5 Best Free Truss Design Software For Windows
Here is a list of Best Free Truss Design Software For Windows. These software serve the purpose of both designing and analyzing truss structures. Using these truss design freeware, you can create truss structures and calculate different related parameters. Using the result data, students or engineers can analyze the possible behavior of trusses.
Firstly, to create a truss, you can draw trusses in different shapes V-Truss, A-Truss, N-Truss, Pratt, Pratt Lattice, Warren Plus, etc. You can customize Dimensions, Upper Chord, Lower Chord, Bracing, Structural Beams, Restraints, etc. These truss design software provide other elements which are necessary to create trusses, like nodes, members, supports (hinge, roller, etc.), forces, etc. You can assign different kinds of loads (permanent, imposed, wind, slow, etc.) to your structure. As you finish creating a truss, simply run analysis to view various results including deflections, reactions at supports, axial forces, shear force, moment, X translation, Y translation, and Z Rotation for starting and ending nodes, etc.
All in all, these truss analysis software are extremely easy to use and highly recommended for aspiring civil engineers to solve truss problems.
My Favorite Truss Design Software:
Trusses+ is one of my favorite truss design calculator and truss analysis software as it provides a wide range of tools to design and analyze trusses. It provides predefined shapes to design a complete truss structure and a detailed truss analysis report. TRUSS4 is also a considerably good free truss calculator.
Trusses+ is a free truss design and analysis software for Windows. The main interface of this software is divided into different sections for adding project details, drawing truss, truss analysis, etc. Mainly, there are Structure, Load, and Analysis tabs on its interface where you will find different options using which, you can create and analyze truss. Let’s talk about these tabs and tools provided by them.
- Geometry: Choose the desired shape of truss like V-Truss, A-Truss, N-Truss, Pratt, Pratt Lattice, Warren Plus, etc. Additionally, you can specify number of panels, length, height, and depth.
- Also, you can customize Upper Chord, Lower Chord, Bracing, Structural Beams, Restraints, etc.
- In this tab, you can assign loads (permanent, imposed, wind, slow) with a value to your structure.
- It also provides a Bay width field which you can customize.
For analysis purpose, you can set analysis options including partial safety factor and deflection limit from left panel of the interface. It provides analysis reports in two types of view: Summary and Load. The former one provides a summarized report, while the latter one provides report for a particular load case. It basically calculates internal force and performs verification of members’ design. You can view results on Deflections (maximum displacement for every point), Reactions at supports (maximum reaction for every support), Axial forces (maximum axial force for every beam), SLS Verification (maximum displacement for every SLS combination), and ULS Verification (criteria values as well as the corresponding combination for defined members).
It provides an Optimize button for performing Simple or Advanced sections optimization. You can press Verify button to simply verify the effect of changes. Using Report option, you can fetch three types of report: Synthesis (final verification ratios), Intermediate (data, envelope axial forces for every member, the structure’s members ratios table), and Detailed (analytical equations with the intermediate values) reports.
Trusses+ is a good truss design freeware. You can customize units of length (mm, cm, m) and force (N, kN) used in your structure. It also supports multiple windows to let you work on different projects at a time. For the created structure, you can enable view node, beam, member, and section names and draw permanent, imposed, wind, and snow loads.
TRUSS4 is another truss design software for Windows. The full version of this software is paid, but you can use its demo version free of charge. The demo version comes with many feature restrictions, e.g. you can’t save your work, it doesn’t let you create a truss structure with more than 30 members, 20 joints, 2 supports, and 2 load cases, etc. Still, the free version comes with various desirable tools to draw and analyze truss structures. This whole procedure is divided into two primary steps:
1. Create Truss Design
To design a truss structure, follow below steps:
- Go to File > New and click on Truss Generator option. You will see various truss shapes like duo-pitched, left hip corner, bracing truss, gable ladder, attic truss, purlin and binder, flat, etc. Choose the desired shape to start with a truss structure.
- Now, in a new window, you can define various parameters for your truss structure. These parameters include dimensions (span, height, left pitch, space height, space width, apex distance, right pitch, etc.), edge supports (support type, shift, width), and inner supports (position, support type, width). Other parameters are bottom chord, left bottom and right bottom (perpendicularly, vertically, intersection, parallelly, etc.), detail type, eaves height, without overhang, left edge, right edge, left upper, right upper, etc. Next, you have to choose web generator and specify stubbing (stub left/right part, detail type).
- From Data Entry menu, you can define topology (joints, members), truss (details, nail plates, members), load (joint, member), and structure (truss cuttings, non-structural joints, non-structural members). To add a load case, you can specify load type (self weight, roofing, full snow load, wind, imposed load, etc.), type (permanent, long term variable, instant variable, accidental, etc.), load factor, etc.
2. Truss Analysis Results
From Analysis menu, you will find various tools for different analysis and evaluation purposes. These tools include Mounting (structure mounting with cut-pieces), Automatic Design (automatic designing of structure, timber sections, and nail plates), Pricing Calculations (calculation of price of given structure), Quotation (general geometric properties and pricing information), etc. It provides four types of analysis reports:
- Structural Analysis: This result includes reports on deformations, internal force, reactions, etc.
- Members Check: It displays results with table containing members, sections, maximum utilization, and decisive combination. It basically tells whether the member is satisfied or not.
- Joints Check: It displays a table with joints type, size of nail plates, cross-section and location of wall plates, and whether the joint is satisfied or not.
- Linear Stability: Here, you can view overall analysis report and eigen values for individual combinations. It also shows an analyzed structure with a buckling shape with respect to the selected combination.
Other handy tools provided by this software include Distance Measuring, Restore automatic modes, etc.
It lets you import structures in DXF format and export them in various CAD formats. You can export documentation in XLS, TXT, etc. formats. Also, the analysis report can be printed (as PDF) too.
2D Truss Analysis
2D Truss Analysis is yet another free truss design and analysis software. Like other software in this list, it also lets you design truss and calculate internal forces and stress along members.
To design a truss structure, you can draw frame element, insert element load (horizontal, vertical), add nodal load (horizontal, vertical, or moment), assign support (horizontal/vertical roller, hinge, fixed, etc.), and assign spring support (horizontal/vertical translational spring, rotational spring). This can be done in Model tab.
There are two more tabs present on the main interface named Deformed and Axial. The former one displays deformed shape, while the latter one shows axial force diagrams.
After creating truss structure, you can go to Calculate menu and click the Run Analysis option. At the right panel of the interface, you can view Results. These Results include:
- Nodes: For each node, calculated values for X translation, Y translation, Z Rotation, Reaction X/Y/Z, and Spring Reaction X/Y/Z are displayed
- Frame Elements: Calculations for frame elements are shown here, including axial force, shear force, moment, X translation, Y translation, and Z Rotation for starting and ending nodes.
- Internal Forces and Stress along Members: The values for internal forces and stresses for each individual member are displayed.
In this free version of 2D Truss Analysis, you can’t perform dynamic analysis which contains graphical analysis of designed structure. Also, you can’t save your work and modify material, section, etc. properties.
Simple Truss Solver
Simple Truss Solver, as the name suggests, is a free truss design calculator software. It lets you draw a truss structure and calculate truss problem. It comes with some predesigned projects including Bridge 3 Trusses With Forces, One Truss-Tension, Vaulted Parallel Chord, etc. You can modify these existing projects or start with a new one. It supports multi-window interface, so you can work on multiple projects in different windows at a time.
To create a truss structure, it provides essential tools on its main toolbar. You can draw a new truss and add nodes, solid support for X and Y axis, and forces in X and Y axis. While adding any of these elements, you can add the input value of the respective element in the space provided on main interface. It lets you save the screenshot of truss design in BMP format. Now, to calculate a truss, you can view the calculation matrix from the Settings menu. If you enable side panel from Settings menu, you can view truss statistics including number of trusses, nodes, external links, external forces, etc.
It is a very simple and nice truss design and analysis software. Apart from English, it supports Spanish and Eestina languages.
TrussSolver is a portable truss design software for Windows. It is a basic software to create and solve plane trusses. First, you need to set coordinate axes using the Origin menu. After that, you need to add nodes with respective X and Y values. Similarly, you can insert members, supports (hinge, roller), and forces to nodes. Now, just click on Solve button present on the interface. It solves the planar truss and displays results in the right section of the interface. You can basically determine forces in each member. If you want, you can copy the results to the clipboard.
You can view and manage elements of the truss using Edit > Elements option. The project you save can be accessed in this software only.
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