OpenBridge Modeler: Build a Bridge in Under Five Minutes with Bridge Wizard

Coming from other structural programs that develop bridge models, the thought of developing a 3D Model was intimidating. These models typically require x, y, and z nodes and the classification of each line with material and size–a process that could take weeks.

Within the 3D parametric OpenBridge Modeler software solution is a simple tool called the Bridge Wizard. This feature makes it easy for any design engineer to create a 3D bridge model with just a few inputs and eliminates the need to think of nodes or coordinates to generate every line in your bridge.

Here’s how five steps to creating a 3D bridge model in under five minutes.

1. Select the Bridge Wizard tool, which can be found on the Home ribbon tab in the Bridge Setup group.

2. Within the tool, name the bridge and select an alignment.

Note that the alignment is best referenced from a DGN file from OpenRoads, although OpenBridge Designer also has the capabilities to make an alignment.

3. Define a bridge from templates (e.g., beam slab, concrete box, RC slab).

4. Select the number of spans, beam spacing, abutment, and pier templates.

5. Then type in the Start Station for the alignment.

See the Bridge Wizard in action at

If you prefer to build the model from scratch, you can use the tools from the menu (Element Selection) to make it one piece at a time. The program includes templates for the individual pieces as well.

Berenisce Ramos graduated from New Mexico State University with a bachelors and a master’s in civil engineering with an emphasis in structural analysis and design. She has 12 years of experience designing bridges and other structures. In her bridge design career, she has designed intricate bridges. Like, curved interstate bridges, asymmetrical bridges with tappers, saddle bents, and truss bridges. 3D Modeling is a big part of her career. Some of her favorite software are OpenBridge, Risa 3D, STAAD, although she always checks the designs with hand calculations.

“It has been easy for me to move from software to software because I understand the loads, and geometry. That is key to model any structure. In my career, I have never shied away from any design, from bridges to pipe systems for rocket engines.” – Bear Ramos

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