ETABS BIM link to IDEA StatiCa Member

This tutorial guides you to activate the BIM link between ETABS and IDEA StatiCa Member and shows how to import a beam from ETABS. Then the beam with its joints is designed and analyzed using the CBFEM method.

1 How to activate the link

After installation of both programs, start ETABS and Click Tools > Add/Show Plugins to open the Plugin Manager dialog. This option lets you install and add add-ins (programs) to the appropriate places in the ETABS menu.

Browse for

C:\Program Files\IDEA StatiCa\StatiCa 21.0\ETABSv18PlugIn_IDEAStatiCa.dll

and click Add

2 How to use the link

Open the attached project in ETABS and run the analysis.

Go to the menu item Tools and run the export command you have just defined.

The Code-check manager opens and at first, you need to choose the code

Then you can select the two beams shown in the picture below in the ETABS project for export. The joints connected to the beams will be automatically exported as well. 

 If the beams are selected, you can click on the Member button in the Code-check manager. With this, all the selected beams and their joints from ETABS will be imported into the Code-check manager.

The next thing you need to do is to configure the joints in the Code-check manager. One of the joints (number 2) was already shown in the tutorial for connection design. Please go through the steps in that tutorial to design and code-check that joint. In this tutorial, you will do the same for joint 1 and 3 to complete the connection design, before you can go to IDEA StatiCa Member. 

The two joints (1 and 3) are symmetrical, so you can do the same steps for both of them to achieve the results.  

You click on the joint on the left side (joint  3). On the right side, you can see the scheme of the joint, you can set the bearing member and merge the continuous members. After that, click on the Finish button to complete the configuration of the joint. 

This has to be done also for joints 1 and 2. Finally, do the same for the member itself.

 The member is now ready to be opened in IDEA StatiCa Member for the CBFEM analysis. 

3 Design

Automatic data transfer is started and IDEA StatiCa Member with a generated project is launched. All members and load effects were added automatically.

This tutorial works with imperial units. If you use metric units, you can switch them to imperial by clicking in the upper ribbon on Project and then Units in the left menu or check out this article

To get the analysis of the member, we first have to design all the joints along with the member. You can start with Node 3 when clicking on Edit connection. 

Now you will define a set of manufacturing operations to model the connection between members. Right-click on member 2 and select Connect to..

Select the column, in the new window click on the third picture.

Continue with setting of the bolts.

Repeat this operation for member 31.

 The last operation you will add is Stiffener.

Click on the Save button and close the window.

Now you can apply this designed joint to node 1.

The middle joint is the same as in the tutorial, please apply the operation Cleat as shown in the next picture.


To complete our member, we have to add openings to the web along both beams. We click on item 1 under Operations and select New operation and then Openings. We set the numbers as in the picture.

We do the same for member 2

4 Check

The materially non-linear analysis based on CBFEM is started by the icon Calculate from the top ribbon. The analysis model is automatically generated, the calculation is performed and we can check results.

If we want the LBA - Linear buckling analysis, we need to select Check in the upper ribbon and click on LBA.

As you can see, the result of this analysis is greater than 15, so it is not necessary to continue with the Geometrically and materially nonlinear analysis. More about it see the Theoretical background.

5 Report

At last, we go to the tab Report. IDEA StatiCa offers a fully customizable report to print out or save in an editable format.

Attached Downloads

Give us feedback. Was this article useful?

Become a certified connection design professional

Ready to master analysis, design, and code-check skills of various steel connections for everyday engineering practice? Our online course can help you

Try idea statica for free

Download a free trial version of IDEA StatiCa