Get inspired by Connection Library

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Designing a safe and cost-efficient steel connection in a large construction project is almost like searching for the golden nugget. For every single connection, you have tons of options on how to solve it. But there's been thousands and millions of similar connections designed before. So, why reinvent the wheel?

Cracking the connection design puzzle

As an expert in connection design, from time to time, you wonder how to solve a particular connection to satisfy the requests of all stakeholders.

You may argue with me that most of the steel connections in your projects are more or less standard, and you can design them blindfolded or at least with the help of your connection design Green Book. 

But in the corner of your mind, you know it is not perfectly true. Often you have to sit down with your colleagues with a pencil and paper to sketch out various possibilities for a column-to-beam connection that looked soooo simple at first glance. 

And here the discussion started: 

                "We've always done it that way."

                            "This connection would be too expensive."

                                          "You can't add bolts here. Welding there would be a much better option".

                                                           "It should be rather semi-rigid than rigid."

And then, you start searching for inspiration on how to solve such a connection safely and efficiently. First, within your office with your colleagues, then you start browsing and exploring your past projects. 

Somebody has to solve a similar issue before, right? 

And this is where IDEA StatiCa comes in. 

Connection Library at your service

Connection Library is a cloud application that provides you with 400,000+ ideas for your connection designs from all around the world. Saying that, it is by far the world's largest database of steel connections. Available just at your fingertips. And for free... 

With the Connection Library, you can browse examples matching your project and find inspiration in seconds

The use is pretty easy, just like 1-2-3. 

1. Define the geometry of your model

The whole database is segmented and filterable by a smart system of connection geometries. What does it mean? Using a few setting parameters, you can model your connection members quickly with a predefined set of cross-sections and filters. 

You can play with members, add them or remove, rotate, or adjust them. For each of them, you can select from 8 different types of cross-sections + one general, in case you are not sure yet. 

         Do you need to add a hollow section? No problem! 

         Did you say "rectangular"? Here you are! 

         Change it to I-shape? Just click here. 

By the way, if you are not sure about your solution yet or you want to see the rich inspiration for the most popular connection types, you can just click on one of the four preselected models in the bottom right corner. 

2. Browse potential candidates

Based on your model settings, you can start browsing thousands of connections with the same geometry. Obviously, the more precisely specified geometry, the more accurate the offer of solutions would be. 

If there are too many options, try to adjust filtering, refine your settings, or fine-tune connectors and features. 

           Need only welded connections? Just set the right filter on/off. 

           Do you need to see only anchorings? One more click...

If the offered examples are not matching perfectly, take a step back and adjust your initial model. 

3. Explore details in a 3D view

The last step enables you to explore connection details and properties in the 3D view window. You can find similar connections and see how other engineers solved them. 

To access the 3D view, you have to either have an IDEA StatiCa account already (you have the IDEA StatiCa desktop license, no matter if a commercial or free – educational or trial), or you can quickly create a free account, which allows you to explore the connection details.

Besides the filter settings, you can also see according to which standard the connection had been designed. 

If you like the selected solution, get inspired, and you can try to model it in the IDEA StatiCa desktop app on your own.

Where are all these connections coming from?

As you can imagine, putting together such an extensive database of steel connections was not an easy task. 

Connection Library has been created by structural engineers for the global community of engineers, nurturing inspiration and simplifying their work, much like programmers share code for collective benefit.

The Connection Library database comes from data gathered by another IDEA StatiCa cloud app called Viewer, where engineers can share their project files. We took those connection designs, made them anonymous, and kept just the important bits like cross-sections, member geometry, and the building codes. No data from our desktop applications were used to build the Connection Library database.

Now it's your turn...

IDEA StatiCa Connection Library is an (almost) endless source of inspiration for you. Take the plunge into testing, browse it, change geometries... Just do your best to find out what scenarios it can cover for you, your projects, and designs. 

Connection Library is a new tool, and as for every new project, we would love to hear your feedback

What do you like or dislike? How can it be improved, or what features should we add to it? Do you miss more advanced filtering? 

If you have any suggestions, feel free to share them with us via a simple survey form, which you can find in the bottom right corner of the Connection Library screen. 

OK. So what are you waiting for now? 

Start exploring the Connection Library!