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Thread: Shaping the end of a steel beam

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    Default Shaping the end of a steel beam

    I am trying to shape the end of a steel beam (i.e., cut off the bottom flange, and rip the web down to 12" deep). (see attached). Can this beam done with a Void form, so that the beam is still an active beam, i.e. the void form is sort of like a 3-dimensional "masking" of the actual beam.
    I tried it this way (made an in-place family consisting of a void form) and error says the void form isn't cutting anything, and it suggests to use "cut geometry", but "cut geometry" doesn't allow me to pick the beam to cut it.
    ...or should I just build the beam(s) as an in-place family(ies) and have it unhidden for those views where I want to see the shape?
    ...or just give up and depict how I want to cut the beam in a detail view w/ masking regions and lines?
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    Default Re: Shaping the end of a steel beam

    You can use Opening by Face to do this with a beam

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    Director of Operations David Harrington's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shaping the end of a steel beam

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Moore View Post
    You can use Opening by Face to do this with a beam
    Absolutely correct. Now it should be said that some extrusion families can't be cut (old ones) but all 2011 should work. I would recommend getting the beam in the exact location (position/length) before cutting so one you cut you don't have to move it anymore. Moving after cut is a hassle with the opening by face element attached as well.
    Take care,
    David Harrington
    AUGI Director of Operations

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    Count (Formula) dbaldacchino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shaping the end of a steel beam

    And if you have multiple of these beams, you might consider building a void within your beam family instead. I cannot recall if one Opening by Face can cut multiple families, so if you're having to do this one by one, it might get tedious.

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    Default Re: Shaping the end of a steel beam

    Thanks all, the opening by face did the trick.

    Crazy thing is, it knew to cut the whole beam even tho the face I picked to cut was only the web. Does it know what all to cut based on what the element is that you are cutting?

    crazier thing is, I made a bunch of in place families with sweeps and voids. yuck.

    I've also learned to check the "instant email notification" so I can hear from experts before I try my own solutions....

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    Default Re: Shaping the end of a steel beam

    Opening by face works only in one instance... so if you do have multiple beams to cut, you would have to use opening by face on each one. The opening by face will cut the whole depth of the member - flange and web - so it doesn't matter what face you pick, it will still cut all the way through.

    I was thinking about the adding a void in the family, but there are some potential issues with that. First, if you just add it to your base family, you better make sure nobody loads a new size from the unedited beam family - or else you would lose your cut. Also, if you were to make a second family with the void for only those conditions, you could have some issues with analytical work... these aren't necessarily a reason not to do it, but things to keep in mind.

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    Default Re: Shaping the end of a steel beam

    In my experience, the best way to handle this (especially with multiple beams cut in the same manner)
    is to use "cut geometry" and reference planes. Group the lot, make sure you include the reference planes in your group. As already mentioned opening by face is ok, but it's a one off, and the void method has other issues associated with it. Cut geometry + ref planes. Group, copy or array group easiest and most efficient method.

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    Count (Formula) dbaldacchino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shaping the end of a steel beam

    Hey stranger

    Quote Originally Posted by gposton.203732 View Post
    I was thinking about the adding a void in the family, but there are some potential issues with that. First, if you just add it to your base family, you better make sure nobody loads a new size from the unedited beam family - or else you would lose your cut. Also, if you were to make a second family with the void for only those conditions, you could have some issues with analytical work... these aren't necessarily a reason not to do it, but things to keep in mind.
    I would definitely suggest that you save a separate family, use unique naming and place it in a different location than out of the box content. Not sure why you would have problems with analytical. I suppose if the void changes the section properties but the software still reads the parameters of the original un-voided family, then yeah I can see that!

    To cut multiple families with the opening by face option, I would try and group the one that is cut and then array/copy it around. That way you still have just one opening to control. EDIT: pretty much what karalon is saying and yes, if all you need is a simple cut then using the ref. plane works like a charm. You could also cut them one by one using the same ref. plane so if you need to make adjustments to it, they all update.
    Last edited by dbaldacchino; 2011-07-01 at 10:28 PM.

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