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Piccolotto, M. and Rio, O.
A computer-based teaching tool for structural design
Automation in Construction 5 (3) (1996) pp. 233-242
In this paper we will discuss the importance of computer-based simulation tools for the education of architects and civil engineers. We present our efforts to develop a program for the simulation of structures (CASDET). CASDET forms a microworld for planar structures. The program enables students to compose structures and to experiment interactively the effects of different geometry and load configurations. It tries to identify the proposed structure and controls its stability. Upon request of the student, it also processes displacements, internal forces (moments, shear forces, etc.) and reaction forces on supports. The students can then visualise the desired information by interacting directly with the structure or its members of interest. We present different methods with which students can visualise the results of their actions and discuss their implications in the educational context.