CADRE Analytic

CADRE Pro icon CADRE Pro

3D Finite Element Structural Analysis

Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7 and Vista (32 & 64 bit), XP, 2000

Download CADRE Pro 6 evaluation version  (a fully functioning version of CADRE Pro 6.8.1)

Get the free CADRE Pro viewer (Updated January, 2017) For reviewing FEA models and results prepared by others

Note: The viewer, evaluation, and registered versions are NOT mutually compatible on the same computer!

New!! with version 6.8: Code checking for__
  • American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) for steel products
  • The Aluminum Association for aluminum products
  • The American Wood Council, National Design Specification (NDS) for wood products


CADRE Pro is a structural engineering application for Windows platforms.

Although the finite element method is used to accomplish some of the core analysis in CADRE Pro, the application is about 'structural analysis', not simply about finite element analysis or stress analysis.  It contains many features beyond basic FEA analysis for building structural models, compiling design load conditions, and performing practical analyses to confirm the complete structural integrity of real structures relative to modern design codes and specifications.  CADRE Pro has many useful reporting features that allow sorting of extreme values (stress, load, displacement, etc.) with respect to member type or user defined groups and presenting the data in tabular formats for spread sheets or final engineering reports.

cable-stayed bridgeCADRE Pro allows 3D frame, beam, and plate (shell) type structures (or integrated beam and shell structures) to be modeled and solved for loads and stresses or for vibration modes, frequencies, shock, and forced structural vibration loads.  Advanced analysis features include buckling, beam-column effects and incremental solutions for larger displacements as well as forced vibration, shock, and seismic solutions.  There is a special emphasis on developing, applying, and combining load conditions consistent with the requirements of the civil and mechanical codes including the complete development of shock spectrums and shock loading cases.

CADRE Pro is designed by practicing professional engineers.  It is intended to be a general, yet practical, application that will allow the user to tackle a wide variety of structural engineering projects from the very large to the very small in a short amount of time.  We don't claim that CADRE Pro will do everything, nor that it is the only analysis application you will ever need, but, we believe it is the most practical, versatile, and easy-to-use structural analysis application available. 

CADRE Pro is a structural analysis application, not a CAD application.  The graphical interface is designed to render the structural model in a idealized fashion that is represented by the available finite elements and their underlying physical assumptions.  Although the idealized structural model can be developed in CAD and imported to CADRE Pro, most structures can be more easily constructed directly in CADRE Pro using the extensive built-in modeling tools and templates.

A principal emphasis in CADRE Pro is the understanding and prediction of the behavior of structures under actual loading conditions.  As a result, it is a valuable educational tool as well; and is employed in many university engineering classrooms around the world.  Even those new to structural analysis can learn a great deal about statics, dynamics, and the behavior of structures under load by working with the tutorial exercises and samples model files in CADRE Pro.

A guide to the sample files that are installed with CADRE Pro provides an overview of the wide variety of problems you can solve with CADRE Pro.

Validation and learning

CADRE Pro comes with over 120 sample models, each provided with a notes page with detailed description of the problem statement, model construction method, and solution results.  Then, many of the samples are also solved with classical methods for comparison of results for benchmark validation and for building confidence.  The guide to the sample files provides an additional learning source as well as an overview of the program capabilities.   

Many of the benchmark samples and tutorial exercises are taken from Structural design manuals, strength of materials textbooks, structural analysis references (e.g. Roark, Formulas for stress and strain), and engineering PE exam study guides.  These are an integral part of the Help feature and are referenced frequently in the Help file and in the User Manual.  The samples are typically simple models solvable by classical means so that one can build confidence in the solutions provided by CADRE Pro. 

CADRE Pro comes with an e-book type User Manual (Adobe pdf file) that is formatted to facilitate printing to paper if desired.  It comes preformatted one-sided in either American or European paper sizes. 

CADRE Pro also comes with a tutorial section in Help entitled "Getting started" which contains 30 detailed exercises.  These exercises lead the user through step-by-step construction, loading, solving, and then comparison with classical results.  Most users find learning CADRE Pro to be intuitive, fast, and easy with little need for further training.

The Help file also contains a section that presents classical static and dynamic formulas for many basic structures such as beams and plates to assist you in validating and building further confidence on your own.

White papers on specialized subjects related to actual engineering projects are also posted on this site from time to time. 

Technical features

  • 3D finite element models for structural loads and stresses Water tower including hydrostatic pressure
  • Plate and beam load, displacement, and stress diagrams
  • Thermal loads & pre-loads
  • Stability and buckling
  • Beam-columns (P-delta)
  • Plate loads and stresses
  • Von Mises, principal, traverse, and planar stresses
  • Ranking and coloring of stresses and loads in both beams and plates
  • Functional coloring schemes
  • Plate bending and in-plane loads and stresses
  • Boundary conditions include fixed points, springs, elastic foundations, and specified displacements.
  • Boundary restraints can be assigned one-way specifications
  • Insert special structures such as arcs, circles, Bezier, parabolic, pivot joints and others
  • Vibration modes and frequencies (animated)
  • Vibration animation video clips
  • Vibration with static loading
  • Shock load analysis
  • Seismic spectrum analysis
  • AISC steel, Aluminum Association, and wood section property databases
  • European and Australian steel databases
  • Beam elements (tapered, pinned, or flexible pins, eccentric, deep shear).
  • Beam elements (springs, tension only (cables), compression only
  • Plate element (Kirchhoff, in-plane)
  • CAD (DXF) file import and export
  • Built in geodesic generator and specialized geodesic loading tools
  • Modeling templates for walls, wire frame meshes, plate meshes, boxes, spheres, cones, cylinders, rings, helical coils, and many more.
  • Special features for setting up and solving elastic foundations
  • Special loading wizards for projected, normal, dead weight, rotational, and hydrostatic load distributions.
  • Solve and save results from multiple load sets with a single command
  • Output tables of maximum and minimum values for multiple sets of previously saved analysis results.
  • Code checking features for Steel (AISC), Aluminum, and Wood products (AWC)
  • Prestressed and poststressed concrete beams
  • A special auxiliary application CADRE Zipwire is provided free with CADRE Pro for the analysis of taut-wire elastic systems and suspended cables.

Static structural analyses

Finite element types

include standard fixed constant section beams

  • tapered beams
  • pinned beams (including partial fixity)
  • tension-only beams
  • spring elements
  • deep (shear) beams
  • triangular in-plane stress plates
  • triangular (Kirchhoff) plates (with bending)
  • compression-only beams
  • eccentric beam elements (offset beam)
  •  line element (marker)

With these finite elements many structures such as trusses, houses, bridges, guyed towers, tanks, and mechanical devices, can be modeled.

CADRE Pro is particularly useful for modeling combinations of beams and plates to form stiffened sheet/stringer structures and box beams.

240 foot diameter conical roof tank

petroleum storage tank

CADRE Pro has many features specifically designed to aid in the construction, loading, and analysis of curved or spherical surfaces such as storage tanks and geodesic domes.

Special beam finite elements

Pinned beams can be defined with a variable degree of pin restraint from free to fully restrained providing an easy means of specifying end fixity.

A tapered beam can be initially defined with just the end properties and then divided into segments maintaining the continuity of the taper.

One way elements (tension only and compression only can be used to represent cable supports or beams on one-way reaction points.

Utility trailer

utility trailer with articulated suspension

Eccentric beam finite element

Eccentric beam elements allow offset end loads

Eccentric offset beam

that facilitates the solving of structures like the lifting cranes.

 Lifting boom

  • This element is also very useful for modeling plate panels with integrated beam stiffeners.
  • The Help module includes several detailed sample exercises with the eccentric beam element.
  • The eccentric beam element has multiple configurations allowing unequal offsets at each end

Stiffened panel

stiffened panel represented by eccentric beams

Beam section properties

There are many methods of deriving and inputting beam element stiffness properties:

  • Simply type the information directly into the element library from published standards
  • Importing from another CADRE finite element model
  • Using the Basic Shapes wizard in CADRE Pro feature to derive properties of basic geometric shapes (round and rectangular bars and tubes, "L", "T", "Z" and "I-beam" shapes) in any system of units desired.
  • Importing from the extensive database of AISC steel, Aluminum Association, and Wood data bases as well as European and Australian standards provided with the application.
  • Using CADRE Analytics' application CADRE Profiler to derive free-form custom section properties of sections which may include multiple materials.

Plate type finite elements

Plane stress 2D triangular plate element that is especially designed to be integrated into 3D frame structures or stand alone for 2D plane stress solutions.

 NACA 23012 Airfoil wing

stressed skin wing model

DKT triangular (Kirchhoff plate) element that accepts out-of-plane loads (bending) as well as in plane loads and provides both planar and traverse stress

Shipboard bollard

shipboard bollard

Loading the finite element model

Discrete loads can be applied to selected nodes directly on the screen by selecting and pointing with the mouse.   

Distributed loads can be applied to elements in a gravity, normal, projected, rotational, or hydraulic method to represent dead weight,  pressure (e.g. wind), projected pressure (e.g. snow), centrifugal force, and linear varying pressure.

Load sets can be derived saved, merged, and recombined (with load factors) in any desired fashion. 

Thermal loads and initial rigging loads

CADRE Pro can solve for temperature expansion and contraction effects and for the effects of initial tensile or compressive loads in members to account for rigging conditions.

The graphical interface and 3D modeling

The graphical interface allows the magnifying, moving, and rotating the 3D finite element model about three axes either in precise measured degrees or dynamically by on-screen controls.  The model can be examined in perspective or isometric views.  For dynamic analyses, the model is displaced in the form of the vibration mode shapes and can be animated for a visual vibration effect.  Any element or node can be selected on the screen for a quick display of all its properties and calculated information such as displacement, internal loads, and stresses.

Parts of the model can be hidden by a variety of conditions or made semitransparent to simplify the access and visibility of other parts of the model.

Model construction and description

The models can be constructed directly on the screen or in CAD programs and imported through the DXF import feature.   Models can be initiated using a variety of templates and then finished by editing on the screen with the extensive modeling utilities that allow expanding, replicating, inserting structural components, and merging with other models. 

Modeling templates and model generators

This Quick modeler is a utility that allows the creation of several types of basic model templates and surface meshes.

Expansion duct stress map

expansion duct

This utility can make beams or surfaces in any orientation with specified meshing  so that shear, torsion and bending moment diagrams or stress diagrams along the beam or within a surface can be determined. 

The utility can make meshed models of plates, surfaces, and wire frames, including planar disks, rectangles, cylindrical, conical, spherical, torus, or box type structures.

Other utilities allow the cutting of holes and insertion of special structures such as Bezier curves, scissor connections, parabolas, arcs, and circles.

CADRE Pro contains a complete geodesic generator for making true geodesic spherical and dome type models and special low profile domes.  An optional advanced geodesic design application is also available.

There are additional tools for quickly building and cladding unusual structures such as the hyperbolic paraboloid roof structures or quickly building surfaces of revolution like the expansion duct model to the right.

Displaying and evaluating output results

CADRE Pro provides several features for examining the results of calculations.  The main output are the model graphics, the displacements, and internal loads or stresses in the elements and the reactions at the boundary conditions. The internal loads and stresses can be ranked in any chosen fashion in order to find the most critical members.  The normal, principal, Von Mises, and traverse stresses are provided for both beams and plates.  All output values can be output as extreme maximums and minimums of categorized structural members allowing quick overall assessment of the structure relative to multiple sets of load conditions. The data can be displayed on the screen, plotted, sent to a printer, copied to the clipboard, sent to a text file, or transferred to a spread sheet for additional refinement.

Load or stress diagrams can be created to display any of the 6 degrees of loading in a beam element or any of the stresses for a beam section or plate surface.

 Bending moment plot

Displacement diagrams of any selected line of nodes can be presented (e.g. a displacement plot across a joisted floor under pressure).

Stress maps

CADRE Pro provides a continuous rainbow palate for ranking and displaying output stresses, loads, and displacement.

circuit board under stress

                   Circuit board with assembly loads and reactions

Dynamic analyses

Vibration analyses are conducted on restrained or completely free structures.

 Structures are solved for vibration frequencies and mode shapes which are displayed and animated on the screen.

Animated modes can be converted to video files for presentations in other applications.

Vibration analyses can be conducted with an applied static loading (including temperature effects) on the structure in order to account the effects internal loading on vibrating members.


Animate >> 14th mode of a rectangular flat plate             Stop

Modal displacement can be illustrated with color and modal participation factors and as well as generalized and effective mass data are provided in output.

Shock and seismic analyses

Shock and seismic loads are calculated using a response spectrum along with the natural modes of the vibrating structure.   The program provides for construction of UBC and modern IBC seismic spectrums and has a general spectrum editor for custom spectrums for any type of shock analysis (e.g. equipment shock mounting).  


 Animate >>   Mode 1         Mode 2        Mode 3         Stop

Seismic shock spectrum

You can include as many modes as desired for developing the static seismic loads, stresses, and displacements.  The combination process can be either the CQC (complete quadratic combination) or the SRSS (square root of sum of squares) methods.   The seismic loads can be factored and superimposed on other static loading conditions such as wind, snow, and dead or live weight.  Features are provided to allow shock and seismic analysis by several different methodologies that might be needed for today's seismic or shock standards.

A foundation/footing calculator is embedded in CADRE Pro which can apply realistic spring stiffness values (based on classical formulae) to selected ground nodes so that ground/structure interaction can be considered in seismic analysis.

Forced periodic response analysis

To handle the affects of vibrating equipment mounted on structures, the dynamic analysis feature allows a periodic force to be applied at any selected nodes so that structural analysis can be performed with the resulting displacement envelope. 

Design code analysis

CADRE Pro has features for developing the stress ratios relative to established design specification such as AISC steel, Aluminum Association products, and Wood Products (AWC NDS).  You can output a complete table of stress ratios relative to the requirement for each element in the entire structure into a single table, or you can output the maximums of each type or group category of beam for a complete set of saved results files from multiple load conditions into a single table. 

Help and documentation

The context sensitive help system provides an overview of the finite element method, help for using CADRE Pro, and help in getting started with 31 step-by-step practice exercises.   An extensive User Manual is also provided in a searchable format but also formatted in convenient American and European paper sizes for printing.

Over 90 developed and solved models are provided, each with with detail descriptions of construction methods and analytical results including comparisons to classical methods. 

A guide to the sample files that are installed with CADRE Pro provides an overview of the wide variety of problems you can solve with CADRE Pro.  These sample models are referenced throughout Help and the User manual as illustrative examples of specific subjects.

Technical White papers are also provided on specialized subjects from time to time. 


CADRE Pro is virtually unlimited in nodes or elements.  Limits result from the allocation of memory by your computer and operating system. 


Up to 3 simultaneous installations included in the standard license for CADRE Pro.   Software licenses are perpetual (there are no maintenance or subscriptions fees). 

Support for installation and operation is free and provided by real people by telephone or email.   The best way to resolve support issues is to send us your problem model file as an email attachment so we can look at it while discussing it with you.



  • 500 MB of RAM
  • Windows 10, 8, 7,  Vista (32 & 64 bit), or XP
  • 2 button mouse
  • Hard disk with 100 megabytes of free space


  • 4GB RAM
  • Hard disk with 1GB of free space

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