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Getting Started in Structural 3D

1. What does it do?

SkyCiv Structural 3D (S3D) is a 3D structural analysis and design software that allows users to model and analyse. It is extremely powerful, but has a really intuitive interface, so it takes a little exploring to find your way around all the functionality. The software is a full FEA software that can perform linear analysis, P-delta, buckling, cable and plate analysis. It is fully integrated with design modules that allow you to design steel members, concrete members, connections, foundations and supports libraries of load combinations as per the US, Australia, UK, Europe and Canada.

2. Setup

The first thing to note, is with all SkyCiv software there is nothing to download - it is completely online and accessed via your web browser and is optimized for use in Chrome or FireFox. To launch the software simply login to your SkyCiv account and click Launch under the Structural 3D tile or under S3D on the left menu.

3. The General Workflow

As with most Structural Engineering software, the process is usually quite similar. The user will model the structure, apply forces, analyse the results then design. To make it easier to find your way around, we have broken up the software documentation into these steps:

Step 1 - Modelling the Structure

Start out by adding nodes (3D points of significance, that will be used to connect your members, plates, loads, supports etc...). Construct your model (members, plates) around these nodes until your structure is built. Once built, you will need to add supports to constrain your model (a model that is not supported is not static, and therefore will not solve).

Step 2 - Applying Loads

Once you have modelled your structure, apply loads (area loads, point loads, distributed loads, self weight and moments) so you have some force on your structure. You can also apply some design load combinations imported from ASCE 7 10, AS 1170, CSA S-16 and EN 1990.

Step 3 - Solving the Structure / Post Processing

Once the structure is modelled, supported and loaded you can hit solve. Solving a full FEA model, with a few options: linear static, non-linear (P-delta) and buckling. If you're having troubles here we have a common list of errors so you can locate and repair your issues. S3D also has an inbuilt repair model function that will help you easily identify and repair these issues with a click of the mouse.

For post processing, you can review the results via the graphical interface or produce PDF analysis reports. There are many other functions that help you identify the main results you need.

Step 4 - Design

SkyCiv has inbuilt design modules that can be loaded on top of S3D in order to calculate region-specific design checks for steel members, concrete members, steel connections, foundations and wood members to name some.

4. Help along the Way

Although we've worked hard to build an interface that is very intuitive and easy to use - we understand learning new software is a process and we want to make sure you have all the information so you find your way around the software ok.

Self Help

There are little icons, you can hover your cursor over this for more information. If you click it, it will take you to that relevant page in our documentation, with a video and tutorial article.

Customer Support

Professional users also have access to live chat via our little blue icon in the bottom corner. Talk to a real engineer who can help you with all your needs. Otherwise, email us at [email protected] and one of our friendly engineers would be happy to help!