Benefits for Engineering

Creating Custom Shapes

Architects want to be creative. Build up shapes from parametric templates. Use our large database of manufactured structural shapes (AISC, NDS, etc.). Combine parts quickly. Start with an imported DXF set of outlines.

Powerful Shape Editor

Flitch beams in steel and wood. Composite beams with concrete slab, rebar and wide flange. They have multiple components. Drag & drop. Click-to-modify. Snap, align, rotate, flip or mirror parts. Generate copies in rectangular or polar fashion.

Holes, Notches, Cutouts

Get forensic properties of ancient construction. Often times members are corroded or cut-up in the field. Find out what's left of your structure.

Round Shapes, Polar Coordinates

Easily construct round shapes using polar coordinates or the polar editing grid. Layout circular patterns.

Add Dimensions and Notes

Annotation the graphics with dimension lines of your chosing. Add notes that may be positioned anywhere to fully document your work.

Arrays of Shapes

Work with complex rectangular or polar arrays of identical parts. 'Explode' array to remove parts for an asymmetric layout.

Customizable Reports

Print or capture any graphical view for your own reports, or use the built-in WYSIWYG reporting system for a clear and professional PDF or printed page. Copy and paste numerical results to a spreadsheet for further processing or analysis.

Detailed ShapeBuilder Features

Calculates Geometric Properties

  • Width & height
  • Area
  • Moments of inertia
  • Section modulus
  • Radius of gyration
  • Centroid
  • Principal axes and orientation
  • Principal moments of inertia
  • Product of inertia
  • Polar radius of gyration
  • Polar moment of inertia
  • Static moments Qx, Qy for parts
  • more...

Calculates Structural Properties

  • Torsion constant
  • Warping constant
  • Shear center
  • Polar radius of gyration about shear center
  • AISC flexural constants (H, C, etc.)
  • Composite properties "transformed" with modular ratio
  • Yield-stress weighted plastic modulus

Analysis Results

  • Composite Shapes
    • Transformed properties
    • Multiple materials
    • Normal stresses (bending + axial)
  • Stress Analysis under Loads
    • Axial stress
    • Bending stress
    • Shear stresses
    • Warping normal function

Rapid Shape Creation

  • Drag & drop over 30 different parametric shape components
  • Drag & drop from library of US and foreign manufactured shapes
  • Shape arrays (rectangular & polar)
  • Explode arrays (to remove or position parts separately)
  • Wizards for typical reinforced concrete sections
  • Import DXF outlines
  • Export DXF shape parts
  • Copy graphics to clipboard (paste special in Word/Excel)
  • Any part may be a hole
  • Merge operations
  • Rotate shapes
  • Copy and paste
  • Mirror & flip
  • Import CFS (cold-formed) shape libraries; CFS is from and is used by VisualAnalysis for cold-formed design checks.

Easy to Learn and Use

  • Graphical, full-color report
  • Customizable reporting
  • Easy shape dimensioning
  • Flexible unit systems with styles
  • Mouse-wheel zoom and pan
  • Filter settings on views
  • Preference settings
  • Imports complex shapes from DXF/IGES/STEP

Clear and Concise Reporting

  • One-page summary report (graphics and properties)
  • Export properties to Excel for further calculations
  • Annotate the shape with labels and dimensions
  • Print full-color stress plots
  • Print reinforced concrete interaction diagrams


If you need one or more of the following, please request the feature!

  • Does not perform effective-stress calculations
  • Does not calculate effects along the length of a member
  • Does not calculate actual warping stress, just warping function
  • Does not perform buckling calculations
  • Does not allow point forces on section, just body forces

Example of a built-up shape created within ShapeBuilder.

IES, Inc. Software for Structural Engineering

Easy * Versatile * Productive

Free-Trials Order FormSelf-Service Portal

IES, Inc.
519 E. Babcock St.
Bozeman, MT, USA
Contact Us