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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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When creating a Rhino Grasshopper algorithm, it is useful to create models which are ready to be calculated or designed. For example, when defining structures with membranes or cables, a freshly created model without add-ons cannot be successfully calculated.
In order to create a new model with add-ons enabled, you need to consider the "Use template" option in the RFEM 6 Export Component in Grasshopper. To enable it, you need to give it information about an absolute path to a RFEM 6 template file.
After connecting this data, the new model will be created with the use of this template and, for example, this allows you to automatically enable the Form-Finding add-on in the model.
No, the plugins are not installed automatically.
This means that the user must have installed both Rhino 7 or Grasshopper and RFEM 6 on the computer. However, Rhino or Grasshopper should be closed.
Afterwards, you have to navigate to the following folder:
C:\Program Files\Dlubal\RFEM 6.01\tools\RhinoPlugin
This includes the "DlubalRfem6Plugin.rhi" file. Simply double-click the file. The Rhino Package Installer opens.
After completion, the plugin is installed and you can find the respective icons for controlling the interfaces in Rhino 7 and Grasshopper.
It is also necessary to ensure that the server has been started in RFEM. You can also find this setting in the RFEM menu "Options" under "Program Options".
AnswerRhino 7 will be supported as of program version 5.25.01. You can install the plug-in as follows:1. Go to the following folder, depending on your system:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Dlubal\DLInstaller"2. Run DLInstaller.exe.3. In the "Registration" tab, select your program version and click "Register".4. If this does not solve the problem, please send us the report that is generated via "Show Log".
I would like to import a large, curved surface from Rhino into RFEM, but I get the following error message: "Command: ExportToRFEM5. Nodes compare tolerance is set too low. You could adjust it by document units settings. Export error. Error to write data, message: Coordinate Z is out of range. Export to RFEM finished." How can I fix this error?
Meshes are not supported in RFEM because they are not "smooth surfaces", but consist of individual facets; see the third paragraph under Meshes vs. NURBS:
A mesh represents 3D surfaces as a series of discreet facets, [...]
As an appropriate solution, we recommend using the Rhino command "MeshToNurbs".
The resulting polysurface can be exported to RFEM.
AnswerTo use our Grasshopper plugin, a COM license is not required (although the communication takes place via the COM interface).There is an interesting webinar on "Data Exchange Between Rhino/Grasshopper and RFEM".
Download the following link:
(1) Please close RFEM and Rhino.
(2) Open the ZIP folder and double click the *.rhi file.
(3) Select the "Anyone who uses this computer" option in the Rhino Package Installer.
AnswerAfter successful installation of the interface, the RFEM5 toolbar is available. The corresponding components allow you to control the export to RFEM. To do this, simply drag and drop them into the programming interface. Import from RFEM is not possible.The "RFEM 5 COM Component" allows for communication between Grasshopper and RFEM. As soon as you use this component with the geometrical information, the export will begin. An opened RFEM file is expected. We recommend using an empty file, because the export overwrites all information. The update mechanism is not implemented at the moment. Using "Value List", you can additionally define the unit that is used to describe the geometry. The modifications of tolerances are usually only necessary if the points have been defined very close to each other. You can enter the number to be stored for this in "Panel".The "RFEM 5 Member Component" allows you to attach additional information to the geometry (lines, curves). These are considered during the export to RFEM so that the members can be created. The material and cross-section name can be entered in a text box (panel). The member rotation can be defined in [rad] using "Number Slider". For the definition of member hinges, it is necessary to additionally load "RFEM 5 Member Hinge Component". The input consists of 6 degrees of freedom, which can be controlled individually. For the release of a degree of freedom, it is necessary to define the value "0", and spring constants are expected in the units [N/m] or [Nm/rad]. It is not possible to change the unit. Currently, nonlinearities cannot be specified.The "RFEM 5 Surface Component" can be used in a similar way as the "Member" component. A surface is expected when entering the geometry. The material can be attached to the surface using a "panel". The surface thickness can be defined in [m] using the number slider. The stiffness type of the surface can be controlled by "Value List" with the predefined types.You can create nodal supports using "RFEM 5 Nodal Support Component". On the Input page, you can define the points to be supported. In this case, we recommend using the already existing definition nodes of surfaces or lines. All 6 degrees of freedom can be controlled. In this case, the value "0" means a release in the respective direction, "-1" means a fixed support. Spring constants can be defined in the same way as member hinges.You can download the Grasshopper file shown in the image. It is only necessary to activate "RFEM 5 COM Component".
AnswerIn principle, it is very simple to use the interface. After successful installation, the Dlubal toolbar is available in Rhino. This includes two icons (Export and Import)."Import" allows you to import data from RFEM to Rhino. In this case, the whole RFEM model is always imported. No update is necessary. The data are added to the existing structure."Export" allows you to export data from Rhino to RFEM. The entire structure is usually exported. If you only want to export parts of the structure, select them before starting the export. In order to perform the export, it is necessary to open RFEM and create a file. Please note that the export procedure overwrites all existing data of the opened file. Therefore, we recommend opening an empty file.
Please make sure that Rhino (version 6.20 or later) is already installed on your computer. Then you can run the RFEM 5 installation. For this, you need version 5.21.02, at least. The plug-ins are automatically saved in one of the following directories and also installed.
C:\Program Files\Common Files\McNeel\Rhinoceros\6.0\Plug-ins\
After completing the installation, you can run Rhino and Grasshopper. In both programs, the Dlubal-specific toolbars should be available by now. It is also possible to subsequently attach the Dlubal toolbar for Rhino to the other toolbars (see the video).
If Rhino has been installed later than RFEM, the interface is not available. In this case, we recommend reinstalling RFEM.
- Interface Between RFEM/RSTAB and Autodesk Revit
RFEM and RSTAB communicate with Revit Structure via a direct interface and allow for data exchange. Structures modeled with RFEM and RSTAB can be transferred to Revit Structure at the push of a button.
RFEM/RSTAB is based on an object-oriented building model, and Revit on parametric modeling. Thus, the intelligence of the objects is not lost during the data exchange. This means that you get another equivalent object in Revit or RFEM/RSTAB for a column or beam, not just a collection of lines.
A detailed overview of the interfaces and the BIM-oriented planning is available on our website: Building Information Modeling (BIM).Also, there are several webinars about BIM that you can watch for free to learn more.
- Direct RSTAB/RFEM Interface to Autodesk AutoCAD
The members are exported as lines from RFEM/RSTAB. The layers of these lines contain information about the cross-sections and materials used. When exporting a DXF file from RFEM, it is possible to export the numbering, which is controlled by the navigator, in addition to the entire model - including the FE mesh.
Another option for exporting from RFEM/RSTAB is to transfer results in the form of isolines to a DXF file. Various elements such as isolines, FE mesh, values, and so on, can be specifically selected.
- Direct RSTAB/RFEM Interface to Tekla Structures
With the directly integrated interface, the analytical model of detailed systems can be transferred easily from Tekla Structures to RFEM/RSTAB.
The Tekla model can be updated quickly using the direct interface by comparing the modified materials, profiles, and coordinates when carrying out modifications in structural engineering. It is also possible to remove the construction elements that no longer exist, or to add new ones.
- Interfaces to Rhino & Grasshopper
Rhino interface: Lines as well as surfaces including openings can be transferred to RFEM (export) or imported from RFEM (import). The following line types can be transferred: line, polyline, arc, circle, ellipse, parabola, and NURBS. Furthermore, it is possible to exchange these surface types: plane, rotated surface, and NURBS.
Grasshopper interface: This interface allows you to activate the Dlubal tab in Grasshopper. This includes three components. The "Surfaces" component allows you to add Dlubal-specific surface properties (material, thickness, surface stiffness type) to 2D geometries. Use the "Member" component to add member-specific properties (material, cross-section, member rotation) to incoming lines or curves. The third component allows direct export to RFEM.
- Other Exchange Formats
DXF, IFC, STP (for example, for Intergraph, Advance Steel, SEMA, Cadwork, HSB-Cad, and so on), DSTV (for example, for Bocad and Frilo), FEM (Glaser) and CFE (Strakon), XLS (Microsoft EXCEL), CSV, ISM.DGN, DGN (Bentley ISM), DAT, SMLX (Advance Steel), ASF (Nemetschek Allplan), ESF
- Interface Between RFEM/RSTAB and Autodesk Revit
Unable to find the answer to your question? Contact us via phone, email, chat or forum or send us your question directly through our online form.
Wind Simulation & Wind Load Generation
It's getting windy here! Send your structures to the digital wind tunnel using the stand-alone program RWIND 2. It simulates wind flows around structures, regardless of whether they are simple or complex.
You can easily import the generated wind loads acting on these objects into RFEM or RSTAB and use them for your further calculations.
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