It has been very quiet on this blog in the last weeks, but BOLTS is not dead and should see more activity again. There is a stable release coming up very soon, but more about that in another post. This post is about the amazing work of Bernd from the FreeCAD Forum, who added a huge number of steel beam profiles to BOLTS.
FreeCAD has had a Architecture workbench for quite some time, and has actually a pretty active group of architects that constantly improve its already impressive architectural capabilities.
The Arch workbench has a part type specifically for structural elements like beams, and also provides a few common profiles. The approach BOLTS takes for managing parts is also very well suited for the different kinds of profiles, so Bernd started to add a ton of them to BOLTS. And there are really a lot of different profiles. Most of them can be added both as a Arch structure or as a ordinary part.
During this effort we uncovered a fair amount of problems with BOLTS, like issues with names and standards and the BOLTS GUI in FreeCAD, that will have to be addressed. But that was somehow expected at this still quite early stage of development.
If you want to testdrive this, you can grab the latest development snapshot from the webpage. This will turn into a stable release unless problems are uncovered, so every bit of testing is appreciated.