Here is a guide for you to design and analyze bridge structures in Windows 11/10. You can easily create bridge structures and analyze them on your PC using dedicated software. In this article, we are going to list some free software using which you can design safe bridge structures. These software are especially helpful for civil engineering students and aspiring civil engineers to evaluate their skills to create strong bridge structures. However, these freeware can also be used professionally as they also provide detailed bridge analysis reports.
Best free Bridge Design software for Windows 11/10
Here are free Bridge Design software for Windows, to help you design and analyze Bridge Structures:
- Bridge Designer
Let us discuss these bridge design software in detail!
1] Bridge Designer
Bridge Designer is a dedicated free software to create and analyze bridge structures on Windows 11/10. It is simple yet quite an effective software to create different kinds of bridge structures. You can design a bridge and view a real-world simulation of the created bridge structure. It displays different reports to analyze your bridge.
Here are the main steps to design and analyze bridge structures in Bridge Designer:
- Download and install Bridge Designer.
- Open the Bridge Designer app.
- Create a new bridge structure using the Design Project Setup Wizard.
- Use various tools to edit the bridge structure as per your requirement.
- Analyze the bridge structure with the help of the Load Test feature.
- Print the bridge structure and analysis results.
Let us now discuss the above steps in detail.
Firstly, you need to download and install Bridge Designer on your PC to use it. Then, launch its main interface.
Now, you need to create a new bridge structure and for that, go to the File > New Design option. This option will take you to Design Project Setup Wizard where you can read the design requirements, enter local contest information (if applicable), select deck elevation and support configuration, choose deck material and truck loading options, and a bridge template. You can also enter information including bridge designer name and project ID. Based on your bridge configurations, it also displays total estimated site costs including excavation cost, deck cost, abutment cost, etc. Press the Finish button to create a structure with customized bridge configurations.
You can also select from some sample bridge designs to get started. Go to the File menu and click on the Open Sample Design option and you will see a variety of sample designs including pratt truss design, warren truss design, continuous arch, suspension bridge, etc.
Next, you can add joints and members to your bridge structure from the Tools menu. You can also select a material type from carbon steel, high-strength low-alloy steel, and quenched and tempered steel. Also, it lets you set the cross-section type and size of added elements in a bridge structure.
You can view the Member List with material type, cross-section, size, compression, tension, etc., from the right-hand side panel. Also, you can view Member Details including information like yield stress, modulus of elasticity, mass density, dimensions, unit cost, etc.
After that, you can perform a load test on the created bridge structure to evaluate if the bridge can handle loaded vehicles or will it collapse. To do that, go to the Test > Load Test option. It will then show you if your bridge is stable or not. And also, an animation of a vehicle passing through the bridge is shown to depict real-world simulation.
In case your bridge structure is not designed properly and contains some errors, it will display Your structure model is unstable in the load test results. It also shows the errors that are present in your model that you need to correct in order to make your bridge design stable.
You can view Load Test Results with different statistics of your bridge design including Tension Force, Tension Strength, Tension Status, Compression Force, Compression Strength, Compression Status, and a few more. It lets you copy the results to the clipboard or directly print the statistics sheet.
Additionally, it also shows you an estimated Cost Calculations Report that contains the type of cost, item, and cost calculations for your bridge structure. You can copy cost calculations to the clipboard or print the report.
You can save the bridge structure in its own project file format or directly print the bridge and member list. member details.
It is one of the best free bridge designer software used to create and analyze bridge structures on Windows 11/10 PC. You won’t have any problem using it as it provides various help topics too. You can download it from bridgedesigner.org.
You can try BridgeLink to create and analyze bridge structures on your Windows 11/10 PC. You can create different types of bridge structures using it such as Spectra, Curved, Box Girder, Prestressed Girder, I-Beams, U-Beams, etc. It lets you assign loads to the designed bridge and evaluate and analyze bridge strength. Let us now see the steps for creating and designing bridge structure,
- Download and install BridgeLink.
- Open BridgeLink.
- Create a new bridge project of the desired type.
- Add, edit, and manage bridge elements like girder, abutment, haunch, flange, slab, etc.
- Assign loads to your bridge structure.
- Analyze the bridge structure.
- View and print bridge analysis reports.
Download and install BridgeLink and then launch its main interface to start creating bridge models. Now, go to the File menu and click the New option to start with a new bridge design. Enter project properties and select the project type and template to get started with a particular type of bridge structure.
You can now edit and manage different elements in your bridge model. It lets you edit roadway alignment and profile, edit girder, edit abutment/pie, project criteria, and more.
When done creating the proper bridge structure, you can assign loads to the bridge including point, distributive, moment, or user-defined loads.
It provides a Status Center feature that you can use to check for warnings and errors in your bridge structure.
After assigning the loads, you can perform different types of bridge analysis and visualize graphs. It lets you perform Concrete Properties, Cross Beam Analysis Result, Cross Beam Live Load Result, Deflection History, Effective Prestress, Girder Properties, Girder Stability, and more analysis.
Apart from graph analysis, it lets you create detailed reports for bridge analysis. You can generate reports like Bridge Geometry Report, Fabrications Options Report, Hauling Report, Lifting Report, Pier Reaction Report, Spec Check Report, Load Rating Report, Bridge Analysis Report, and more.
You can directly print the bridge models, analysis graphs, and reports in this software.
You can also use ACoBri which is a free bridge design software for Windows 11/10. It lets you create different kinds of bridges including road bridges, railway bridges, and footbridges. After creating a bridge design, you can analyze the structure using various calculations including geometry, diaphragms elements, crossbeam elements, etc.
The basic steps to design and analyze bridge structures in ACoBri:
- Download and install ACoBri.
- Launch ACoBri.
- Click File > New option.
- Select the type of bridge you want to design.
- Use provided tools to design the full bridge structure.
- Set up load configurations.
- Perform calculations including design check, cross-section calculations, etc.
- Print the preliminary design report.
First, download and install and then launch ACoBri on your PC. Then, go to File > New option and select the type of bridge (road, railway, or footbridge) you want to create.
Now, you can use various available tools to design your structure as per your requirement. These tools allow you to set up and draw superstructure parameters, slab characteristics, material properties, connections at supports, concrete crossbeams, connection between slab and girders, reinforcement, haunches at supports, support beams, diaphragms and changes in cross-section, steel section, lengths of cracked region, and footways and restraint systems.
After designing the bridge, you can set up a truckload model including the fatigue load model and abnormal load model.
Finally, save the bridge model and then click on the Calculation button from the main toolbar to run the post-processing calculation of your bridge structure.
If there are some problems in your bridge model, it will display you the errors that you can manually fix.
You can also create and print a full comprehensive preliminary design report for your bridge model.
This bridge designer software can be downloaded from here.
How do you design a bridge structure?
You can design a bridge structure on your Windows PC using any of the above-listed bridge designer software. These software are free to use and offers all useful tools to design a bridge structure.
How do you analyze bridges?
This guide shows you the steps to analyze designed bridge strictures using free software like Bridge Designer, BridgeLink, or ACoBri. These freeware analyze and show you detailed bridge analysis reports that you can directly print.
Which software is used for railway bridges?
To design railway bridges, you can use the ACoBri software. It lets you create railway bridges as well as road bridges and footbridges. You can also analyze designed railway bridges using it.
Which software is best for bridge design?
We liked all of the listed software that we discussed in this article. However, I personally think that the Bridge Designer software is the best one. It is very simple and user-friendly. And, you can also view an animation of a real-world simulation of created bridges in it.
Hope you find this guide helpful!