This article is the second one in a series of 3. In this series, you will find basic information about Advance Design Steel Connection: what it is, how it can be used, and which are the main features of the module.
This second article will explain how to use the Advance Design Steel Connection module in the Advance Design environment.
Keywords: #steeldesign #connections #advancedesign
1. Advance Design environment
Advance Design allows the creation of different types of connections between the steel profiles. Connections can be created in the modeling step and the analysis step as well. Advance Design also performs the connections errors verification. The verification function, available anytime during the modeling and also at the creation of the analysis model, displays in the command line the connections modeling errors and warnings (if any).
2. Create connections in Advance Design
The creation of the connections between steel members is very easy. Once the steel structure is defined the connections can be added.
The connection types are available in the contextual menu at the right click based on selection or the ribbon.
Adding connections using the contextual menu, is done by selection. For example, if we want to add the base plate connection for all the columns, just select all the columns and choose the base plate from the connection list. This will instantly add all the base plate connections for all selected columns.
For an APEX connection selecte all the rafters and from contextual menu choose the corresponding connection: Connections -> Create on selection -> Fixed Connections -> Beam-Beam fixed connection
Therefore, in less than a minute the connections are created within the Advance Design model.
3. Group Connections in Advance Design
The option for Group connection is created to boost productivity and optimize the workflow.
To group the connections, select the connections you want to have in one group and do a right-click to access the contextual menu. From there choose the Connections -> Group.
More than that, the connections which are grouped will be renumbered to see from which group they belong.
4. Connection Design
Once the calculation is done, in the Design tab of the Advance Design Pilot, we can find the Connections. As you will notice, only one type of connection is available for design.
Based on the selected options, different loads and envelopes will be transferred to the steel modules:
- Always transfer user-defined envelopes to Design Modules for steel connections elements
This option should be checked in case you have specific envelopes defined by you and you need them in the steel connection design
- Export loads to design modules – Load cases and corresponding efforts diagrams/torsors
This option will export just the load cases and the corresponding efforts per load case.
- Export loads to design modules – Load cases and corresponding efforts diagrams/torsors with the list of combinations
Besides the load cases and efforts, this option will export also the combinations.
- Export loads to design modules – Load cases and corresponding efforts diagrams/torsors with the list of combinations + combination values of efforts diagrams/torsors
This last option will export also the combination values of the efforts.
An example of the MEP Connections will be shown further.
The geometrical configuration of the connection is similar to the standalone application but accessible from one single button on the ribbon: Geometry.
The Geometry button is regrouping in the Advance Design environment all the independent dialogs from the standalone application, in one dialog with multiple tabs.
The GUI of the tabs is identical to the one from the standalone module, offering the user the same smooth experience.
After the geometrical configuration is set, the Design Settings must be checked to make sure everything is according to the user project.
In the Design Settings, one particular option will define with which efforts the joints will be designed, the Combinations option. This option offers two possibilities: All Combinations or Envelopes.
All Combinations – the joint will be calculated with all existing combinations. Depending on the number of combinations, and in this case the number of connections grouped, the calculation can take longer than usual. For example, if we have 10 connections and 100 combinations, 1000 calculations will be performed.
Envelopes – the joint will be calculated with the combinations that provide the maximum efforts. The criteria to choose these combinations are different from one type of joint to another and will be always available in the Report under the chapter Load Combinations description.
For the MEP group, we are showing in this article, these are the criteria and the corresponding envelopes used to verify all the connections from the same group. As we can see, instead of 100 combinations for each joint, we have only 11 envelopes.
Once the Design settings are defined, the calculation can be run and the main results will appear in the console of the module. In case of warnings or/and errors, the corresponding tab will be highlighted.
If everything is ok, the drawing can be generated. This is done automatically while clicking on the Interactive Drawing tab available in the top left corner of the main window.
The report generation is similar to the standalone module. On the Ribbon, we have the Report Settings button, which allows the configuration of the content we want to have in the report. Here, the user can choose what chapters to include in his report.
Next to the settings, the Generate Report button is available. The report can be generated in PDF or DOC format, depending on the needs of the user.
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