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Sunday, September 25, 2022

What Happened to StruCalc 10?

What Happened to StruCalc 10?

In 1991, Peteris Bambe, P.E., M.S., laid the foundations for StruCalc. Over the next three decades, StruCalc released a new version every few years, earning a reputation as an easy-to-learn, intuitive software for structural engineering design and analysis. 2016 marked the release of StruCalc 10, and in 2018, Bambe sold StruCalc to The Vitruvius Project.

StruCalc Passes to The Vitruvius Project

In June 2018, Bambe wrote a letter announcing the sale to current users, and he explains why he chose to entrust StruCalc to Vitruvius:

“In 27 years, what I’ve realized is that our industry is starving for new cutting edge technology for engineers, high quality assurance, 24/7 customer support, and a really strong focus on the end-to-end user experience with intuitive design StruCalc principles. […]

“I’m happy to announce a new team of talented individuals at The Vitruvius Project, capable of delivering, what I believe, is the latest and greatest for next level engineering software. Our industry needs and deserves it. I have handed off the ownership of StruCalc to this amazing team. I will be staying on as a consultant to work with them and will help contribute my expertise and advice on the interface side of their projects.

“I’m thrilled with this opportunity of being a part of this team, but even more, seeing what The Vitruvius Project is bringing to the table for the structural engineering and architect community.”

We acquired StruCalc because we saw a proud history of supporting architects and structural engineers with easy-to-use software, and we believed in its potential to do even more. That adamant belief continues to drive our work.

But, we can save that for later. If you’re reading this post, you likely have more questions, like:

Can I Still Use StruCalc 10? 

Yes! We currently support two versions of StruCalc: StruCalc Legacy and Vitruvius StruCalc.

StruCalc Legacy

StruCalc Legacy is a snapshot in time of StruCalc 10. It looks, feels, and operates exactly like StruCalc 10. Do note that because it is a snapshot, StruCalc Legacy only supports the building codes that StruCalc 10 did, which is only up to IBC 2015 and California Building Code 2016. 

StruCalc Legacy exists because our customers asked for it. While we believe StruCalc can and should continue to evolve as Vitruvius to meet the latest material design needs, we also understand that sometimes you may prefer to use the tool you know. That’s perfectly alright. 

If you want to continue using StruCalc 10, you can do so through our StruCalc Legacy license level, which is available upon request. 

Vitruvius StruCalc

Vitruvius StruCalc is akin to what would have been StruCalc 11. New design elements, new features, updated user interfaces, and more help bring StruCalc into the modern age. 

In addition to Vitruvius StruCalc, we also offer several other product subscriptions, each offering more features that weren’t available in StruCalc 10. These include Vitruvius Base I, II, and III, and you can compare the features of each tier here.

Can You Only Use Vitruvius StruCalc Online?

Whether you choose to use StruCalc Legacy, Vitruvius StruCalc, or Base I, II, or III, you will need an internet connection to log into the application. Once you’re logged in, however, no internet connection is required; you can take your laptop with you to the work site or anywhere else without needing wifi access or a hotspot. 

Can I Import StruCalc 10 Files into Vitruvius?

Yes! You can import your StruCalc 10 files into Vitruvius. 

To import and convert your StruCalc 10.0 files (.prx) to Vitruvius files (.vtx), complete the following steps:

  1. Log into Vitruvius.
  2. Click on the file menu and select “Import.” Then select “StruCalc 10.0 Project” as shown below.
  3. You will be prompted to complete a short survey. This survey helps us understand how well Vitruvius is currently meeting your needs and how we can continue to improve it. 
  4. After you complete the survey, your file browser will open and you can select the StruCalc 10.0 project file (.prx). Once opened, Vitruvius will automatically convert the file and prompt you to save it as a Vitruvius project file (.vtx).
  5. Save the file, and you can now edit your StruCalc 10.0 file within Vitruvius!

IMPORTANT: Imported StruCalc Files May Require Updates

When Vitruvius converts your StruCalc 10.0 file, some things will not map directly over. 

Differences in building and materials standards from StruCalc’s time to Vitruvius’ time mean some items and settings will not import directly into Vitruvius. Please be sure to check all of your inputs from StruCalc to ensure that if a value existed in StruCalc but is not supported in Vitruvius that a suitable (i.e. conservative) replacement is selected and suits your needs.

For a full list of differences, please consult this article.

What’s Been Added Since StruCalc 10?

Since 2018, we’ve continued to release new features and offerings. In addition to support for StruCalc 10 through the creation of StruCalc Legacy and the StruCalc 10 file importer, below are just a handful of our releases:

  • Vitruvius Academic: A free version of Vitruvius for architect and engineering students interested in residential and light commercial structures.
  • Higher Contrast Displays: Is the default dark background for Vitruvius not for you? That’s okay! We added three “themes” that change the background to either the default black, medium gray, or classic white. 
  • VMD Values by Location: Users can now view VMD values based on location within the design element. 
  • Load & Resistance Factor Design (LRDF): Added LRDF alongside Allowable Stress Design (ASD) to the application.
  • Connectors Plugin: The Connectors plugin provides Simpson Strong-Tie® hanger solutions for wood member connections to other wood members, concrete/masonry walls, steel beams, and wood nailers.
  • Bearing Wall Plugin: Users can now design multi-span singly or doubly reinforced bearing concrete and masonry walls for axial compression and lateral out-of-plane loads.
  • Advanced Studwall Design: Users can now perform design and analysis for full height, perforated, and segmented wood shearwall in Vitruvius.

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