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information technology
Virtual Structures
Model Variations in Real Time

Dr. Frame 3D is a new structural modeling and analysis tool that lets users manipulate components, such as loads, supports and members, while the structure updates on screen. Numeric results and visual deflections are delivered instantly. Alternatives can be explored by entering values or by grabbing objects and sliding them around.

(Photo courtesy of Dr. Software LLC)

"We were having difficulty convincing an architect of the need for a knee brace," says Angelo Mattacchione, an early customer and president of Prosum En- gineering Ltd., Toronto. "I took the model over on the laptop and removed the knee brace and it immediately deflected. The architect said ‘Oh,’ and that was it."

The program is fast and powerful, says Mattacchione. "You have to understand how a structure behaves before you go around to design it," he says, adding that the model makes it easier to spot errors when responses don’t develop as expected. "We see a lot of programs, and we see this as the next generation of structural analysis software."

The program has standard steel beam sections, but users can also choose custom sections and properties. "We’ve done timber, concrete and and steel," says Mattacchione.

Developer is Dr. Software LLC, Seattle, Wash., a six-year-old company with roots in educational software. Dr. Frame 3D V 1.0 is out for Macintosh and Windows and is available at The professional edition costs $599; an educational version $99.




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