Download and Purchase BCDsteel
Anyone may download a copy of BCDsteel, and may try it without paying the Licence fee. The trial version will only analyse 3 out of every 4 members. (Note that it requires Strand7 FEA and the Strand7 API to work. Refer Limitations below for more details).
A security code must be entered for the program to analyse all members. This is supplied by BCDsteel after the Licence Fee has been received. This may take the banks up to 3 working days from the time of payment. The security code will “lock” the program to the computer it is installed on. A new security code is required to move the program to another computer.
Any minor upgrades that are released are included in the Licence Fee, regardless of the time between purchase and the release of the upgrade. If there is an internet connection when BCDsteel starts, it checks if there is a newer version of BCDsteel available to be downloaded and will advise the user if there is. A new security code is not required for minor upgrades. The inclusion of the EC3 and AISC 360 solvers were major upgrades but were included free to existing users.
BCDsteel has a number of limitations that are described here to minimise the possibility of users being dissatisfied after they have bought this software:
- BCDsteel will not work on its own. It requires Strand7 FEA and the Strand7 API, Release 2.4.5 or 2.4.6. The API is an optional program that must be purchased from Strand7. It provides the programming interface that allows BCDsteel to work with Strand7.
- BCDsteel also requires Excel and Windows. Windows can be version 7 to 10 (all 64 bit). Excel can be 2010 to 2019 (all 32 bit). << NOTE: >> 64 bit Excel is not supported with this version of BCDsteel.
- For security reasons, BCDsteel is locked to a single computer. Refer Trial mode (above) for more details.
- Displays with “normal” resolution are recommended eg 1920×1080 or 1600×900 say. The recommended minimum display height is 820 pixels. This is to avoid having to scroll to access some controls. Some displays with very high resolution may not scale correctly. If this is the case, a second monitor with a “normal” resolution will be required.
- A 3-button mouse is required – the middle button is used to activate Dynamic rotate which is used to rotate, zoom and pan the model.
- BCDsteel does not check the design of connections and does not take into account any reduction in strength due to holes at connections.
- Neither deflections nor torsion are checked. If torsion does occur in a member, the user must check this with independent calculations. (Flexural-torsional buckling is calculated).
User qualifications and experience
BCDsteel is intended for structural engineers who are competent in the design of steelwork.
BCDsteel Release 3
Users are most probably aware that Strand7 have been developing a new version of Strand7 known as Release 3 which is presently undergoing testing. A new version of BCDsteel is being developed in parallel specifically for this. This includes many new API functions that result in significant improvements in BCDsteel:
- Simple initial installation of BCDsteel.
- No changes required to the display when moving between BCDsteel and Strand7.
- The shape of the icons defining node supports and restraints have been changed to improve recognition.
- Improved control over the way members are highlighted.
- Improved control over background colors that quickly enables, for example, a black background for working on the computer display but a white background for printing figures for reports.
The new version of Strand7 and the Strand7 API are both 64 bit. BCDsteel Release 3 will therefore require users to install the 64 bit version of Excel. (MS allows users to change between the 32 bit and 64 bit versions but only 1 version can be installed on a machine as they are incompatible).
It is expected that BCDsteel Release 3 will be available at the same time as Strand7 Release 3 is released.
Payment of Licence Fee
The Licence Fee for BCDsteel is $1200 for 1 copy. No GST is payable at this time, but may be in the future.
For details for payment of Licence Fee:
The current version of BCDsteel is 1.5.7. This includes many small changes and some minor bug fixes. The main changes users will notice are:
- A small “splash” screen on start as recent versions of Windows/Excel take longer to start.
- Revised border thickness to suit recent Excel changes that adversely affected form display.
- BCDsteel now requires Strand7 models to have units of kN, m and MPa.
- Images in Edit that show the Major axis orientation are now “exact” scaled proportions for the section. If the member is stepped or tapered, then the “largest” and “smallest” sections are superimposed.
For this update, if you already have a copy of BCDsteel installed, it is recommended that you manually uninstall it first as this update may not be able to uninstall it automatically.
Unzip (Right click Extract All…) then double click on BCDsteel-setup / BCDsteel setup.msi to run. Windows Installer will automatically uninstall the old version. User settings including user defined materials are all retained. (If an old version of BCDsteel is downloaded, delete the web browsers Cache then download again).
Download initial installation files
If you are installing BCDsteel for the first time, then also download BCDsteel Initial files. This is a zip file that should be saved in a temporary working folder then Extract All. Read the instructions in it before running BCDsteel the first time. It includes a small test model.
BCDconvert is a free program that converts a SpaceGass model text file to a Strand7 model text file. It requires Excel 2010 or newer, and 64 bit Windows. If the user has the Strand7 API, BCDconvert will clean the mesh and solve the model, then open the model in Strand7. The reactions are listed to verify that the loads and load combinations have been converted correctly.
The current version is 2.0.4. This includes support for both 32 and 64 bit Excel. When BCDconvert starts, it automatically checks if there is a newer version.
These videos show how to use BCDsteel to analyze a model. Note that the user interface has changed a little since these were recorded. The only significant difference is pressing ALT + Left click on the member to select it. (The version displayed includes the solver for AS 4100 only. The solvers for EC3 and AISC 360 are similar.)
- Analyze a Strand7 model with BCDsteel – Overview
- Description of the Editing tools
- Description of Result options