RFEM BIM link for concrete beam design

This tutorial will show you how to activate and use the link between RFEM and IDEA StatiCa Beam. The procedure brings workflow how to reinforce, prestress and do the code - check of simply supported saddle beam.

1 How to activate the link

Install the latest version of IDEA StatiCa, get it in the Downloads.

Make sure you are using a supported version of RFEM – updates are published in the BIM section.

IDEA StatiCa automatically integrates the BIM link into your CAD/CAE software during its installation. You can check the status and activate more BIM links for later installed software in the BIM link installer.

Open IDEA StatiCa and navigate to the panel BIM and open the BIM link installer. A notification "Run as administrator" may appear, please confirm with the Yes button.

Select the software to integrate the IDEA StatiCa BIM link, click the Install button and check the Installed status.

2 How to use the link

At first, download the source file and open it in RFEM. There go to menu Add-on Modules then External Modules and run IDEA Beam.

Select the code.

Selected members are 37,38. Confirm the selection by using the OK button.

You leave the default path and continue by Next. Notice: Keep the default path in order to further synchronization.

Create a simply supported beam. Restrain all translation X, Y, Z and rotation around the global axis Y for node 1 and also translation X, Z for node 3.

Select Pre-fabricated concrete beam and option Prestressed precast beam with the option of subsequent post-tensioning.

Let’s activate calculation of the Self-weight according to cross-section and set the value of the uniform Permanent load to -6 kN/m.

 Add all variable load cases coming from RFEM. The load cases will be inputted as user-defined internal forces.

Set the type of construction stage prestressing to PRE(Pre-tensioning). The offset of supports will be symmetrically 1.2 m from both ends. The other distances are equally recalculated. Finally, continue by clicking Finish.

Automatic data transfer has been started and IDEA StatiCa Beam and the beam with predefined setting is being launched.

3 Project data

You can see the structural scheme of the designed beam. All predefined data can be changed in the Project data tab.

4 Load Cases

Go to Load cases tab and select the Variable load groups for the following renumbering of the partial factors.

Go back to the Load cases tab and rechange by the  LC3 the load group onto LG2. After that,  continue to the tendon design.

5 Tendon design

Import all pre-tensioned tendons from the template. The template will be uploaded by using the TXT.file.

Upload the attached template RFEM-Pre-tensioned tendons.nav.

Let’s check the geometry of imported tendons. All tendons ought to be inside the cross-section otherwise will not be included in the calculation. 

Move to tab Tendon Stress/Losses and Run the analysis of the short and long-term losses. As a final step Close the Tendon designer.

6 User-Defined Forces

How was mentioned the load cases from RFEM were imported as user-defined forces. You can control all internal forces of selected load cases. For example, the bending moment My of load case LC4.

7 Combinations

Click  Edit to defined the combinations for all construction stages.

For the construction stage at the End of design working life add the variable load cases LC3 and LC4. The load cases must be assigned to all combinations of ULS and SLS.

8 Construction Stages

Let's activate the checks of Storage yard, Transport and Final support and run the analysis by Calculate.

9 Internal Forces

You can check calculated internal forces of all construction stages. The prescriptions of envelopes can be seen at the bottom of the window.

10 Concrete Design

The settings of the checks can be defined in the Data tab. Switch off the checkbox for Detailing and Lateral Stability.

11 Reinforcement

By using Zone templates create the zones with different reinforcements. Select the option with two zones.

Display the internal forces to see the areas where to put the positions of checks. Set the length of zones(2) and input the Positions(3) to check. Let’s start with the reinforcement of the zone A-A. Click the cross-section A-A(4).

Apply the template for reinforcements.

Add 5 bars along with the height of the web and change the distances between stirrups to 0.13 m.

The reinforcements are intuitive and are adapted according to the cross-section height.

Let’s reinforce the zone B-B in the same way.

Apply the template of reinforcement.

The program stores the setting of the previous input of the zone A-A. Let’s change only the distance between stirrups to 0.20 m.

You can see the reinforcement at the beginning and at the end of zone B-B.

Push the Detailed check for better visualization and understanding the behaviour of the cross-sections in all CS.

Run the analysis(1). When the analysis is being finished, select the Section 2-9.85m(2) and observe the critical code - check. Sorted out the CS according to utilization(3)

Move to tab Results and tab Stress limitations for displaying the most utilized entity.

12 Results

13 Detailed Report

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

You have designed, reinforced and code-checked a Pre-tensioned prefabricated beam according to Eurocode.

14 Synchronize models

The code-check manager is a BIM tool to export and synchronize models from other programs. It is launched directly in the 3rd party applications via a command/icon.

Synchronize

IDEA StatiCa detects changes in geometry, profiles and load cases in the 3rd party application and updates respective IDEA StatiCa Beam project.

Calculate

Synchronize and calculate current item and provide a new set of results.

Calculate all

Synchronize and calculate all items and provide a new set of results.

We save the project in IDEA StatiCa and close the application Beam. All beams exported from RFEM project to IDEA StatiCa are kept on the list inside RFEM.

If we modify the project in RFEM (e.g. change cross-section of any member or add other loads) we can simply update the project in IDEA StatiCa without setting it all again. We select the project item and click Synchronize and follow the export process. IDEA StatiCa opens and we can recalculate the updated project.

Sample files

Download

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