Advance Steel 2019 and Dynamo 2.0.2

A couple of releases back a set of Dynamo nodes were created to allow the connection between Dynamo and Advance Steel. A recent release sees this plug in upgraded for use with Dynamo 2.0.2.

Advance Steel and Dynamo 2.0.1

The tools certainly look promising but could really do with a little more development. At present you can create members, add plates and custom properties which allows for the advanced modelling of members but limited control over connections and Advance Steel Properties.

The Dynamo for Advance Steel can be located on the Add-ins Ribbon as shown below.

Dynamo for Advance Steel Add In

Once Dynamo is running you will find the Advance Steel nodes shown below.

Advance Steel Dynamo Nodes

Steel members are created by providing a list of members start and end points and then a vector to describe the Section Orientation. Bear in mind that all Advance Steel members can be generated with the Beam tools. It would have been nice to be able to change the Model Role for each set of members as this would have increased the efficiency when creating larger frames with beams, braces, columns etc.

Advance Steel Model Role

Most of the Dynamo Nodes are easy to understand but the defining the section to use can be a little tricky. The first stage is to locate the Advance Steel Profiles database. The quickest method is to launch the Advance Steel Management Tools and then open the installed databases. Filter this for the Profile Master Tables.

Advance Steel Management Tools - Profile Master Table

You will need to copy the TypeNameText of the section type that you require and Paste this into a Dynamo Code block or a String. Search the relevant table and then locate the SectionName required.

Advance Steel Management Tools - Profiles

The TypeNameText and SectionName are then concatenated with a special code #@§@# which is used to separate the two strings. Your Code Block will look like the image shown below.

Dynamo Advance Steel Section Name

I tested the Advance Steel Dynamo nodes by creating the following space truss using the LunchBox tools.

Dynamo Roof

The few nodes provided definitely show promise and with a little more development could really be useful. Of course, another option is to create the frame using Dynamo and Autodesk Revit and then export this into Advance Steel.

LawrenceH

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Revit 2019 Tutorial – Analytical Model Visualisation

Quite often when structural engineers are viewing the analytical model within Autodesk Revit it can be a little difficult to see which members are fixed or pinned or have specific release conditions set. The standard way to achieve this is to select the analytical bar and then look in the Properties Palette for the information.

The image shown below is a typical representation of the analytical model with the loads and end colours shown.

revit analytical model

Here you can see the same model  with some filters applied to help visualise fixed and pinned conditions.

revit analytical model with filters applied

The filters are set within the Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialog box. In the example below, I have chosen to indicate a Fixed or Pinned condition by using the colours red and green. Note that I have also had to create a separate filter for columns.

visibility graphic overrides dialog box

In the image below, you can see the new OR functionality being used to set a filter that either has the start or end release set to Pinned.

revit 2019 filters using or statement

I would suggest that you create a separate view within your current structural template to enable the engineers to easily check the release conditions on the analytical model, this is much easier that selecting each element and viewing the Properties.

Hope this Helps,

LawrenceH

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Autodesk AEC Collection Structural Workflows – 3 tutorials

Hi All,

A very happy New Year to everyone. Check out this link below for 3 useful workflows when using the Autodesk AEC collection for Structural and Civil design.

Structural Steelwork

Retaining Wall

SpaceFrame

 

 

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Tutorial – Piling with Revit 2019, Dynamo and AutoCAD Civil 3D 2019

In this tutorial we will look at a simple method to generate piling from a finished ground level to a rock stratum from borehole data. Most of you will now have access to the Autodesk AEC collection but, I often find that people tend to use just one or two tools from this collection which doesn’t return value or efficiency. In this workflow we will utilise Revit 2019, Civil 3D 2019 and Dynamo.

Revit and Civil3D Piling workflow

This workflow can also be achieved using Dynamo and Revit to find the intersections between the piling and the surfaces, but this can take quite a while to execute on large datasets, is computationally expensive and will invariably crash the machine.

Piling to Rock

So, presented below is another option if you want to move into the use of Civil 3D. We will start in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2019. In Civil 3D you can either create the surfaces from points or from an existing set of contours a little like the workflow in Revit. We then place the pile locations as AutoCAD points and convert these points into Civil 3D points. The Civil 3D points can then obtain levels from surfaces. The group of points are then exported as a text file.

Export Points

The next stage is to use Dynamo to organise and prepare these points for use in Revit. The Dynamo script will first open the text file and create an ordered list from the data.

Dynamo Section 1

Once this list is created, we then get the Project Base Point from Revit. The PBP is set to the local setting out point. This is then used to create the local coordinates that Revit will need to set out the piles.

Dynamo Section 2

Because the top and bottom points are in the same list, we can use dynamo to sort the points on the X coordinates (the X and Y value will be the same for the top and bottom point). This section of the script separates the Eastings, Northings and Levels and transforms the coordinates to local grid suitable for Revit.

Dynamo Section 3

The last part then creates the Revit elements and sets the depth parameter to send the piles to the rock level.

Dynamo Section 4

Here is the final layout in Revit.

Revit Piling Layout

Obviously, we can directly use the coordinates to create a piling schedule and use the point numbers to number each pile.

Hope that has been useful,

Lawrence H

 

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Webinar – The AEC Collection for Structural Engineers

Just a quick post to let you know that I will be presenting a webinar session this Friday (28th September @ 10am). You will see some interesting AEC Collection workflows for the following topics:

  • Steel Spaceframe
  • Retaining Walls
  • Structural Steel details

Join us with the link below.

The Recording can be found here:

Once on the page click the  link marked in red and fill in the form.

Excitech Webinar Video

Here are some images of the workflows we will be using on Friday!

SpaceFrame

Retaining Wall

Structural Steelwork

Hope to see you!

LawrenceH

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Revit 2019 Tutorial Part 2 – Creating Roof Bracing Systems

In part 1 of this tutorial we looked at the creation of vertical bracing systems using Revit 2019, in this part we will focus on roof bracing systems in Revit 2019.

Cover Image

Roof bracing tends to get a little more complex than vertical bracing due to compound angles and complex connection configurations. Revit has some good tools to make the placement of roof bracing easier. We will also cover some tips and tricks for the representation of bracing in plan.

As mentioned in the part 1 of the tutorial, you should always use the dedicated brace tool rather than the beam command as shown below.

Revit 2019 Bracing Commnad

It is easier to add the roof bracing in a 3D view. It is very important to ensure that you have the 3D snapping option checked on the options bar as indicated below.

Revit 2019 Brace 3D Snapping

You can then roughly sketch your bracing configuration by snapping to the top of each rafter as shown below. Don’t worry about getting the exact position, this will be set in a later step. Do not snap to the column.

Revit 2019 3D Snapping to beam

The bracing will automatically be placed on the centre line of the rafter, but the analytical model will automatically adjust to the top of steel.

Bracing on Centreline

When a brace is selected you have the option of setting the location via a ratio or a distance along the beam. The example below shows the start of the brace set 300mm from the column and the end of the brace set to 5000mm. The plan shows the position of the brace.

Bracing Properties P1

Brace Plan Distance

Another method of placing the bracing is to use a ratio. The ratio at the start of the beam is 0 and the end of the beam is 1. In the example below a brace is placed 30mm from the start of the first rafter and then at a ratio of 0.25 (25%) along the second rafter. This value will remain parametric if the length of the rafter changes.

Bracing Properties P2

Brace Plan Distance 1

PLAN REPRESENTATION OF BRACING

In part 1 of the tutorial you will have seen that plan bracing is represented in a course level of detail with an offset dashed line. This is perfect for vertical bracing but not so good for roof bracing! In the image below, you can see the offset showing in the plan.

Plan Bracing Revit 2019 - Offset

This is due to the plan representation showing a parallel line and offset. However, we will use the Kicker brace symbol to represent the bracing in plan.

Revit 2019 Bracing Settings

To set the bracing to kicker bracing, in the Properties Palette, set the structural Usage to Kicker Bracing as shown below.

Properties - Kicker Bracing

You can of course edit the line pattern and the symbol for kicker bracing.

M Brace kicker family

In the example shown below I simply edited the line pattern in the object styles for kicker bracing and deleted the X in the M_Connection-Brace-Kicker.rfa.

Plan Bracing Revit 2019 - Kicker

ADDING STRUCTURAL CONNECTIONS IN REVIT 2019

You can of course add some basic connections in Revit 2019, but you must make sure that you create the bracing first and then add the relevant connections. If you add connections before the steel model is complete you will not be able to 3D snap to the rafter.

Revit 2019 bracing connection

The below image shows the Double Tube Bracing connection dialog box. The 3D representation of the connection is almost identical to the advance steel connection. However, of you require fabrication documents, accurate cutting lists, constructability verification and CNC code then Advance Steel can be used.

Revit 2019 bracing connection Dkialog Box

Advance Steel can create full fabrication documents and details. The image below shows the same frame in Advance Steel. This has been transferred using the Advance Steel extension which will keep both models synchronised.

Advance Steel 2019

In the images below you can see assembly drawings that are automatically created for the rafters and haunches.

Advance Steel Fabrication Details

Here is a list of plates and surface areas for galvanising.

Advance Steel Plate List

Finally the CNC data is generated for the automated drilling and cutting of each item in the model.

Advance Steel NC Files

LawrenceH

 

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Revit 2019 Tutorial Part 1 – Adding Vertical Bracing Systems

I still find many people asking what the best methods are for adding bracing to steel models, some are still using beams to try and model bracing, others still get into a bit of a mess with vertical bracing, more struggle with the representation on drawings.

I thought it was about time I created a tutorial on this subject, covering both horizontal and vertical bracing as well as some typical connections for adding those all-important details.

So first we need to look at some of the basics. In the images below, you can see Vertical, Horizontal and Roof Bracing.

Revit Bracing Examples

Creating Vertical Bracing

When creating vertical bracing it is best to create a framing elevation. The framing elevation creates an elevation on the frame a few hundred millimetres deep and sets a working plane for the bracing.

Framing Elevation

You must use the dedicated brace command to efficiently add bracing.

Bracing

You can roughly sketch the bracing that you require and then use the Properties Palette to fine tune the exact location of the bracing.

In the example below, you can see some vertical X-bracing, note that the start and end attachments are attached to the correct levels and you also have the option of adding offsets from each of these levels.

Vertical Bracing with PropertiesIn this example we have used Equal Angle to create the bracing. Both angles are in the same plane and hence clash.

This can easily be resolved by using the y Offset Value on each member. The analytical line remains centred, but the physical elements will be located correctly.

Offset Bracing in the Y Axis

The bracing is automatically represented in a plan view and can be tagged. The standard in the UK is to show a parallel line on the outside for bracing above and a parallel line on the inside for bracing below.

Plan Bracing

You can control the type of representation and spacing in the Structural Settings dialog box.

Structural Settings Bracing

Finally, if you want to tidy up the bracing and make the drawings look a little better you can either use 2D detail components to represent a connection or use the connection tools to add 3D connections.

Revit 2D and 3D Bracing

LawrenceH

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