The 2007 revision to the Indian structural steel design standard, IS 800, has been instrumental in modernising our steel design norms to the existing world standards. Training programmes for design professionals and college teachers have been able to make them familiar with the new design standard. However many, if not most, of them (including college students, draftspersons, and fabricators as well) are not yet confident in structural steel design and construction. A software tool dedicated to structural steel design and detailing is one simple and effective solution for this.
Such a software is expected to:
- Provide hands-on design experience for college students, and thus creating tomorrow’s designers familiar and confident with steel design
- Provide practical design experience for (new) practising engineers
- Work as a teaching tool helping college teachers
- Integrate easily with modern ICT-based teaching techniques
Design consultancy firms use similar in-house tools, which greatly benefit their workings. However, these are not in the public domain. Developing a FOSS for structural steel design will help not only in achieving the goals stated above, but also, like any other open-source software, in a) fast dissemination, b) benefiting from many developers’ inputs, c) room for customisation, and d) easy modification in the future.