Industry standard in connection design

IDEA StatiCa and its followers

3D scene
Solid/Transparent/ ... model view
Sketches – sections Limited features (no notches, offsets, aligning, etc...)
Measurement tool
Analysis types
Overall check (Stress & Strain)
Stiffness analysis
Capacity design
Design resistance
Anchor check
Concrete check (break out, compression, etc.)
Shear lug
Modeling operations
Cut of member Partially implemented
Stiffening member
Stiffening plate
Cut of plate
Bolt grid only two entities can be bolted together
Anchor grid
Working plane
Negative volume cut
Bolt checks
Code-checks as per code
Redistribution of stress along the group of bolts only linear redistribution only linear redistribution
Detailing check according to code Partially implemented
Bilinear load-deformation diagram
Preloaded bolts
Cost estimates
Material cost estimates of connections
Code setup
Code dependent values
FEM solver properties Partially implemented Partially implemented
Advanced analysis settings
Code check settings Partially implemented
Supported codes
Cross-sections standard CHS not implemented
Cross-sections user - parametric
Materials standard Limited features (no notches, offsets, aligning, etc...)
Materials user - parametric Limited features (no notches, offsets, aligning, etc...)
Design help & automation
Initial design
Load editing
Equilibrium check
Value input
Percentage input
Load shift input
Loads import Partially implemented Imported from FEM model automatically
Member editing
General geometry Imported from FEM model automatically
FEM boundary conditions Imported from FEM model automatically
Member align Imported from FEM model automatically
Wizard – new project
User templates
Suggestion of suitable design Partially implemented
Parametric templates
Plate check
According to the code
Plate Editor
Plate Editor
Property grid
Pick in 3D feature
Value change by key/mouse
Multiple bolt/anchor input by string
Report formats
Word docx
Report capabilities
Bill of material
Code checks
Formulas and values Limited features (no notches, offsets, aligning, etc...)
Customizable content
Structural design results
Visual results in 3D scene
Overall check
Strain check
Buckling shape
Equivalent stress
Plastic strain
Stress in contacts
Bolt forces
Anchor forces
Deformed view
Solver capabilities
Dedicated FEM solver General, open-source FEM solver Not available information
Quad FE mesh Only triangular FE mesh Not available information
Geometrically and Materially non-linear analysis Not available information
Dedicated FE model for welds Not available information
Advanced solver features (deplanation-warping) Not available information
Imports/exports from various SW BIM links with 20+ FEA and CAD programs worldwide Partially Implemented RFEM 6 basic feature
Open format data exchange RFEM 6 basic feature
Timber design
Steel-to-timber connections
UX settings
Automatic updates
Imperial units
One-window GUI (design, check, report)
In-app help
Verification and validation of results
Verification examples done by the vendor Not published Not published
Verifications done by external authorities (universities, experts) Not published Not published
Verification book from a team of experts Not published Not published
Theoretical background limited Not published
Full explanation of the method used Not published Not published
Weld checks
Code-check according to code
Redistribution of stress along the weld only linear weld behavior Not available information
Stress value figure/visualization
Bilinear load-deformation diagram Not available information
Partial and intermittent No intermittent weld Partially implemented

Story of innovation

The first release of IDEA StatiCa Connection in 2014 was a culmination of years of R&D in the field of structural engineering and specifically in the design of steel connections. IDEA StatiCa is leading a network of universities and experts that was able to solve one of the trickiest parts of structural design today. As our customer base grew to 6000 customers worldwide, it is no surprise that some companies are trying to develop a similar solution for the structural design of all steel connections.

Malpractice warning

While we cannot stop these companies from presenting pictures resembling IDEA StatiCa, we encourage all engineers to check the technology and science behind these solutions thoroughly. To our best knowledge, these programs are based on prototypes of calculation models with very few verification examples and no scrutiny from external experts. They might calculate some connections right, especially with a low loading level, but they have nothing in common with rigorous connection design of IDEA StatiCa.

Source of this comparison

This is the comparison of three software with respective versions:

  • IDEA StatiCa Steel, application Connection, version 21.0 
  • CYPE Connect Steel, version 2022.g 
  • RFEM 6 Steel joints add-on 

We listed key IDEA StatiCa features on the left and identified their status of implementation in the other two. If something is missing in IDEA StatiCa and is implemented in the other software, it is also listed.

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