How to model dummy elements?

A dummy element is a fictive element that can be a helpful tool for certain modelling issues, for example: connecting two eccentric beams, connecting an eccentric beam to a plate, connection between two plates, etc.

 A 1D dummy element can be made with these three simple steps:

1.Create a fictive material

To create a fictive material, you can copy a material that is already available in the Material library. You will need to change the unit mass to a lower value: 0,1kg/m³. Do not set this parameter to 0kg/m³, this could lead to some numerical issues in the calculation. Also increase the E modulus with a factor 100.

 Make a fictive material in SCIA Engineer

2.Create a fictive element

The next step is to create a fictive element. Open the Cross-sections library and input a new cross-section with the fictive material.

Make a fictive element in SCIA Engineer

3.Optional: change type to numerical

Finally, if necessary, the type of the cross-section can be changed to numerical in the cross-section library. This can be done to make the dummy element ‘invisible’ when rendering the model.

Set type of cross-section to numerical


Extra: 2D dummy element

A 2D dummy element can be modelled by creating a fictive material and using this material in a 2D element:

Create a fictive material for a 2D element