New super-element concept

The release 2021 of Advance Design features a new concept called “super-element”. The super element is a compound object which consists in a set of individual linear elements grouped for a design purpose, for example to check the limit deflection of the rafters beams on a steel frame or the maximal deflection on a continuous column across several levels.

The definition of a super element can be done in many ways, including by using the Create command from the right-click menu or from the ribbon, as well as using the List property, available on the property list of linear elements:

When creating the super element, Advance Design will check several conditions such as materials, cross-section, orientation. Each newly created super element has its own unique ID number. It can be used, among other things, for selection or for displaying on a model view, thanks to the new type of annotation for linear elements and the possibility to display colours per super element:

The super element concept is used for the standard check of steel elements: therefore, several new options are available on design parameters of steel elements. As soon as the user enables the “Super element” verification option is the property list, the corresponding deflection group of properties is available for editing, properties which applies to the entire super element:

The results of the deflection verification can be checked separately for the element and the super element either graphically, using the postprocessing diagrams for deflections, or on the Deflection tab on the Shape sheet dialog:

In a similar way the list of available options for the calculation of the Lateral-torsional buckling length (on the Lateral-torsional buckling dialog) has been updated. Note, that the content on the list depends on whether the dialog is opened for a super element or an element that is not a part of any super element. When opened for a super element, the list contains only two items Auto calc and super element ratio.

You can have more details about this new feature on the technical what’s new document available on your Graitec Advantage account (

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