SkyCiv is excited to announce the official launch of its Structural Design and Analysis API. The API gives SkyCiv users a new way to access analysis, modeling, and design calculations, making it possible to incorporate their tools into your software. If you’re not familiar with SkyCiv, they are the cloud leader in structural analysis and design software. Following the release of their mobile app earlier this year, they continue to charge ahead of traditional software, setting a high standard for the future of engineering software.
What is an API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. It is a common tool used in most industries which allows the user to access the software’s services without going through the browser (or any user-interface). This becomes very handy if you are creating your own software but would rather outsource some tasks to save you writing code that someone else has spent years writing. This can be a complex idea for those with little coding experience to understand so let’s look at an analogy that is commonly used to explain what an API is.
Let’s say you are at a restaurant, looking at the menu (or API documentation). Your table (or your code) makes a decision on what you would like to order, however, you need to communicate this with the kitchen (SkyCiv’s servers). This is where the Waiter (or the SkyCiv API) comes in. By looking at the menu, you know exactly how to tell the Waiter what you want. The Waiter goes to the kitchen and communicates your order with the Chefs by describing exactly what you want. The Chefs make your meal (process your request) and then give the resulting meal (the response) back to the Waiter. The Waiter then walks back to your table and delivers your meal.
Using this analogy, the concept of a website and the servers it speaks with probably makes a lot more sense. The purpose of the website, typically referred to as the client, is to display the response from the kitchen in a human-readable way.
What can it do?
The SkyCiv API gives users direct access to an extensive list of functions. If you’re familiar with the platform already, then you’re already aware of the powerful capabilities on offer. All of the tools from modeling, rendering, analysis, and design are accessible.
To help assist in the modeling of your structure, you have access to the:
- Model generation, to build your structural model with simple text input
- Repair tool, to fix any issues with the model;
- Save function, to save your model to the cloud which you can then view on the platform;
- Rendering, to view your model right from within your own website;
- Screenshots, to take a screenshot of the model’s current state.
The analysis function gives you the power to run any of the following analysis types on your model:
- Linear Static Analysis
- Nonlinear Analysis
- Buckling Analysis
- Dynamic Frequency Analysis
- Response Spectrum Analysis
- Beams, Plates, Cables, Rigid links, etc..
The design functionality will design your model to the chosen standard to withstand the analysis results. You can run the design function on various materials including steel, cold-formed steel, timber and reinforced concrete. Supported design standards include:
- United States
Wind and Snow Calculator
By providing the site data and building data, the API can generate wind and snow loading to be used in the analysis of your structure.
The section builder functions allow you to create sections and give you access to the section database as seen on the platform.
The foundation functions provide the tools to calculate the foundations for your structure as seen on the platform.
The design optimizer allows you to check numerous designs of your model to ensure you are creating the most economical and efficient design.
Check out the API documentation to see all the available functions.
Structural Design and Analysis API Use Cases
There is an endless list of use cases when it comes to SkyCiv’s API. Arguably the strongest use case involves a scenario where repetition is required. This could be from common designs that only involve small changes to structural optimization to achieve the most economical design.
For example, if you specialized in the design of portal frame sheds, it’s likely that you often design very similar sheds, where a specific set of parameters define your client’s requirements. These parameters along with other parameters such as local wind pressures then form the basis of the design and provide you with direction.
Rather than continually redesigning these sheds with slight adjustments, you could instead create a script that takes in certain parameters such as the maximum length of the shed or pitch of the roof. The script can then use these parameters to define a model that describes the shed with all parameters considered. Once you are ready to analyze, design, or even simply view the render of your model, you can send it to the SkyCiv API. You can even specify the project address to have the wind pressures calculated to the local standard.
The SkyCiv API even gives you access to the design optimizer allowing you to check thousands of design variations in moments rather than days. This function could be added to your model to identify designs that could possibly be more economical.
SkyCiv Sandbox environment lets you test API calls quickly
SkyCiv is the newest player in the structural analysis software industry but is also the most unique. In a market dominated by desktop applications, they’re the only cloud provider offering a comprehensive suite of analysis and design tools. SkyCiv is quickly offering more functionality with the added benefits of an intuitive user interface, mobile capabilities, and now API access.
Visit our website to learn more about the SkyCiv API.
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