Design Software Solutions

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The Braceworks™ add-on module for Vectorworks Spotlight provides design, production, and rigging professionals with an easy way to gauge the performance of temporary structures under load. This one-of-a-kind module helps ensure safety and compliance with engineering codes and standards, creating a completely integrated modelling, analysis, and documentation process in one interface.


Regulatory requirements, such as the Eurocodes, and increasing requirements from venues, municipalities, and building owners, are making it necessary for event design, A/V, and rigging companies to produce load and structure calculations for sign off by structural engineers. Rest assured, Braceworks is a solution you can trust. It was developed in collaboration with DeerSoft GmbH with input from rigging professionals, venue operators, and event planning firms, so we’re confident it will deliver the results you need.


With Braceworks, you can:

  • Analyse complete 3D structural systems
  • Conduct static analyses and FEM analysis with results that display graphically on the model for easy reference
  • Automatically generate detailed calculation reports
  • Export files as DSTV to easily share information


What Eurocodes does Braceworks check against?

  • Braceworks designs to EC3 (steel structures) and EC9 (aluminum structures).

Does Braceworks certify/stamp my drawings?

  • No. Drawings are certified by structural engineers. While the calculation methods behind Braceworks are based on the Finite Element Method, the software does not replace structural certification or stamping. But, it will save you, your team, and your structural engineer tremendous amounts of time by generating the calculations directly from the model instead of by hand. Detailed calculation reports can be created. Models can be exported in DSTV format for collaboration with structural engineers using other FEA software.

Has Braceworks been validated against real-world weights and structures?

  • We have done benchmark comparisons of calculations from Braceworks with the structural engineering packages Dlubal RSTAB and Scia Engineer. To see the comparison of results, please read this benchmark comparison in the Knowledgebase.

Does Braceworks guarantee that my rig will be safe?

  • Liability disclaimer: the user of the software is solely responsible for the use of the software product and for the completeness and accuracy of the analysis and design results. The software does not provide certified calculations; certified calculations can be provided only by a licensed structural engineer. It is the user’s responsibility to verify that all loads, forces, connections, and calculations comply with all manufacturer load tables, equipment labels, and engineering specifications. Equipment, structures, designs, and calculations must comply with all applicable standards (for example, ANSI, Eurocodes, etc.) And meet the requirements of the authority having jurisdiction. YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL WORK PRODUCT CREATED USING THE SOFTWARE.

Can I use my own symbols?

  • Yes. Depending on the types of symbols you have, you may need to follow certain steps to make them Braceworks compatible. Please refer to the online help system for specifics.

Can I add cross section info to my custom truss symbols?

  • Yes. You can select the cross section from our predefined list or create your own custom cross section.

What types of objects can be hung on a Braceworks truss?

  • The following Spotlight plug-in objects can be hung on a Braceworks truss: lights, tv, projector screen, blended screen, LED screen, speaker, speaker array, and soft goods. Additionally, generic point loads and distributed loads can have customised geometric representations.

Is Braceworks automatically included with Vectorworks software?

How do I get Braceworks and how much does it cost?

  • For pricing and ordering options, please contact our UK sales team at 01635 580318, a UK Vectorworks partner, or your local distributor, which can be found here.

Will it calculate bridles?

  • Currently, the product does not calculate bridles. It is being evaluated as a future enhancement to Braceworks.

Will it include everything that a structural engineer needs to sign off on a project?

  • Yes. Braceworks provides a PDF report of all the load calculations needed, as well as a DSTV file that structural engineers may use to review the calculations in any structural analysis software.

Can I export a spreadsheet for hoist locations?

  • Yes.

Are major truss manufacturers' content included in the libraries?

  • Vectorworks has included truss content for several truss manufacturers who have agreed to provide the information for use in Braceworks. However, some manufacturers, such as Thomas and Tomcat, are not included in the default content provided at this time. If a manufacturer you wish to have is missing from the default content provided, we recommend you contact those manufacturers to encourage their cooperation. In the meantime, for any content not provided by default, please refer to the online help system for instructions on how to create your own truss content libraries.

Are there special system requirements or additional software required?

  • No. Braceworks works on the same system requirements as Vectorworks software. Please refer to our system requirements page for the most up-to-date information and system recommendations.

Will other people be able to edit the Braceworks model if they don't have a licence of Braceworks?

  • Other users of Vectorworks Spotlight will be able to add objects such as truss, lighting devices, hoists, etc. However, only licensed users of Vectorworks Spotlight with Braceworks will be able to do calculations or reports.
Request further information on Braceworks

The Braceworks™ add-on module for Vectorworks Spotlight provides design, production, and rigging professionals with an easy way to gauge the performance of temporary structures under load.

Vectorworks Service Select is the optional annual maintenance programme, which includes the upgrade to 2021, additional content libraries and more. The price shown for Service Select is discounted by 50% (when purchased with new licences. New customers only).

The above price is net of VAT, which will be added at the prevailing rate on checkout.