Do I have to be a FEM expert to use IDEA StatiCa Steel?

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No, you don’t have to be a FEM expert to use our software, and that’s the whole point. In IDEA StatiCa Steel, you will rarely encounter the FEM Analysis settings, if you do at all. The reason is IDEA StatiCa Steel has been developed with the help of top experts in the structural connection field, who have fine-tuned our analysis engines for casual engineering use.

To be more specific, you don’t have to think about how to model a bolt properly by choosing between nonlinear material laws, or how to model the holes contact behavior, etc. You just define the geometry by cutting, welding, positioning the parts as you would do in a manufacturing shop. Then you apply forces, solve and check results. If they don’t fit, you just modify the geometry. That’s it.

The solver behind IDEA StatiCa Steel applications has been developed from scratch specifically for this kind of structure, by combining knowledge from other industries like the aircraft industry where FEM has been used on a more advanced level over the last years than in civil engineering. The scope was to reproduce the real behavior of a connection and optimize the mesh to fit the needs of a practical design (for example it recreates the real behavior of welded plates – not an intersected/unified mesh of plates as other software but connected through welds).

So, everything is happening behind the scenes in an automated way that allows the user to focus only on the geometry and the application of loads.

Read more about the CBFEM method which powers our steel applications or watch this video to get the basics: