In recent years, structural analysis has witnessed a quiet revolution with the adoption of cloud-based solutions. Start-ups, alongside tools such as Autodesk’s Structural Analysis for Revit, have empowered structural engineers worldwide with cloud-based analysis and design services.
This article explores the significance of this trend, highlighting three key benefits of connecting structural analysis and design through cloud technology. We will discuss how cloud-based solutions enable faster design exploration, expedite quality assurance and quality control processes, and facilitate customisation.
Faster Design Exploration
Cloud-based platforms integrating generative design algorithms, analysis capabilities, and code-based design have revolutionised the speed of design exploration. By harnessing the power of the cloud, structural engineers can leverage advanced simulation engines to optimise their designs rapidly.
These solutions integrate seamlessly with existing design workflows, allowing engineers to continue designing while analysis processes run in the background. Once the analysis is completed, the results integrate directly into the design environment for immediate visualisation and exploration.
Streamlined Quality Assurance and Quality Control
Cloud-based solutions provide significant advantages in automating routine analysis and checking processes, resulting in faster quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) tasks. By utilising cloud resources, engineers can perform these repetitive tasks swiftly and accurately, reducing manual efforts and human error.
An example of this automation is the BIM Assure service, a cloud-based software specialising in model checking for Revit models. While it may not offer code-based structural design checks, it showcases the potential of cloud-based model checking, streamlining QA/QC processes and ensuring compliance with industry standards.
Open Customisation Opportunities
Cloud technology, accompanied by open application programming interfaces (APIs) and visual programming interfaces, grants structural engineers access to analytical model frameworks and code-based design rule engines. This openness eliminates the traditional “black box” nature of analysis tools, allowing engineers to customise and tailor solutions according to their specific needs.
Autodesk’s Structural Analysis for Dynamo is a prime example of open-source customisation tools, enabling seamless integration of Autodesk Structural Analysis (RSA) with Revit through a user-friendly visual programming platform. As cloud-based solutions evolve, we anticipate the emergence of similar applications, catering to the demand for customisable cloud-based tools.
The adoption of cloud-based structural analysis and design services has ushered in an era of efficiency and innovation for structural engineers worldwide. By leveraging the power of the cloud, engineers can explore designs faster, optimize structures using generative design algorithms, and seamlessly integrate analysis results into their workflow.
Cloud-based solutions streamline quality assurance and quality control processes, automating repetitive tasks and ensuring compliance with industry standards. Moreover, the open nature of cloud technology empowers engineers to customize and enhance analytical model frameworks, fostering creativity and adaptability.
As the industry continues to embrace cloud technology, we can anticipate further advancements and opportunities in the field of structural analysis and design. With its ability to streamline workflows, improve collaboration, and deliver powerful insights, the cloud is revolutionising how structural engineers approach their projects, driving innovation and pushing boundaries in the built environment.