Dr. Frame3D full review

You could design an A-frame ski lodge with a standard CAD program, but a CAD program can’t predict how much snow would cause the roof to collapse. For that, and for other load-capacity structural prediction, you need Dr. Frame3D, a spectacular real-time engineering program.

Dr. Frame3D has beamlike structural elements, joins, pivots, and hinges for assembling on-screen framework structures. Test a structure by applying forces in various magnitudes and directions (pictured above).

Defining structures is quick and simple; you use elements represented by little icons located on the left side of the screen, or prefabricated structures in the Modeling menu.

It’s remarkable that the on-screen structure responds instantly to applied forces. Until recently, this rapid response capability was seen only in supercomputers or workstation clusters with custom software – now you can have it on an iBook with student software that costs less than £60.

Dr. Frame3D summarizes forces and deflections in detailed tables, and outputs results as JPEG images, as XML, and as text. But it can’t import standard CAD structures.

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