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SCIA Engineer review in Structural Analysis with SCIA

Release Date: 
Monday, 10 August, 2015
Press type: 
Press Review

Short for Scientific application, calling SCIA a structural design program does not do it justice. It is a structural design system.

SCIA Engineer is the lead product from SCIA, a subsidiary of the Nemetschek Group specializing in structural engineering software solutions. The Nemetschek Group is an AEC software holding company best known in the U.S. for some of their other products, including ArchiCAD, Vectorworks and new acquisitions such as Bluebeam and MAXON. The company has more visibility in Europe and Asia. It has about 1,500 employees worldwide and would like to have more of a presence in the North American AEC market.


SCIA North America is trying to emphasize five main points as they attempt to move its product into the U.S. and Canadian markets:

1.    Fast and efficient modeling

2.    Advanced analysis

3.    Multi-material design

4.    Automatic and coordinated documentation

5.    Interoperability and collaboration


Final Thoughts

As I mentioned in the beginning, SCIA should be considered a design environment rather than just another structural analysis program. It can handle just about ANY structural design analysis task with the added advantage of creating custom reports or documentation one needs about the design or project (figure 19). I was very impressed with the report writing capabilities. One shortcoming in most design programs is the lack of or limited types of reports they produce. SCIA lets you pick and choose what you want to see and, more importantly, what you do not want seen in your reports and documentation. 

After these examples, let’s see how SCIA fared against the five bullets mentioned at the beginning of the article.

·         Fast and efficient modeling

SCIA certainly is fast and efficient. I found SCIA’s CAD-like interface very easy to work with and use. Like any CAD program, it can be intially confusing since you don’t know all the key-ins and short cuts, but they come to you very quickly as you use it.