The bridge modeler allows users to parametrically define several types of girder-bridge systems. This template-based approach streamlines modeling by automatically creating and linking spine, area, and solid components. Bridge-deck specification defines the superstructure cross-section. Layout lines envelope the bridge profile in plan and elevation. From these high-level objects, the bridge modeler generates frame, shell, solid, and other low-level objects which define the computational model.
The bridge modeler is ideal for regular and irregular bridge design. For irregular systems developed using SAP2000, the core of the model is best developed using the bridge modeler. Users should then use SAP2000 to manually incorporate irregular features outside of the bridge modeler. Users should ensure that manual changes are not overwritten when the parametric definition is changed and the analysis model regenerates.
For bridge types without girder systems, including truss, arch, suspension, and cable-stayed, users may create deck and substructure assemblies using the bridge modeler, then detail additional systems and elements outside of the modeler. Sometimes SAP2000 alone is best for the entire modeling process. Generally, however, bridge models are best created in the bridge modeler and then enhanced using SAP2000.