IES, Inc. Software for Structural Education

Quick * Easy * Versatile

Serving Since 1994

VisualAnalysis Edu


Academic Version Key Features


The software offers basic frame and finite element analysis with members, plates, spring supports, static 1st order and P-Delta analysis, dynamic mode shape and response and time-history are also available.  Structural models may be pure-trusses, mixed truss-frames in 2D or 3D.  Models may be sketched graphically or generated through a variety of mechanisms.

Multiple models may be created side-by-side with different configurations to demonstrate different behaviors. For example, you could have a simply supported beam and a fixed-end beam in the same project to show how the moment diagrams and deflections differ.


A wide variety of static loading is available including distributed or concentrated forces and moments, settlements, and thermal loading.   Dynamic loads and mass may also be specified.  Load combinations are flexible and support major building code requirements.

Analysis & Results

Analysis results include displacements, reactions, member internal forces and end reactions, plate forces and stresses.  Results are available graphically on-frame, or in member or plate graphs, as well as in tabled reports that are filterable and flexible to create.  Project files may be saved and sent between students and teachers with ease.  (Files saved without analysis results are fairly small.)

Design Checks

To introduce students to code-checking features of the commercial product, the educational version has AISC 2005 steel design "unity" checks for beams, columns, braces, etc.  These are checks-only, no automatic member resizing or searching, with fast preliminary calculations primarily for demonstration purposes.

License & Permission

Schools and instructors may install VisualAnalysis on any school owned machines, including lab machines at school, faculty office machines, research areas. Instructors may install this on personal machines used for teaching or research. Students may use the software on-campus or on their own personal machines.

Educator to Educator

Watch a 2 minute video to learn how one educator used VisualAnalysis for 25 years.

Detailed Educational Features


VisualAnalysis Features Free
Commercial Advanced
License Lmitations For educational use only For consulting or
private practice
Size Limits < 1000 members
< 5000 plates
< 5500 nodes
Limited only by
DXF Import & Export Yes Yes
Mirror Copy Yes Yes
Smart Renaming Yes Yes
Automatic Building-Code Load Combinations Yes Yes
Custom Load Combinations Yes Yes
Frames & Trusses & Tanks & Buildings & Bridges Yes Yes
Beams & Columns Yes Yes
Sketch Graphically and Copy & Paste Models Yes Yes
Static Analysis (1st order) Yes Yes
P-delta, AISC Direct Analysis Yes Yes
Result Graphics and Reports Yes Yes
Tapered Members,
Offset Members
Yes Yes
Elastic Spring Supports Yes Yes
Plate/Shell Elements Yes Yes
Parametric Model Generation Yes Yes
Member 'Format Painter' Yes Yes
Area Pressure Loads
(tributary areas, independent from model elements)
Yes Yes
Force, Moment, Displacement & Thermal Loads Yes Yes
Plate Pressure Loads Yes Yes
Dynamic Mode Shape Analysis Yes Yes
Dynamic Response Spectrum Analysis Yes Yes
Quick Saved Views Yes Yes
Animated Results Yes Yes
Element Search Yes Yes
Find Tool / Zoom on Select Yes Yes
Node Merge Yes Yes
Design Checks
AISC, CISC Steel Yes
NDS Wood Yes Yes
ACI Concrete Beam / Column Yes Yes
ACI Wall / Slab in Bending Yes Yes
ADM Aluminum Yes Yes
NAS Cold-Formed Steel Yes Yes
Member Sizing for Design Yes Yes
Advanced / Nonlinear Features
Auto-Meshed Plate Areas Yes Yes
Rigid-Link Members Yes Yes
Scissor-Joints Yes Yes
Custom 'Blob' Shapes Yes Yes
Catenary Cable Elements Yes Yes
Semi-Rigid Member Connections Yes Yes
Time History Analysis Yes Yes
Dynamic Forcing Function
(e.g. machinery vibration)
Yes Yes
Moving Loads (truck & lane) Yes Yes
Envelope Result Cases (Graphical) Yes Yes
Result Superposition Combinations Yes Yes