Version 2010 of Scia Engineer represents a major release and comes with a set of new modules as well as with numerous improvements across the whole program. The main focus is laid on the enhancement of interoperability and internationalization.
Also the announced arrival of the Eurocodes in 2010 had its impact on our decision on which new features should be integrated into the just-coming version. Scia Engineer 2010 offers a unique range of tools for Eurocode compliant design and check of different materials and technologies (composites, cellular beams, voided slabs, etc.).
Besides the primary analysis tools, this version presents also a completely new environment for the production and automation of general arrangements drawings.
Scia Engineer as a CAE-pioneer in Structural BIM is continuously improving the overall interoperability with other CAD/CAE systems. The IFC interface is regularly enhanced to reflect the latest development of this data-exchange standard, to allow, among other things, for the two-way communication with Archicad and Vektorworks.
The data exchange realised through DXF/DWG, VRML is extended by continuously improving additional tools for automatic conversion of the imported general geometry to the FEM-analysis model.
Round-Trip Engineering with Allplan supports the version up to Allplan 2009 and also the Precast versions of Allplan.
The existing links to Tekla Structures (modelling in Scia Engineer and export of 1D elements) and Revit® Structure (ver. 2010) have been upgraded.
A new link with ETABS® can be used to exchange models between ETABS® and Scia Engineer. Similarly, the new SDNF link broadens the family of programs Scia Engineer communicates with.
Internationalization has been an important value for our company for many years. The latest achievement in this field involves the implementation of the IBC 2006 standard where Scia Engineer offers wind loading and load combinations generation according to ‘ASCE 7-05’ and design for concrete (ACI 318-05) and steel (AISC 360-05). For steel design it also includes the cold formed design according to AISI NAS 2007, including the determination of initial and effective shapes.
Another addition within the IBC 2006 standard is the IBC seismic design. For this, a seismic spectrum according to IBC2006/ASCE 7-05 is added to the list of seismic spectrums.
Arrival of the Eurocodes
In order to reflect the soon coming obligatory use of the Eurocodes, Scia Engineer is continuously improving and extending the implementation of the Eurocode parts with the aim to have complete coverage of the Eurocodes.
Version 2010 brings the interface prepared for national annex. A special dialogue allows for the input of values for the selection of the national determined parameters.
At the same time, the input of both code-related and code-independent parameters for design and checking was refactored and is now made in a clear and self-explanatory way.
Scia Engineer has off course already covered many areas: steel and concrete beams, fire resistance; aluminium; composite columns; cellular beams; concrete slabs; punching shear check; voided slabs, hollow core slabs; composite slabs; pre and post tensioned beams.
A new geotechnics module checks the stability of pad foundations according to EN 1997-1: Geotechnical design-Part 1: General rules, 2004. Another extension is the fully integrated EC-EN1993-1-3:2006 module for cold-formed members, including the determination of initial and effective shapes.
Scia Engineer modeller supports modelling of typical and ever-repeating structures through parametric modelling, project templates and user-blocks.
InBlocks, a new feature in version 2010, are based on this technology and move it to a higher level. Thanks to InBlocks, the current Predefined Shapes and Catalogue Blocks can now be, even after insertion into the model, edited using their parameters. Besides, user-defined InBlocks can also be created offering an effective input and editing of typical and often-used structures.
The parametric models can also be used for the new optimization engine. The user specifies “what-to-optimize” and the strategy (mathematical method). The program calculates variants of the original project and iterates to the final solution. All steps are shown in a table and the best solution is highlighted.
3D wind load generator
The application of loads is simplified by the introduction of load panels and a 3D wind-load generator. Load panels represent 2D elements subjected to load. These panels are input as e.g. facade panels, windows, roof panels, etc. The panels themselves are ignored in the calculation but the load defined on them is recalculated to supporting elements.
These panels are also useful in combination with the 3D wind load generator. This brand new tool allows the user to generate wind loads on the entire 3D building. The wind direction and intensity is specified by the user, combinations, zones of pressure coefficients and the actual load is generated by the Wind Load Generator.
Effective design of buildings
Engineering of buildings, regardless of whether high, medium or low rise, requires a large amount of engineering judgment. Scia Engineer 2010 brings many new features developed mainly for buildings.
Modelling and interoperability
The Scia Engineer modeller is already known for its easy use and intuitiveness. The new release 2010 extends and optimises the design process and the cooperation between draftsman (modeller) and engineer (analysis and checks).
The internal algorithm of Structure2Analysis has been extended and the conversion of the structural model to the analysis one is now easier applicable to more complex constructions.
Load panels and 3D wind-load generator simplify the input of loads. Load panels, while themselves ignored in the calculation, distribute the defined surface load to members that support them. 3D wind-load generator facilitates the input of wind load on 3D structures.
Analysis and design
Scia Engineer version 2010 comes up with new tools as the ability to modify the stiffness of structural elements according to the rules stipulated in design codes or according to tailor-made user-defined rules. This results in a more precise calculation because e.g. cracking of the concrete or other “material-degrading” factors can be taken into account.
Another new feature is the ‘integration strip’ that makes it possible to integrate internal forces along a section across a 2D element (e.g. wall) and evaluate the results as on a beam.
The next enhancement is Sequential Analysis that allows the user to combine various predefined pairs of calculations and perform them in one run. The results of the first calculation are used as the initial state for the second calculation.
In practice, useful combination is for example a nonlinear static analysis followed by a natural vibration analysis, which results in eigenmodes and eigenvalues determined for the deformed structure with e.g. bracing ties subjected to compression eliminated from the calculation.
Design of concrete structures
Many partial improvements have been made in modules devoted to the design of concrete structures. The user interface is simplified. New features such as Storeys, Linegrids, InBlocks speed up the definition of the model, GA Drawings enhance the graphical presentation of the project.
For 1D elements a new overall check has been developed. Its main benefit is that the user is able to perform several checks in one step and thus save time previously spent on running individual checks separately. For 2D elements the main focus was laid on detailed output of calculated results.
For the whole Eurocode concrete environment a new type of setup was implemented with clear and self-explanatory input dialogues. The settings can be stored to an external file and shared with other users.
For the EN 1992 code new features are presented, such as: check of end nodes and details according to chapter 10, redistribution of bending moments, lateral reinforcement in flanges and calculation of deflections for prestressed beams.
Moreover, new code-independent features such as an effective width calculation and single layer reinforcement for walls has been added. The precast industry will welcome checks of voided slabs and hollow core slabs.
Design of steel structures
The largest extension to the steel related functionality of Scia Engineer is the design of cold-formed steel sections, a material that becomes more and more promoted in engineering practice. Scia Engineer now offers fully integrated modules for the design of cold-formed members according to EC-EN1993-1-3:2006 (including the 2009 correction sheet) and AISI NAS 2007. Advanced checks are available for web crippling and shear in sections with stiffened webs with special attention paid to purlin design including free flange geometry and advanced determination of loading.
Also interesting for steel hall designers is the check and optimisation of pad foundations that were in previous versions also known as foundation blocks. From now on, the stability check in accordance to EC-EN 1997-1 can be performed.
Another important addition for steel users are the new general arrangement drawings and a new interface with Tekla Structures v15 (and higher), that allows the user to export the structural shape of 1D members of his calculated Scia Engineer model to Tekla Structures.
Design of piles and pad foundations
Not only the structure itself, but also what supports it, forms an important part of every engineering project. Scia Engineer version 2010 features two new modules relating to design of foundations: pile design and pad foundation design.
Pile foundations transfer loads from the structure to the bearing layer of the soil. The brand new pile design tool in Scia Engineer developed in co-operation with Deltares enables the user to perform both design and verification of piles in accordance with the NEN national code which is internationally accepted for this practise.
Another new type of foundations supported in Scia engineer 2010 is pad foundations. These are used to support single columns, spreading the load to the ground below. They are generally square or rectangular in plan, with the plan area being determined by the permissible bearing strength of the soil. In previous versions, the pad foundations were known as foundation blocks and their stiffness was taken into account in the calculation. From now on, it is also possible to perform a stability check of the pad foundation in accordance with EC-EN 1997-1. Moreover, the AutoDesign tool optimizes dimensions of designed pad foundations.
The two presented functions are grouped under a new menu item called ‘Geotechnics’.
General arrangement drawings
Modelling and structural analysis are an important part of the design process but they are incomplete without proper graphical representation of the results. Scia Engineer 2010 introduces the first step for automatic preparation of general arrangement drawings for concrete, steel as well as other-material structures.
Scia Engineer generates plan views, vertical or arbitrary section views through a structure by a certain set of planes. The drawings are then generated from these plan views and sections. The drawings are made according to rules defined by the user, which makes it easy to define preferred styles for hatching, labelling, dimensioning and thus simply maintain a unified company style. The generated drawings can be further processed and e.g. basic dimensions lines or adjustable labels can be automatically added.
The generated drawings can be edited in the integrated editor. Other elements such as dimension lines, labels, leads and other graphical entities (solids, surfaces, lines, curves, texts) can be added manually. The final drawing containing frames, title blocks, etc. is composed of several partial drawings and is stored in the Paperspace Gallery.
Integrated regeneration tools update the generated drawings so that they reflect the state of the structure after any changes made to the model while keeping the manually added entities (dimension lines, labels etc.) untouched.
In comparison with the previous module Overview Drawings, this brand new functionality brings advanced labelling, dimensioning and, in general, moves the production of drawings in Scia Engineer to a higher level.
Reflecting the feedback from the clients, version 2010 implements a new network licensing technology has been implemented. The benefits include higher flexibility in sharing and borrowing licences.
The user can work off-line, i.e. without connection to the company license-server. Moreover, thanks to time limited versions it is possible to rent a license for additional modules required for a specific project. New tools for company administrators have been added as well.
And last but not least, education versions are protected by a soft-lock and can be distributed over the internet. Please visit http://www.scia-campus.com.