Top 5 Design Tools for Engineers

October 20, 2021

Engineers are usually asked to deliver complex projects with limited design budgets and tight timescales, so it is imperative that they find ways to work efficiently. As developing the model and drawings takes up a large proportion of the design schedule, choosing civil or structural engineering modeling software that includes tools specifically developed to make the design process more efficient is a smart move. Here are five Allplan design tools that help improve design productivity.

1. Wizards

Wizards are tools in Allplan that enable the quick and easy creation of components within a model. For example, rather than modeling a wall manually, the outer walls of a building can be rapidly designed using the Allplan Wizard. All the wall properties are applied automatically, including parameters and attributes such as the type of insulation, and any surface elements. Adding the wall is a simple process of placing the walls on the floorplan, with the 3D model created automatically – there is no need to then add further details as it is already included. Using wizards can dramatically decrease the time required to complete designs.

2. Visual Scripting

Visual scripting is a powerful tool that lets engineers automate repetitive design activities, create their own custom elements and analyses, and fill elements with attributes that can be reflected in project-specific reports. With visual scripting in Allplan, engineers use pre-written blocks of code to define a set of parameters that control different model elements. For example, standard modular frames can be created using visual scripting so that they have parameters that can be easily adapted to different scenarios. When a project requires a modular frame with slightly different dimensions, the frame can be quickly re-used and updated without the need to create another model from scratch. This improves consistency and decreases potential human error, minimizing the time required to achieve the final result.

3. Automatic Concrete Reinforcement Modeling

One activity that typically takes up a disproportionate amount of the design schedule is concrete reinforcement. With Allplan, rebar modeling is extremely fast and efficient. It uses a familiar, 2D workflow that enables civil engineers to quickly add reinforcement to components, while the 3D model is generated simultaneously. The properties of the reinforcement – such as bar size, shape, spacing, or cover – can be easily changed using the properties box, which will also update the 2D and 3D views automatically. Once completed, creating the bar bending schedule and reports are based on standards and only a few clicks away, extracting all the required information from the model. This saves valuable time while also significantly increasing the accuracy of the finished documentation, with all the latest revisions always taken into account.

4. Objects Palette

In Allplan, the Objects Palette displays all the components within the model in a clear and compact manner, allowing engineers to quickly find the object they need rather than searching through the model manually. The objects and elements shown in the palette can be easily grouped according to different criteria, such any available attribute, layer, material, or structural level. The Objects Palette also allows objects to be sorted, moved, or even have their material type changed rapidly and conveniently.

5. Bimplus Tools

Allplan Bimplus is ALLPLAN’s model collaboration platform, enabling improved coordination and collaboration, for enhanced management of information, changes, and the project itself. Designed to work seamlessly with Allplan, Bimplus is a data-base driven, open BIM solution for federating, coordinating, sharing, and analyzing BIM models with project participants. This gives engineers the tools they need to make BIM as effective as possible, for high-quality projects that are delivered on time and to budget.

The Best Engineering Software

The many powerful tools and features specifically designed for engineers makes Allplan one of the best civil and structural modeling software solutions available. As each tool has been developed to make the design process as efficient as possible, designing projects using Allplan can help engineers create even complex designs accurately and in considerably less time than using 2D drafting. Download a free, 30-day trial to see how Allplan can benefit your design workflow.