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Allplan connection

Last modified by Akos Rechtorisz on 2024/05/17 15:15


StruSoft offers a free tool that enables smart connection between FEM-Design and Nemetschek Allplan. While the load-bearing structural objects are exchanged between the two programs via IFC, this tool allows us to insert the 3D bar and surface reinforcement objects designed with FEM-Design as intelligent, editable objects in the Allplan projects. In this way, this dedicated tool speeds up the reinforcement editing and documentation following the analysis and design, by providing input for Allplan users with FEM-Design calculated reinforcement geometry and parameters (material qualities, bar diameters, space distributions, concrete covers, etc.), which can be put into a documentation-ready state with small modifications.


Key features

  • Editable placement of reinforcement for bars, shells and foundation objects designed automatically or manually with FEM-Design in Allplan projects
  • All reinforcement types that FEM-Design can design can be shared with Allplan, so the following:
    • bar reinforcement
    • concealed bar reinforcement
    • surface reinforcement
    • shear surface reinforcement
    • punching reinforcement
  • Ability to select which structural element's reinforcement we want to transfer to Allplan
  • Ability to insert the additional reinforcing bars, so to skip the base net
  • Ability to select import methods for bar reinforcement anchorage
  • Simple and straight-forward export / import procedure
  • Automations performed during the import process: mesh cuttings and rebar overlapping based on the allowed maximum bar length, automatic hooking of stirrups, etc.
  • Simple data mapping and basic data entry
  • Separate Allplan drawings can be created per reinforcement type and position
  • The transferred reinforcement can be modified in position, geometry and parameters, supplemented, labeled and listed in the same way as if it was originally created in Allplan
  • Constant development based on user wishes



Reinforcement export for Allplan is available as a built-in Export function of FEM-Design 3D Structure. But in order to make Allplan read the exported FEM-Design reinforcement objects, the following Allplan extension must be installed:

FEM-Design Reinforcement for Allplan
CompatibilityAllplan 2022 and later versions
Download the extension
Release date16 May 2024
Language versionsEnglish and Hungarian

Workflow steps

Creation of analysis model

Since the reinforcement design and documentation is prepared and based on a physical model, it is advisable to send this physical model to the FEM-Design program (e.g. as an open-source IFC model) in order to create the analytical model that simplifies it for calculations and designs.

Of course, modeling can also start in FEM-Design, but the more common case is when a physical model comes from an architectural program or from the structural detailing program (such as Allplan) itself.

The following figure is an example of a physical model of a reinforced concrete structure created in Allplan.


From the IFC file saved from the model, FEM-Design can build the analysis model required for the detailed design (and the soul of the calculations, the optimized finite element mesh).


Design of applied reinforcement


The Reinforcement design module of FEM-Design provides the opportunity for detailed concrete and reinforcement design of the entire model or only a selected bar and shell element.


FEM-Design is able to display, list and document the reinforcement design results in a professional manner with full details of the applied calculations. The following figure shows a documentation part of a designed reinforced concrete bar.

FD-5 RC calc-bar.png

Reinforcement export from FEM-Design

The designed reinforcement can be saved very simply for Allplan. Just select the analysis objects, whose reinforcement wanted to be shared with Allplan (so the host objects), with the dedicated Export to Allplan command (File menu).


Analysis object selection can be done in any mode (Structure, Loads, etc.) and view, and their reinforcement does not need to be displayed. Selection can be done for all visible reinforced concrete objects, or even just one (e.g. a plate) or certain functional types (e.g. foundation). Of course, in the case of a large or complex model, the selection can also be helped by filtering the model view to only the elements to be selected until the time of export.


RC foundation.png


  • All designed reinforcements of the selected objects are exported in .fd2allplan file format dedicated to the connection.
  • The base net bars can be filtered out at the Allplan import.

Import reinforcement into Allplan

The import is performed by the FEM-Design RC Import add-on tool installed on Allplan (see Download). This can be achieved via the path shown in the picture: Library > Default > PythonParts.


The import is performed in two simple steps:

  1. Select the .fd2allplan file sent from FEM-Design by specifying the path to its storage location.
  2. Execute the import by specifying the import settings to automate and perform additional operations on the loaded reinforcement objects:


  • Start label ID for bar and area reinforcement, which is recommended to be different from the existing reinforcement identifiers for the sake of joint listing and management
  • Extra geometry parameters of stirrups (Bending roller radius and Hook length)
  • Parameters required for cutting and placing regional reinforcement including Max. bar length, Overlap length and internal bar management mode called Place area reinforcements:
    • In polygon means that placed bars are managed separately, so a full schema of each individual bar can be created later
    • Per meter means that only the placing lengths are managed, so the creation of a schema merely results in a value showing the number of meters
  • Import basenets option enables basic reinforcement to be filtered out of the objects to be imported


  • The Import overhanging bar anchorages option controls the method of importing anchorages created and exported with FEM-Design:
    • no ignores the anchorages, so the bar reinforcement will be loaded without them
    • yes imports the anchorages with their full specified length
    • yes, but trim at body ends imports anchorage sections that are inside the physical body of beams and columns, the parts hanging outside will be cut off
  • Steel grade mapping between FEM-Design and Allplan project-specific database
  • Target drawings by reinforcement types to be placed, which should be created before starting the import and are recommended to have different ID from the existing reinforcement drawings

Drawing set.png

Reinforcement editing (briefly)

All bar and surface reinforcement are created as parametric, editable and documentable so-called Bar Shape objects in selected drawings of the current Allplan project.

The parameters of a reinforcement – for example stirrups – suggested by FEM-Design calculations (e.g. spacing, bar diameter, length, etc.) and extended by import settings (e.g. with hooks) can of course be modified at any time before or during documentation.


If, for example, the position of a beam reinforcement differs due to discrepancies between the analytical and physical model, it can be easily modified with the editing functions of Allplan.


The surface reinforcement is generated as Span-type Area Reinforcement during the import, so editing operations typical for those object types can be applied (e.g. the placement modification).


The display of imported reinforcement objects (e.g. the Placement Display Mode) can also be set according to the usual methods in Allplan (as if the reinforcement had been created in Allplan from the beginning).


Documentation, labeling and reports (such as bar schedule tables) can all be carried out in detail for both bar and surface reinforcement objects.