Use of Interactive Graphics in Bridge Analysis and Design

Report No: 84-R7

Published in 1983

About the report:

This study evaluated the role of computer-aided design (CAD), including interactive graphics, in engineering design applications, especially in the design activities of the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation. A review of the hardware and software applicable to CAD indicated the availability of technology for performing a variety of tasks in the design process, particularly those involving drafting and the preparation of plans. Almost all computer manufacturers market some form of hardware and software packages; however, some of these have not been tested adequately in real applications within transportation departments. A survey of the CAD systems, including those used in several transportation departments, revealed that the most satisfactory system is a self-contained, turnkey CAD system consisting of a dedicated computer, one or more graphics terminals with high resolution graphics, and software specifically developed for the desired applications. At present several transportation departments use the turnkey systems and benefit from the convenience and efficiency they provide in a variety of uses. While in bridge design the emphasis is on the graphical output of structural plans and details, the CAD system can be used for road design, mapping, planimetric surveys, and roadway repair, widening, and location.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

Furman W. Barton, Ph.D.

Last updated: January 17, 2024

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