Entertainment Rigging Analysis Module

The Braceworks add-on for Vectorworks Spotlight and Designer 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 ensures safety and compliance with engineering codes and standards, creating a completely integrated modeling, analysis, and documentation process in one interface.

A one-of-a-kind Tool

Braceworks can analyze complete 3D structural systems and conduct static analyses, so you can make smart decisions. Braceworks will save you time and money — it allows you to generate certifiable documentation, within the same file containing your event design.

How Braceworks works

Braceworks Webinars

Make Smart Decisions

With Braceworks you can:

  • Analyze 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’s new in Braceworks 2019

Bridle Analysis

Braceworks now offers a suite of tools to create and calculate bridles, insert the components to achieve the needed leg length, and calculate reaction and deflection forces with the Braceworks engine.

Braceworks AutoConnect Enhancements

The Braceworks Auto Connect engine has been enhanced to support vertical truss symbols and male- female-type connectors, and it now handles triangle trusses correctly and efficiently.

Replace Truss

With the replace truss feature in Braceworks 2019, you can adjust to the changing requirements of a specific production by quickly swapping out a truss with another one available in your current truss inventory and still maintain the overall system design.

Braceworks Heat Map

For better insight into how your rig is performing, you can now see the stresses rendered in 3D along a span in both top/plan and 3D projection views.

Frequently Asked Questions

+ Is Braceworks right for me?

If you’re an event designer, production manager, rigging professional, or you run a venue requiring truss loads or rigging, you’ll get great value out of Braceworks.

+ What Eurocodes does Braceworks check against?

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

+ Does Braceworks certify/stamp my drawing?

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 to real-world weights & 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 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 information 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 customized geometric representations.

+ Does Braceworks include everything that a Structural Engineer requires to sign off on a structure?

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 from Braceworks for hoist locations?


+ Are major truss manufacturers content included as 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.

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

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.

+ Are there any 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.

+ Is Braceworks automatically included in Vectorworks software?

No. Braceworks is an add-on module that can be purchased for use with Vectorworks Spotlight or Designer software.

When the Braceworks module is installed for Vectorworks Spotlight and Designer, it provides new commands and tools to insert and connect supporting structures (such as trusses and lighting pipes), add hoists and other supports, and then adds loads to the structures.

With a Braceworks license, you can analyze and check structures according to EC3 and EC9. For easy reference, results are shown graphically in the model. Detailed calculations are automatically generated and models can be exported as DSTV files to share with structural engineers for validation. See the online Help system for more details on Braceworks functionality and workflows.

+ How can I get more information?

In addition to the online Help system in the software, you can seek help through our active online community or contact the Megabits team.

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

For pricing and ordering options, please contact the Megabits team.