Export to IDEA StatiCa Connection Design (version 22 and later)

Tekla Structural Designer
Tekla Structural Designer

Export to IDEA StatiCa Connection Design (version 22 and later)

Before exporting connections to IDEA StatiCa, you are advised to be aware of the limitations. Then, you can proceed to follow the detailed instructions to perform the export.

Provided you have IDEA StatiCa version 22 or later installed, connections are exported using the Checkbot link.

The Checkbot link has the following advantages:

  • Saves time by exporting multiple connections simultaneously thus reducing errors and speeding up connection design.

  • Connections can be designed for all or selected load cases/combinations by user choice.

  • You can access both Checkbot and Tekla Structural Designer simultaneously, for reviewing analysis results etc.

For more information about the Checkbot link see the Checkbot info page on IDEA StatiCa’s website.

Checkbot link limitations

The Checkbot link is compatible with the following versions of IDEA StatiCa:
  • 22 (and later)

The following limitations should be noted.

  • Regional Codes supported by the link; US, Eurocode, Australia, and BS
    Note: While the link is valid for the BS regional code, connections cannot be designed to BS 5950 in IDEA StatiCa. (They could however be designed to Eurocode).
  • Column base plates are not exported.
  • For connections identified as ‘Moment Connections’ using Update connections in Tekla Structural Designer any out of plane members are not exported.
  • For any connection type, haunches are not exported.
  • For the 'Top of steel (incl. offsets)' connection noding option only, Tekla Structural Designer uses ToS and the wire model is at this level too. The export to IDEA depicts the ToS so that the 3D graphic looks correct. However, the wire model typically connects at offsets of half the beam depth. This introduces additional forces/moments due to eccentricity of line of action etc. This line of action of the force set can be adjusted in IDEA StatiCa.
  • The communication of data is one-way from Tekla Structural Designer to Checkbot. No data (such as section changes or connection details etc) is returned to the Tekla Structural Designer model, so the user is responsible for making any such changes manually.

  • The current link cannot handle a huge amount of connection data (e.g. thousands of connections with hundreds of load combinations) in a single instance. For such a case, it is necessary to select an individual or a group of connections to export.

  • Multiple connections formed at a single joint in Tekla Structural Designer cannot be exported to IDEA StatiCa in a single instance - it is necessary to export these connections separately.

Connection noding

When using the Checkbot link you must choose the Connection noding required for each connection.
Alternatively, after selecting your connections you can select the required option from the Properties window.

The two options are described below:

Top of steel (incl. offsets)

  • This is the default option.

  • Connections exported with this option will ensure that, providing there are no offsets, all of the beams connecting at a joint will have the top of the top flange aligned.

  • In this case, when exported to IDEA StatiCa, each beam centre line will connect to the node at an offset, ez of half the beam depth.

  • Otherwise, any user-defined offsets specified on the ‘Alignment’ page of the Properties window will be retained.

  • In the less common case of connecting beam members carrying axial load, small eccentric moments will develop and are reported as ‘Unbalanced forces’ in IDEA StatiCa. In some cases a connection designer may be uncomfortable with these unbalanced forces, if so, the alternative 'Member centre line (only)' option may be preferred in this situation.

Member centre line (only)

  • This option ignores physical member offsets in the Tekla Structural Designer model. This means that when exported to IDEA StatiCa, each beam centre line will connect to the node with ez offset = 0, regardless of any user-defined offsets specified on the ‘Alignment’ page of the ‘Properties window.
  • This option eliminates the occurrence of tiny eccentric moments introduced by connecting beam members carrying axial load. But might not depict the required physical connectivity at the joint.
Note: This option does not change any analysis results of connecting beam members exported to IDEA StatiCa.

Export to IDEA StatiCa using the Checkbot link

  1. Connections can only be exported once the connection objects for them exist. These are created as follows:
    1. Click on the Connections tree in the Project Workspace
    2. Right-click the Connections branch of the tree.
    3. Choose Update Connections from the context menu.

      The resulting connections are listed in the Connections tree and are also shown by bounding boxes in the Scene Views.

  2. Once the connections exist, open the Checkbot Control Panel using one of the following methods:

    1. Right-click a connection in a Scene View and choose Export Connection to IDEA StatiCa
    2. Or, right-click a connection in the Project Workspace Connections tree and choose Export Connection to IDEA StatiCa
    3. Or, from the BIM Integration tab, choose IDEA StatiCa Export

    For either export method, the Checkbot Control Panel is then displayed and populated with the list of connections available for transfer to IDEA StatiCa (as shown above).

  3. Select the analysis method.
  4. Select the loading to export.
  5. Select the connections to export.
    While the Checkbot Control Panel is open, selected connections are graphically displayed by coloured boxes - you can make further graphical selections of connections by any of the usual graphical methods such as a window selection, as shown below.
    Note: Connections that have previously been sent to Checkbot will be marked by means of a tick in the column ‘Sent to Checkbot’.
  6. Select your required Connection noding option, as either Top of steel (incl. offsets) (default) or Member centre line (only)
  7. Once the required connections have been selected and their connection noding options have been set, click Launch Checkbot
  8. Select the appropriate design code.
  9. Select Create project
  10. In the Import group, select Connections
    Note: By default, IDEA StatiCa considers critical effect combinations for connection design. Having selected a Result class as shown below, you can untick the option Evaluate critical effects to instead consider all the load combinations if required.
  11. In Checkbot, select a connection, either from the list of project items or from the graphical view and choose Open from the context menu:
  12. The selected connection can then be configured and designed in IDEA StatiCa for selected load cases/ combinations:
  13. If you need to edit the connection in a more fundamental manner - such as adjusting the line of action of forces - you must open the exported connection file directly in IDEA StatiCa Connection. In this case full editing of all aspects of the connection is enabled within the scope of IDEA StatiCa. The connection file is located in the working directory as shown below.

    - Working directory path

    - Connections generated in Connections sub-folder

Was this helpful?