Tutorial – Step 1

1. Getting Started

In this tutorial, we’ll use the West Point Bridge Designer 2005 to design a steel truss bridge. Before we can start, you’ll need to download the WPBD 2005 software and install it on your computer. If you are using a more recent version of WPBD, the procedures described in this tutorial will be exactly the same, but the costs and required member sizes will be somewhat different.

tut1_welcomeOnce the software is installed, we’re ready to begin. Click the Windows Start button and then Programs. From the Programs menu, choose West Point Bridge Designer 2005. Finally select WPBD2005.exe to run the program. Read the Tip of the Day and click the Close button. On the Welcome screen, ensure that Create a New Bridge Design is selected (as show at right) and click OK. At this time, you’ll see the Site Design Wizard.

On the first screen of the Site Design Wizard (Step 1), take a moment to familiarize with the design requirement and the project site, then click the Next button.

tut2_siteIn Step 2, we’ll make some important decisions about how the bridge will be sited. To keep this tutorial simple, we’ll choose the simplest possible site configuration. From the Deck Elevation list, choose 0 meters, which results in the shortest possible span length. Set the Support Configuration as Standard Abutments and No Pier, as shown at right. Note that the Site Cost is displayed near the bottom of the Wizard. This site configuration has a total cost of $134,603.00, which includes the costs of the deck, abutments, and excavation–but not the steel truss (which you haven’t designed yet). If you’d like to see how this number is calculated, just click the drop-down arrow on the right-hand side.

By the way, if you have any questions about the terminology used to describe the site configuration–abutments, deck, span, excavation, etc.–just click the Help button at the bottom of the Site Design Wizard.

Now click the Next button to proceed to Step 3.

tut3_templateIn Step 3, we will choose a Standard Truss Template to guide the creation of our structural model. Using a template is optional, but as a new or inexperienced WPBD user, you should take advantage of this tool. For our design, let’s try the Howe Through Truss. Click this item in the Select a Template list (as shown at right), and click Next.

In Step 4, enter your name in the Designed By box, and enter “Design 1″ as the Project ID. (You can use the Project ID to uniquely identify each of the designs you create.)

Now click Finish to close the Site Design Wizard.