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Entertainment Rigging Analysis Module

The Braceworks™ structural analysis add-on module for Vectorworks┬« Spotlight provides design, production, and rigging professionals with an easy way to gauge the performance of temporary structures under load to ensure safety and compliance with engineering codes and standards. For the first time, entertainment professionals have an integrated platform for modelling, analysis and documentation, by adding Braceworks to Spotlight.

Learn More About Braceworks

Braceworks operates with the standard objects in Vectorworks Spotlight, and converts straight trusses, curved trusses, truss symbols and lighting pipes into structural members. Spotlight objects like speakers and lighting devices attach loads to these structural members, with both point and distributed loads being supported. After modeling and loading, a finite element analysis (FEA) calculation can be performed, with the results exported for the structural consultant in two different formats. The first is a comprehensive report in PDF format, and the second is a structural file in DSTV format that the structural engineer can import into their software for checking and signing off.

  • View the Braceworks overview movie to learn more
  • FAQ

    Is Braceworks right for me?
    If you're an event designer, production manager, rigging professional, or you run a venue requiring truss loads or rigging, you'll get great value out of Braceworks.

    What is Braceworks?

    The Braceworks add-on module seamlessly integrates with Vectorworks Spotlight to help you gauge the viability of temporary entertainment structures under load. It analyzes complete 3D structural systems modeled in Spotlight. It supports point- and distributed-load types, straight and curved structural members, and multiple materials. The Finite Element Analysis (FEA) performs static analyses, with results displaying graphically on the model for easy reference. Detailed calculation reports can be created. Models can be exported in DSTV format for collaboration with structural engineers using other FEA software.

    What Eurocodes does Braceworks check against?

    Braceworks designs to EC3 (steel structures) and EC9 (aluminum structures).

    Does Braceworks certify/stamp my drawing?

    No. Drawings are certified by structural engineers. While the calculation methods behind Braceworks are based on the Finite Analysis method, the software does not replace structural certification or stamping. But, it will save you, your team, and your structural engineer tremendous amounts of time by generating the calculations directly from the model instead of by hand. Detailed calculation reports can be created. Models can be exported in DSTV format for collaboration with structural engineers using other FEA software.

    Has Braceworks been validated to real-world weights and structures?

    We have done benchmark comparisons of calculations from Braceworks with the structural engineering packages, Dlubal RSTAB, and Scia Engineer. To see the comparison of results, please read this benchmark comparison in the knowledgebase.

    Does Braceworks guarantee my rig will be safe?

    Liability Disclaimer: The user of the software is solely responsible for the use of the software product and for the completeness and accuracy of the analysis and design results. The software does not provide certified calculations; certified calculations can be provided only by a licensed structural engineer. It is the user's responsibility to verify that all loads, forces, connections, and calculations comply with all manufacturer load tables, equipment labels, and engineering specifications. Equipment, structures, designs, and calculations must comply with all applicable standards (for example, ANSI, Eurocodes, etc.) and meet the requirements of the authority having jurisdiction. YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL WORK PRODUCT CREATED USING THE SOFTWARE.

    Can I use my own symbols?

    Yes. Depending on the types of symbols you have, you may need to follow certain steps to make them Braceworks compatible. Please refer to the online Help system for specifics.

    Can I add cross-section info to my custom truss symbols?

    Yes. You can select the cross section from our predefined list or create your own custom cross section.

    What types of objects can be hung on a Braceworks truss?

    The following Spotlight plug-in objects can be hung on a Braceworks truss: lights, TV, projector screen, blended screen, LED screen, speaker, speaker array, and soft goods. Additionally, generic point loads and distributed loads can have customized geometric representations.

    Is Braceworks automatically included in Vectorworks software?

    No. Braceworks is an add-on module that can be purchased for use with Vectorworks Spotlight or Designer software. When the Braceworks module is installed for Vectorworks Spotlight and Designer, it provides new commands and updated tools to insert and connect supporting structures (such as trusses and lighting pipes), add hoists and other supports, and then adds loads to the structures.

    With a Braceworks license, you can analyze and check structures according to EC3 and EC9. For easy reference, results are shown graphically in the model. Detailed calculations are automatically generated and models can be exported as DSTV files to share with structural engineers for validation. See the online Help system for more details on Braceworks functionality and workflows.

    How do I get Braceworks and how much does it cost?

    Braceworks is available to purchase as of September 12, 2017. For pricing and ordering options, please email info#ozcad*com*au or call us on 02 8338 8622.

    Will it calculate bridles?

    Currently, the product does not calculate bridles. It is being evaluated as a future enhancement to Braceworks.

    Will it include everything that a structural engineer needs to sign off on a structure?

    Yes. Braceworks provides a PDF report of all the load calculations needed, as well as a DSTV file that structural engineers may use to review the calculations in any structural analysis software.

    Can I export a spreadsheet for hoist locations?

    Yes.

    Are major truss manufacturers' content included as libraries?

    Vectorworks has included truss content for several truss manufacturers who have agreed to provide the information for use in Braceworks. However, some manufacturers such as Thomas, Tomcat, Browns and CLS are not included in the default content provided at this time. If a manufacturer you wish to have is missing from the default content provided, we recommend you contact those manufacturers to encourage their cooperation. In the meantime, for any content not provided by default, please refer to the online Help system for instructions on how to create your own truss content libraries.

    Are there special system requirements or additional software required?

    No. Braceworks works on the same system requirements as Vectorworks software. Please refer to our system requirements page for the most up-to-date information and system recommendations.

    Will other people be able to edit the Braceworks model if they don't have a license of Braceworks?

    Other users of Vectorworks Spotlight will be able to add objects such as truss, lighting devices, hoists etc. However, only licensed users of Vectorworks Spotlight with Braceworks will be able to do calculations or reports.

    Where can I find help?

    In addition to the online Help system in the software, you can contact Vectorworks technical support at support#ozcad*com*au, or seek help through our active online community.