Top 15 Civil Engineering Software for civil Engineers 2021

1. AutoCAD:

The Full form of CAD is a computer-aided software drafting program. AutoCAD is used for various applications like creating blueprints for buildings, bridges, and computer chips to name a few. AutoCAD is mainly used for 2D and 3D computer-aided drafting software applications. It is one of best civil engineering software.

Since 1982 it was a desktop application and commercial software. Since 2010, it is available on mobile platforms, web, and cloud-based apps and known as AutoCAD 360.

What is AutoCAD Used For?

AutoCAD has features to create a 2D drawing and 3D model or construction that can be drawn by hand. The software has an option to group or layer objects, keeps objects in a database for future use, and manipulates properties of objects, such as size, shape, and location.

AutoCAD has different applications in a wide range of fields. The software can be used for simple projects, such as graphs or presentations, or complex designs, like drawing up the architecture of a building. Some other practical applications may include:

  • Interior designs
  • Aeronautical designs
  • Logos
  • Fine art
  • Maps
  • Greeting cards
  • Engineering designs
  • Architectural designs

2. Revit:

Revit is software for an architectural design and documentation software program. It is made for architects and engineers for managing building design and detailing the model. Revit uses BIM Service for its application.

BIM Services is one type of process and not an application beneath the umbrella is Revit software. BIM helps in making model which are used for planning, design, construction, and management of building a design to make the construction projects faster, economical with causing less harm to the environment.

BIM Model can make interior and exterior model which can be changed and stay updated while any third party personnel can work in it.

Revit creates elements of design which architect and designers can view in different views such as 2D drawings, 3D models, and schedules. It has also a special feature that if the data changes in one set of elements, it gets updated in all the other elements set views automatically by Revit.

3. Staad Pro:

STAAD Pro full form as Structural Analysis and Design. It is extensively used for the design and analysis of buildings, towers, bridges, transportation, industrial and utility structures. It allows the structural engineer to automate their work by removing the tedious and long procedures of the manual methods. This software allows the structural engineer to analyze and design virtually any type of structure.

Let us check top 5 features of staad pro software:

1. Adaptable Modelling Environment:

The software allows users to create a 3D version of the structure. It has impressive features with the advanced graphical environment and different languages, it helps the user to design the right structure.

2. Broad Range of Design Codes

The software comes up with a large range of design codes making it a one-stop point for building design. With the help of a wide range of design codes, the software determines the drift, deflection and the depth

3. Contain Features of Structural Engineering

The software included all the tools which are essential for the design of the structure and make the designing work easier. Various work can be done by using staad pro like Foundation, Offshore, and RAM Concept, it helps in designing the structure effectively. It also includes the feature for the design of bridges or pipes.

4. Open Architecture

The best thing about this software is that it is developed with an open architecture called Open STAAD. It included all the input and output functions.  The software has already prebuilt structure of various designs that can be used during the design.

5. Easy to Use:

Any user can utilize this tool easily for designing the structure. There is an online course for software learning which provides in-depth knowledge about the tool, features, and its right use.

4. 3DS Max – Modeling:

It is basically a computer graphics program for creating 3D models, animations, and digital images. It’s one popular software of the computer graphics industry and is well known for having a robust toolset for 3D artists.

It is mostly used in-game developers, TV commercial studios, and architects, 3ds Max is owned by Autodesk, the same company responsible for programs like Maya and AutoCAD.

This software also used for character modeling and animation as well as for rendering photorealistic images of buildings and other objects.

Who Uses The Software?

  1. 3ds Max really caters to architectural designers and game asset artists the most.
  2. As for rigging and animation, 3ds Max has everything necessary for professional work. So it is often used by professional animators working on big-budget films, indie films, or even smaller commercial spots that need some 3D motion.
  3. Using skeletons, bone constraints, and kinematics, artists can animate characters using a really simple process that almost anyone could pick up with practice.
  4. Animation in 3ds Max revolves around keyframing bone properties, making it easy to create complex and organic motion.

5. Primavera:

Primavera is a company founded in 1983 as Primavera Systems Inc., which was later taken rights by Oracle Corporation in 2008. It is mostly utilized by project management professionals and also can be linked with ERP systems. This software is able to handle multiple projects with a storage capacity of more than 100,000 activities with unlimited resources and an unlimited number of target plans. It’s basically MS Project on steroids.


It has many functions like Planning, Monitoring, Controlling, and Reporting a project. It is extensively used by Planning engineers in the Construction field.

1. Planning

  • It helps in formulating project baseline program (set by planning manager with the help of site planning engineer). It is also known as Clause 14 program. It is the first step in project planning and software used to find the actual sequence of activities to be followed for execution in the site.
  • The software offers a feature that resources can be loaded to activities. It offers easily understandable pictures regarding the yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily programs.
  • In big megastructure projects this software stores the sequence of activities to prevent any delay in the project.

2Monitoring (done by site planning engineer)

  • Once in software initial baseline is set, then it is easy to monitor the project.
  • According to planning as the baseline program is set in software then it gives an actual site progress status.
  • This is function is very easy in primavera rather than any other software.

3. Controlling

  • In this software total Float, the free float can be easily calculated at the click of a button. Hence it becomes to easy for engineers to identify the critical and subcritical activities and prevent it from the delay.

4. Reporting

  • Reporting is too easy in this software because of its numerous in-built layouts and formats which are customizable.

Used especially by

  1. Planning Engineers
  2. Planning Managers
  3. Project Managers

6. SAP 2000:

SAP2000 has full form Structural Analysis Program 2000. SAP2000 is one of the best design software and structural analysis software developed by Computer and Structures, Incorporated (CSI), a structural and earthquake engineering company.

SAP2000 is the most useful software for civil engineering work; it is suitable for structural analysis and design type of work. It has various design applications like 2D and 3D structural models of simple geometry to complex, may be modeled, analyzed, designed, and optimized using a practical.

Its importance can be known from the fact that the civil engineers can begin with their designs and then they can go for analysis and the software tells them how the structure will behave under the applied conditions set by the operator.


ETABS  is a short form of “Extended 3D Analysis of Building System“. ETABS is designed by  Computers and Structures, Inc. which is globally recognized as the leader in structural engineering analysis and design software for structural and earthquake engineering.

The ETABS is a fully integrated software package for the structural design and analysis of buildings. It is a result of more than 40 years of research and development; it offers 3D model design and visualization tools. Its powerful design has various design materials, and graphical design board, drawing that allows users to quickly and easily interrelate and understand analysis and design results.


  • It Shows the plan view, elevation view, elevation development view, custom view and 3D axonometric view of the model defined by the user
  • It has Graphic input of cross-sections of any geometry and material.
  • In this software, we can copy and paste the geometry of a model to and from spreadsheets.
  • It offers export of the model geometry to .dxf files

8. ARCGIS for Surveying:

ArcGIS is an online software created for the organization, manage, share, and analyze spatial data. It consists of various components for mobile and desktop applications, and developer tools. This platform can be utilized on-premises or in the cloud (Amazon, Azure) with ArcGIS Enterprise, or used via ArcGIS Online which is hosted and managed by Esri.

Where is it Used?

Its major application for a package of applications and tools central to this program is used by a majority of companies, institutions, and departments dealing with geographical information analysis.

ArcGIS software has a strong reputation and history. This is the fact that different software companies dealing in geographical information systems are using this platform. It is the main software used by many state and local governments across the world, including in the USA.

9. Sketch Up:

Sketchup is popularly known as Google Sketch UP is 3D modeling software that’s easy to use and has an extensive database of user-created models available for download. You can use google sketch to assist various kinds of projects furniture building, video game creation, 3D printing, interior design, and whatever else you can think of.

How Do I Use Sketchup?

  • For using SketchUp you’ve registered for a Timble ID and opened either the desktop web-based app, you’re ready to get started with your first model.
  • You can use online software or download it on the desktop. For a new registration, you will take one month of a free trial.

10. MX Road – Road Design and Analysis:

It is one of the most popular civil engineering software road design and analysis string-based modeling tools that enables the rapid and accurate design of all types of roads. It is majorly used by civil designers, civil engineers surveyors, system designers can access 3D modeling, construction driven engineering, and other analysis all in one engineering application. MX Road software helps to improve the quality of designs by combining traditional engineering workflow profiles and cross-sections with 3D modeling technology.

11. StormCAD:

StormCAD is used by stormwater professionals with advanced tools to effectively deliver high-quality storm sewer design with lower capital investment. 

StormCAD is all about designing a project on storm sewer development. It provides different designs like stormwater master planners, roadway and site designers, and land developers like you. These are advanced tools to help you to effectively deliver high-quality design with minimized capital investments.

12. Microsoft Project (MS Project):

Microsoft Project is a software developed and sold by Microsoft that offers project management tools to manage projects. The software has a different version which has many different versions, allows users to:

  1. Understand and control project schedules and finances.
  2. Communicate and present project information.
  3. Organize work and people to make sure that projects are completed on schedule.

Microsoft Project is very important civil engineering software and extensively used for planning activities, setting baselines, CPM building, resource leveling, monitoring,  assigning costs to various activities,. In short, it can be used form starting of the project to the completion of the project. The Microsoft project only one limitation is that it does not allow to add information about the company, its employees, functions assigned to them, etc. 

13. STACK Takeoff & Estimating Software:

It is one of the best in the field of estimation software. It is mainly a cloud-based on-screen takeoff and estimating tool for professional contractors of all business sizes and all trades. The software allows users to easily and quickly upload digital plans and complete takeoffs using the software. So that users can develop detailed estimates and submit accurate bids. 

It provide full prebuilt reports are included giving the user all the details and insights they need. STACK also provides a pre-built database that includes in-depth lists of equipment, labor, and materials of all common construction items.

Also, Company offers unlimited training and support are included in the price of every STACK subscription. This make easy for new user to start suing takeoff software.

14. WaterCAD:

WaterCAD is a software extensively utilized for hydraulic and water quality modeling applications for water distribution systems. All municipal corporations and designer firms trust WaterCAD as a reliable, resource-saving, decision-support application for their water infrastructure. WaterCAD helps engineers and utilities analyze, design, and optimize water distribution systems from fire flow and constituent concentration analysis, to energy cost management and pump modeling.

15. Easy-Pro Builders Estimator:

Easy-Pro Builders Estimator is one of the most popular building estimation tools that help businesses to estimate the costs of building projects and activities. This estimation software mostly used in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and South Africa.

This software is work on free Apache Open Office spreadsheet Calc, which has 24 trade worksheets to provide reporting on estimates and job costs. It has a special feature like it can adjust taxation rates according to the country in which the project will take place.

Easy-Pro Builders has different functions like client unbilled reporting and printable project reports. It is compatible with Windows OS and Linux Ubuntu

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