The motivation for SoftEd arose about ten years ago at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Caminos, Canales y Puertos (School of Civil Engineering) at the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Spain, in the field of continuum mechanics and structural analysis. Over the years an international team has evolved lead by the International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE) in Barcelona, Spain. New methods and tools for CAL (computer aided learning) in technical fields have been developed successfully.
During the first phase SoftEd projects were supported by the COMETT Programme of the EU. Currently scientists from other Universities such as Stuttgart, Padova (Italy) and Swansea (United Kingdom) are participating in SoftEd projects within the framework of the LEONARDO Programme of the EU.
SoftEd's first products were the educational programs ED-Beans & Ed-Frames, which were released in 1994. The didactic goal of these programs is the introduction to the fundamentals of the analysis of plane frame structures with matrix calculation methods. In 1996 followed the educational program ED-Elas2D, for the analysis of two-dimensional solids and structures with the Finite-Element-Method (FEM). Then followed the educational program ED-Tridim for calculating 1-, 2-, and 3-dimensional pin-joint and framework structures, which was released in 1997. The last educational program to be developed is ED-Poiss for the analysis of Poisson Equation using the Finite Element Method (FEM).
In the meantime, all above educational programs have been translated to various European languages.