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CYPE Connect Steel, the new application for analysing complex connections in steel structures using the finite element method

CYPE Connect Steel, the new application for analysing complex connections in steel structures using the finite element method

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The new CYPE Connect Steel application will enable checks of profiles, plates, bolts, welds and anchors according to Eurocodes and Spanish regulation EAE standards in this first version, a range of regulations that will be widened in future updates

With the OpenSees calculation engine, technicians will be able to perform linear and non-linear analyses

The software offers great bi-directional interaction both in the project phase, by taking into account the architectural and analytical models together with the stress design, and in the detailing phase, thanks to the BIM technology of BIMserver.center

CYPE has recently announced the launch of CYPE Connect Steel, its new application for designing and analysing steel structure connections using finite elements. Furthermore, CYPE Connect Steel will also use the OpenSees calculation engine to carry out the analysis of connections that can have both linear and non-linear behaviour, making the app an excellent work solution within the Open BIM workflow.

The new tool will feature a connection modelling system that works using sequential steps, so the steps required to model a connection are recorded by the application and can then be reproduced at a later stage for other connections that contain shared steps. The new system brings a great deal of flexibility and productivity to the project.

Sections and checks 

The launch of CYPE Connect Steel and the incorporation of the module in StruBIM Steel will allow technicians to go a step further in their calculations as it allows them to calculate, check, and generate the detailing and check report of connections made using the most common types of sections.

As for the checks, this first programme update will incorporate Eurocode 3 and Spanish regulation EAE, so users will be able to check the connections automatically with the forces obtained from their structural design models. In future updates, the company will implement new steel regulations such as those from the United States, Portugal, Italy, Brazil, and Mexico, among others.

Integration into the Open BIM workflow and connecting to the fabrication model

Just like other CYPE steelwork software, CYPE Connect Steel will operate in the Open BIM workflow through the BIMserver.center platform. Among the different possible workflows, two particularly interesting possibilities stand out:

  1. During detailing: CYPE Connect Steel will operate as a standalone tool that connects to other applications on the platform (CYPECAD, CYPE 3D, StruBIM Uploader, IFC Uploader) through the IFC standard. From the forces acting on the members of the structural BIM model imported into the programme or by manually entering these forces, users can develop a detailed model of the connections and then perform a finite element analysis, so the results can be checked to ensure they comply with the different standards present in the programme.
  2. During fabrication: CYPE Connect Steel will also be integrated into “StruBIM Steel” fabrication software. Thanks to this option, steel structure fabricators will be able to design and analyse project connections easily, as well as create assemblies, label elements, and generate fabrication files in DSTV and STEP format.

By integrating this tool into BIMserver.center, steel structure designers and fabricators will now have a software ecosystem for steel structures that stands out for its advantage of integrating all project stages with no loss or need for re-entering information, including design, analysis, check, representation, and fabrication of all the structure’s elements.

For users of other steel structure design tools, the launch of CYPE Connect Steel can also be very useful, especially for those cases in which the structural analysis software does not include connection modelling or analysis. In this sense, a designer can use IFC Uploader, StruBIM Uploader or the Open BIM plugin for Revit to add an IFC of the structure to the project and then define and analyse its connections.

Crossover applications that can be combined with CYPE Connect Steel

Alongside the specific tools mentioned above, thanks to the model synchronisation achieved through the BIMserver.center platform, CYPE Connect Steel users will be able to take advantage of other interesting and modern tools available on BIMserver.center.

Connections modelled in the software, either in the standalone version or the version built into StruBIM Steel, can be represented in project drawings using the Open BIM Layout application. 

Another interesting graphical representation option that is very much in demand at the moment are augmented reality and virtual reality models. Steel structure detailers, fabricators, or erectors will be able to envisage full-scale in-situ connection details through these technologies and with a direct connection to the project team, thanks to the connection established with BIMserver.center. Once again, we witness a case where information moves from one phase of the project to the next, with no need to re-enter data.

Another example is incorporating the detailed structural model into the project, which can be carried out using the programme’s “Export” and “Update” buttons. The consolidation of the project can be carried out much more efficiently using the “Clash detection” analysis in the “Open BIM Model Checker” application, which will be able to analyse the models in CYPE Connect Steel.

Continuously evolving structural solutions

According to CYPE, the company will continue to work on and improve the ergonomics and performance of its structural solutions in the coming months, with the aim of facilitating its users’ work and providing them with the necessary tools to excel in efficiency and competitiveness. To this end, the software developer is already working on implementing the CYPE Connect Steel module in its CYPECAD and CYPE 3D programmes.

As a result, CYPE will be able to widen the complex connection analysis package available in StruBIM Steel (connections between steel elements) to other types of connections such as steel to concrete, or steel to timber.

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