How to combine Tekla Structures and SAP2000

This tutorial will show you how to use IDEA Code-check manager to import a 3D joint model from Tekla Structures and merge it with internal forces imported from a SAP2000 structural joint model (as well as any other supported FEM/CAD software).

1 How to activate the link

2 How to use the link (SAP2000)

We will operate the models using our Code-check manager (CCM) application which is a BIM tool for export, manage, recalculate, or synchronize all connection items or member items. It is launched directly in the 3rd party applications. The Code-check manager provides useful commands for further processing of the imported items.

Open the attached project in SAP2000 and run the analysis to get results.

Go to menu item Tools and choose SAP2000v21PlugIn_IDEAStatiCa (for version 22). And select desired connection.

The code check manager pops up and you select the desired Design code (EN)

Confirm the selection by selecting Connection item.

You can start with the selection of Connection 3 and confirm it by Finish command. 

You can proceed with the Open button in the Code-check manager. In a while, the IDEA StatiCa Connection application window automatically appears with the exported connection. All members, loads, cross-sections, etc. were added automatically.

If you would like to explore more possibilities for BIM link with SAP 2000, learn more in BIM link tutorial for SAP 2000.  

3 How to use the link (Tekla Structures)

You can proceed and export the same 3D joint model from Tekla Structures. You will again take advantage of BIM links and receive a final design of your Connection from 3rd party software.

Open the attached project in Tekla Structures. Then choose the IDEA StatiCa tab in the top ribbon. The Code-check manager can be started from the selected ribbon.

The Code-check manager, the application for BIM imports, automatically appears. You can proceed with selecting the EN code and confirmation by the Continue command to start the BIM import.

The new project was created and you can start with the exports. The first step is the export to the Connection application.

Now the whole joint has to be defined. The application tells us what to do at the bottom command line. In this step, you should choose the node which will be representing the node of the joint. The selection can be confirmed by the spacebar

In the next step, the members have to be chosen. The first chosen member will be the bearing one. When all members all selected, confirm with the spacebar.

In the end, select all the remaining entities of the connection such as plates, bolts, and welds, and confirm with the spacebar.

After the confirmation automatic data transfer is performed, the Code-check manager imports the connection and creates the item in the list of exported connections. The connection and its components are highlighted in the Tekla Structures window. 

Let's proceed with the Open button in the Code-check manager. In a while, the IDEA StatiCa Connection application window automatically appears with the exported connection. All members, plates, welds, etc. were added automatically.

If you would like to explore more possibilities for BIM link with Tekla Structures, learn more in BIM link tutorial for Tekla Structures.  

4 How to combine Tekla Structures and SAP 2000

Data are prepared and you can merge the 3D joint model from Tekla Structures with internal forces imported from a SAP2000 structural joint model. 

Your connection exported from Tekla Structures is opened. If not, you can open it again by command Open in CCM in Tekla Structures.

You will choose Connection import button and find a path to the previously exported SAP2000 structural joint model (it is saved, where your SAP 2000 model is saved in the folder: Connections).

Load effects were correctly imported.

5 Design

If you would like to or it is necessary, you could change whatever you want in IDEA StatiCa (change settings, add some operations, etc.). Regarding our connection, we have finished the design. 

6 Calculation and Check

You can start the analysis by clicking Calculate in the ribbon. The analysis model is automatically generated, the calculation is performed and you can see the Overall check displayed together with basic values of check results.

Go to the display tab Check and there activate Equivalent stress and Mesh model view from the ribbon to get a full picture of what is happening in the joint. To explore the detailed results for Bolts, expand bolt B3 results by Plus command.

7 Report

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

You have combined joint form Tekla Structures and SAP 2000 and code-checked a structural steel joint according to EN.

8 Synchronize models

The design process is an iterative way how to mechanically arrange the structure parts and load effects in a way that it will work and pass the code-check. Usually, it takes a few changes in the whole process. Take advantage of the Synchronization function for the current item. 

There are separate tutorials for this, both for SAP 2000 (Chapter 6) and Tekla Structures (Chapter 7). If you would like, you can learn more about it.

Sample files

Open in Viewer Download Download

Give us feedback. Was this article useful?

Yes No

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