I am so stuck on this problem.....I have looked at it in so many views it is driving me right up the wall.

I am trying to determine the best approach to delveloping an estimating software package or a precast concrete manufacturer. I will give better details of the problem here and see if anyone can suggest the best way to handle it.

Lets say there are to products manufactured, flat panels, and double t's.
The estimators want to be able to select a cost template, enter a quantity of product, and the application to figure out as much of the cost as possible.

The costs associated with each product is based on cu.ft of concrete and linear feet of strand. Assuming 1 strand per component.

To figure out the cu.ft of concrete and strand for the flat panel:
Cross Section = Width * Thickness
Total Length (Strand) = Area (Entered By User) / Width
Volume (Concrete) = TotalLength * Cross Section

To Figure out the cu.ft. of concrete and strand for the double t:
Cross Section : Width * Flange Thickness +
(((Height - Flange Thickness) * Leg Width) * 2)
Total Length (Strand) = Area (Entered By User) / Width
Volume (Concrete) = Total Length * Cross Section

Now from the above, strand cost is known based on $/lf and concrete is known based on Volume * $/cu.ft.

Now, this tells me that the user when setting up the template, the following variables are required :
Flat panel: Width, Thickness
Double Tee : Width, Height, Flange, Leg Width

Now, based on the data provided above, how would you approach the situation?

I know alot of solutions are offered in other posts regarding this subject, but I feel I may have been misleading by using shapes as a term.

Should I be treating these products as they are separate products and have a product table and template table for each?

Should I try to combine all the products into a single table with all the templates in a more linear table structure?

I am so confused, it is not even funny!!!!

Mike B