of beams, columns and shear walls to Eurocode 8;
– new and updated user manuals;
– compatible to the latest AutoCAD 2015 32/64 bit and ZWCAD+ 2015;
– some minor flaws from previous versions are removed;
– new module AutoCAD Plug-in Loader for automated integration with AutoCAD;
– drawing of reinforcement bars bending schedules are improved;
– full compatibility between AutoCAD/ZWCAD+ plug-in and other modules.
The new version can be downloaded from the following link:
The update is free for all Design Expert 2.x users.
Design Expert 2.4 is a free upgrade to version 2.3 and includes a lot of improvements. It is ready for the new ZWCAD+ 2014 and AutoCAD 2014 32 bit. The most important changes are as follows:
- All calculation reports are made to be MS Word friendly. All formatting is preserved after opening in MS Word;
- Beam Expert window can be extended to full screen for better view of the drawing;
- Option for bars with different diameters in one section is added to Column Expert and PMM Expert;
- Shear links with more complex shapes, up to 8 bends;
- Different spacing for links in and outside the critical zone of shear walls;
- Redefining of link spacing does not remove the zones of condensation at spices;
- Option for copying of sections in the list is added to Column Expert;
- Import of cross section shape from ZWCAD+ and AutoCAD in Column Expert;
- Some cases of entanglement of groups for bars was fixed in the Reinforcement Plug-in;
- Steel elements objects are groped with their axes in the Steel Plug-in;
- Labels of steel elements are updated when the cross section is changed.
The new version can be downloaded from the following link:
No additional activation is required for Design Expert 2.x users.
The new version Design Expert 2.3 is available with a lot of improvements and new features. Most important is the introduction of new detailing requirements for different ductility levels (DCL, DCM and DCH) to Eurocode 8 for automated detailing of seismic elements. You can find more information in Design Expert 2.3 Release Notes
All users of version 2.0 or later can upgrade to the new version for free. You download the new version from the following link:
After downloading, start Design_Expert_Setup_EN.exe in order to install the program. You do not need to uninstall the old version; all files will be replaced as necessary. Existing license codes will remain unchanged.
Design Expert is now compatible with the new ZWCAD+ CAD software. You can download and install the latest version from http://proektsoft-bg.com/dropbox/en/Design_Expert_Setup_EN.exe. It works the same way as in ZWCAD 2012 or AutoCAD. Structural detailing add-ons for ZWCAD 2012 will be supported for one more year, but all new features will be designed only for ZWCAD+ and AutoCAD 32 bit from now on.
Probably we looked a little bit silent recently. That was because we were busy working on the new features and improvements of the software. Now we are ready to announce the results of our work.
First, we have great news for all AutoCAD users – AutoCAD versions for both RC and steel detailing were released. They work as good as the ZWCAD versions and have been tested with AutoCAD 2013. For AutoCAD versions 2010 and later, you need to install VBA support first. Then follow the instructions in the Setup Manual to load the application into AutoCAD.
ZWCAD+ version is also on the way. ZWCAD+ official release was just anounced by ZWSOFT. There are some minor problems that need to be fixed and I hope it will be ready soon.
New significant improvements were made for reinforcement detailing. New parametric object was added. It integrates all different reinforcement components : reinforcement bar, arrangement zone, label and dimensions (optional). The object reacts to AutoCAD/ZWCAD native commands like stretch, grip edit, etc. and updates the corresponding data automatically. For example, if you stretch a reinforcement bar, length is updated. If you stretch a zone, count is updated accordingly. The reinforcement objects use groups to bring together different components. That makes it is easier to recognize and select them in a croweded drawing. If you need to modify single components rather the entire objects, you can simply turn the groups off and than back on, when you finish. Support for copy, mirror and array commands was added as well. These commands create new parametric objects that have the same behaviour as the original ones. Clipboard copy (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V) is not supported yet.
You can download and install the latest version from the Download page.
There is also bad news; RC and steel detailing applications are no longer free. They became quite popular recently and it is getting really difficult to support so many users on two cad platforms. Anyway, we tried to keep prices affordable so we decided to be 200€ for each module. That will allow us to keep the good quality and develop the applications further.
New update of Design Expert is available with a lot of improvements:
- support is added for sections with tapered flanges (UPN, IPN) for both design and drawing of steel;
- missing property tables for some steel sections are added to the setup package;
- a command for drawing of multiple grid lines is added;
- a command for drawing of level marks is added;
- an option for canted ends of steel elements is added for the drawing;
- reinforcement output by designers (Beam Expert, Column Expert etc.) is now fully integrated with the ZWCAD RC detailing Plug-in.
You can find the updated version on the Download page.
Because of BS8666 requirements, reinforcement detailing in UK is much more complicated than other countries. In all computer programs, you need to select the shape number and enter all dimensions (A, B, C etc.) to draw a single reinforcement bar. That is because it is easier for the software to get the BS8666 bending schedule in the end. But it is not easier for you. The input is much slower and your mind is always busy thinking about shape codes and dimension letters. Sometimes it gets boring, doesn’t it?
Now it is time to cut off the chains and start running. What you need is ZWCAD 2012 and the Proektsoft reinforcement detailing add-on. Now you can draw bars as quickly as simple polylines and finally get the BS8666 bending schedule with the correct shape codes, dimensions and lengths. But how is that possible?
The scheduling program uses an advanced algorithm to recognize the shape code of any bar automatically. It does not matter if the bar is mirrored or rotated. The algorithm still works correctly, because it transforms the bar into the appropriate local coordinate system. Then the coordinates are compared to geometry patterns specific for each shape. If the bar matches one of the standard shapes, the corresponding shape number is assigned. Otherwise, shape number 99 is assigned.
See how it works on the video bellow.
This new approach brings a lot of advantages to you:
1. It is faster – you can save quite a lot of time;
2. It is easier – you do not need to think about shape codes and ABC dimensions all the time, the program does it for you. Now you can focus better on the design itself;
3. Bars are not locked. In most programs bars are special objects that are not accessible by the standard CAD commands. Here you can use STRETCH, TRIM EXTEND, GRIP EDIT etc. to modify bar geometry together with other drawing objects.
4. And the best news is: it is free! No, this is not a joke. Although it is so comprehensive, reinforcement detailing is the free part of Design Expert structural software. You need to have ZWCAD 2012 cad system which is compatible to AutoCAD, but several times cheaper. Then you can download Design Expert, install it, open ZWCAD and use it. Try!
A 3D steel element is represented by element axis and solid shape. Axis is the main object that contains all data for the element. Unlike solids, it can be easily modified using grips or stretch command like a simple ZWCAD line. After axis is modified you need to run the “Steel Update” command to redraw the solids. With the latest version you can enable the “Dynamic steel edit” option. The solid shape is attached to the axis line and updates automatically each time the axis is modified. Behaviour is similar to dynamic blocks. See how it works on the video bellow.
- channels and joists with tapered flanges: UPN and IPN to Eurocode and RSC and RSJ to BS-4;
- cold formed angles and channels.
Download the latest version of Design Expert 2.1 and explore the features of free steel structures add-on for ZWCAD 2011. Subscribe if you want to receive information about new updates and products.
A new version of Design Expert 2.1 structural software is now available with a lot of enhancements:
- compatible with the new version of ZWCAD 2011.06.30;
- selection of drawing units (mm, cm, m);
- bending schedule and labelling according to BS8666;
- more reinforcement types and shear link shapes;
- intermediate side bars for beams with h> 75 cm in EC2;
- anchoring stair reinforcement through pre-set starting bars;
- improved detailing of slabs;
- more space for the foundation drawing in Pad Expert;
- steel sections to BS4 – UB, UC, PFC etc;
- small improvements in a lot of other functions.
Go to the download page and try the enhanced programs. You can use reinforcement detailing and steel drawing menus with ZWCAD for free. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.