Wednesday, 31 May 2017

BIM for reinforced concrete – From 2D to 3D for rebar detailing

Last year I published a blog post contemplating the value of BIM for Concrete, and discussing how the next generation of BIM tools for reinforced concrete are helping our customers in four main ways. I described these BIM-centric concrete benefits as:

  1. Combines the versatility of 2D documentation with the higher level of fidelity and accuracy of 3D modeling of steel reinforcement and concrete accessories, with minimal effort to produce both.
  2. Allows users to design and detail with clash prevention in mind to reduce clashes both in the preconstruction and site execution project phases.
  3. Enables the transition from design to detailed models while respecting both perspectives, following local code requirements, and automating the process of making changes so they are less disruptive to the design process.
  4. Increases transparency and quality of the model information being used from bidding to procurement by not only providing quantifiable information, but also enabling access to it in collaboration friendly environments.

I must say that it was great to hear your feedback from my last post, and see that so many of you are as excited by the future of concrete as I am! I’d like to continue the conversation I started with you, and spend some time discussing these four benefits and what they mean for the industry in depth. And by “in depth” I mean this in an engineering sense—I’m going to be thorough.

Since there’s A LOT to cover, instead of writing one long blog post on concrete that might bore you to sleep, I’m going to focus on one benefit at a time. For today, let’s talk about the benefits realized when moving from 2D to 3D.

Benefit #1: The BIM-centric concrete solution combines the versatility of 2D documentation with the higher level of fidelity and accuracy of 3D modeling of steel reinforcement and concrete accessories, with minimal effort to produce both.

We hear often that moving to 3D-based rebar design requires more work than traditional drafting. Many believe that creating a spatial representation of the engineer’s design intent and later installation reality is an extra step added to the effort related to drawings production. This is often followed by the complaint that obvious benefits of 3D (clash avoidance, accuracy, etc.) are for the benefit of general contractors rather than designers and detailers.

I want to challenge this.

While it’s true that 2D drawings, shop and lift drawings are still the primary deliverables nowadays serving as means of communication and instruction across broader teams, we’re also seeing these trends as well:

  • For communication, project teams across the are globe driving towards model-based communication and information handover, especially when it comes to the Design to Detailing transition. Customers like Norconsult are already using this approach effectively.
  • As a means of instruction, an undisputable benefit of traditional 2D detailing is the speed of drawings production and versatility. But the downside is the lack of precision leading to rebar clashes on site, compromises on quantities, and coordination with the formwork model.
  • Design changes also require drawings to be reproduced. The lack of consistency surfaces easily as drawings can be “adjusted” (“faked”, honestly speaking) and ultimately lose their connection to other sources of information like BOM, model data, IFC, ERP, etc.

Drawings and 3D rebar detailing in Revit

Let’s assume for a minute that by using a BIM-centric approach to rebar detailing we can still maintain a highly efficient and versatile process for drawing production, and incorporate the precision and information completeness that comes with 3D modeling at no additional cost. Well, that’s the idea for Revit.

For Revit we want to bring these two benefits of 2D to 3D together. How? This is where rebar detailers can leverage the traditional approach and perform 2D detailing “in canvas” of a section, plan or an elevation view taken directly from the concrete model, and have the rebar model created “for free” in the background. You can see this illustrated in this example:

Then, as the design/detailing evolves to a point where coordination is needed, detailers can focus on the rebar model editing directly and more comfortably in the 3D views. While in the 2D drawings space they can just easily add tags and dimensions to the rebar as a downstream part of the process since rebar is there, placed accurately, already.

What then makes a real difference is the accommodation of changes in the BIM process; there is no need to re-model or redraw rebar when that happens. The below example shows again how changes of concrete object sizes or rebar distribution parameters make all the rebar information adapt to changes and the submittals update instantly. Talk about a benefit for the detailers and designers!

A glimpse of the future

The ultimate proof of BIM-centric and fully model based reinforcement detailing efficiency can be recognized for projects dealing with complex concrete geometries such as water treatment stations, industrial structures, buildings with complex architecture, etc. Anywhere humans struggle to visualize the 3D structure in their minds when communicating instructions with only 2D drawings.

There are examples where using 2D drawings as layout instructions is nearly impossible. Check out this groundbreaking use case from Norconsult who is implementing a fully paperless process to construct this large hydro plant in Norway.

Additionally, use of these modern methods applied for complex projects is presented in a very interesting and recent master thesis from Pål Røe Larsen (Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby). Larsen’s thesis (you can download it here) includes several case studies and interviews with adopters from the industry, and draws attention to the new future of the concrete industry.

So, what do you think? Are you using a BIM-centric modeling approach for concrete yet? Are you seeing these benefits already? Stay tuned for more on this topic and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

For my next post, I’m going to talk about what I’ve described as benefit #2: allowing users to design and detail with clash prevention in mind to reduce clashes both in the preconstruction and site execution project phases.

The post BIM for reinforced concrete – From 2D to 3D for rebar detailing appeared first on BIM and Beam.

from my Autodesk source Bim & Beam: BIM and Beam at

Monday, 29 May 2017


TYPES OF DEFECTS IN TIMBER Types of Defects in timber are grouped into the following divisions. 1. Defects due to conversion During the process of converting timber to commercial form, the following defects may occur. Chip mark: mark or sign placed by chip on finished surface of timber Diagonal grain: Due to improper sawing of […]

The post DIFFERENT TYPES OF DEFECTS IN TIMBER appeared first on CivilBlog.Org.

from CivilBlog.Org
via Our favorite Civil Engineering Blog


1. Pig Iron The crude impure iron, which is extracted from iron ores, is known as pig-iron and it forms the basic material for the manufacture of cast-iron, wrought iron and steel. The pig iron is manufactured by the following operations (i) Dressing: Crushed into pieces 25mm, impurities of clay, loam and other earthy matter […]

The post PIG IRON, CAST IRON & WROUGHT IRON – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? appeared first on CivilBlog.Org.

from CivilBlog.Org
via Our favorite Civil Engineering Blog

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Revit for Structural Engineering

Revit allows structural engineers to create their models and documentation in an advanced BIM environment. By using Revit, structural designers and engineers can produce accurate design intent models and give engineers and detailers the information they need to develop models to a higher level of fidelity for Fabrication and Installation purposes.

Dynamo for Revit is a visual programming interface that allows engineers to use computational methods to design organic and optimized buildings and structures faster than with traditional modeling tools.
Dynamo allows users to create, associate and analyze multiple building parameters that revise their designs automatically. Engineers can then iterate and evaluate design options with ease, and build structures based on natural and mathematical principles.

Dynamo for Structural Engineering

Learn How to Use Dynamo to Generate Wind Loads in Revit

In Revit software, the physical model and the associated analytical model are created concurrently. The physical model of the structure is used for coordination as well as documentation. The analytical model is used for structural analysis and design. Structural loads, load combinations and boundary conditions can be easily added to the analytical model.

Through interoperability with Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional, as well as various 3rd party analysis tools, Revit helps to extend BIM to structural Analysis.

Structural Analysis for Revit enables structural engineers to conduct analysis in the cloud as a part of the BIM process, and helps minimize disruptions to workflows as users continue to design as analysis is completed.
Performing cloud based analysis from within Revit with the Structural Analysis service helps to streamline the design process and provide analytical results early and often to inform design intent.

5 great features in Structural Analysis for Revit

Revit provides streamlined process from design through detailing to fabrication by supporting the easy modeling of steel connection details and 3D reinforcements.  For steel frames, Revit offers streamlined interoperability with Autodesk Advance Steel detailing software through Steel Connections for Revit. With over 130 parametric connections, Steel Connections for Revit allows engineers and detailers to coordinate more effectively by exchanging more accurate design deliverables for steel fabrication.  This results in more precise detailing, estimating, and reduces errors in fabrication and installation.

Learn What’s New in Revit 2018 for Steel Design

Revit also provides tools for detailers for modeling 3D concrete reinforcements, creation of shop drawings and bending schedules in the advanced BIM environment. It combines the versatility of 2D documentation with the higher level of fidelity and accuracy of 3D modeling for reinforcement and concrete accessories. What’s more, Revit allows users to design and detail reinforced concrete elements with clash prevention in mind to reduce clashes both in the preconstruction and during site execution.

Concrete Detailing in Revit

Learn What’s New in Revit 2018 for Concrete Detailing

By consolidating functionality around key workflows, Revit provides a higher level of automation to support enhanced collaboration among project stakeholders and allows teams to build better structures.


The post Revit for Structural Engineering appeared first on BIM and Beam.

from my Autodesk source Bim & Beam: BIM and Beam at

Friday, 19 May 2017

Announcing the AEC Excellence Awards 2017

Bring out your best

The AEC Excellence Awards 2017 is now open for submissions!

First introduced in 2012 to recognize BIM in Infrastructure projects, this world-renowned competition now includes Infrastructure, Building, Construction, and Sustainability categories that showcase innovations using connected BIM workflows and Autodesk software. You can see the range of submissions and projects represented in the 2016 winning projects, many of which were completed using Revit and highlighted complex multi-discipline BIM workflows.

Awards include 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes in each category, which makes this your chance to show off your truly inspirational projects. You know, the ones you’re most excited about, like projects that use augmented reality, virtual reality, drones, generative design, computational design, advanced detailing to fabrication workflows, and more—in short, your best design efforts using BIM and Autodesk technology!

The deadline for entry is June 23, 2017. Finalists for each category will be announced in August, and then winners will be announced at the AEC Excellence Awards Ceremony at Autodesk University Las Vegas 2017 in November.

AEC Excellence BIM Awards 2017

5 Reasons to submit your project for the AEC Excellence Awards 2017

  1. IT’S EASY: We have simplified the competition to four categories: Infrastructure, Building, Construction, or Sustainability. Have several projects you’re proud of? No problem. You can submit up to five different projects.
  2. YOU DESERVE RECOGNITION: You will receive public recognition just by submitting! Winning projects will be included in a Showcase Book that will be shared globally and could also become a featured story and made available to thousands through promotions and social media. This downloadable Showcase Book is easily shareable to your own customers and clients. And even if you don’t win, it’s a great way to let Autodesk know about the wonderful projects you’re working on. This great library project in San Diego was submitted for an award last year and we never would have known about it without the submission.
  3. IT’S FREE PUBLICITY: There will be promotion and coverage of the AEC Excellence BIM Award 2017 winners across Autodesk, HP, Construction Dive, and Smart Cities Dive, social media and websites, as well as mentions in major AEC industry publications and media coverage of the Awards Ceremony at Autodesk University Las Vegas 2017.
  4. YOU COULD WIN PRIZES: If your project is chosen, you could win a brand-new HP workstation, a trip to Autodesk University Las Vegas 2017, and recognition at the Autodesk University Awards Ceremony. And, of course, you’ll receive a beautiful trophy you can show off to colleagues and clients once you return.
  5. YOU CAN MEET OTHERS LIKE YOU: All 2017 winners will receive an invite to the Awards Ceremony at Autodesk University. This event will provide opportunities for stimulating discussions, networking, and collaboration with your AEC industry peers.

If your project takes BIM to the next level, submit it to the competition and you could win worldwide recognition from your peers and other industry leaders.

The post Announcing the AEC Excellence Awards 2017 appeared first on BIM and Beam.

from my Autodesk source Bim & Beam: BIM and Beam at

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Re-engineering structural analysis for the future

autodesk structural analysis

“Structural Engineering – open that!” It was exciting to hear the droid K-2 say these words in the film Star Wars Rogue One last winter. If you recall, this was the scene where Jyn and Cassian were frantically searching for the Death Star plans at the Citadel Tower’s data vault.  As a former practicing structural engineer, I saw this as a short but proud moment for all of us to be in the limelight. After the movie ended, however, I couldn’t help but wonder how many other people in the theater understood what K-2’s exclamation meant.  I mean, other than fellow engineers, does anyone else realize how important structural engineering is to the world?

Death Star plans

Does anyone outside the engineering community understand how important structural engineering is for projects like the Death Star? (Wookiepedia)

As I meet with customers around the globe, I often get asked how important structural analysis is to Autodesk. I also get asked to share information about the trends and innovations that are shaping our structural engineering offering.

I can tell you that both—the structural engineering industry and the topic of structural analysis in particular —are very important to us at Autodesk. In my role, I am fortunate to see the amazing ways that Autodesk customers are innovating and shaping the future. While technology is rapidly changing how structural engineers do their jobs, certain trends are clear. I’d like to share with you some of these trends and how they will change structural analysis and related technologies in the future. After reading this post, you should have a good grasp of what the future could look like for structural analysis.

A “partner + build” approach for structural analysis

If we look back in time, Autodesk’s approach to delivering structural analysis has been a pragmatic one, using both technology partnerships and in-house solutions. As BIM adoption started to grow in the early 2000s, we formed several technology partnerships with leading providers of 3D analysis software. Since then, numerous integrations with Revit have been created across the globe (see here for a past article talking about our integrations with analysis partners). These integrations have helped engineers better coordinate their structural designs when collaborating on BIM projects.

Delivering in-house structural analysis has also been an important part of our offering. Investing in our Robot Structural Analysis (RSA) business has given us access to thousands of customers doing structural analysis on a range of project types world-wide. It also helped us deliver the first cloud-based, BIM-centric structural analysis solution to the industry. We believe these different in-house solutions, along with partner solutions, have helped engineering teams adopt BIM more quickly and with greater productivity.

Robot Structural Analysis

Robot Structural Analysis software provides engineers with advanced BIM-integrated analysis and design tools to understand the behavior of any structure type and verify code compliance.

Looking ahead, I see structural engineers continuing to expect pragmatic, open approaches from technology providers delivering structural analysis. However, the way these solutions are delivered to customers will be shaped by evolving trends and challenges facing the industry. Let’s now explore these trends in a bit more detail.

The role of Structural Engineers will change

In one of my recent posts about Engineering Trends of the Future, I talk about a future where structural engineers are affected by several macro-economic, institutional and technology trends. I want to highlight two of these trends which I think are the most important:

  • Growing project complexity will require engineers to be better communicators and problem solvers. This will require greater coordination between specialists for various building components and materials. It will also require the use of more powerful computational modeling tools to explore and design a greater number of solutions more quickly. This trend alone will require engineers to have stronger skill sets in advanced analysis and new design methodologies like performance-based design.
  • The globalization of teams will create access to a global pool of engineering professionals that can collaborate on projects.  It will be fueled by a demand for a more skilled, domestic engineering workforce. To use this new engineering capacity, teams will need to organize, delegate and manage engineering tasks by level of complexity.

These industry trends, along with technology advancements, will require teams to problem-solve in new ways. To manage such a broad range of specialized tasks and remain competitive, engineers will need to focus on higher value tasks while automating or outsourcing lower-value tasks.

This vision is shared by David Odeh, CEO of Odeh Engineers and current President of the Structural Engineering Institute. David also sees a future where engineers embrace the automation of simple tasks to come and rise to the occasion to focus on higher value tasks, “…the same automated power that reduces the need for tedious engineering calculations also enables the analysis of more design options, more complex structures, and more resilient structures. And structural engineers are the professionals best suited for those demanding tasks.” This is echoed by a recent interview with Dr. Jerome F. Hajjar, PhD, PE, CDM Smith professor and department chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Boston’s Northeastern University.  Dr. Hajjar takes it a step further, and discusses a future where engineers also provide value by focusing on sustainability and resilience—not just a response to hazard events.

As engineers focus on designing more sustainable and resilient structures, technology such as drones, reality capture, and sensing technologies will help engineers provide higher value services that better measure and assess as-built building performance.  A great example of this today is provided by Sensequake. Sensequake’s specific application combines their software technology with sensor hardware to help engineers and building owners use real, physical building characteristics to better predict structural performance during an earthquake. It also helps owners more quickly assess damage of a building after an earthquake by using sensor technology instead of costly forensic studies.   CEO Farshad Mirshafiei, PhD explains it in more detail:

“Sensequake technology can be used for seismic and time history analysis. 3D-SAM software can quickly run time history analysis on as many ground motions as needed and provides you with response histories and maximum global seismic demands solely based on sensing results without making any finite element model.”

Sensequake is the future of structural analysis

This is a great example of how BIM, IoT and the power of the cloud computing will help engineers deliver high value services to their clients in the future. They will do this in a way that continues to make them relevant and competitive. You can learn more about what Sensequake is doing here, but I, along with others, see this as the future of the industry and the beginning of how structural engineers will find relevance in an increasingly automated future.

Changing expectations around structural analysis

As you can imagine, these macro trends are already beginning to impact our industry. As I’ve met with structural engineers over the past couple of years, I see a shift happening where firms are feeling pressures to differentiate their services. To adapt, they must automate out the routine analysis and design activities which are non-differentiating. These pressures are also redefining the expectations from structural analysis providers. I see a trend where engineering firms will expect increases in productivity for both high-value and low-value design activities. I see this impacting software makers in 4 areas:

  • Simplicity – There is a rising expectation for AEC software to be easier to use and interact with, just like our smartphones and 3D gaming technology. Our future structural engineers are using Minecraft today and will want to use modern, easy to use analysis software in the future.
  • Customization – Engineers have challenged us to reimagine structural design (code-checking) within a BIM-centric workflow, placing a strong emphasis on flexibility and transparency. You can call this a requirement to “open the black box.” I estimate that over half of all structural calculations are done using Excel. A big reason for this is the high level of transparency using spreadsheets.
  • Optimization – The growing use of computational design is allowing engineers to explore a greater number of design options in less time. Coupled with the assistance of generative design algorithms and even machine learning, engineers will be able to study more design options more deeply than ever before.
  • Automation – As more structural engineers adopt BIM, they will want to streamline much of the simpler analysis and design tasks as much as possible. Technologists must integrate all steps in the design process including design exploration, structural analysis, code-based design and detailing automation all in one. We are seeing some evidence of this consolidation by the number of technology partners now building analysis and design solutions directly on Revit that also automate detailing.

The demand for greater Simplicity described above has been on the rise for several years now. In fact, this was a big driver for us to release the React Structures Technical Preview in 2015. The strong interest from engineers in React validated the need for a more modern, easier to use structural analysis software that connects to BIM.   However, to deliver upon all four areas, a unique technology approach is needed and I believe that is Connected BIM. Connected BIM for structural analysis means centralizing the design process around BIM and the cloud. Let me explain this in a bit more detail.

A Connected Future of Structural Analysis and BIM

We are seeing increasing demand for BIM-centric, cloud based structural analysis especially in Europe. I would like to share with you how Autodesk, and its ecosystem of technology partners, are helping customers today do structural analysis using BIM and the cloud.

BIM-centric structural analysis and design

As engineers expect structural analysis to be more BIM-based, I see our analysis and design partners leading the way here.  Partners are providing solutions today on top of Revit to streamline analysis, design and detailing for many different materials.   For example, SOFiSTiK, and Graitec provide design-driven detailing automation for concrete rebar on Revit.  We have IDEARS and Risa Technologies providing steel connection design on Revit. We also have StrucSoft delivering BIM-based structural analysis, design and detailing of timber and cold-formed steel structures. And, finally, AGACAD, StruSoft and PTAC’s Revit^EDGE deliver precast design to detailing on Revit.

Autodesk is encouraging more partners to take this approach—especially with structural analysis— and, if the trend above continues, we see a future where structural analysis and design technologies will become less siloed and more ubiquitous with BIM.

Cloud-based analysis and design

Structural analysis in the cloud has quietly been growing adoption in recent years. With Autodesk releasing Structural Analysis for Revit several years ago, I see a number of start-ups now delivering cloud-based structural analysis and design services to structural engineers across the globe.

Structural Analysis for Revit

Autodesk Structural Analysis for Revit enables structural engineers to conduct analysis in the cloud as a part of the BIM process. With Structural Analysis, engineers and designers can extend design models from Revit directly to the cloud helping to minimize disruptions to workflow and allowing users to continue to design as analysis is completed. Once the analysis is conducted, results can then be visualized and explored within Revit.

Here at Autodesk, we are seeing a lot of development on our cloud platform, called Forge. Forge enables Autodesk and its ecosystem of partners to provide services in a new way that enables Connected BIM. A great example of partners using Forge is how IDEARS is using it to develop connection design documentation in the cloud from Revit and Advance Steel.

Specifically for structural analysis, I see several benefits for connecting structural analysis and design using the cloud. I would like to share 3 of them with you including some examples of each:

  • Faster design exploration  Design will combine generative design algorithms with analysis, code-based design plus other simulation engines that capture new design factors like resilience and sustainability. To imagine what this could look like for structural engineers, I recommend that you look at Autodesk’s Project Dreamcatcher or read about project Quantum as envisioned by Amar Hanspal at last year’s Autodesk University. Down the road, I expect to see generative design services popping up that will help engineers better optimize their designs around code requirements and even constructability.
  • Faster QA/QC – Automation of routine analysis and checking will allow quality review tasks to be performed more quickly.   An example of this is a service provided by BIM Assure. This software performs model checking of Revit models on the cloud. Though it doesn’t perform code-based structural design checks, it provides a great example of what is possible with cloud-based model checking at the BIM object level.
  • Open-source customization  Open APIs combined with visual programming interfaces will open the “black box” of analytical model frameworks and code-based design rule engines. You are already seeing these tools available from Autodesk as desktop apps. Structural Analysis for Dynamo shows over 5000 downloads from structural analysis customers interested in further integrating RSA and Revit through Dynamo. I envision demand for similar cloud-based apps in the future.

You can see that structural analysis connected to BIM and the cloud will reshape the future of how structures are analyzed and designed. A Connected BIM approach to structural analysis is key for technology providers to address the changing expectations from engineers.

Tell us what you think

I hope I’ve given you some insight into what the Connected BIM future holds for structural engineers, and how Autodesk’s vision of structural analysis will help you better prepare for the future to come.

What do you think? Do you agree with me? Does our approach make sense to you?  We’d love to have you share your feedback with us by taking the short survey below and posting your questions and feedback in the comments. We’ll be monitoring them and responding.

Take the survey.

The post Re-engineering structural analysis for the future appeared first on BIM and Beam.

from my Autodesk source Bim & Beam: BIM and Beam at

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Customer Q&A: VLE Draughting

Q. What is the name of your firm and where is it located?

VLE Draughting (Pty) Ltd. – “VLE” stands for Visual Language of Engineering.

We are located in Pretoria, South Africa.

Q. How many employees does your firm have?

VLE Draughting is still a young company, consisting of two owners, each with a diverse set of knowledge and skills.

Wayne Page (that’s me) is our Senior Detailer, his main responsibility is the actual projects; modeling and detailing from start to finish. He keeps in touch with all stakeholders during the manufacturing and construction process. He controls and communicates any additional information where needed and conducts site visits and meetings.

Benandi Page is currently responsible for managing project progress, office, advertising, marketing, administration tasks and financials. During an increase of projects or tight deadlines, Benandi will assist with the detailing.

Q. What kind of projects does your firm specialise in?

Structural Steelwork ranging from large roof structures, buildings, platforms, towers etc. Here are a few different types of projects we’ve done:

Curved Pipe Truss

Curved Pipe Truss for the Sokhulumi Community Centre. This was our first project after we have completed our Advance Steel training. Although the project was a challenge, we could already see major benefits working on the Advance Steel software. The entire building consisted of four structural roofs.


Steel structure

Building Extension (Mooi Street Structure)


Steel platform

Platform (Festive Cold Room – New Mezzanine Floor). Site visits for this project were a big challenge, as the cold room is -22˚ Celsius!


Steel structure support tower

Tower (BH Supporting Tower Structure). This was the first project where we collaborated between Advance Steel and Autodesk Revit. The engineer sent us the Revit model and we imported it into Advance Steel. We simply had to create connections and the cat-ladder. We were also responsible for providing the tender and workshop drawings at the end. Autodesk ensured collaboration and interoperability between their software packages time saving, fewer errors and no rework. These were the top 3 benefits of using the BIM (Building Information Modeling) process.


Curved canopy

Curved Canopy. This was one of our most challenging projects. The canopy had to tie in on existing curved members of a building; there was just no room for error!!

Q. How long have you been using Autodesk Advance Steel?

For about two years, since the beginning of 2015. We started on AutoCAD, later moved over to AutoCAD Structural Detailing, (known as ASD).  Then, early 2015, our software reseller, introduced us to Advance Steel, and we knew this was going to be one powerful software package.

Q. Why did you choose Advance Steel over other 3D modeling options?

There is just no doubt, the 3D modeling process and the production of drawings is much more efficient.  There are more possibilities, (options) overall available within Advance Steel. Advance Steel is customisable; if you are unable to find a connection that works, you can create a custom one, if you need an “out of the ordinary” object, then you are able to create that special part. The main factor that made us choose Autodesk Advance Steel – NO LIMITATIONS – for us!

Q. How long did it take you to get up to speed on the program?

About 2 weeks. We have sufficient experience on AutoCAD, which meant the learning curve for Advance Steel was not that steep. After completion of our training, our focus was on completing a small project, implementing the skills learnt during the course.  As projects evolved in size and complicity, or when we came across certain obstacles, we were determined to find a solution. We did some in-house research and most of the time, phoned our reseller here in South Africa for support.

Find a reseller near you.

Q. How long did it take you to see a return on your investment after making your purchase?

After only 1 month we could see a huge improvement regarding time savings.  Saving so much time per project meant that we were able to take on more projects at the same time and this increased our ROI almost immediately. The trap that people need to look out for is that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.  If you do not get the correct and sufficient training and support, you will not be able to use the software to its fullest capability. After experiencing the Autodesk collaboration and interoperability between their software packages, we saw another increase in our ROI due to less rework, less errors and we saved even more time per project.

Q. What are the key benefits you have found from using Advance Steel?

It is much faster to deliver efficient drawings which leads to saving time and reaching tight deadlines.  Minimising errors, not only in 3D modeling, but also for manufacturing and construction at the end of the day. Collaboration with Revit, Fabtrol, StruMIS and Navisworks, increases our services that we provide, leading to opportunities with bigger clients for bigger projects.

Q. What is your favorite Advance Steel feature?

There cannot be just one … it is everything surrounding 3D modeling.  But, I do have 2 favorites that stand out from the rest:

  1. To be able to copy connections, even on members’ properties that are different
  2. Copying an entire assembly to a new location without duplicating members

Q. What project(s) are you using the product on now?

We’ve recently been involved in the design and re-creation of various concrete moulds, mostly consisting of plate work.  Our client’s requirements was to use an existing 3D solid, representing the concrete shape, and to design the outer steel work in order to form the mould.  The mould should be able to de-assemble in a curtain way for the concrete to be released. These projects were a new level of challenge for us…  But with Advance Steel’s intelligent plate tools we were able to overcome many obstacles. Due to confidentiality, our client allowed screen shots to be illustrated, but no drawings.

Q. Do you have any advice for someone getting started using Advance Steel?

Take the time to get the correct training and make sure you have support available.  Practice your skills as soon as possible, start with a small project.  If you have some spare time, play around in Advance Steel to find different ways to achieve your goals.  Watch YouTube videos, this is of great help. Get connected with Advance Steel forums.

Q. Is your firm using any other Autodesk products?

We are using Navisworks Freedom to export and view models, mainly for client meeting purposes.  We also encourage our clients to download Navisworks Freedom – this way they get a chance to see how powerful Autodesk products are.

Thank you for sharing your experience, VLE Draughting! For more Advance Steel customer success stories, check out these recent blog posts:

If you’d like to share your Advance Steel customer success story or a recent structural design, detailing, or fabrication project that used another Autodesk product on BIM and Beam, please contact us and tell us about your project. You can also tweet a photo directly to our account @AdvanceSteel or use the hashtag #AdvanceSteel.

The post Customer Q&A: VLE Draughting appeared first on BIM and Beam.

from my Autodesk source Bim & Beam: BIM and Beam at

Monday, 8 May 2017

Spirally Reinforced Concrete Columns in Revit

The longitudinal reinforcement bars in columns can be tied together with separate smaller diameter transverse bars along the column height or they can be spirally-reinforced.

Spirally-reinforced columns they are ones in which the longitudinal bars are arranged in a circle surrounded by a closely spaced continuous spiral.

Advantages to using spirally reinforced columns

There are two main advantages to using Spirally-Reinforced columns over tied ones.

Improved safety for your structure – Several important structures collapsed due to stirrups opening when subjected to seismic actions. This risk is minimized in the case of using spiral stirrups, since it consists of only one wire as transversal reinforcement, throughout the entire length of the element.

Assembly on site – The circular section concrete columns with spiral transversal reinforcement are easier to produce, require a shorter time to assemble, and when subjected to lateral loads the failure by stirrup opening is not an option.

Creating spirally reinforced columns in Revit

Now you may wonder if it is possible to model Spirally-Reinforced columns in Revit and how to do it.
The answer is YES you can do it and the process of adding such rebars is very similar to adding regular stirrups but is a bit tricky.
In the next series of steps let me show you how to create spirally-reinforced round columns in Revit:

1. In the Rebar Shape Browser you can fine the spiral shape. In the UK template it is the Rebar Shape 77. You might be surprised that selecting this shape and trying to add it to your concrete column does not work because the software does not allow you to add this particular shape like you can do with others.

2.  Instead of adding this spiral shape, first you need to create a circular shape first (e.g shape 75) then change it into the spiral one (shape 77) through rebar properties.

3.  Unlike other rebar families, spiral rebar is multi-planar and cannot be edited at the family level. However, you can edit individual instances. For example you can easily adjust the height of spiral rebar using the triangle shape controls at the top and base of the rebar spiral. Simply drag the arrows accordingly to lengthen or shorten the spiral. These controls do not stretch the spiral. They add the proportionate number of coils required to maintain the specified height of the spiral rebar.

4.  The following instance properties are unique to spiral rebar in the Instance Properties palette.

Base Finishing Turns -Specifies a number of complete coils to close the spiral base.
Top Finishing Turns – Specifies a number of complete coils to close the spiral top.
Height – Specifies the total height of the spiral rebar.
Pitch – Specifies the distance between rebar coils in the spiral.


For other tips and tricks related to using Revit to detail concrete rebar, visit these posts on BIM and Beam:


The post Spirally Reinforced Concrete Columns in Revit appeared first on BIM and Beam.

from my Autodesk source Bim & Beam: BIM and Beam at

Friday, 5 May 2017


TYPES OF LOADS External loads on a structure may be classified in several different ways. In one classification, they may be considered as static or dynamic. Static loads are forces that are applied slowly and then remain nearly constant. One example is the weight, or dead load, of a floor or roof system. Dynamic loads […]

The post 15 DIFFERENT TYPES OF LOADS ON BUILDING (IN SHORT) appeared first on CivilBlog.Org.

from CivilBlog.Org
via Our favorite Civil Engineering Blog