Useful Civil Engineering Software

Civil Engineering is the vast field and it requires implementation digitally as well. So for that purposes many softwares are developed for the easement of site work.Each of them requires different software or software packages for the effective completion of the activities involved.

As the construction business is digitizing, it is essential to implement digital methods in your construction projects. Construction projects involve a number of operations, processes and techniques, such as drafting, modeling, estimating, project management, etc.

The architecture, engineering and construction industries are moving towards digitization. The construction business has started adopting and implementing digital technologies through various civil engineering software programs and technologies.

Although traditional methods and construction practices are still used, digitization is of utmost importance in the modern era of architecture, engineering and construction.

If you are a civil engineering student or a professional working in the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, a list of software programs will help you on a daily basis.



In this article, we will discuss some of the most commonly used software programs in civil engineering:

1. AutoCAD – For CAD Drafting

2. Revit – For Building Information Modeling

3. Primavera – For Project Management

4. STAAD Pro – For Structural Analysis and Design

5. ETABS

6. 3DS Max For Modelling

7. SAP2000

8. MX-Road – For Road design and analysis

9. HEC – HMS For Hydrology Related Operations

10. Bluebeam Revu – For PDF Creation

11. ArcGIS – For Surveying

12. Microsoft Excel – For Calculative Purposes


Lets us discuss the importance of these above mentioned softwares

1. AutoCAD – For CAD Drafting

AutoCAD is an easy-to-use drafting software that assists engineers, CAD drafters, surveyors, and several professionals in the construction industry.

The drafting software can perform several tasks like creating plans in2D and 3D, surfaces, profiles, and alignments of various civil structures.

Though the drafting software was made for desktops, it also has a mobile version that was recently developed for on-the-go access.

AutoCAD is a drafting software from Autodesk. Traditionally, drawings and plans of structures were drawn manually by engineers on sheets.

The major drawback of hand-drawn plans was accuracy, and since they were drawn manually, the potential for errors was high, and it took a long time to complete.

CAD or Computer Aided Drafting was then introduced to replace the hand drawn method of preparing plans and drawings. AutoCAD, a drafting software for the desktop, was released by Autodesk in December 1982.

The app is available in 14 different languages including English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Czech, Polish and Hungarian.

AutoCAD is easy-to-use drafting software that assists engineers, CAD drafters, surveyors and many more professionals in the construction industry.

Drafting software can perform many functions such as creating plans in 2D and 3D, surfaces, profiles and alignment of various civil structures.

Although the drafting software was created for desktop, it also has a mobile version that was recently developed for on-the-go access.

2. Revit – For Building Information Modeling

Revit is Autodesk's Building Information Modeling (BIM) software. It is used to create data-rich building information models of structures in a three-dimensional interface.

Autodesk Revit enables architects, engineers, general contractors and civil engineering professionals to work collaboratively within a single interface.

BIM modelers and architects can generate a detailed 3D BIM model, collaborate BIM models from different disciplines such as architectural, structural and MEP into one model.

It also detects and resolves interdisciplinary and interdisciplinary conflicts between BIM models from different disciplines.

3. Primavera – For Project Management

Primavera is one of the best civil engineering software sold by Oracle Corporation, an American multinational computer technology corporation headquartered in Austin, Texas. This software facilitates the construction project managers to perform the following functions:-

• Project Management

• Risk analysis

• Budget Tracking

• Progress Tracking

• Precise Project Scheduling

• Resource management

4. STAAD Pro – For Structural Analysis and Design

STAAD Pro is a popular civil engineering software owned and sold by Bentley. The desktop application has been developed to assist structural specialists and engineers with accurate and precise structural analysis and design.

STAAD Pro is used globally and is known to work on complex civil engineering projects. Staad Pro is renowned for its ability to analyze and design complex structures.

Structural designers can apply over 90 international steel, concrete, aluminum and wood codes. Staad Pro can perform various structural analysis and structural designing operations, such as:-

• Slab Design

• Foundation Design

• Seismic Design

• Load Analysis

• Finite element analysis

• Design of structural elements such as beams, columns and walls

• and many more.

5. ETABS

ETABS is one of the best integrated civil engineering software for structural analysis and building design. ETABS provides unmatched 3D object-based modeling and visualization.

It features fast linear and nonlinear analytical power, sophisticated and comprehensive design capabilities for a wide range of materials, practical graphic displays, reports and schematic illustrations that allow users to easily interpret and interpret analysis and design results.

6. 3DS Max For Modelling

3DS Max is an animation software developed by Autodesk. It is a modeling and rendering software mainly used for interior design and visual graphics.

7. SAP2000

SAP2000 is another software available for the design and analysis of structures, and it has a wide selection of templates for quickly starting a new model.

In this software, various parametric templates are preloaded for the following structures: Simple Beams, 3D Trusses, 3D Frames, Stairs, Dam Structures, Storage Vessels and Pipes.

You can easily define custom views and develop elevations to visualize and manipulate complex geometry.

It can automatically create joins at structural object intersections or internal joints when meshing structural objects. It can display combined coordinates and information on the screen in a model window or tabular format.

8. MX-Road – For Road design and analysis

Developed by Bentley, MX-Road is software for the design and analysis of roads. MX-Road integrates 3D models of roads with your traditional workflow to enhance final road design and quality-assured analysis of road designs.

As mentioned on Bentley's website, the MX-Road facilitates the user with the following:

• Survey and data acquisition for all field data types

• Dynamic, interactive 3D modeling of streets and corridors

• Terrain Modeling and Analysis

• Interactive Coordinate Geometry

• Profile and cross-section

• Geometric Design

• Regression analysis

9. HEC – HMS For Hydrology Related Operations

HEC-HMS can perform several tasks related to hydrological simulations, such as generating unit hydrographs, evaluating rainfall-runoff results, and performing hydrologic routing.

HMS or the Hydrologic Modelling System is a software developed by Hydrologic Engineering Centre (HEC) in 1992 to replace HEC – 1. HMS is an updated version of the HMS – 1.

It has some advanced features such as continuous simulation and grid cell surface hydrology, which make the software advanced than its predecessor. The primary use of the application is hydrologic simulation.

HEC-HMS can perform several tasks related to hydrological simulations, such as generating unit hydrographs, evaluating rainfall-runoff results, and performing hydrologic routing.

10. Bluebeam Revu – For PDF Creation

Revu is software developed by Bluebeam Inc., an American software company founded in 2002. There are hundreds of documents in digital format in a civil engineering project.

So Bluebeam helps create PDFs of the required document, the software also allows the user to edit and markup their important PDF files.

11. ArcGIS – For Surveying

ArcGIS is a good software for civil engineering surveying. It is developed and sold by ESRI, ArcGIS is a “Geographical Information Systems” software. The program was initially released on 27th December 1999.

ArcGIS is utilized for organizing, managing, sharing, and analyzing spatial data. The program is useful for surveying, delineating watershed areas, performing hydrologic modeling, and processing elevation data.

Morever, it is also used for water resource engineering, transportation engineering, and traffic studies.

12. Microsoft Excel – For Calculative Purposes

Excel is an extensively used software in the world, and Microsoft developed it in the 1980s. MS-Excel is also available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. This programme is used for civil engineering calculations and various other functions in different industries.

MS-excel, a part of MS-Office, is used in civil engineering for data collection and maintenance, survey, estimation, bill of quantities, and sometimes also for designs.

There are several uses of this software in the building industry, it is primarily used for various types of simple and complex calculations.

















Differences between:

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