Getting Started with SkyCiv Structural 3D (S3D)
1. What does it do?
SkyCiv Structural 3D (S3D) is a 3D structural analysis and design software that allows users to model and analyze. 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 Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software that can perform linear analysis, P-delta, buckling, cable and plate analysis, dynamic frequency, and response spectrum 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.
The first thing to note, SkyCiv software does not require anything 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. General Workflow
As with most Structural Engineering software, the process is usually quite similar. The user will need to model the structure, apply forces, analyze 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 modeled 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 modeled, 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.
Recommended Workflow for Structural 3D
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our friendly engineers would be happy to help!