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Thread: export for structural analysis

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    I'll start off by saying that I'm new here, and I'm a structural engineer. I've been working in revit for a coule weeks now, and I'm starting to appreciate its abilities and potential.

    Ok, I've fully modelled in revit the framing for a large church building (relatively complicated layout). Took a couple days, but it looks great. In an attempt to save time, I want to export the steel framing (all located in its own workset) to a single line 3D DXF file. I've found that by going into the 3D view, then exporting from there, I can get a dxf of the framing, but all the beams and columns shapes are shown. If there was a way to do this while leaving a clean line drawing my efforts would be greatly reduced.

    I don't know 3D autocad very well, and I can't figure out how to fix it there either. Is there anyone out there that has successfully converted framing to a finite element analysis program?

    Any insight would be appreciated.

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    Revit Technical Specialist - Autodesk Scott D Davis's Avatar
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    Default Re: export for structural analysis

    This is a question for Greg Cashen. He was on vacation last week, not sure if he's back yet. Drop him a PM or eamil.

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    Default Re: export for structural analysis

    I am currently experimenting with exporting a DXF file from Revit and importing the structural geometry to a structural analysis and design application (SAP2000). So far I have not had much success but I will let you know if I make any progress.

    Dave S.

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    AUGI Addict PeterJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: export for structural analysis

    If what you require is essentially a stick diagram then you should just be able to set the view resoltuin to coarse and then export. I have not played with 3D export so I don't know what you will guess, but it should work.

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    Revit Guru gregcashen's Avatar
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    Default Re: export for structural analysis

    I can do this...sort of ... in Multi-frame. Don't know about other tools, but I would guess it's pretty similar based on past experiences. Here's what you do...

    1) Open a 3D Framing view with nothing visible but the framing and columns.

    2) Export view as DXF. Because Revit structural framing members have these nasty offsets that cause the beams to hold back from the supporting member, the stick model will also have gaps between the elements, so...

    3) In autocad, join all the joints together so there are no gaps (this could also probably be done in the analysis program, but I find that to be tedious sometimes...so I use autocad, which is slightly less tedious).

    4) Save and open the DXF in the analysis program.

    5) Rotate/Move the model to the proper orientation.

    6) Repost here with results...

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    AUGI Addict aggockel50321's Avatar
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    Default Re: export for structural analysis

    Has anyone looked at the new XML export available in 6.0?

    Try one & take a look at the file. Might be useful.

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    Default Re: export for structural analysis

    I've tried exporting the stick frame in coarse mode, but my structural program (ram advanse) can't open it. I noticed another potential problem, that is the beam will show up in that stick diagram at its base level. Doesn't consider offsets. My building is very irregular, some of my offsets are 3 or 4 feet. That doesn't work so well.

    I think I will just build my model for now and hope that in the futer Revit will be more accomodating to structural engineers. There are many items on this list...

    Thanks for the help.

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    Revit Guru gregcashen's Avatar
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    Default Re: export for structural analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremyf
    I think I will just build my model for now and hope that in the futer Revit will be more accomodating to structural engineers. There are many items on this list...
    I think it will be VERY accomodating to engineers in the future. I have a lot of wishes too!

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    Default Re: export for structural analysis

    I want to add some suggestions to Greg’s workflow:
    What we did recently is that we changed the medium representation of beam families.
    We assume here that we do not need the medium view representation. We simplified the beam by just having a stick view representation. We also removed all the “nasty offsets”.
    So we built the model in Revit and used coarse and fine view to generate drawings and we used medium views to generate dxf for analysis packages.
    We generated 2D plan view dxf and we imported them in Etabs. Then we built objects (beams, columns) in Etabs.
    I have attached a bitmap of the 2 models and also the beam family.
    You can also generate 3D dxf. Now the problem is, do analysis packages can read 3D dxf? Some can and some can’t. General purpose finite element programs should be able to do it but building design packages will be more likely to read 2D plan views dxf only.
    Without telling you too much information, I can tell you that in the future you will be able to exchange objects between Revit and analysis packages.

    Nicolas Mangon
    Revit Structural Product Manager
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    Default Re: export for structural analysis

    Nicolas,

    This is very exciting - particularly since you are looking into the interface with ETABS (and hopefully Computer and Structures, Inc.'s general purpose analysis and design application SAP2000)!

    Did you import a 3D or 2D Revit dxf to ETABS to create the ETABS model?

    Dave S.

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