Virtual Steel is an easy to learn CAD application for Windows, specialized on structural design with steel. It is a fully comprehensive 3D CAD application, running independantly and not as an add-on or plug-in, even on small pc systems or laptops.
In contrast to CAD systems, which are rather drafting systems, Virtual Steel is handling steel objects directly as a modeler, which makes the construction process very easy to understand. Beams, columns, girders are placed in the 3D model and can be viewed immediately as a 2D shop drawing or in the list of the bill of materials.
Plates, cleats, haunches and other parts can be added to every beam and will get drawn with all necessary dimensions for fabrication. A large library of connections is an effective way to complete the construction. The library ist extensible and provided with new connections every year, among them a lot of user requests, as every user has his own idea of a good construction.
The model, all drawings and the bill of materials can be exported and then processed in other systems, which makes Virtual Steel very flexible for users, who have lots of experience in their own CAD system and just need support for steel constructions. The 3D model can be used in AutoDesk Inventor, in AutoCAD or any other CAD system, which can import 3D-Data (dxf, stl, sdnf). 2D drawings can be imported in any 2D CAD system with dxf interface.
The undeniable advantage of creating a 3D structure model is the ability to automatically generate any view of it. Also in Virtual Steel, you can quickly get the right views and views for the entire structure or selected elements. Selecting a drawing scale from the menu will scale all of its text elements accordingly.
The Bill of Materials is created on an ongoing basis and corresponds to the range of elements entered and displayed on the 3D model. This approach allows you to flexibly control the range of components being assembled. There are commands available for automatic positioning of the entire structure as well as duplicate search. Selected model objects can be given the type Inventory. In this case, when joining an existing structure, its elements having the status of Inventory will be skipped when positioning. The global BOM can be exported and embedded in a template in a spreadsheet with a single button.