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  • Answer

    The reason this warning appears is because it is not possible to import 3D solids into RFEM from AutoCAD. Only 1D and 2D members can be imported in from AutoCAD to RFEM. The reason for this is because only line elements can be imported so with 3D solids they could not be automatically generated.

  • Answer

    In order to carry out the import in RFEM/RSTAB by using the DSTV interface, the program requires the nodes where the cross-sections can be located.

    It often happens, that members are only selected in the case of the "Export only selected objects" option (Figure 02). In this case, the nodes are missing in the selection. The model cannot be created.

    Therefore, you have to select all objects that are necessary for the description of the model by using the "Select" → "Related Objects" option (Figure 03). Then, the import is carried out properly.
  • Answer

    Please check the definition of the scissor hinges in the RSTAB 8 file.

    To properly consider the function of the scissor hinge, the scissor hinge of the same type must be specified on the member ends of both members ‘touching’ at a node. If this is not the case, you receive the described error message.

    Figure 01 - Note Regarding Incorrectly Defined Scissor Hinges

    If you have got this error message displayed when opening an RSTAB 8 file in RFEM 5, this may lead to problems in the calculation, for example, the structure becomes unstable due to incorrect hinge definition (already in RSTAB 8).

    The problem should, therefore, be adjusted either already in the RSTAB 8 file or the RFEM model after import.

  • Answer

    The cross-section library in RFEM or RSTAB offers the option to import a list of parameterized cross-sections into the user-defined cross-section library with the 'Import Cross-Section Table from File' function.

    Figure 01 - Importing Cross-Section Table from File

    For this task, the cross-section shape to be imported must be compatible with a shape that can already be parameterized in the Dlubal cross-section library (also known as a cross-section table). This cross-section shape then determines the type and order of the import parameters.

    To import a user-defined cross-section table, proceed as follows:

    1. In the Dlubal Cross-Section Library, find a cross-section table that is compatible with the cross-section table that you want to import.

      Here, the parameterizable cross-section types (thin-walled, solid and timber construction) specify the necessary parameters in the correct order for the import directly from the input boxes in the input boxes from top to bottom.

      Figure 02 - Parameters and Sequence of Regular Parametrically Defined Cross-Sections

      For rolled cross-section types, you can find the required parameters in the correct order using the 'Parametric Input' function.

      Figure 03 - Parameters and Sequence of Rolled Parametrically Defined Cross-Sections

    2. Create a CSV table for the cross-section table to be imported, which describes in each line a unique cross-section via the parameters 'Name' + Shape Parameters based on the previously defined parameter list and order.

      The shape parameters must be specified in mm

      Figure 04 - Creation of CSV File

      For reasons of data representation, the individual cross-section names in the CSV file should start with the same Text Fragment as the CSV file name itself. This ensures that the new cross-section table in RFEM or RSTAB bears the name of the CSV file.

    3. Import the CSV file with the cross-section table used into the user-defined cross-section library.

      Figure 05 - Importing Cross-Section Table

    4. Use the cross-sections of the newly imported cross-section table in your models.

      Figure 06 - Use of New User-Defined Cross-Section Table

  • 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

    When importing loads from support reactions of another RFEM file, it is possible to select the type of load distribution. There are available the options ‘Constant’ and ‘Polygonal’.
  • Answer

    The cross-sections created with SHAPE-THIN can be loaded via the cross-section library. To do this, click the 'Import Cross-Section from Program SHAPE-THIN' button in the 'New Cross-Section' dialog box (Figure 1).

    The dialog box 'Import Cross-Section from Program SHAPE-THIN' involves the following directories (Figure 2):

    • all directories that are included in the Project Manager of RFEM 5, RSTAB 8, SHAPE-THIN 8, etc.
    • all directories that are included in the Project Manager of previous program versions of SHAPE-THIN such as SHAPE-THIN 7

    With the "Search for SHAPE-THIN Cross-Section" button (Figure 3) it is possible to search for cross-sections in directories that are not integrated in the Project Manager. The searched directory is then added to the directory list of the 'Import Cross-section from Program SHAPE-THIN'.

    The desired cross-section can be selected and imported from the respective directory. Please note that the cross-sections must be calculated and saved in SHAPE-THIN before the cross-section values can be loaded. It is only possible to import each cross-section individually.

    When importing a SHAPE-THIN cross-section into RSTAB/RFEM, this cross-section is imported into the user-defined cross-section library. The user-defined cross-sections can be imported using the "Load Saved User-Defined Cross-Sections" button of the cross-section library (Figure 4). If you want to update the cross-section in the user-defined cross-section library, import the modified cross-section once more. The security query must be answered with 'Yes' (Figure 5).

    The video initially demonstrates how the BRIDGE cross-section from the folder Examples linked in the Project Manager is imported. Then, the cross-section example-1 is imported from the Desktop directory that is not linked to the Project Manager. The cross-sections are now available in the user-defined cross-section library. By way of example, the cross-section Example-1 in RFEM is deleted and pasted into the user-defined cross-section library. Subsequently, it is demonstrated how the Example-1 cross-section is changed to SHAPE-THIN and imported into RFEM.

  • Answer

    Importing *.igs or *.stp (STEP) files requires the RX-LINK add-on module (see Figure 01). Exporting is currently not possible.

    Additionally, it is possible to import a model with the CAD/BIM option. After selecting the file to be imported, it can be activated in the Options tab of the "New Model - General Data" dialog box (see Figure 02). Using this option, you can additionally convert the geometric elements directly into members, surfaces, or solids after the import (see Figure 03).

  • Answer

    As CAD software, SolidWorks currently provides the output via the IGES and STEP interfaces, which can be imported by our software but cannot be exported. For the greatest possible comfort, the CAD/BIM option should be activated (see link).

    In addition, it is also possible to exchange data via DXF files. Here, RFEM is also able to export or import 3D structures and surfaces.

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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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