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API and interoperability

Last modified by Akos Rechtorisz on 2023/03/29 22:54


IDEA StatiCa connection

StruSoft offers a brand new tool that enables a smart connection between FEM-Design and IDEA StatiCa. The tool allows for sending 3D steel structures, or even just selected connected members and their internal forces as intelligent input for detailed design and verification of steel connections between FEM-Design and Idea StatiCa.

This dedicated tool accelerates the finalization, detailing and documentation of steel connections thanks to IDEA StatiCa's 250 ready connection templates and more than 10,000 configurations, as well as the optimization of fabrication and raw material costs.

Read the full feature description at: IDEA StatiCa connection


Allplan connection

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 to export the 3D bar and surface reinforcement objects designed in FEM-Design, as intelligent, editable objects into the Allplan projects.

This dedicated tool speeds up the reinforcement editing and documentation process, by providing input for Allplan users of FEM-Design calculated reinforcement geometry and parameters (material qualities, bar diameters, space distributions, concrete covers, etc.).

Read the full feature description at: Allplan connection


Improvements to IFC Import / Export


Import Building Element Proxy objects

It may happen that some applications send out building objects without a semantic type classification (such as IfcColumn, IfcBeam, IfcPlate etc.) that specifies their function. These are usually exported as the so-called IfcBuildingElementProxy. From now on, FEM-Design can read an IfcBuildingElementProxy as a reference drawing solid or a selected native analysis object. For example, all IfcBuildingElementProxy objects can be imported as FEM-Design Plate objects, and then their type can be changed using the Convert too into e.g. Wall, Column or Beam.


Improved reference object import

There are some building elements that are not analyzed as load-bearing structures, but are usefully displayed as reference objects. These include stairs (IfcStair), curtain walls (IfcCurtainWall), elevator, escalator, etc. transport (IfcTransportElement) objects. The description of their geometric representations in the IFC scheme can be varied. The new FEM-Design tries to read all such objects with closed solid/shell geometry as drawing objects and stored on layer “IFC Import – Reference”. For covering type objects (IfcCovering), instead of the reference type import, we also have the option of converting them to FEM-Design Covering objects (which can be used to model load transfer to the supporting structures connected to them).

Improved geometry support is also available for displaying conversion results with solids (Create solids with original geometry (conversion result) import function).


Adjust position to FEM-Design system

In BIM projects, it is common for buildings or their site to be given relative to a Survey point or National datum. This can cause large (e.g., kilometer-sized) distances and coordinates to be assigned to elements, which can lead to inaccuracies in both geometry and calculations. To avoid this, it is recommended to place the model close to the FEM-Design origin (within 1 km).

With a new import settings option (under Project), one can automatically move the model to the FEM-Design global origin based on its bounding box.


Improved physical body export

FEM-Design always exports an analytical object with the geometry and position of its physical body representation. In addition to the object's dimensions (e.g. thickness, cross-section), the main determinants of a physical body are the physical eccentricity (of bars and shells) and the physical extent (of shells) relative to the analytical representation.


Full color preservation when exporting

From now on, FEM-Design exports the analytical objects with their physical body representation with the colour they have in the exporter view. Thanks to this, we can share our models with more visual information (e.g. each colour represents objects of different thickness or material). In the FEM-Design program, the current appearance colour of an object can be set using one of the following methods:

  • the layer colour corresponding to the object type (this gives the default object colour),
  • the change of the object fill color with the Change appearance tool (Modify menu),
  • the change of the object fill color with the Colour schema tool (Tools menu).


Improvements to SAF import


Support of all cross-section types

FEM-Design’s cross-section support for SAF import has been expanded to all type of cross-section definitions:

  • Manufactured type refers to the industrially manufactured steel cross-sections (e.g. IPE, HE-A, UPE).
  • Parametric type defines cross-sections by shape (e.g. rectangle, circle, I, T, U, Z) and dimensions (parameters)
  • General type defines any general shape of the cross-section consisting of one or more closed polygons including openings on separate sheet “CompositeShapeDef”.
  • Compound type describes sections compounded from more manufactured steel profiles.


  • Previous FEM-Design versions support Manufactured and only Parametric circular and rectangular sections.
  • In case of the Manufactured type, since it does not contain geometric descriptions, a name match is always made between the “Profile” name stored in the SAF and the names in the FEM-Design’s Section library. The mapping is based on automatic name recognition, which can be overwritten or expanded with a mapping template provided by us. In case no match is found, the substitute section specified (marked with *) in the template is used: C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Strusoft\FEM-Design 22\femdata\safnames.xlsx
  • Parametric, General and Compound cross-sections are always produced by FEM-Design as new sections with their name in the SAF file and stored in the Used sections.

Load group import

The previously available load, load case and load combination import has now been supplemented by the conversion of load groups to native FEM-Design Load groups.

StructuralLoadGroup defines which load cases must, must not, or can act together. Each load group may be used either for permanent loads or for variable loads. Permanent and variable loads cannot appear in the same group.

Result point in StruXML


Result point is an auxiliary result object used to display and list analysis and design results in specific points assigned to analytical model objects (like bars, shells, supports, etc.). From now on, Result point can be saved to, and opened from a struxml file, thus it is also possible to create Result points with an API command.