Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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  • Answer

    When using the COM interface (RF‑COM or RS‑COM), you can create a comment by using the guide object interface IGuideObjects. The following is an example program that creates a comment:

    Sub test_comment()

    '   get interface from the opened model and lock the licence/program
        Dim iModel As RFEM5.IModel3
        Set iModel = GetObject(, "RFEM5.Model")

    On Error GoTo e
        Dim iModelData As RFEM5.IModelData2
        Set iModelData = iModel.GetModelData
        Dim iGuiObj As RFEM5.IGuideObjects
        Set iGuiObj = iModel.GetGuideObjects
        Dim comm As RFEM5.Comment
        '   set frame type
        comm.Frame = CircularFrameType
        '   set reference object type
        comm.ObjectType = GeneralObjectType
        comm.ObjectNo = 1
        '   set point if GeneralObjectType is choosen
        comm.Point.X = 2
        comm.Point.Y = 4
        comm.Point.Z = 6
        '   set offset from reference object
        comm.Offset.X = 0.5
        comm.Offset.Y = 1
        comm.Offset.Z = 1.5
        comm.Rotation = 1
        '   set text of comment
        comm.Text = "testcomment"
        '   transfer object to program
        iGuiObj.SetComment comm
    e:  If Err.Number <> 0 Then MsgBox Err.description, , Err.Source
        Set iModelData = Nothing
        Set iModel = Nothing

    End Sub

    The selection of the reference or the element to which the comment is refferred to is defined by the type (ObjectType) first. Here, it is possible to select, for example, a member, a node or any point in space. Next, the number of the reference object is specified via ObjectNo (for example, Member 1). If you have selected a free point, it is set by Point.
    Finally, you can specify an offset which results from the reference object.
  • Answer

    Yes, the data is freely available. You can find the structures in the download section of this FAQ.
  • Answer

    The Dlubal toolbar is available to the user after carrying out a successful installation of the interface. Use the corresponding components to control the export to RFEM. To do this, simply drag and drop them into the programming interface. An import from RFEM is not possible.

    Communication between Grasshopper and RFEM is enabled by the 'RFEM 5 COM Component'. Once this component with geometric information is activated, the export is started. An opened RFEM file is supposed. It is also recommended to use an empty file because the export procedure overwrites or deletes all information. An update mechanism is currently not implemented.
    The 'RFEM 5 Member Component' allows the user to attach additional information to the geometry (lines, curves). These are taken into account when exporting to RFEM so that the members can be created. The name of material and cross-section has to be entered in a text box (panel). The member rotation can be defined by means of a 'Number Slider' in [rad].
    The 'RFEM 5 Surface Component' is to be used analogously to the 'Member' component. There is supposed a surface when entering the geometry. Using a panel, it is possible to attach the material to them. The thickness of the surface is defined by a number slider in [m]. The stiffness type of the surface can be controlled by means of a 'Value List' with predefined types.

    The Grasshopper file relating to graphic has been saved for download. You only have to define the connecting lines for the final export.

  • Answer

    In principle, the handling of the interface is very simple. After carrying out a successful installation, the Dlubal toolbar is available in Rhino. This includes two icons (Export and Import).

    Using 'Import', it is possible to import data from RFEM to Rhino. It is always imported the whole RFEM model. No update shall be performed in this case. The data is added to the existing structure.
    Click 'Export' to export data from Rhino to RFEM. Normally, the entire structure is exported. If you only want to export parts of the structure, select them before starting the export. It is necessary to start the RFEM and create a file to carry out the export. Please note that the export procedure overwrites all existing data of the opened file. Therefore, it is recommended to open an empty file.

  • Answer

    Please make sure that Rhino (version 6.20 or later) is already being installed. Then carry out the RFEM 5 installation. For this, you need at least version 5.21.02. The plug-ins are automatically saved in one of the following directories and installed during the installation.

    C:\Program Files\Common Files\McNeel\Rhinoceros\6.0\Plug-ins\

    Figure 02 - Directory of Plug-ins

    After completing the installation, Rhino and Grasshopper can be started. In both programs, the Dlubal-specific toolbars should be available by now. It is possible to attach the Dlubal Toolbar for Rhino to the other toolbars also retroactively (see video).

    Figure 01 - Dlubal Toolbar

    If Rhino has been installed later than RFEM, the interface is not available. In this case, it is recommended to perform a reinstallation of the RFEM.

  • Answer

    In RFEM, the graphical results are smoothed on the basis of the results at FE mesh points. The results are transferred to REVIT on the basis of the results on grid points. In RFEM, the grid for the surfaces is set to 0.5 m by default. Set a fine grid for the surfaces and the graphical display of the results in RFEM and REVIT is comparable.
  • Answer

    Both RFEM and RSTAB are available as solutions. In addition to Eurocode 2, international standards such as ACI 318, CSA A23.3, SIA 262 or GB 50010 are also available for the designing in both programs.

    With additional modules for columns, foundations, or punching shear designs, it is possible to calculate the components quickly and reliably.

    Main Programs RFEM or RSTAB
    The main programs RFEM or RSTAB are used to define structures, materials, and Actions.

    RFEM is clearly the first choice for solid structures, since in addition to the possibility of creating spatial frame structures, structural systems consisting of plates, walls and shells can be created as well. RFEM is the more diverse variant, as it can be equipped and extended with appropriate additional modules for all materials and designs.

    Available Standards
    • Eurocode 2 (EN 1992-1-1)
    • SIA 262
    • ACI 318
    • CSA A23.3
    • GB 50010
    Add-on modules
      Basic module providing the functionality for the reinforced concrete design of members, for RFEM additionally also for plates, walls, folded plate structures and shells.
    • RF-/CONCRETE Columns
      Reinforced concrete design according to the model column method or nominal curvature method
    • RF-PUNCH Pro
      Punching Shear Designs of Surfaces
      Design of Single, Bucket and Block Foundations
    • RF-CONCRETE Deflect (RFEM)
      Analytical deformation analysis
      Realistic deformation analysis of surfaces and members
    Dynamic Analysis
    If earthquake calculations or vibration analysis of the building are necessary, the RF-/DYNAM Pro Add-on Modules provide suitable tools for determining natural frequencies and shapes, forced vibration analysis, generation of equivalent loads or also for nonlinear time history analysis.

    If you have any further questions on the Dlubal programs, please do not hesitate to contact the sales department.
  • Answer

    If you are using members with cross-sections, which are not known be the interface, you should use the mapping file for cross-sections. The mapping file can be easily filled with the names of the cross-sections. In the left column of the table write the names of cross-section used in TEKLA and in the right column you write the DLUBAL names or select them from the library.
    Please check the attached video.

    In TEKLA you have to have loaded the right environment. In the video Chinese cross-sections should be transferred, so the Chinese environment has to be used in TEKLA.
  • Answer

    There can be several reasons for this.
    • It may i.a. be caused by the fact that the DXF file contains only blocks that have first to be separated e.g. by means of the ‘Explode’ function .
    • Another source of problems may consist in the fact that a specific layer is selected for import in the ‘DXF ASCII Formats’ tab of the RFEM or RSTAB import dialog box that either does not exist or contains no data.
    • The type of backup in the CAD program may also cause some problems. It is possible to save DXF files in the binary DXF format. Their advantage consists in saving about 25% of the memory size. However, they cannot be processed by RFEM and RSTAB. Therefore, to save the DXF file, the ASCII format should be selected in the CAD program.
  • Answer

    For many users, the very realistic display of a building in construction programs arouses the wish to carry out the structural analysis of this building with the same complex spatial model.

    Again and again, the design of log cabins is approached to us. Unfortunately, this attractive construction method is relatively complex for three-dimensional analysis. The dimensioning results in some critical questions that cannot be answered.

    1. Which sorting class is the timber subject to? In a log house, damp unsorted timber is often used.
    2. How is the contact between the timber types regulated? Diamond notch, connection with moving timbers etc.?
    3. Have mullions been installed? Which type of timber and how are they supported horizontally?
    4. Which dimensions does the timber have? In a log construction, a grown trunk can often be integrated. These trunks do not have uniform dimensions because nature cannot be put into a grid.
    5. How is it possible to consider contact between two layers of a timber?
    Furthermore, log houses are common for houses with a maximum of 2 full floors because of their high placement of more than 15 cm per storey. Thus, the occurring forces are within a manageable framework and can be determined sufficiently precisely with the methods of the structural analysis for members in 2D structures. In RFEM/RSTAB, there is an option to define rounded bars in a tapered way for this purpose. Thus, the definition of 2D equivalent systems can be done much faster in RFEM/RSTAB.

    There is some information in the given literature source.

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First Steps

First steps

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Wind Simulation & Wind Load Generation

With the stand-alone program RWIND Simulation, wind flows around simple or complex structures can be simulated by means of a digital wind tunnel.

The generated wind loads acting on these objects can be imported to RFEM or RSTAB.

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