Since the 2017 release, Autodesk Revit users have the ability to create structural steel connections by loading family driven parametric templates to their projects. This not only facilitates the conceptual design process but now allows the Revit model to be an accurate and complete submittal for your structural steel projects. With the added ability to import, export and synchronise the steel connection templates from Autodesk Advance Steel via the SMLX exchange format, the Autodesk AEC collection provides a powerful BIM workflow to take your projects from conceptual design to fabrication.
Although the main benefit of modelling structural connections in Revit is to facilitate the exchange of information about the designed connection between engineers, detailers, and fabricators, approximately seventy percent of the steel connection families in Revit encompass the joint design module. This tool allows the user to verify if the steel connection passes or fails based on predefined or manually entered internal forces in the connection properties dialog. It performs code checks according to standards such as the AISC and EC3 and does allow for some basic settings to be adjusted. For example, the bolt thread conditions, if the steel connection is exposed or not etc... These settings vary dependent on the design code used.
Nevertheless, Revit is not a design solution, which means that it cannot calculate the internal forces on its own. In order to have predefined internal forces at the joint nodes, the user has two options. The first option is to manually enter these forces in the connection properties dialog. The second one is to import them from an FEM solution like Graitec Advance Design. As FEM solutions are able to perform structural analysis considering different load types and code combinations, the second option is by far the most accurate and economic one, as the manual input could lead the user to overdesign the connection.
Also, regardless of having the predefined internal forces at the joint node, the Revit user will be limited to analysing a single steel connection template at a time. For example, if the joint requires a moment shear plate connection, the Revit user will need to apply two separate family templates from the Structural Connection Settings dialog to design the connection: a “Moment Connection” and a “Shear Plate”. However, the joint design module will only consider the geometry, members, bolts and welds of the connection properties it resides in. Therefore, rendering the joint calculation module inadequate when needing to analyse complex topology with multiple steel connections framing into a single joint. This then forces the designer or engineer to revert back to hand calculations, which can add days or even weeks to the verification process of a single joint depending on the complexity.
If you’re a structural engineer or a steel detailer using Revit and want to save time, cost and reduce your carbon footprint, Graitec now offers a solution to complement and optimise your current workflow. To facilitate analysing these complex 3D steel connections, Revit joints can now be exported to Graitec Advance Design Connection.
Advance Design Connection is a unique version of IDEA StatiCa Connection, rebranded and tailor-made for GRAITEC users.
Advance Design Connection can design all types of 3D connections which cannot be designed with the connection module integrated in Revit. It provides precise checks, results of strength, stiffness and buckling analysis of a steel joint. Bolts, welds and concrete blocks are checked according to Eurocodes (EN), North American codes (CISC & AISC), Australian codes (AU), etc. Templates for most-used connections are available as well as wide range of predefined hot rolled and sheet welded members.
To find out more about the Graitec Simulate portfolio and how Advance Design Connection can help you with complex steel connections of any topology, any loading and in minutes, please see the link below: