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Advanced FEA software for curved plate girder and tub girder bridges

User-friendly 3D shell modelling for steel bridge erectors and designers






User-friendly input

No geometry drawing

Compatible with Excel

Automatic meshing

Fast, 64-bit sparse solver and eigensolver

Covers any type of curvature, skew, bracing arrangement

Capturing of all buckling modes (lateral-torsional, local, global)

Accurate displacements, major-axis bending stresses, lateral bending stresses, cross-frame forces, etc.

Immediate generation of shear, torsion, principal bending and lateral bending moment diagrams for design checks

Automatic vehicle load optimizer based on influence surfaces


Linear elastic

Eigenvalue buckling

Geometric nonlinear (large displacement) with initial imperfection

Eigenvalue frequency (natural modes)

Vehicle load optimization (plate girders only)




Construction loads

Vehicle loads

Temperature loads (expansion/ contraction)

Support settlements


Displacements and stresses

Shear and moment diagrams

Cross-frame forces and support reactions

Buckling and natural modes

Influence surfaces and critical vehicle load pattern (plate girders only)




For a free 15-day trial copy, follow these instructions on your computer:

1. Download and unzip this executable.
2. Run the executable and email the code
at: Include your name, company, company address.

3. Check your email. The software installation package and its corresponding 15-day license file will get to you within 24 hours.

Note: For students and faculty members, please follow the same procedure and also include in your email some proof of your status (for example for students, valid student ID or equivalent, and for faculty members, link to a personal webpage on your university's website or equivalent). You will then be issued a free 90-day copy (which can be extended for free if necessary). Any complementary information on what you plan to use the software for (e.g. graduate course in steel bridge design, academic research project, etc.) is always appreciated.


Licenses are valid for 1 year and are computer specific (standalone licenses).

Academic and student licenses are free.


For commercial licenses, a site license subscription system is implemented. Further details available here.


ABOUT mBrace3D

mBrace3D is a niche, state-of-the-art finite element analysis software specifically designed for plate girder and tub girder bridges. Its main purpose is to bring the capabilities of 3D shell models to the steel bridge industry, which has primarily relied on 1D line analyses or 2D grid analyses, as 3D shell models have long been downplayed as time-consuming and reserved to an “elite” group of FEA experts.


By generating 3D models parametrically, mBrace3D enables bridge erectors and designers to embrace the benefits of 3D finite element analysis in their daily practice, which is the most appropriate analysis method, especially for curved or skewed systems during construction, where structural stability problems may occur.


Designed by structural engineers directly, mBrace3D is capable of running several types of analyses on complex plate girder and tub girder systems: linear elastic, eigenvalue buckling, eigenvalue frequency, and geometrically nonlinear analyses.


While initially the focus was on the erection and deck placement analyses, and in particular, the detection of potential structural instabilities, mBrace3D is now also able to compute influence surfaces for the composite steel/concrete system, allowing for vehicle load optimization (VLO) and load rating analyses.


Previously known as UT Bridge (the software was in its very early phases the product of a TxDOT funded research project at the University of Texas at Austin), mBrace3D has become a commercially available software but remains free for students as well as researchers, and remains relatively inexpensive for bridge erectors and designers.

mBrace3D Ltd. is a private limited company registered in England at the Companies House (Company No. 13054569) since December 2020.



For any question (pricing, technical support, license renewal, etc.), please send an email directly at:

You will get a reply within at most 1 business day.


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