FEA Software RFEM 6 | New Features
New Features and Tools for Effective Work
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In RFEM 6, numerous new features have been implemented, which make the daily work with the FEA program easier and more effective. On this page, we present a selection of new features.
The following new model types have been added to RFEM 6:
- 2D | XZ | 3D
- 2D | XY | 3D
- 1D | X | 3D
These model types allow modeling in a 1D or 2D environment (with optional cross-section rotation in all directions), but allow a three-dimensional load application and resulting 3D internal forces.
The construction site can be specified on a digital map. In addition to the address data (incl. altitude), the snow load zone, wind zone, and seismic zone are automatically imported. This data is in turn used by the load wizards.
All add-ons are automatically integrated in the programs RFEM 6 or RSTAB 9. This allows the individual program parts to interact (e.g. determination of the ideal overturning moment of timber beams using the "Torsional Warping (7 DOF)" add-on or consideration of staggered form-finding processes by means of the "Construction Stages Analysis (CSA)" add-on, and so on).
For members and sets of members with identical properties, you can define representatives for model organization, design, and documentation.
For member sections, the unit stresses (related to N = 1 kiP, My = 1 kiP/ft, and so on) can be displayed in order to be able to estimate their resistance.
A surface with the stiffness type "Load Transfer" has no structural effect. It can be used to consider the loads from surfaces that have not been modeled (for example, facade structures, glass surfaces, trapezoidal roof sections, and so on).
A surface contact serves to describe a contact definition between two or more surfaces that are at a distance away from each other. It is no longer necessary to create a contact solid between surfaces.
You can easily define rigid links between two lines or surface edges.
Imperfection cases are used to organize imperfections. The cases allow an imperfection description from local imperfections, notional loads, initial sway via table (new), a static deformation, a buckling mode, a dynamic eigenmode, or a combination of all these types (new).
Design situations serve to collect the relevant load situations for the design. For example, you can define a design situation for the design of different materials.
The following functions have been added to the snow and wind load wizards:
- Loading of hybrid models made of members and surfaces (RFEM only)
- Connection to the Geo-Zone Tool (depending on the global construction site definition)
- Switching off surface sides
The modern online licensing system allows licenses of RFEM, RSTAB, etc. to be distributed all over the world and assigned to the respective users via the Dlubal Account.
The printout report has been fundamentally revised. Among other things, the following has been optimized:
- Quick creation due to non-modal printout report environment (parallel work in program and report possible)
- Interactive modification of chapters as well as creation of new user-defined chapters
- Import of PDFs, formulas, 3D graphics, etc.
- Output of the design check formulas used in the design (including a reference to the used equation from the standard)
- Modern printout report design
For models where many load combinations have to be calculated, several solvers (one per core) are started in parallel. Each solver then calculates a load combination. This leads to a better utilization of the cores and thus faster calculations.
These features have been added to the result diagram window:
- Parallel work in the result diagram window and model
- Optional overlapping display of results (e.g. several similar structural components in one image)
The new API technology Web Services allows you to create your own desktop or web-based applications by controlling all objects included in RFEM/RSTAB. By providing libraries and functions, you can develop your own design checks, effective modeling of parametric structures, as well as optimization and automation processes using the programming languages Python and C#.
In addition to the import of IFC 2x3 (Coordination View & Structural Analysis View), the import and export of IFC 4 (Reference View & Structural Analysis View) is now supported.
The following features have been added to RFEM and RSTAB for determining wind loads using RWIND:
- Load wizards for generating wind load cases with different flow fields in the different wind directions
- Wind load cases with freely assignable analysis settings including a user-defined specification of the wind tunnel size and wind profile
- Display of the wind tunnel with input wind profile and turbulence intensity profile
- Visualization and use of the RWIND simulation results
- Global definition of a terrain (horizontal planes, inclined plane, table)
It is possible to assign hotkeys to a variety of commands. In this way, the frequently used commands can be executed quickly and easily with the previously assigned key combination.
By the way, this also works for your computer mouse. If this has other keys in addition to the left, right, and middle key, you can assign an abbreviation to them.
- Newton-Raphson with postcritical analysis
Input is simplified by specifying the element types for members, surfaces, solids, etc. (e.g. member nonlinearities, member stiffnesses, design supports, and many others).
Among other things, the Dlubal Center manages the projects and model files in a central location. Detailed information and graphics facilitate the assignment of all models for quick order processing. In addition, customer data including licensed programs and add-ons, etc. is organized in the Dlubal Center.
All add-ons are directly integrated in the program and, like the design standards for the respective materials, are managed centrally.
You can define any global model parameters. They can also be used in the documentation.
There are three new options available for defining variable surface thicknesses:
- 2 Nodes and Direction
- 4 Surface Corners
For all cross-sections used, statistical information such as total length, total volume, total weight, and so on is displayed.
Seven new cross-section distribution types are available for members (including arrangement function for aligning to a straight edge):
- Tapered at both sides
- Tapered at start of member
- Tapered at end of member
- Offset at both sides
- Offset at start of member
- Offset at end of member
A short text search has been added to the cross-section library in order to find a desired cross-section or cross-section series even more quickly.
In addition to sets of members, you can also combine lines, surfaces, and solids into sets, for example, to consider them as uniform elements in the design.
- Multiplication factor of total stiffness
- Multiplication factors of partial stiffnesses, weights and masses
- Basic objects
- Types for nodes
- Types for Lines
- Types for surfaces
- Load wizards
- Guide objects
A new file format for structural design, Structural Analysis Format (SAF), is now also supported. Both import and export is possible in RFEM 6 and RSTAB 9. SAF is a file format based on MS Excel, which is intended to facilitate the exchange of structural analysis models between different software applications.
Do you have any questions about our products or need advice on selecting the products needed for your projects?
Contact us via our free e-mail, chat, or forum support or find various suggested solutions and useful tips on our FAQ page.
The calculation of complex structures by means of finite element analysis software is generally performed on the entire model. However, the construction of such structures is a process carried out in multiple stages where the final state of the building is achieved by combining the separate structural parts. To avoid errors in the calculation of overall models, the influence of the construction process must be considered. In RFEM 6, this is possible by using the Construction Stages Analysis (CSA) add-on.
RFEM add-on module RF-LOAD-HISTORY | Consideration of plastic deformations from previous load conditions
The calculation is now optimized utilizing a multi-core processor technology. It enables parallel calculations of linear load cases and load combinations by several processors without additional demands on the RAM: The stiffness matrix has to be created only once. Thus, even large systems can be calculated with the fast direct solver.
For models where many load combinations have to be calculated, several solvers (one per core) are started in parallel. Each solver then calculates a load combination. This leads to a better utilization of the cores.
The development of the deformation is displayed in a diagram during the calculation. This allows for good assessment of the convergence behavior.
- Are the models and presentations from Info Day 2018 freely available, and can you send them to me?
- In RF‑CONCRETE Surfaces, I obtain a high amount of reinforcement in relation to a lever arm that is almost zero. How is such a small lever arm of internal forces created?
- When converting from the manual definition of reinforcement areas to the automatic arrangement of reinforcement according to Window 1.4, the result of the deformation calculation differs, although the basic reinforcement has not been modified. What is the reason for this change?
- I would like to define a line support with ineffective tension and apply the tension force on this line by using a nodal support instead. Why does the line support still receive a tension force?
- Why do I get a discontinuous area in the distribution of internal forces? In the area of the supported line, the shear force VEd shows a jump, which does not seems to be plausible.
- Where can I find detailed information about orthotropy mentioned in the manual?
- I obtain different results when comparing the deformation analysis in the RF‑CONCRETE add-on modules and another calculation program. What could be the reason for this?
- What is the best way to consider steel fiber concrete in the structural analysis software RFEM?
- How do I display some results of all load cases in the printout report, but other results of the selected load cases only?
- How can I model a thickened area of my concrete slab in RFEM such as a drop panel?