Advance Design Steel Connections


One of the most complex and time-consuming phases of the steel structures design is the steel connections calculation. This long and complex process requires precision and efficiency and can become a source of errors with unwanted consequences.
Advance Design Steel Connections (ADSC) is an easy to use and accurate module that offers multiple advantages when it comes to connection design and verification.

Available connection types

The most frequently used connections are available in ADSC. For each connection type, you have a set of advanced options that allow you to modify and customize the corresponding connection. For the calculation of connections and loads combinations, ADSC uses standard methods in accordance with the latest versions of international standards: Eurocode 0 EN1990 – 2003 and Eurocode 3 EN 1993-1-8 – 2005).

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Fast connection design

ADSC provides the option to create connections with all the corresponding components and features with a single operation. Starting from these templates, the user can completely customize the connection.

Advance Design Steel Connections: Fast connection design

Detailed properties definition

Each connection has a complete set of properties that can be easily defined. For a better understanding, each parameter is illustrated by a small picture in the dialog box. The changes made in the properties dialog box are automatically applied. You can view the modifications in real time, in the graphical area.

Advance Design Steel Connections: Detailed properties definition

Advanced visualization options

For an efficient handling of your model, ADSC offers zoom and view commands that are intuitive and easy to access, pan and orbit functions, various rendering modes, including realistic representations, etc.

Advance Design Steel Connections: Advanced visualization options

Complete calculation reports according to Eurocodes 3

You can obtain complete or synthetic calculation reports for each combination as .rtf or .html files. The reports can be customized to suit your preferences. You can select the information to list in the report along with the verification status:

  • The combination from which the highest stress is obtained, for each verified component.
  • The theoretical formula.
  • The formula for failed verifications only.
  • The work ratio for each verification.

Advance Design Steel Connections is part of the Graitec Advance Suite

Advance Design Steel Connections is part of the Graitec Advance SuiteAs part of the GRAITEC Advance SuiteADSC can be either used as a standalone application or linked with Advance Design.

In standalone mode, ADSC will allow you to easily define the connection (geometry, connected elements, loads, etc.) and design it in a few clicks. Then, you can generate automatically a detailed calculation report and the corresponding drawing.

It is also possible to use this model with Advance Design after a finite element analysis. In this case, Advance Design calculates all the envelopes internal forces for the connection design. Just click in the contextual menu of the connection to export it to ADSC.

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CAD Digest review of ADVANCE Steel 2012 – Connections & Joints


CAD Digest, one of the most popular online sources for CAD, CAM & CAE articles and testimonials, reviews ADVANCE Steel, not as a design tool, but as a solution for accelerating the design process. James Finkel, author of the review (with experience in mechanical engineering, programming, custom design engineering, QA and software testing) explains why ADVANCE Steel is a powerful tool for all types of projects.

ADVANCE Steel introduces three versions of the software, depending on the scope and versatility of the project: Standard, which is a “light version”, limited to 10 tons of steel, Professional, which has no limits to the weight of the steel and can be tested for free as a 30-day Trial Version (this being the version used by James Finkel for his review), and Premium, which also includes the multi-user technology. Each of the available packages has been created to meet users’ business needs, depending on key software selection criteria: ease-of-use, interoperability, drawing output and, of course, cost.

For this review to be as accurate as possible, the author requested the assistance of Benoit Lalonde, a GRAITEC technician from our offices in Canada, in creating a model with a large variety of joints: beam-beam, beam-column, column with four beams of unequal sizes, plate work, column-to-concrete footers, and beam-to-wall connections. The creation of the model was the first step in determining the capability and efficiency of the software in handling unusual or complex requests.

Concerning input and output of data, ADVANCE Steel 2012 offers many solutions – use built-in CAD tools or import the model from AutoCAD or Revit and, as a result, generate reports in plain text, Word documents, XML, Excel spreadsheets, and so on, and issue a full suite of the projects’ drawings.

Advance Steel - Generating reports in Excel from drawings

Throughout the modeling process, users are provided with an extensive library of smart objects, libraries of customizable automatic joints (more than 300 joints), customizable drawings, and generation of all detail drawings required by fabrication shops. ADVANCE Steel provides all the necessary tools to create, save and reuse simple or complex custom connections. “This flexible software handles a wide range of steel design situations”, states the author.

Advance Steel - Selecting joints, which can be customized

Regarding operability and features, James Finkel tested the customization of joints, the stress at joints, generation of reports and defining new and more complex shapes. His conclusion was that ADVANCE Steel 2012 offers a full-featured structural steel design system, with a wide range of output formats, according to customer needs. “Starting from an AutoCAD model, Revit, or working within the CAD supplied within the software, users have a wide array of tools for joint construction with point and click for individual or multiple joints. The software has an equally wide array of output formats and features”, James Finkel declares.

Creating new shapes in Advance Steel

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Movable overland tripper detailed with Advance Steel


Clinton Dantu, the CEO of Dantu Drafting cc. (South Africa), explains why Advance Steel was the right tool to handle this complex project and for creating all detailed drawings.

Dantu Drafting cc. is a registered company formed five years ago to meet the high demand for an independent drawing office not affiliated to any particular Consulting or Engineering firm. We entered the market with many years of experience in Materials Handling, Process plants and Heap Leach layouts. We added detailing to our résumé as we found managing the drawing work from layout to fabrication gives us the edge over any of our competitors and speeds up the completion time of the job as a whole. We have been using Advance Steel for the past four years and we are really impressed with its 3D modelling capabilities and the speed with which one can complete any project.

Movable overland tripper successfully detailed with Advance Steel

The Movable overland tripper (mot) is a hydraulic driven and steered machine. We used wheel mounted Bonfiglioli 713 c3b with brake and disengagement planetary 142:1 gearboxes. The mot will be used in Zambia at Luanshya copper mine, to feed a heap leach system. The total mass of the machine is 45 tons with a total length of 38 meters and a total height of 9 meters. The mot is needed to be an all-wheel drive machine, as it runs above a 900 wide overland conveyor over uneven terrain.

Movable overland tripper successfully detailed with Advance Steel

We used Advance Steel for this project so we could do all our layout work in 3D and still easily supply the client and designers with 2D AutoCAD® drawings from which we could all sit around a table to discuss the concept. After our meetings we could update our 3D model to suit any comments and so update our 2D AutoCAD® drawings in time for the next meeting. Having the model proved to be a great tool in getting any new parties involved up to speed with the project, just by showing them the model they would get an immediate insight in to the project. Once the mot’s concept was approved and the design was complete we could continue with creating the connections and then the shop detail drawings. With a certain amount of input we could update our shop drawings to suit our fabricators requirements.

Movable overland tripper successfully detailed with Advance Steel

Using Advance Steel for this project helped us speed up the design time for the mot as we had a constantly updated model to keep all involved with the project informed of our progress and ideas. By using Advance Steel as the 3D steel detailing application, productivity gains of over 25% were realized, compared to using regular AutoCAD®.

Movable overland tripper successfully detailed with Advance Steel

Engineering office: Dantu Drafting cc (South Africa) – http://dantudrafting.com/
Project: Heap leach project
Client: Luanshya copper mine
Location: Muliashi Copper Mine (Zambia)