Recent advances in technology for standard, low-cost computers have been exploited in order to develop user-friendly software capable of supporting interactive structural design and analysis. This tool possesses many advantages over conventional methods of analysis and design. For instance, its speed would permit repeated rounds of re-design and analysis to take place, which would facilitate more innovative construction. This would also allow greater flexibility in design since it would make possible frequent modifications in the design of a structure even in the late stages of the design phase. Most significantly, the accuracy of computer analysis could be exploited to improve structural (and, hence, financial) economy, since it would permit increased optimisation of the structure without jeopardizing safety (through the use of inaccurate, simplified formula). This should also permit a reduction in the consumption of raw materials by the construction industry. In summary, the civil and structural engineering industry should become more efficient and dynamic in the future, by embracing the kind of technology it has, thus far, largely neglected.