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Manual

Basic Reference Guide


Basic Reference Guide

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Table of Contents
Version Info ................................................................................................................................... 1 
Getting started .............................................................................................................................. 3 
Disclaimer ..................................................................................................................................................................... 3 
Contact address ........................................................................................................................................................... 3 
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................... 4 
About program ......................................................................................................................................................... 4 
About documentation ............................................................................................................................................... 4 
Installation ..................................................................................................................................................................... 5 
Installation options ................................................................................................................................................... 5 
System requirements ............................................................................................................................................... 6 
Demo version ........................................................................................................................................................... 7 
Uninstalling program ................................................................................................................................................ 7 
Running the program ................................................................................................................................................... 7 
Starting program ...................................................................................................................................................... 7 
Program files and folders ......................................................................................................................................... 8 
Upgrade from other products ...................................................................................................................................... 9 
Upgrade from EPW .................................................................................................................................................. 9 
Terminology and conventions .................................................................................................. 11 
Terminology ................................................................................................................................................................ 11 
Co-ordinate systems .................................................................................................................................................. 12 
Introduction to co-ordinate systems ....................................................................................................................... 12 
Global co-ordinate system ..................................................................................................................................... 12 
User-defined co-ordinate system ........................................................................................................................... 12 
Entity co-ordinate systems ..................................................................................................................................... 13 
Point definition co-ordinate systems ...................................................................................................................... 14 
Conventions for applied physical quantities ........................................................................................................... 16 
Input quantities conventions ................................................................................................................................... 16 
Output quantities conventions ................................................................................................................................ 16 
Units ............................................................................................................................................................................. 17 
Introduction to units ................................................................................................................................................ 17 
Length units ............................................................................................................................................................ 17 
Angle units ............................................................................................................................................................. 20 
Layout and operation ................................................................................................................. 21 
Layout and operation overview ................................................................................................................................. 21 
User interface .............................................................................................................................................................. 21 
Introduction to user interface .................................................................................................................................. 21 
Title bar .................................................................................................................................................................. 22 
Status bar ............................................................................................................................................................... 22 
Menu bar ................................................................................................................................................................ 23 
Tree menu window ................................................................................................................................................. 23 
Command line ........................................................................................................................................................ 26 
Property table ......................................................................................................................................................... 28 
Progress bar ........................................................................................................................................................... 29 
User Interface Skins ............................................................................................................................................... 29 
Toolbars ................................................................................................................................................................. 30 
Application windows ............................................................................................................................................... 32 
Property window ..................................................................................................................................................... 38 
Database managers ............................................................................................................................................... 43 
Program settings ........................................................................................................................ 49 
Language of program ................................................................................................................................................. 49 
Language of the program ....................................................................................................................................... 49 
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User level ..................................................................................................................................................................... 49 
Level of the user interface ...................................................................................................................................... 49 
Application options .................................................................................................................................................... 50 
Workspace settings ................................................................................................................................................ 50 
Environment settings .............................................................................................................................................. 51 
Graphic templates settings ..................................................................................................................................... 52 
Directories settings ................................................................................................................................................. 52 
Project settings ....................................................................................................................................................... 53 
Protection settings .................................................................................................................................................. 53 
Adjusting the application options ............................................................................................................................ 53 
Project settings ........................................................................................................................................................... 54 
Basic project settings ............................................................................................................................................. 54 
Display style settings .............................................................................................................................................. 59 
Scales..................................................................................................................................................................... 64 
Advanced settings .................................................................................................................................................. 66 
Basic working tools ................................................................................................................... 69 
Selections .................................................................................................................................................................... 69 
Introduction to selections ....................................................................................................................................... 69 
Making a selection ................................................................................................................................................. 69 
Removing the entities from selection ..................................................................................................................... 75 
Making a selection based on a specific property ................................................................................................... 76 
Adjusting the filter for selections ............................................................................................................................ 76 
Modifying a selection .............................................................................................................................................. 77 
Applying a selection ............................................................................................................................................... 77 
Clearing a selection ................................................................................................................................................ 77 
Saving and reading a selection .............................................................................................................................. 77 
Selections versus editing of properties .................................................................................................................. 81 
Controlling the selection-versus-editing process .................................................................................................... 82 
Selections of slabs with openings .......................................................................................................................... 82 
Activity ......................................................................................................................................................................... 84 
Introduction to activity ............................................................................................................................................ 84 
Activity types .......................................................................................................................................................... 84 
Switching the activity On or Off .............................................................................................................................. 84 
Activity according to layers ..................................................................................................................................... 85 
Activity according to current selection .................................................................................................................... 85 
Activity according to working plane ........................................................................................................................ 85 
Activity according to clipping box ........................................................................................................................... 85 
Inverting the activity ............................................................................................................................................... 85 
Controlling the display style of inactive members .................................................................................................. 86 
Clipping box ................................................................................................................................................................ 86 
Introduction to clipping box .................................................................................................................................... 86 
Defining a new clipping box ................................................................................................................................... 86 
Defining the clipping box around the working plane ............................................................................................... 86 
Defining the clipping box around an entity ............................................................................................................. 86 
Defining the clipping box around the model ........................................................................................................... 87 
Using the clipping box ............................................................................................................................................ 87 
Adjusting the clipping box in the setting table ........................................................................................................ 88 
Adjusting the clipping box using the mouse ........................................................................................................... 88 
Moving the clipping box .......................................................................................................................................... 89 
Layers .......................................................................................................................................................................... 89 
Introduction to layers .............................................................................................................................................. 89 
Layers manager ..................................................................................................................................................... 89 
Defining a new layer ............................................................................................................................................... 90 
Applying defined layers .......................................................................................................................................... 90 
Displaying and hiding a layer ................................................................................................................................. 91 
Ignoring selected layers in calculation ................................................................................................................... 91 
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User co-ordinate system (UCS) ................................................................................................................................. 92 
Introduction to a user co-ordinate system .............................................................................................................. 92 
Adjusting a user co-ordinate system ...................................................................................................................... 92 
Editing a user co-ordinate system .......................................................................................................................... 94 
Using a user co-ordinate system ............................................................................................................................ 97 
Working plane ............................................................................................................................................................. 98 
Introduction to a working plane .............................................................................................................................. 98 
Adjusting a working plane ...................................................................................................................................... 98 
Cursor SNAP modes .................................................................................................................................................. 98 
Introduction to SNAP modes .................................................................................................................................. 98 
Grid SNAP modes .................................................................................................................................................. 98 
Object SNAP modes .............................................................................................................................................. 99 
Adjusting a SNAP mode ......................................................................................................................................... 99 
Adjusting the temporary one-step SNAP mode ................................................................................................... 100 
Dot grid ...................................................................................................................................................................... 101 
Introduction to a dot grid ...................................................................................................................................... 101 
Adjusting dot grid parameters .............................................................................................................................. 101 
Using the dot grid ................................................................................................................................................. 101 
Line grid .................................................................................................................................................................... 102 
Introduction to a line grid ...................................................................................................................................... 102 
Types of line grid .................................................................................................................................................. 102 
Line grid manager ................................................................................................................................................ 104 
Creating a new line grid ....................................................................................................................................... 104 
Adjusting line grid parameters .............................................................................................................................. 104 
Adjusting the display style of line grid .................................................................................................................. 105 
Displaying and hiding a line grid .......................................................................................................................... 106 
Using a line grid ................................................................................................................................................... 106 
Editing an existing line grid .................................................................................................................................. 107 
Window pop-up menu .............................................................................................................................................. 107 
Introduction to window pop-up menu ................................................................................................................... 107 
Functions of the pop-up menu ............................................................................................................................. 108 
Using the window pop-up menu ........................................................................................................................... 110 
Adjusting the viewpoint (view direction + zoom) .................................................................................................. 110 
Introduction to view adjustment ............................................................................................................................ 110 
Adjusting the view ................................................................................................................................................ 111 
Limiting the view ................................................................................................................................................... 113 
Adjusting the view numerically ............................................................................................................................. 113 
Adjusting perspective projection .......................................................................................................................... 114 
Special view settings ............................................................................................................................................ 114 
View parameters ....................................................................................................................................................... 115 
Introduction to view parameters ........................................................................................................................... 115 
Overview of view parameters ............................................................................................................................... 115 
Adjusting the view parameters ............................................................................................................................. 124 
Predefined view parameters settings ................................................................................................................... 126 
Drawing of input data with eccentricity ................................................................................................................. 127 
Lights .................................................................................................................................................................... 131 
Regeneration of view ............................................................................................................................................... 132 
Introduction to regeneration of view ..................................................................................................................... 132 
Redrawing the active graphical window ............................................................................................................... 132 
Calculator .................................................................................................................................................................. 132 
Calculator ............................................................................................................................................................. 132 
Cleaner ...................................................................................................................................................................... 133 
Removing unnecessary data from the project ...................................................................................................... 133 
Coordinate information ............................................................................................................................................ 133 
Information about coordinates of selected points ................................................................................................. 133 
Materials .................................................................................................................................... 135 
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Introduction to materials ......................................................................................................................................... 135 
Material types ............................................................................................................................................................ 135 
Material properties ................................................................................................................................................... 135 
Materials manager .................................................................................................................................................... 136 
Specifying the materials for the project ................................................................................................................. 137 
Defining a new code-specific material ................................................................................................................... 137 
Defining a new user-defined code-specific material ............................................................................................. 137 
Defining a new general material .............................................................................................................................. 138 
Editing the defined material .................................................................................................................................... 138 
Copying the defined material .................................................................................................................................. 138 
Changing the defined material ................................................................................................................................ 139 
Deleting the defined material .................................................................................................................................. 139 
Reviewing the defined material parameters .......................................................................................................... 139 
Cross-sections ......................................................................................................................... 141 
Introduction to cross-sections ................................................................................................................................ 141 
Sectional characteristics and other properties ..................................................................................................... 141 
Overview of sectional characteristics and parameters ......................................................................................... 141 
Sectional characteristics ...................................................................................................................................... 142 
Calculation of sectional characteristics ................................................................................................................ 142 
Other cross-section parameters ........................................................................................................................... 144 
Special sectional characteristics .......................................................................................................................... 145 
Sectional characteristics calculated by FEM ........................................................................................................ 145 
Cross-section types ................................................................................................................................................. 147 
Geometric shapes ................................................................................................................................................ 147 
Thin-walled cross-sections ................................................................................................................................... 148 
Steel rolled cross-sections ................................................................................................................................... 148 
Welded steel cross-sections ................................................................................................................................ 150 
Welded hollow cross-sections .............................................................................................................................. 151 
Haunch cross-sections ......................................................................................................................................... 151 
Built-up steel cross-sections ................................................................................................................................ 152 
Multi-material built-up cross-sections ................................................................................................................... 153 
Concrete cross-sections ....................................................................................................................................... 153 
Timber cross-sections .......................................................................................................................................... 154 
Bridge cross-sections ........................................................................................................................................... 154 
Numerical cross-section ....................................................................................................................................... 154 
General cross-section .......................................................................................................................................... 155 
Defining a new cross-section .................................................................................................................................. 155 
Cross-section manager ........................................................................................................................................ 155 
General procedure for the definition of a new cross-section ................................................................................ 156 
Selecting the cross-section type .......................................................................................................................... 157 
Specifying sectional parameters and properties .................................................................................................. 158 
Reviewing the calculated sectional characteristics .............................................................................................. 159 
Importing the cross-sections from another project ............................................................................................... 161 
Modifying an existing cross-section ...................................................................................................................... 163 
Editing a cross-section ......................................................................................................................................... 163 
Deleting a cross-section ....................................................................................................................................... 163 
Copying a cross-section ....................................................................................................................................... 164 
Replacing a cross-section .................................................................................................................................... 164 
General cross-section .............................................................................................................................................. 164 
General cross-section .......................................................................................................................................... 164 
Examples of a general cross-section ................................................................................................................... 165 
Rules for general cross-sections .......................................................................................................................... 166 
Type of partial sections in the general cross-section ........................................................................................... 166 
General cross-section editor ................................................................................................................................ 168 
Creating a new general cross-section .................................................................................................................. 176 
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Adjusting the properties ....................................................................................................................................... 181 
Modifying the existing general cross-section ....................................................................................................... 183 
Defining a parametric cross-section ..................................................................................................................... 186 
Geometry ................................................................................................................................... 193 
Elements of a model ................................................................................................................................................. 193 
Nodes ......................................................................................................................................................................... 193 
Introduction to nodes ............................................................................................................................................ 193 
Types of nodes ..................................................................................................................................................... 194 
Defining a new node ............................................................................................................................................ 195 
Defining a local co-ordinate system of a node ..................................................................................................... 195 
Deleting the nodes ............................................................................................................................................... 195 
Beams ........................................................................................................................................................................ 196 
Introduction to beams ........................................................................................................................................... 196 
Common beam parameters ................................................................................................................................. 197 
Buckling parameters ............................................................................................................................................ 199 
Beam types .......................................................................................................................................................... 199 
Defining a new beam ........................................................................................................................................... 206 
Slabs .......................................................................................................................................................................... 209 
Slab types ............................................................................................................................................................ 209 
Defining a new slab .............................................................................................................................................. 231 
Defining a new shell ............................................................................................................................................. 245 
Defining a new membrane ................................................................................................................................... 251 
Geometric manipulations ..................................................................................................................................... 252 
Auxiliary lines ........................................................................................................................................................... 262 
Lines ..................................................................................................................................................................... 262 
Lines from text ...................................................................................................................................................... 262 
General solids ........................................................................................................................................................... 263 
General solids ...................................................................................................................................................... 263 
Defining a new general solid ................................................................................................................................ 263 
Editing the existing general solid .......................................................................................................................... 266 
Geometrical manipulations with general solids .................................................................................................... 266 
Boolean operations with general solids ................................................................................................................ 266 
Conversion of general components to structural members .................................................................................. 268 
Catalogue blocks ...................................................................................................................................................... 272 
Introduction to catalogue blocks ........................................................................................................................... 272 
Overview of catalogue blocks .............................................................................................................................. 272 
Catalogue block types .......................................................................................................................................... 273 
Defining a new catalogue block ........................................................................................................................... 279 
User blocks ............................................................................................................................................................... 282 
Introduction to user blocks ................................................................................................................................... 282 
Using the user blocks ........................................................................................................................................... 282 
Moving the entities ................................................................................................................................................... 284 
Introduction to moving of entities ......................................................................................................................... 284 
General rules for move of entities ........................................................................................................................ 285 
Moving the geometric entities .............................................................................................................................. 287 
Moving the additional data entities ....................................................................................................................... 291 
Copying the entities ................................................................................................................................................. 292 
Introduction to copying of entities ......................................................................................................................... 292 
Making a single copy via menu function .............................................................................................................. 292 
Making a single copy via window pop-up menu ................................................................................................... 292 
Making multiple copies via menu function ............................................................................................................ 293 
Deleting the entities ................................................................................................................................................. 294 
Introduction to deleting of entities ........................................................................................................................ 294 
Deleting the user-selected entities ....................................................................................................................... 295 
Deleting invalid entities ........................................................................................................................................ 295 
Editing the entity properties .................................................................................................................................... 295 
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Introduction to editing of entity properties ............................................................................................................ 295 
Editing the beam properties in its property dialogue ............................................................................................ 296 
Editing the beam properties in the property window ............................................................................................ 296 
Adjusting the buckling parameters ....................................................................................................................... 296 
Modifying the shape and dimensions .................................................................................................................... 297 
Types of geometric manipulations ....................................................................................................................... 297 
Treatment of linked nodes in manipulation functions ........................................................................................... 297 
Editing the shape in the property window ............................................................................................................ 299 
Editing the shape using Drag&Drop feature ......................................................................................................... 299 
Manipulations with whole entities ......................................................................................................................... 300 
Manipulations with lines ....................................................................................................................................... 301 
Manipulations with polylines ................................................................................................................................. 304 
Manipulations with curves .................................................................................................................................... 305 
Connecting and disconnecting the entities ........................................................................................................... 309 
Introduction to connecting and disconnecting of entities ...................................................................................... 309 
Defining a new connection of two entities ............................................................................................................ 309 
Inserting a linked node for future connection of an entity ..................................................................................... 310 
Defining a new connection of intersecting entities ............................................................................................... 310 
Modifying the connection of two entities .............................................................................................................. 310 
Modifying the connection of intersecting entities .................................................................................................. 311 
Deleting the connection of two entities ................................................................................................................. 311 
Deleting the connection of intersecting entities .................................................................................................... 312 
Truing of slabs and walls ......................................................................................................................................... 312 
Alignment of slabs ................................................................................................................................................ 312 
Alignment procedure ............................................................................................................................................ 313 
Parameters controlling the alignment of the structure .......................................................................................... 314 
Openings in beams .................................................................................................................................................. 319 
Opening in webs of beams ................................................................................................................................... 319 
Structural model ....................................................................................................................................................... 325 
Introduction to structural model ............................................................................................................................ 325 
Parameters of structural model ............................................................................................................................ 325 
Defining the structural model ............................................................................................................................... 330 
Displaying the structural model ............................................................................................................................ 331 
Modifying the structural model ............................................................................................................................. 331 
Regenerating the structural model ....................................................................................................................... 331 
Manual input of end cut ........................................................................................................................................ 331 
Structural shape of 2D members ......................................................................................................................... 334 
Model data ................................................................................................................................. 337 
Introduction to model data ...................................................................................................................................... 337 
Supports .................................................................................................................................................................... 337 
Types of supports ................................................................................................................................................. 337 
Defining a new support ........................................................................................................................................ 349 
Hinges (pins) ............................................................................................................................................................. 351 
Beams .................................................................................................................................................................. 351 
Slabs .................................................................................................................................................................... 352 
Rigid arms ................................................................................................................................................................. 354 
Rigid arms ............................................................................................................................................................ 354 
Defining a new rigid arm ...................................................................................................................................... 355 
Defining a new line rigid arm ................................................................................................................................ 355 
Modifying the existing model data .......................................................................................................................... 356 
Changing the parameters of model data .............................................................................................................. 356 
Moving the model data ......................................................................................................................................... 356 
Copying the model data ....................................................................................................................................... 357 
Deleting the model data ....................................................................................................................................... 357 
Absences ................................................................................................................................................................... 358 
Introduction to absences ...................................................................................................................................... 358 
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The principle of Absences .................................................................................................................................... 358 
Creating a project allowing for absences ............................................................................................................. 358 
Absence groups ................................................................................................................................................... 358 
Defining a new absence ....................................................................................................................................... 359 
Absence on a 1D member ................................................................................................................................... 359 
Absences in a support .......................................................................................................................................... 360 
Associating the absence group with a load case ................................................................................................. 360 
Displaying the required Absence group ............................................................................................................... 360 
Editing the existing absence ................................................................................................................................ 361 
Deleting the existing absence .............................................................................................................................. 361 
Beam nonlinearity .................................................................................................................................................... 361 
Defining a new beam nonlinearity ........................................................................................................................ 361 
Editing the existing beam nonlinearity .................................................................................................................. 361 
Types of nonlinearity ............................................................................................................................................ 362 
Loads ......................................................................................................................................... 369 
Introduction to loads ................................................................................................................................................ 369 
Load types ................................................................................................................................................................. 369 
Introduction to load types ..................................................................................................................................... 369 
Point force in node ............................................................................................................................................... 369 
Point force on beam ............................................................................................................................................. 370 
Line force on beam .............................................................................................................................................. 371 
Line force on slab edge ........................................................................................................................................ 373 
Surface load on slab ............................................................................................................................................ 374 
Moment load in node ............................................................................................................................................ 375 
Moment load on beam ......................................................................................................................................... 375 
Line moment load on beam .................................................................................................................................. 376 
Line moment on slab edge ................................................................................................................................... 376 
Thermal load on beam ......................................................................................................................................... 377 
Temperature distribution curve ............................................................................................................................ 378 
Thermal load on slab ............................................................................................................................................ 380 
Translation of support .......................................................................................................................................... 381 
Translation of a point on beam ............................................................................................................................. 381 
Rotation of support ............................................................................................................................................... 382 
Rotation of a point on beam ................................................................................................................................. 382 
Longitudinal strain ................................................................................................................................................ 383 
Flexural strain ....................................................................................................................................................... 384 
Slab displacement and curvature ......................................................................................................................... 384 
Pond load - water accumulation ........................................................................................................................... 387 
Soil pressure and water pressure ........................................................................................................................ 389 
Pressure load ....................................................................................................................................................... 392 
Internal forces not calculated in the model ........................................................................................................... 392 
Dynamic loads ...................................................................................................................................................... 395 
Free loads ............................................................................................................................................................ 397 
Load direction ........................................................................................................................................................... 405 
Direction of loads ................................................................................................................................................. 405 
Defining a new load .................................................................................................................................................. 407 
Defining a new point load in a node ..................................................................................................................... 407 
Defining a new point load on a beam ................................................................................................................... 407 
Defining a new line load on a beam ..................................................................................................................... 408 
Defining a new thermal load on a beam ............................................................................................................... 408 
Defining a new line load on slab edge ................................................................................................................. 408 
Defining a new surface load on a slab ................................................................................................................. 408 
Defining a new thermal load on slab .................................................................................................................... 408 
Defining a new free point load .............................................................................................................................. 409 
Defining a new free line load ................................................................................................................................ 409 
Defining a new free surface load .......................................................................................................................... 409 
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Defining a new slab displacement ........................................................................................................................ 409 
Fast definition of specific load types .................................................................................................................... 409 
Modifying the existing load ..................................................................................................................................... 410 
Changing the load parameters ............................................................................................................................. 410 
Moving the load .................................................................................................................................................... 410 
Copying the load .................................................................................................................................................. 410 
Deleting the load .................................................................................................................................................. 410 
Editing the shape of free load .............................................................................................................................. 410 
Load cases ................................................................................................................................................................ 411 
Introduction to load cases .................................................................................................................................... 411 
Load case manager ............................................................................................................................................. 411 
Defining a new load case ..................................................................................................................................... 411 
Defining the load case parameters ...................................................................................................................... 412 
Using the load case .............................................................................................................................................. 414 
Dynamic load cases ............................................................................................................................................. 414 
Load groups .............................................................................................................................................................. 420 
Introduction to load groups ................................................................................................................................... 420 
Load group manager ............................................................................................................................................ 420 
Defining a new load group ................................................................................................................................... 420 
Using the load group ............................................................................................................................................ 421 
Load case combinations .......................................................................................................................................... 421 
Introduction to load case combinations ................................................................................................................ 421 
Types of load case combinations ......................................................................................................................... 422 
Load case combination manager ......................................................................................................................... 423 
Defining a new combination ................................................................................................................................. 425 
Exploding the load case combination ................................................................................................................... 425 
Combination key .................................................................................................................................................. 426 
Example ............................................................................................................................................................... 427 
Load case combinations according to EC ............................................................................................................ 430 
Load case combinations to ČSN .......................................................................................................................... 434 
Load case combinations to NEN .......................................................................................................................... 436 
Advanced combinations of load cases ................................................................................................................. 437 
Result classes ........................................................................................................................................................... 439 
Introduction to result classes ................................................................................................................................ 439 
Result class manager ........................................................................................................................................... 439 
Defining a new result class .................................................................................................................................. 439 
Using the result class ........................................................................................................................................... 440 
Load generators ....................................................................................................................................................... 440 
Introduction to load generators ............................................................................................................................ 440 
Wind generator ..................................................................................................................................................... 440 
Snow generator .................................................................................................................................................... 450 
Combined wind and snow generator .................................................................................................................... 454 
Plane load generator ............................................................................................................................................ 455 
Pond water ........................................................................................................................................................... 461 
Span loads ................................................................................................................................................................ 466 
Introduction to spans ............................................................................................................................................ 466 
What is the span .................................................................................................................................................. 467 
Types of spans ..................................................................................................................................................... 468 
Work with spans ................................................................................................................................................... 472 
Predefined load ......................................................................................................................................................... 476 
Introduction to predefined loads ........................................................................................................................... 476 
Predefined load manager ..................................................................................................................................... 476 
Defining a new predefined load ............................................................................................................................ 477 
Editing the predefined load .................................................................................................................................. 477 
Applying the predefined load ................................................................................................................................ 478 
Input and display conventions for predefined load ............................................................................................... 479 
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Mobile load ................................................................................................................................................................ 480 
Introduction .......................................................................................................................................................... 480 
Brief introduction to the theory ............................................................................................................................. 480 
Loading track ........................................................................................................................................................ 484 
Unit loads ............................................................................................................................................................. 486 
Load systems ....................................................................................................................................................... 487 
Generated load cases .......................................................................................................................................... 490 
Calculation and evaluation ................................................................................................................................... 492 
Load patterns (train load) ..................................................................................................................................... 494 
Calculation ................................................................................................................................ 501 
Introduction to calculation ...................................................................................................................................... 501 
Checking the data ..................................................................................................................................................... 501 
Introduction to check of data ................................................................................................................................ 501 
Parameters of data check .................................................................................................................................... 501 
Performing the check of data ............................................................................................................................... 502 
Collision between entities ..................................................................................................................................... 503 
Generating the FE mesh .......................................................................................................................................... 504 
Parameters of FE mesh ....................................................................................................................................... 504 
Previewing the FE mesh ...................................................................................................................................... 506 
Mesh refinement .................................................................................................................................................. 507 
Calculation types ...................................................................................................................................................... 509 
General calculation parameters ........................................................................................................................... 509 
Static linear calculation ........................................................................................................................................ 509 
Static nonlinear calculation .................................................................................................................................. 509 
Dynamic natural vibration calculation ................................................................................................................... 510 
Dynamic forced harmonic vibration ...................................................................................................................... 510 
Harmonic band analysis ....................................................................................................................................... 511 
Dynamic seismic calculation ................................................................................................................................ 514 
Buckling analysis .................................................................................................................................................. 515 
Nonlinear stability calculation ............................................................................................................................... 515 
Soilin calculation parameters ............................................................................................................................... 515 
Non uniform damping in dynamic calculation ....................................................................................................... 515 
Performing the calculation ...................................................................................................................................... 517 
Adjusting the calculation parameters ................................................................................................................... 517 
Performing the calculation .................................................................................................................................... 518 
Controlling and reviewing the calculation process ............................................................................................... 518 
Performing the repetitious calculations ................................................................................................................ 519 
Repairing the instability of model ......................................................................................................................... 519 
Solution methods ..................................................................................................................................................... 520 
Direct solution ...................................................................................................................................................... 520 
Iterative solution ................................................................................................................................................... 520 
Timoshenko method ............................................................................................................................................. 520 
Newton-Raphson method .................................................................................................................................... 521 
Initial deformations .................................................................................................................................................. 521 
Introduction to initial deformations ....................................................................................................................... 521 
Initial-deformation manager ................................................................................................................................. 521 
Initial deformation curve ....................................................................................................................................... 521 
Defining a new initial deformation curve .............................................................................................................. 522 
Applying the initial deformation ............................................................................................................................ 522 
Plastic hinges ........................................................................................................................................................... 523 
Introduction to plastic hinges ................................................................................................................................ 523 
Plastic hinges to EC3 ........................................................................................................................................... 523 
Plastic hinges to DIN 18800 ................................................................................................................................. 523 
Plastic hinges to NEN .......................................................................................................................................... 524 
Calculating with plastic hinges ............................................................................................................................. 525 
Global optimisation .................................................................................................................................................. 525 
Basic Reference Guide
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Introduction .......................................................................................................................................................... 525 
AutoDesign manager ........................................................................................................................................... 526 
Defining a new optimisation ................................................................................................................................. 526 
Results....................................................................................................................................... 529 
Opening the service Results ................................................................................................................................... 529 
Selecting the 1D members for display ................................................................................................................... 529 
Selecting the load for the display of results .......................................................................................................... 531 
Adjusting the style of result diagrams ................................................................................................................... 531 
Regenerating the diagrams ..................................................................................................................................... 534 
Animation of results ................................................................................................................................................. 535 
Upgrade from 2D to 1D project ............................................................................................................................... 536 
Results on beams ..................................................................................................................................................... 537 
Displaying the internal forces ............................................................................................................................... 537 
Displaying the deformation on 1D members ........................................................................................................ 539 
Displaying the deformation of nodes .................................................................................................................... 539 
Displaying the resultant of reactions .................................................................................................................... 539 
Displaying the nodal space support resultant ...................................................................................................... 541 
Displaying the reactions ....................................................................................................................................... 544 
Displaying the foundation table ............................................................................................................................ 544 
Displaying the bill of material ............................................................................................................................... 546 
Displaying the intensity ........................................................................................................................................ 547 
Displaying the stress on members ....................................................................................................................... 548 
Selecting the joints for display of connection forces ............................................................................................ 549 
Displaying the connection forces ......................................................................................................................... 549 
Displaying the calculation report .......................................................................................................................... 550 
Displaying the results in tabular form ................................................................................................................... 550 
Displaying the results in named fibres ................................................................................................................. 550 
Displaying the stress distribution over the cross-section ..................................................................................... 554 
Fast selection of result quantities for the display ................................................................................................. 555 
Displaying the natural frequencies ....................................................................................................................... 556 
Evaluating the results for harmonic load .............................................................................................................. 556 
Calculation of internal forces in ribs ..................................................................................................................... 556 
Results on slabs ....................................................................................................................................................... 558 
Displaying the deformation of nodes on slabs ..................................................................................................... 558 
Displaying the internal forces on slabs ................................................................................................................. 558 
Principal internal forces ........................................................................................................................................ 560 
Design internal forces .......................................................................................................................................... 560 
Displaying the stresses on slabs .......................................................................................................................... 561 
Stresses ............................................................................................................................................................... 562 
Displaying the contact stress on slabs ................................................................................................................. 562 
Calculated C parameters ..................................................................................................................................... 563 
Displaying the settlement ..................................................................................................................................... 564 
Results in membrane elements ............................................................................................................................ 564 
Displaying results for individual FE nodes or elements ........................................................................................ 566 
Isolines, isobands, etc. ......................................................................................................................................... 567 
Averaging strips ................................................................................................................................................... 590 
Refreshing the results .............................................................................................................................................. 601 
Principle................................................................................................................................................................ 601 
Refresh of results ................................................................................................................................................. 601 
Example for refresh of results .............................................................................................................................. 602 
Selected sections ..................................................................................................................................................... 605 
Selected sections for result diagrams .................................................................................................................. 605 
Defining a new section for display of results ........................................................................................................ 606 
Displaying the results in selected sections ........................................................................................................... 606 
Displaying the resultant in the section across a slab ........................................................................................... 611 
Graphic output .......................................................................................................................... 613 
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Introduction to graphic output ................................................................................................................................ 613 
Direct graphic output ............................................................................................................................................... 613 
Making the direct graphic output .......................................................................................................................... 613 
Editing the graphic output layout .......................................................................................................................... 613 
Adjusting the page for the drawing ....................................................................................................................... 616 
Saving the drawing to an external file .................................................................................................................. 617 
Adjusting the display style of Graphic output dialogue ......................................................................................... 618 
Using the templates in graphic output .................................................................................................................. 618 
Items of graphic output drawing ........................................................................................................................... 618 
Inserting and editing the items of the drawing ...................................................................................................... 624 
Picture gallery ........................................................................................................................................................... 630 
Introduction to the picture gallery ......................................................................................................................... 630 
Picture gallery manager ....................................................................................................................................... 630 
Editing the picture in the picture gallery ............................................................................................................... 640 
Paper space gallery .................................................................................................................................................. 650 
Introduction to Paper space gallery ...................................................................................................................... 650 
Paper space gallery manager .............................................................................................................................. 650 
Editing the drawing in the gallery ......................................................................................................................... 651 
Creating a new drawing in the gallery .................................................................................................................. 651 
Creating a new drawing based on a template ...................................................................................................... 651 
Printing the drawing from the gallery .................................................................................................................... 651 
Copying the drawing in the gallery ....................................................................................................................... 652 
Deleting the drawing from the gallery ................................................................................................................... 652 
Making or changing the drawing .......................................................................................................................... 652 
Saving a template ................................................................................................................................................ 653 
Creating a template for Paper space gallery drawings ........................................................................................ 653 
Document .................................................................................................................................. 655 
Introduction to document ........................................................................................................................................ 655 
Document window .................................................................................................................................................... 655 
Introduction to document window ......................................................................................................................... 655 
Opening the document window ............................................................................................................................ 656 
Document window toolbar .................................................................................................................................... 656 
Creating the document ......................................................................................................................................... 657 
Editing the basic document properties ................................................................................................................. 670 
Editing the document layout ................................................................................................................................. 673 
Modifying the structure through the document ..................................................................................................... 675 
Previewing the document ..................................................................................................................................... 676 
Printing and exporting the document ................................................................................................................... 677 
Refreshing the document ........................................................................................................................................ 679 
Principle................................................................................................................................................................ 679 
Refresh of document ............................................................................................................................................ 679 
Example for refresh of Document ........................................................................................................................ 679 
Preview window ........................................................................................................................................................ 681 
Introduction to preview window ............................................................................................................................ 681 
Opening the preview window ............................................................................................................................... 682 
Adjusting the display style in the preview window ................................................................................................ 682 
Adjusting the preview window settings ................................................................................................................. 682 
Exporting the preview ........................................................................................................................................... 682 
Printing the preview .............................................................................................................................................. 682 
Editing the structure from within the preview window .......................................................................................... 682 
Visual style of the document ................................................................................................................................... 683 
Visual style ........................................................................................................................................................... 683 
Visual styles manager .......................................................................................................................................... 683 
Adjusting the visual style ...................................................................................................................................... 683 
Table Manager and Table Composer ...................................................................................................................... 686 
Introduction .......................................................................................................................................................... 686 
Basic Reference Guide
xiv
Manufacturer's versus user's table template ........................................................................................................ 686 
Table Manager ..................................................................................................................................................... 688 
Table Composer ................................................................................................................................................... 691 



1
Version Info
Version info
Documentation title Reference Guide
Version 2009.0
Produced March 2009
Translated N/A

Software covered Scia Engineer
Version 2009.0
Latest Build covered 9.0.108


3
Getting started
Disclaimer
This document is being furnished by SCIA for information purposes only to licensed users of SCIA software and is
furnished on an "AS IS" basis, that is, without any warranties, whatsoever, expressed or implied. SCIA is not responsible
for direct or indirect damage as a result of imperfections in the documentation and/or software.
Information in this document is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment on the part of
SCIA. The software described in this document is furnished under a license agreement. The software may be used only
in accordance with the terms of that license agreement. It is against the law to copy or use the software except as
specifically allowed in the license.

© Copyright 2000-2004 SCIA Group. All rights reserved.
Contact address
SCIA Group n.v.
Scientific Application Group
Industrieweg 1007 B-3540 Herk-de-Stad (België)
Tel.(+32) (0)13/55 17 75 Fax.(+32) (0)13/55 41 75
E-mail scia@scia.be

SCIA W+B Software b.v.
Postbus 30119 NL-6803 AC Arnhem (Nederland)
Tel.(+31) 26-3201230 Fax.(+31) 26-3201239
E-mail scia@scia.nl

SCIA CZ, s.r.o.
Thákurova 3, 160 00, Prague 6 (Czech Republic)
Tel.(+420) 2 – 2432 2425 Fax. (+420) 2 – 2432 2288
e-mail info.praha@scia.cz

SCIA CZ, s.r.o.
Slavíčkova 1a, 638 00, Brno (Czech Republic)
Tel.(+420) 5 – 4519 3526 Fax. (+420) 5 – 4519 3533
e-mail info.brno@scia.cz

Basic Reference Guide
4
Introduction
About program
Program mission
The Scia Engineer software system has been designed and developed to provide structural engineers and designers
with an efficient, comprehensive and robust tool.
Theoretical background
Scia Engineer is a software system for a static and dynamic analysis of structures and their design to standards. It is
grounded on the displacement-based finite element method.
Scia Engineer does not work with finite elements directly but it exploits structural elements (referred to as members) on
which a finite element mesh is automatically generated just before the calculation.
Scia Engineer can be used to calculate and design structures consisting of 1D members (modelled by linear finite
elements) and planar parts such as walls, plates, and curved slabs (modelled by 2D finite elements).
Types of calculation
Scia Engineer comprises calculation modules for the following types of calculation:
 linear static calculation (including some non-linear features),
 geometrically non-linear calculation,
 dynamic natural vibration calculation,
 seismicity calculation,
 buckling analysis.
Code checks
In addition to the calculation itself, Scia Engineer enables the user to carry out the final design of a structure in
accordance with appropriate technical standards.
The "Code Check library" of Scia Engineer contains a multi-national set of technical standards for various material types,
mainly for steel and concrete.

Important note: A proper and exhaustive application of program features assumes that a user is well
accustomed to the principles of the finite element method, is familiar with appropriate technical standards and
conventions, and is a skilled professional in the field of design and calculation of engineering structures.
About documentation
We recommend undergoing a specialised training for Scia Engineer organised for you by your local SCIA dealer
before using the program for real work.
The documentation contains explanation of the program principles, theoretical background and operation and will provide
the user with invaluable knowledge about the Scia Engineer software.
Purpose and contents
This manual provides an in-depth coverage of Scia Engineer main module functionality and covers the input, calculation
and result-evaluation phases for both frame and shell structures.
Special modules such as those for non-linear or dynamic calculation, for design to individual technical standards, etc. are
handled in separate manuals.
Style
The following text format conventions and symbols are used throughout this manual:

bold Indicates texts used in the program (menus, texts in dialog windows,
buttons, etc.).
E.g. Enter the length of the 1D member in the Length field.
[bold] Indicates a button.
E.g. Click on [OK] to confirm.
 Step 1
 Step 2
Indicates the different steps in a procedure. Each step describes one
action.
E.g.
Getting started
5
Enter the value in the Coefficient field.
Click on [OK] to confirm.
Menu > Submenu Indicates items and subitems from the main menu (on top of the screen)
or from the menu tree (left side of the screen).
E.g. ... choose Setup > Options from the main menu.
Bold With Capital First Letters Refers to a chapter of the manual.
E.g. For more details see chapter Detailed Description.
Installation
Installation options
All the installation options are introduced by the Setup program.
Scia Engineer uses a standard Setup program like many other MS Windows applications.
The installation of Scia Engineer can be made in three modes:
 local installation,
 installation on a network server,
 connection to a network server.
Local installation
Starting the installation
The installation of Scia Engineer is started by running SETUP.EXE program. Once this program has been started, a
language selection dialogue appears on the screen. The language selected here determines the language of the
installation program.
The selected language also affects the language of help files that will be installed. In addition, the selected language is
adjusted as a default language for the first run of the installed Scia Engineer.
Selection of target folder
The following dialogue provides for the selection of path to the application files. By default, the path is set to: C:\Program
Files\SCIA\ESAxx (where is may differ according to a particular version of the program).
Choice of installation type
One of the following types of installation can be selected:
Typical All program files are installed.
Compact Only the essential files are installed.
Selective The user may select whether help files will be installed and what language versions
will be installed.

The next dialogue then summarises the installation information. Once the information is confirmed, the installation
process is started.
The installation program adds group Scia Engineer xx (xx differs according to a particular version of the program) into
Start > Programs. The new group contains items for running the application and its help. In addition, a short-cut is
added onto the desktop.
Maintaining and uninstalling the application
The repairing of the installation or its uninstalling can be started either by a repeated start of SETUP.EXE from the
installation medium or by a selection of appropriate item in Control panel > Add or remove programs.
Update to a higher version
If the installation program finds on the computer an already installed lower version of the program, it updates the existing
installation to the new version.

Installation on a network server
The installation on a network server can be started by command SETUP.EXE /A. This command starts the installation
program in an administration mode.
Basic Reference Guide
6
First, the language of installation must be selected. This language determines the language of help files on all
workstations connected to the server.
In the next dialogue, the folder is selected where all the files of the server installation will be extracted. After confirmation
of the folder, the administration installation is extracted and the network installation is created.

Connection to the network installation
The installation on a workstation in "connection to the network server" mode can be carried out by running the file
SETUP.EXE in the root folder of the network installation.
As first step, the language of the installation is selected. This language determines the language of the application on its
first run.
No other settings must be done. No files are copied to a local drive. Only components from the server are registered.
The installation program adds group SCIA.ESA xx into Start > Programs. The new group contains items for running the
application and its help. In addition, a short-cut is added onto the desktop.
Both the local installation and the installation of the connection to the network server adjust the default setting of
application folders. This setting can be later changed using command Settings > Options, tab Files, folders.
The default setting is as follows:
Cross-section library folder C:\Program Files\SCIA\ESA1\Prof, where C:\Program
Files\SCIA\ESA1 is replaced by the real folder where the
application has been installed.
System database folder C:\Program Files\SCIA\ESA\db, where C:\Program
Files\SCIA\ESA1 is replaced by the real folder where the
application has been installed.

In addition, the following folders are set when the application is installed under Windows 2000 or Windows XP:
User files C:\Documents and Settings\USER_PROFILE_NAME\ESA1\User
Temporary files C:\Documents and Settings\USER_PROFILE_NAME\ESA1\Temp
Project files C:\Documents and Settings\USER_PROFILE_NAME\ESA1\Data

The following folders are set when the application is installed under Windows NT:
User files C:\WINNT\Profiles\USER_PROFILE_NAME\ESA1\User
Temporary files C:\WINNT\Profiles\USER_PROFILE_NAME\ESA1\Temp
Project files C:\WINNT\Profiles\USER_PROFILE_NAME\ESA1\Data

USER_PROFILE_NAME is the name of user profile of the current user.

Note: If the user has to or decides to reinstall the program, for any reason, it is generally advisable NOT TO
delete the contents of User files folder. This folder holds all possible settings made by the user. If the folder is
removed as well, all the previously made settings will be lost (which of course, may be desirable in some
cases).

System requirements
Hardware requirements
processor speed Pentium IV - 1Ghz (Advised: Pentium IV - 3Ghz)
RAM 512 MB (Advised: > 1GB)
graphic card 64 MB, supporting OpenGL
disk space for the program 450 MB
disk space for projects and temporary
files
200 MB (for large projects, the amount of space required can
augment to several GB’s)
Getting started
7
Software requirements
MS Windows XP / 2003 / Vista /
XP 64 bit
It is advised to install the latest Service Pack for these Operating Systems.
Login requirements
In order to install Scia Engineer, the account must have administrator rights.
In order to run Scia Engineer, the account can have just user rights.




Demo version
Demoversion is fully functioning in all modules with limitation in calculation. Only 25 1D members and 2 load cases can
be calculated. It is even possible to print results, but all printed material contains background text "UNLICENCED
SOFTWARE".

ATTENTION: A project created in the demoversion CANNOT be opened in a full version!!!

Uninstalling program
In order to uninstall the program use standard Windows procedure: invoke Control panel and select Add or remove
program.

Running the program
Starting program
Depending on your personal habits select one of the following ways:
Short-cut on desktop
1. If the short-cut has been placed on the desktop automatically during the installation, proceed to step 3.
2. Place the short-cut on the desktop.
a. Click the right mouse button on the desktop.
b. Select New > Short-cut command.
c. Browse the hard disk to find the folder you have installed Scia Engineer into.
d. Select ESA.EXE and finish the New Short-cut command.
3. Double click the short-cut to start the program.
Start menu
1. Click Start button on the left of Windows status bar.
2. Select Programs > SCIA > ESA.
Windows explorer or another file manager
1. Browse the hard disk to find the folder you have installed Scia Engineer into.
2. Select ESA.EXE file and double click it to start the program.

Tips for advanced users: If you are familiar with Microsoft Windows features you may as well do any of the
following:
 Assign a hot key to the Scia Engineer program to start it by pressing the defined key combination.
 Integrate Scia Engineer into your favourite file manager and start it from the toolbar of that file manager.
 Insert Scia Engineer to the Windows 2000 toolbar.
 Insert Scia Engineer to the Microsoft Office short-cut panel.
 Use any other approach available in Microsoft Windows environment.

Basic Reference Guide
8
Program files and folders
The program uses numerous folders and file types to store its data.
Folders
Program folders
main program folder It contains the program executable and auxiliary files.
set It contains initialisation files for a new project. (The information stored here
may be overridden by the data from files saved in User folders, if
available.)
db It stores system databases (e.g. materials, bolts, etc.)
prof It contains cross-section databases.
DocumentTemplates This folder offers a set of default templates for document. Its contents is
automatically copied into the appropriate user folder on first program run.
GraphicTemplates This folder offers a set of default templates for graphical outputs. Its
contents is automatically copied into the appropriate user folder on first
program run.

Note: All the program folders are ReadOnly.
User folders
set It contains initialisation files for a new project.
db It stores files with user-defined databases.
prof It contains cross-section databases.
DocumentTemplates This folder holds the templates for document.
GraphicTemplates This folder holds the templates for graphical outputs.

Note: The destination of this folder may be adjusted in the appropriate program setup dialogue.
Temporary folder
This folder stores all the information that the program needs to store during its run.
Note: The destination of this folder may be adjusted in the appropriate program setup dialogue.
Project folder
This folder stores the user-crated projects.
Note: The destination of this folder may be adjusted in the appropriate program setup dialogue.

Files
ESA Project file
ESAD Project file that has been created in a demo or student version of the program. It cannot be
read into a standard licensed version of the program.
EPW Project file created in Esa Prima Win
DB4 Database file
SET Initialisation file for the adjustment of project and user interface.
OTS File with table templates for document.
EPD Template for drawing in Paper space.
Getting started
9


Upgrade from other products
Upgrade from EPW
Scia Engineer keeps compatibility with program Esa Prima Win.
The users of ESA Prima Win may import their EPW projects into Scia Engineer using the appropriate Import function.


11
Terminology and conventions
Terminology
Global terms
additional data entity An entity that defines properties other than the shape of a structural
member, e.g. load, support, hinge, etc.
catalogue block;
type structure
A predefined template structure; some of repeatedly used types of
structure have been pre-created and can be quickly defined by a simple
selection of the appropriate type in the integrated catalogue.
cut-out A rectangular area created by a mouse when dragged over the screen; the
area extends from the point where the drag move started to the point
where the left button was released; the sides of the cut-out are always
horizontal and vertical.
entity Either a 1D member, load, support, hinge or any other part of a structure
model the properties of which are defined and can be edited.
generator A part of the program that automatically generates some kind of data, e.g.
the finite element mesh, load from a given wind conditions, etc.
geometric entity An entity that defines the geometry (or shape) of the structure. See
member.
intersection line A polygonal line drawn by a mouse on the screen; the line can intersect as
many entities as desired.
member Any structural member.
mesh finite element mesh
solver A part of the program that calculates the structure subject to the defined
load using the selected type of calculation. The solver first assemblies the
set of equations, then carries out the numerical solution of the problem.

Geometric entities
1D member A straight or curved member defined by means of its midline and cross-
section. The cross-section may be constant or varying along the length of
the 1D member.
cross-link A connection of two intersecting 1D members.
force load Load in the form of force. It can be either point or continuous.
foundation block A type of support that represents a pad foundation.
hinge Connection of two members. It can be either rigid or of defined elasticity.
load Any kind of load that the structure is subject to.
moment load Load in the form of bending moment. It can be either point or continuous.
node Generally a vertex of a member or a point where two or more members
intersect.
predefined load A load defined by means of the composition of e.g. floor. The user defines
individual layers of the floor, their height and specific weight.
rigid arm A 1D member of an infinitely large stiffness.
Basic Reference Guide
12
support Point or line support of a structure. Several types of supports are available:
standard, foundation pad, wall, etc.

Cross-sections
catalogue cross-section A cross-section that can be defined by selecting from the library of cross-
sections. The library is an integral part of Scia Engineer.
general cross-section A cross-section the shape of which is completely defined by the user.
reference point The reference point is defined according to a cross-section type:
for catalogue cross-sections it is located in the first point of the cross-
section,
for general cross-sections and cross-sections defined by a polygon it is
identical with point [0,0].

Note: Some more terms may be found in the Glossary at the end of the documentation.
Co-ordinate systems
Introduction to co-ordinate systems
As a user of Scia Engineer you will come across a set of various co-ordinate systems. Some co-ordinate systems are
essential for the work with the program itself, some others may significantly reduce the effort and time necessary to get
the required result.
The co-ordinate systems may be divided into several groups according to what they relate to:

global co-ordinate system the essential co-ordinate system, provides for positioning
and orienting of a model and its unambiguous definition
user-defined co-ordinate systems
UCS
facilitates the model definition, the user may define it’s
origin and direction
point definition co-ordinate systems;
geometry definition co-ordinate systems
provides for the definition of geometry in the most
straightforward way
entity co-ordinate systems
local co-ordinate system
defines the orientation of individual entities in a model and
provide for the unambiguous interpretation of physical
quantities related to the entity

Global co-ordinate system
The global co-ordinate system used in the program is a three-dimensional right-handed Cartesian co-ordinate system.
The axes of the system are marked X, Y, and Z.

Note: It is highly recommended to locate the created model of a structure close to the origin of the global co-
ordinate system (i.e. near the point whose global co-ordinates are 0, 0, 0) in order to prevent possible numerical
inaccuracy due to numerical operations carried out with excessively great numbers.
It is further recommended to focus on this point especially after the model geometry has been imported from a
third-party CAD program.

User-defined co-ordinate system
In order to simplify and speed up work with a model, the user can define its own co-ordinate system or systems and
locate their origin, including possible inclination, anywhere in the global co-ordinate system.
The user-defined co-ordinate system is a three-dimensional right-handed Cartesian co-ordinate system.
Terminology and conventions
13
The axes of the system are marked X, Y, and Z.
The user co-ordinate system may be set arbitrarily and the setting can be changed during work as many times as
required. In addition, any number of user co-ordinate systems may be defined simultaneously but just one of them can
be active at a time. The user can swap between the previously and also newly defined user co-ordinate systems
whenever it seems to be convenient.
For information about setting and using of user co-ordinate systems see chapter Basic Working Tools > User co-
ordinate system.

Entity co-ordinate systems
Introduction to entity co-ordinate systems
Each structural entity, that means each member, has got its own local co-ordinate system. This co-ordinate system is a
three-dimensional right-handed Cartesian co-ordinate system.
The system provides for:
 unambiguous positioning of the member in space,
 unambiguous definition of load and boundary conditions,
 unambiguous interpretation of results.
This chapter also deals with a group of co-ordinate systems that do not refer to a structural entity in the full meaning of
the word, but that is very closely related to it. This group consists of co-ordinate systems used with cross-sections.

Cross-section co-ordinate system
There are several co-ordinate systems used with cross-sections. All the sectional co-ordinate systems are two-
dimensional right-handed Cartesian co-ordinate systems.
Principal (or main) axes
The principal axes correspond to the principal moments of inertia of a cross-section. They are marked u and v.
The u axis is called (according to the official Eurocode terminology) a major axis and the v axis is called a minor axis.
The principal axes are used to evaluate important sectional characteristics necessary for design and assessment to
technical standards (code check), e.g. moments of inertia, radiuses of gyration, etc.
Centroidal axes
The two centroidal axes pass the centroid of a cross-section and the first moments (the static moments) of the cross-
section around these axes are equal to zero.
The centroidal axes are marked y and z.
The centroidal axes are used to evaluate important sectional characteristics necessary for design and assessment to
technical standards (code check), e.g. moments of inertia, radiuses of gyration, section modulus, etc.
For symmetrical cross-sections, the centroidal axes are identical to the principal axes.
For example, for steel cross-sections the centroidal y axis is parallel to the flanges and the centroidal z axis is
perpendicular to the flanges.
Geometric co-ordinate system
The geometric axes are used to define co-ordinates of cross-section vertices. The axes of the system are marked y and
z.
Orientation of the cross-section co-ordinate system with reference to the beam local co-ordinate system
A cross-section is oriented so that the centroidal axis y is identical with beam local axis Y and the centroidal axis z is
identical with beam local axis Z. If the 1D member is being rotated around its local X axis, also the sectional centroidal
axes rotate.
Basic Reference Guide
14


Beam co-ordinate system
The beam co-ordinate system is a three-dimensional right-handed Cartesian co-ordinate system with axes marked x, y,
and z.
Each 1D member is defined by means of two end points – by a "starting point" and by an "end point". Each 1D member
has got a unique local co-ordinate system, the origin of which is located in the starting point of a 1D member. The x-axis
is always identical with the longitudinal beam axis and its direction is from the staring point towards the end point. By
default, the y-axis is generally horizontal (unless the beam orientation prevents this) and the z-axis is generally vertical
(again, unless the beam orientation in space prevents this configuration).

The local co-ordinate system can be rotated around its x-axis if required.
In addition to this local co-ordinate system, also a principal (or main) co-ordinate system can be referred to on a 1D
member. The principal co-ordinate system of a 1D member is related to the principal co-ordinate system of the cross-
section of a 1D member.

Geometric block co-ordinate system
Some of geometric blocks use a specific co-ordinate system. The system is used only throughout the phase of block
definition. The concrete co-ordinate system, if applied, is always displayed in the dialogue for block definition.

Point definition co-ordinate systems
Introduction to point definition
Any geometric entity is defined by positions of its vertices. The vertices are defined as points inserted into required
location. Any inserted point, regardless the entity type it relates to, can be defined in one of the following co-ordinate
systems:
 Cartesian co-ordinate system
 Cylindrical co-ordinate system
Terminology and conventions
15
 Spherical co-ordinate system
The choice of a particular system depends on several factors:
 how is the point position defined in the model drawings,
 what is the most efficient and most easiest way for the specific situation,
 which particular system is preferred by the user.

Cartesian co-ordinate system
A point in the Cartesian co-ordinate system is uniquely defined by three length co-ordinates x, y, and z. The individual
co-ordinates represent the distance of the point from the origin of the co-ordinate system measured along individual axes
x, y, and z respectively.


Cylindrical co-ordinate system
In the cylindrical co-ordinate system the co-ordinate of any point is given by three components r, theta, and z. The co-
ordinates r and theta represent polar co-ordinates of a point in xy plane. And the z co-ordinate is a distance of the
defined point from xy plane.
Thus the ordinate along x, y, and z axis are respectively:
x = r × cos (theta),
y = r × sin (theta),
z = z.


Basic Reference Guide
16
Spherical co-ordinate system
In the spherical co-ordinate system the co-ordinate of any point is given by three components r, Psi, theta. Thus the
ordinates along x, y and z axis are:
x = r × sin (theta) cos (Psi),
y = r × sin (theta) sin (Psi),
z = r × cos (theta).


Conventions for applied physical quantities
Input quantities conventions
The following notation and conventions are user in the program and in the program documentation.
Axes
global X Y Z

local x y z


External forces

Fx Fy Fz Mx My Mz

Prescribed displacement and rotation
global Ux Uy Uz Fix Fiy Fiz
local ux uy uz fix fiy fiz

Both external forces and translations are considered as positive when acting in the direction of an appropriate axis. E.g.
Force defined in global co-ordinate system and acting in the direction of the positive global X-axis is taken as positive.
Force defined in global co-ordinate system and acting in the direction opposite to the direction of the positive global X-
axis is taken as negative.

Output quantities conventions
The following notation is user in the program and in the program documentation.
Terminology and conventions
17
Axes
global X Y Z

local x y z


Displacement and rotation
global Ux Uy Uz Fix Fiy Fiz
local ux uy uz fix fiy fiz

Reactions

Rx Ry Rz Mx My Mz

Internal forces

N Vy Vz Mx My Mz

Stress

sig x sig y sig z


tau xy tau yz tau xz



Units
Introduction to units
Scia Engineer supports various unit types.
SI units International system of units (metric practice)
FPS units foot-pound-second unit
Imperial, English units, US unit FPS unit

Length units
Imperial length units
The imperial units for length are:
 inch (in),
 foot (ft).
The official values for conversion are:
quantity multiply by to obtain
inch 25.400 millimetre (mm)
Basic Reference Guide
18
foot 0.3048 metre (m)

Display style of length units
Display style of length units is defined by format, precision and unit symbol.
Format
The format can be:
 scientific (1.55E+01)
 engineering (15.50E+00) (the exponent is ..., -09, -06, -03, +00, +03, +06, +09, ... )
 decimal (15.50)
 fractional (15 1/2)
Precision
The precision for scientific and decimal format is defined as follows. Sample value is 3.1415926
Decimal length in
Units Setup
Precision Result
0 0 3
1 0.1 3.1
2 0.01 3.14
3 0.001 3.142
4 0.0001 3.1416
etc. etc. etc.

The precision for fractional format is defined as follows.
Fractional precision in Units Setup Precision
0 1
1 ˝
2 Ľ
3 1/8
4 1/16
etc. etc.

Unit symbol
unit symbol
millimetre mm
centimetre cm
decimetre dm
metre m
inch (1
st
option) in
Terminology and conventions
19
inch (2
nd
option) "
foot (1
st
option) ft
foot (2
nd
option) ‘
foot-inch (1
st
option) ft in
foot-inch (2
nd
option) ‘ "

Example
The value is 78.24 cm.
Format Precision Unit symbol Result
scientific 0.001 centimetre (cm) 7.824E+01 cm
scientific 0.01 millimetre (mm) 7.82E+02 mm
engineering 0.001 centimetre (cm) 78.240E+00 cm
engineering 0.01 millimetre (mm) 782.40E+00 mm
decimal 0.01 centimetre (cm) 78.24 cm
decimal 0.001 inches (in) 30.803 in
decimal 0.001 inches (") 30.803 "
decimal 0.001 feet (ft) 2.567 ft
decimal 0.001 feet (') 2.567 '
decimal 0.001 feet-inches (ft in) 2 ft 6.803 in
decimal 0.001 feet-inches (' ") 2' 6.803"
fractional 1/16 feet(') 2-9/16'
fractional 1/16 inches (") 30-13/16"
fractional 1/16 inches (in) 30-13/16 in
fractional 1/16 feet-inches (' ") 2' 6-13/16"
Input of length units
For metric units (mm, cm, dm, m), the scientific and decimal formats are supported. Once the value is input, the value is
transformed into the defined format, precision and unit.
For the imperial units (in and ft), the scientific, decimal and fractional formats are supported. The use of symbols " and '
is supported. The fractional input (-1/2, -3/4, …) is supported. When entering fractions, the fractions must be separated
from the rest by a hyphen. Once the value is input, the value is transformed into the defined format (scientific, decimal,
fractional), precision and unit symbol.
It is always possible to enter a number in greater precision than defined by settings. The precise value is stored internally
and the displayed value reflects the Units setup.

Examples for imperial units
Input string Display setting Result
3.5 decimal, inches (") 3.5"
3-1/2 decimal, inches (") 3.5"
Basic Reference Guide
20
5' decimal, inches (") 60"
5.3' 6" decimal, inches (") 69.6"
5.3' 6.6" decimal, inches (") 70.20"
5.3' 6.6 decimal, inches (") 70.20"
3.5 decimal, feet (') 3.5'
3-1/2 decimal, feet (') 3.5'
5' decimal, feet (') 5.0'
5.3' 6" decimal, feet (') 5.80'
5.3' 6.6" decimal, feet (') 5.85'
5.3' 6.6 decimal, feet (') 5.85'
3.5 fractional, feet (')-inches (") 3' 6"
3-1/2 fractional, feet (')-inches (") 3' 6"
5' fractional, feet (')-inches (") 5' 0"
5.3' 6" fractional, feet (')-inches (") 5' 9-5/8"
5.3' 6.6" fractional, feet (')-inches (") 5' 10-1/4"
5.3' 6.6 fractional, feet (')-inches (") 5' 10-1/4"

Angle units
The display of the angle unit is defined by the format and the precision.
Format
 decimal degrees (45.000)
 degrees/minutes/seconds (45d0'0")
 grads (50.000g)
 radians (0.7854r)
Precision
The precision of angle units is analogous to decimal format of Length units.
Similarly to Length units, the settings for display style of angle units can be made in Units setup.


21
Layout and operation
Layout and operation overview
Scia Engineer is a computer program designed for running on Microsoft Windows platform. Therefore, the program
incorporates common MS Windows features and conventions. Consequently, user accustomed to another MS Windows
application will have no difficulties in both (i) orienting in the program and (ii) operating it.
Nevertheless, we assume it more that practical to make a complete description of:
 program interface components,
 their layout on a screen,
 basic and advanced program controls such as dialogues, menus, etc.,
 operation of the program control elements.
The following pages will give you a detailed description of every part of the program that you can come across during
your work.

User interface
Introduction to user interface
The user interface is a part of the program that can be seen on the screen and that provides for the communication
between the user and the program. It is often called a "graphical interface".
The user interface consists of several mutually connected and co-operating parts. The following table shows a brief
overview of them.

Title bar It is the top most part of the application window. It holds the basic
information about the application.
Status bar It displays various information related to a concrete program action.
Menu bar This bar contains a menu that can be used to operate the program.
Tree menu window It contains a tree-like menu used to call individual program functions.
Toolbar It provides for fast access to most common functions.
Working window There are two types of application working window: graphical window
and document window (see below).
Graphical window
It is a type of an application window that shows drawings of the
designed object. The window displays the designed object, calculated
results and accepts commands from a mouse.
Document window It is a type of an application window that shows the information about
the designed object in the form of tables, text comments and, of
course, drawings
Preview window The window shows various types of information in the form of tables
and drawings. It can be used to edit objects properties. This is a
special kind of a document window.
Command line The command line can be used to type commands to operate the
program and it also displays brief instructions about what to do during
individual running actions
Graphical window pop-up menu This menu is a menu associated with each of opened graphical
windows of the application. It provides for fast access to some of the
most often used functions.

Basic Reference Guide
22
In addition to these standard Windows application parts of a user interface, Scia Engineer makes use of a set of unique
specially developed control elements that are described in separate chapters (e.g. Property window, database manager,
etc.).

Note: The layout of dialogues in the program has been designed for normal size of the text. If your Windows are
adjusted to use large fonts, it may happen that some dialogues in SCIA•Scia Engineer look strange and may be
slightly distorted.


Title bar
The title bar is the heading of the application window. It consists of three parts:
 the program icon (on the left side of the bar)
 text information about the application name
 text information about the name of the opened and active project and the number of the active project window
 three control buttons for (i) minimising the application window, (ii) making the application window full-screen, and
(iii) closing the application on the right side of the bar.

Note: The first and the last feature of the title bar is the common feature of any Microsoft Windows application.

Example of a title bar


Status bar
The status bar is a bar placed at the bottom of the application window. It is used to display information about the program
and/or about the functions under process and it contains a few control elements. By default the status bar shows the
following information:

co-ordinates of the mouse cursor
position in UCS
When a function requiring the definition of a point (e.g. insertion of a
1D member) is running, the status bar shows the cursor position in the
current user co-ordinate system.
co-ordinates of the mouse cursor
position in GCS
If selected in the application settings the status bar shows the co-
ordinates also in the global co-ordinate system.
project length units The bar displays the current length unit (e.g. meter, inch, etc.). The
unit can be easily changed by simple clicking on the unit box on the
status bar.
orientation of working plane The working plane box of the status bar shows the current orientation
of the working plane. The orientation can be changed by clicking on
the working plane box.
[SNAP mode] This button enables the user to adjust required SNAP mode.
[Filter for selections] Selections may be limited to specific entities. This can be adjusted by
means of selection filter. The status bar shows the current filter status
and also provides for its change.
[Current UCS] This button displays the current UCS for the active window. If pressed,
it opens the UCS manager.
[Active code] A small icon shows the flag of the country whose code is currently set
as active.

The status bar also displays a brief help text for program elements like a toolbar button or a menu function if the mouse
cursor is just being placed on such an element.
Example of a status bar
Layout and operation
23

Note: The status bar in the picture does not show the global co-ordinates of the mouse position. This option can
be switched on or off in the Application settings.

Menu bar
The menu bar is, by default, located just under the Title bar of the application window. It can be, however, moved into
another position within the application window. It can be either docked to the left or upper edge of the application
window, or it can be let floating anywhere within the work area.
Majority of Scia Engineer functions is accessible via this menu. There are some functions that can be accessed only
from the tree menu of from toolbars.
Example of menus
menu View > View

menu Modify > Edit curves


Tree menu window
The tree window is similar in function to the menu bar but it is more readable and user-friendly.
The individual items of the tree may be:
service It opens another tree menu in the same window. E.g. service Structure, Loads, etc.
function It opens a specific function, e.g. Point load in node, Cross-link, etc.
branch It opens a branch of the tree and shows individual functions in it. E.g. branch Point
load offers functions Point load in node and Point load on 1D member.

How to operate the tree menu
The procedure to operate the tree menu is very straightforward and closely resembles the operating rules for standard
Microsoft Windows tree control.
Opening branches of the tree
The tree consists of a main branch and possible sub-branches. If an item has a sub-branch, it is indicated with a plus
sign (+) in front of the item name. The sub-branch can be opened (listed on the screen) by means of either (i) a left
mouse button single click on the plus sign or (ii) a left mouse button double-click on the item name. If the same action is
made with already opened a branch, the branch is closed.
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24
Activating tree branch items
In order to activate an item of a branch (either a main branch item that opens a service or sub-branch item that opens a
particular function), simply double-click on the item name with the left mouse button. Depending on the item type either a
corresponding function is activated or a particular service tree menu is displayed.
If the branch item represents a particular function, it can also be activated using a button at the bottom part of the tree
menu window.
Closing a service
In order to close the whole service you can do the following:
 press the [Close] button,
 if a function is still opened, press the [Esc] key twice,
 a function has been already closed or terminated, press the [Esc] key once.
Closing a function
In order to close the function, you can use one of the following ways:
 press the [Close] button (this option closes the service as well),
 press the [Esc] key once.
 click the [Arrow] ( ) button on the toolbar at the top of the command line.
 invoke the window pop-up menu and select function End.
Terminating a function
In order to abandon the activated function without accepting the already made changes, press [Ctrl] + Break keys
simultaneously.
It is also possible to invoke the window pop-up menu and select function Cancel.

Example of a tree menu


Customizing the tree menu
The tree menu can be customized using a local pop-up menu.
1) Place the mouse cursor anywhere into the tree menu window.
2) Click the right mouse button.
3) Select what you want to have displayed: icons, captions, tool tips.

A) Icons + captions
Layout and operation
25


B) Icons only


C) Captions only


D) If tool tips are ON and the window is to narrow to display the whole item, the full name of the selected item is shown
as a tool tip.
Basic Reference Guide
26


E) If tool tips are OFF and the window is to narrow to display the whole item, the full name of the selected item cannot be
seen - see the image under A) above.



Command line
The command line provides for the following:
 some functions can be activated via typing the appropriate command,
 if any function has been already called (regardless whether via the command line, menu, tree menu, or toolbar
button), it displays guiding instructions on the command line,
 if any function requires a numerical input (e.g. co-ordinates of an inserted point), the corresponding value or values
may be typed on the command line.
Especially the second feature is very useful particularly for beginning users as they are clearly guided through the
function they want to use and can simply follow the presented step-by-step instructions.
Syntax of commands
The syntax of a command on the command line is:
command par amet er 1 [ par amet er 2] [ par amet er 3] [ et c. ]
Example
SEL BEAM1
This command adds the 1D member named BEAM1 into the current selection.
Syntax for input of co-ordinates
The important thing to be aware of is that if a co-ordinate is typed by means of one or two numbers only, it is considered
to be defined in the active working plane of the current user co-ordinate system.
If the point is defined by means of three values, it is considered to be defined in the current user co-ordinate system. In
this case, the orientation of the working plane is not taken into account at all.
General syntax for the definition of a point
[ pr ef i x] [ number ] [ separ at or ] [ number ] [ separ at or ] [ number ]
Prefix
none
absolute co-ordinate in UCS
@
relative co-ordinate related to the last input point, defined in UCS
*
co-ordinate in GCS
@*
relative co-ordinate related to the last input point, defined in GCS

Number
[ space] [ si gn] [ nnn] [ . ] [ nnn] [ exp] [ si gn] [ nnn]
Layout and operation
27
[ space]
if any, ignored
[ si gn]
sign plus or minus (‘+’ or ‘-‘)
[ nnn]
row of digits 0,1, ..., 9
[ , ]
decimal comma or point
[ exp]
exponent – sign ‘e’ or ‘E’

Separator
;
length value follows
<
angle value follows

Syntax for the definition of a point in Cartesian co-ordinates
[ *, @] [ X] , [ Y] , [ Z]
Examples
12. 4; 45. 8; 12. 4
absolute point co-ordinate in UCS 12.4, 45.8, 12.4
123. 4; 345. 8
absolute point co-ordinate in the current working plane of the UCS
123.4, 345.8
@123; 23; 5
relative co-ordinate related to the last inserted point in UCS 123, 23, 5
@123; 23
relative co-ordinate related to the last inserted point in the current
working plane of the UCS 123, 23
@123
relative co-ordinate related to the last inserted point in the current
working plane of the UCS 123, 0
*123; 23; 5
global co-ordinate in GCS 123, 23, 5
*
the origin of GCS 0, 0, 0

Syntax for the definition of a point in polar co-ordinates
[ *, @] [ l engt h] <[ angl e]
Examples
123<90
absolute co-ordinate of point in UCS 0, 123, 0
123<180
absolute co-ordinate of point in UCS 0, -123, 0

Syntax for the definition of a point in spherical co-ordinates
[ *, @] [ l engt h] <[ angl e] <[ angl e]
Example
123<90<90
absolute co-ordinate of point in UCS 0, 0, 123

Syntax for the definition of a point in cylindrical co-ordinates
[ *, @] [ l engt h] <[ angl e] , [ l engt h]
Example
Basic Reference Guide
28
123<90; 200
absolute co-ordinate of point in UCS 0, 123, 20

Property table
A property table is a Scia Engineer unique control used in the program dialogues and in the Property window. The
control looks like a table (basically a two column multi-row table) whose first column contains names of individual items
displayed in the table and the second column shows their values.
Generally, the values in the "value cells" of the property table may be modified. There are various means for the change
of the value (see bellow). In addition, the individual items of the table may be interlinked either (i) to another part of the
program (e.g. another dialogue) or (ii) to a graphical window. Both variants represent a powerful feature increasing
significantly the simplicity and speed of editing process.
In order to unify the appearance of the program dialogues, the property table is also used even for passive display of
information. In such a case, the "value cells" are disabled to prevent an accidental alteration of the values.
Type of property table cells
name cell It contains the name of the item whose value is displayed in the coupled value cell.
group cell This is a special case of the name cell. Sometimes, the name cell is standalone
and is not coupled with any value cell. This is used to display e.g. the name of a
group of items.
value cell This cell holds the corresponding data. The data may or may not be edited
depending on the particular situation.

The value cell may be of several types. Where possible, the cell terminology is taken from the standard MS Windows
terminology for dialogue box components. In parenthesis, a descriptive name is added (if applicable).
edit box
(simple value cell)
The basic type of cell provides for manual input of value. Depending on the
particular item the value may be either numerical or alphanumerical.
combo box
(selection list cell)
This control is used for items where the proper value is defined by selection from a
list of available variants.
tick box
(yes/no cell)
This type of cell provides for two limit value only – for YES and NO.
button The button can be used to start a required type of action, e.g. open a dialogue, etc.
colour list This type is similar to the combo box. The difference is that it offers colours only.

Combination of cell types in one table cell
The individual cell types may be combined within a single cell. That means that, for example, one table cell may consist
of a combo box and a button, or of three edit boxes.
This feature is used e.g. in tables where a cross-section should be specified. The table sell then contains:
 a combo box with all cross-section already defined in the current project,
 a button that opens the Cross-section manager and thus provides for the definition of a new cross-section type if
none of the existing ones meets requirements on the particular item.
Interconnection between table cells and graphical window
In some dialogues, individual table items may be related to a specific part of the drawing shown in the graphical window.
In such a case, it would be useful:
 to highlight the appropriate part of the drawing if the corresponding table cell is selected, or
 to highlight the appropriate table cell if the corresponding part of the drawing has been clicked on.
The Scia Engineer property table makes this possible. Therefore, where applicable and useful, the appropriate table cells
are interlinked with corresponding drawing parts.
Layout and operation
29
As an example we may give the dialogue for editing of a cross-section. Here, the dimensions of a cross-section
represent exactly what this feature is ideal for. On clicking any of dimension lines in the drawing, the corresponding table
row is highlighted, and vice versa.
Example of a property table
The picture below shows the cross-section editing dialogue. The mouse cursor is positioned in the graphical window of
the Cross-section manager over the height dimension line. After the left mouse button was clicked, the corresponding
item in the table above the picture got the focus (the blue item).


Progress bar
Especially for large models, some actions performed in Scia Engineer may be rather time consuming. In order to tell the
user what the progress is, a progress bar is shown on the screen.
It simply:
 indicates that the program is working,
 measures what portion of the total work has been already finished.
The progress bar may appear either in a modal dialogue or on a status bar.
It may look like e.g.:


Note: If the application window is not maximized, it may happen that the progress bar cannot fit into the status
bar whose length is limited by the adjusted width of the application window. In that case, the progress bar that
would normally appear on the status bar is invisible.

User Interface Skins
Scia Engineer can be run with a standard Graphical User Interface (GUI) or with a simplified user interface. The latter is
analogous to skins used in some other programs. In Scia Engineer, these "skins" do not just alter the look of the
program, but they may also reduce the available functionality (they are not capable of extending the functionality). This
may be useful for clients who focus on a particular group of problems. For example, if you use Scia Engineer as a
modeller and do not intend to perform any kind of calculation, it is redundant to have in the menu functions for input of
Basic Reference Guide
30
loads, supports, hinges, for start of calculation, review of results, etc. What’s more, it is also possible to change the
arrangement of toolbars and tree window and change icons on toolbars.

A good example of a practical application of this technology is 3D Free Form Modeller.
3D Free Form Modeller is an application based on the full Scia Engineer, but leaving aside calculation and code check
capabilities. In addition, as it is intended for Allplan users, it replaces some standard Scia Engineer-style icons on
toolbars with icons from Allplan, with the only aim: to make it easier for Allplan users to work efficiently with 3D Free
Form Modeller.
Toolbars
Toolbars
Toolbars are small floating windows-like objects containing sets of buttons. The buttons can be used for opening various
functions. The toolbars may be let floating on the screen or may be docked to any side of the screen.
Examples
View

Geometrical manipulations


You may control which toolbars are displayed in menu View > Toolbars. This menu function enables you to switch on or
off the required toolbars. Moreover, you may use this function to display or hide other parts of the Graphical User
Interface (GUI).
List of GUI parts that can be displayed or hidden:
 tree window,
 property window,
 text window (preview window),
 command line,
 status bar,
 main menu.

List of available toolbars:
 Tools (e.g. Units, Layers, UCS, etc.),
 Activity,
 Modelling tools (e.g. Boolean operations with general solids, Generation and modification of vertices on general
solids, etc.),
 UCS (User Coordinate System),
 Geometry manipulation (e.g. Move, Copy, etc.),
 Line edit (e.g. Trim, Extend, Enlarge, etc.),
 Polyline edit ((e.g. Add point to a polyline, Divide polyline, etc.),
 Curves edit (e.g. Edit arc, Convert arc to line, etc.),
 Selection of objects,
 Basic (e.g. Open, Save, etc.).

Predefined toolbar arrangements
Even though you may freely move the toolbars on your screen and let them "flow" or dock them to any side of application
window, you can also select from several predefined configurations of toolbars in menu View > Toolbars arrangement:
Layout and operation
31
 Default arrangement – Classic,
 Default configuration – Allplan style (This configuration is intended for Allplan users. It customizes the Graphical
User Interface of Scia Engineer so that it follows conventions typical for Allplan.),
 Basic configuration,
 Float all toolbars.

Note: The number and layout of toolbars and the number and types of predefined toolbar arrangements may
vary depending on the "skin" and mode you select for Scia Engineer. For example, the Graphical User Interface
of the full Scia Engineer may look different from 3D Free Form Modeller or ESA Modeller (the last two are
accessible, for example, when you call Scia Engineer from inside Allplan application).


Customising the toolbars
Toolbars can be customised by the user. It is possible to reshape the toolbars, add or remove buttons from individual
toolbars and to define new tailor-made toolbars.
Each toolbar has a little-arrow button (the button is located at the right end of the toolbar if the toolbar is docked and at
the toolbar header if the toolbaris floating - see the two images below) . When the little-arrow button is clicked a submenu
opens with option Add or remove buttons. This item then offers several sub-items:
- the names of toolbars that are docked in the same "toolbar-row" (in case of a floating toolbar, it contains only the name
of the particular toolbar),
- item Customise that opens the Customize dialogue (described further in the text).

Picture: little-arrow button (marked with red circle) on a docked and floating toolbar


Reshaping the toolbar
Each floating toolbar can be reshaped. Simply put the mouse cursor over an edge of the toolbar, click the mouse left
button and drag.
Example:


Hiding buttons from a toolbar
1) Click the little-arrow button on the required toolbar and open the sub-menu.
2) Select the name of the toolbar you want to modify.
3) Another "sub-menu" with a complete list of available standard buttons for the toolbar is opened.
4) Unmark the buttons you want to hide and select the buttons you want to see.
Note: If the toolbar if floating, this procedure can modify only the toolbar whose little-arrow button has been clicked. If the
toolbar is docked, this procedure can access all the toolbars located in the same "toolbar-row".

Dialogue " Customize"
The Customize dialogue can be used for a modification of any existing toolbar and for definition of new user-tailored
toolbars.
The procedure to open the Customize dialogue
1) Click the little-arrow button on any toolbar and open the sub-menu.
2) Click option "Customize...".
Basic Reference Guide
32

Commands tab
This tab offers a list of all available toolbars and their buttons.
When on this tab, you can drag-and-drop any command from the dialogue to any displayed toolbar.
1) Select the required toolbar in the left list.
2) Select the required button in the right list.
3) Click it and drag to the required toolbar.
4) Release the mouse button - the selected function is added to the target toolbar.

To remove a button from any of the existing toolbars, just "drag" the required function away from the toolbar (the
Customize dialogue must be opened).
1) Select the function to be removed from a toolbar.
2) Click it and drag it anywhere away from the toolbar (outside the toolbar area of all toolbars).
3) Release the mouse button and the function is removed from the toolbar.

Toolbars tab
On this tab you can:
- display or hide any of the existing toolbars,
- reset the toolbar to the default configuration,
- create a new toolbar(s),
- delete you user-made toolbar(s),
- rename you user-made toolbar(s),
When you create a new toolbar, swap to the Commands tab and drag-and-drop the required functions on it.

Note: When a new toolbar is created, it may not appear in the list of existing toolbars in the Customize dialogue. In that
case, close the Customize dialogue and reopen it. The new toolbar will be listed there then.

Copying the customised toolbars to a different computer
The settings adjusted on one computer can be easily transferred to another computer. It can be useful, for example, if
one engineer works on several different computers or if a team wants to share the same settings.
The settings made by the user are stored in folder for "User settings files" that is defined in the Setup > Options
dialogue.

This folder contains sub-folder Toolbars with files for individual toolbars. Each toolbar has its own file with extension
CTC: e.g. TB_Activity.CTC, TB_Basic.CTC, TB_Calculate.CTC, TB_Curves_Edit.CTC, etc.
If you want to transfer your settings to another computer, just copy these files to folder Toolbars in the User settings
files folder on that second computer.
Application windows
Introduction to application windows
All the information that the program can give to the user is displayed in an application window. An application window
can of the following types:
Layout and operation
33
 graphical window,
 document window,
 preview window.
The user can use all the window types at the same time and swap between them freely, or he may use just one type at a
time. It depends completely on his or her will and habits.
At the same time, as many graphical and document windows can be opened as the user considers convenient to him.
On the other hand, there can be opened just one preview window.

Graphical window
This window can be perceived as a drawing board, however with rather advanced functionality. A model defined by the
user is displayed in this window. The individual parts of a model can be literally drawn in this window. All selections of
any function are made in this window type and any response of the program to the user’s action affecting the model is
shown in this window. Also the calculated results are shown in this window. The window both displays the project data
and receives information from the user provided by means of mouse moves and clicking.
An arbitrary number of graphical windows, regardless of their type, can be opened at the same type for one or several
different projects.
Example of a graphical window


Viewports
The term "viewport" is taken from Allplan and means a graphical window.
The Window menu offers several predefined arrangements of viewports (windows).

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34
1 viewport

2 viewports

3 viewports

Layout and operation
35
4 viewports (1)

4 viewports (2)


Besides, it is of course possible to arrange the windows in any other way that suits your needs or habits.
Graphical window pop-up menu
Every graphical window that Scia Engineer creates has a pop-up menu associated with it. This menu provides for a fast
access to some frequently used functions.
To access this menu, move the mouse pointer so that it is within the window - not inside the title bar, nor on the window's
borders. Then press the rightmost mouse button to make the menu appear on the screen. Then move the mouse to
highlight the required option. Click the leftmost button to start the selected action.
The window pop-up menu is described in detail in a separate chapter Basic working tools > Window pop-up menu.
Example of a pop-up menu
Basic Reference Guide
36


Document window
This window type is used to display a document or report about an analysed model, its input data, results of calculation,
and assessment to technical standards (i.e. code check). This window can contain both graphical and text information.
An arbitrary number of document windows, regardless of their type, can be opened at the same type for one or several
different projects.
Example of a document window
Layout and operation
37


Preview window
At first sight, the preview window looks like a document window. In fact, it is a simplified version of the document window.
You can display information about required entities in this type of window in the form of clearly readable tables and even
edit the structure data in them.
For example, it is possible to display in the preview window information about selected cross-sections, about selected 1D
members and their load, etc.
Example of a preview window


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38
Property window
Property window
The property window has its name derived from a property table that is displayed in it. The property window summarises
parameters, characteristics and selected options of particular entities such as nodes, 1D members, loads, result
diagrams, etc.
The property window always shows information related to the selected entities or selected function. However, the
property window has been designed to not only passively display the properties, but also to provide for fast and easy
modification of them.
If the current selection consists of only one entity, generally all the parameters can be modified. If more than one entity
has been selected, the property window automatically applies a filter and displays the parameters that the selected
entities have in common.
If a function has been started, the property window may contain some switches that may affect the behaviour of the
function. Most of the functions from service Results are good examples as the property window enables the user to
select required quantity to-be-displayed, adjust the style of result diagrams, etc.
Example of a property window


Action buttons
As the name suggests, the Property Table comprises properties of a particular part of a structure model. Sometimes
however, the property table contains also a control that starts a particular action related to the element whose properties
are displayed in the table.
If such controls (buttons in particular) are put somewhere inside the table, they may be overlooked. Therefore, these
buttons were "extracted" from the table and are located in a special section called Action buttons or Action toolbar.
Thus, all the actions that are accessible for the current properties or for the "property-owner" are visibly and clearly
separated from the often long list of information and can be easily accessed.
Action buttons are used in various parts of Scia Engineer.
Action buttons in the Property Window
The table below presents some (not all) applications of Action buttons.
Layout and operation
39
service Steel >
function Check

Refresh It redraws the screen in order to reflect the changes made in the Property
Window ( Refresh of results).
Single check It opens a dialogue that provides for checking of a single selected 1D
member.
AutoDesign It opens a dialogue for the AutoDesign of selected 1D members.
Preview It opens the Preview window and displays the relevant information in it.


service Steel >
function Connection check

Open preview It opens the Preview window and displays the relevant information in it.

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40
service Results >
function Internal forces

Refresh It redraws the screen in order to reflect the changes made in the Property
Window ( Refresh of results).
Preview It opens the Preview window and displays the relevant information in it.

Action buttons in Database managers
Action buttons are used for example in the Load case combinations manager.
Explode This buttons explodes the defined combination and shows the critical (or
significant) internally generated combinations.
Explode to all possible This buttons explodes the defined combination and shows ALL possible
internally generated combinations.

chapter Exploded combinations.

Detailed properties
Models created in Scia Engineer consist usually of a large number of individual elements. Some of these elements
themselves have a lot of specific properties. Some of the properties may depend on other properties. Consequently, the
total number of properties that must be treated may be enormous.
If all the properties were listed in the Property window, whenever the particular element is selected, the Property
window would be overfilled, unclear, and its contents confusing, which in turn could lead to unintentional mistakes
during the input of property values.
Therefore, a new solution has been developed. Property tables that are too complex to be shown in a single Property
window are divided into several parts, each of which contains properties related to a single "master" property listed in
the main property table.
The "slave" property tables are simple modal dialogues accessible from the main property table via a button.

Example
Let’s imagine a simple frame connection of a column and inclined 1D member.
Layout and operation
41


The Property table shown in the Property window of such a connection may look like:


If an end plate is inserted into the connection, a button next to the check box appears and if pressed, the End plate
property dialogue is displayed:
Basic Reference Guide
42

Here all the properties related to the end plate may be defined.
Similarly, if bolts are defined, a button next to the Bolts check box is offered and if pressed, the Bolts property dialogue
is displayed:

Here all the properties related to the used bolts may be specified.

Layout and operation
43
Database managers
Introduction to database manager
A database manager is a tool that provides for all possible operations related to manipulation with entities stored in some
of program databases. The term "program database" stands e.g. for a database of materials, cross-sections, catalogue
blocks, etc. defined in a current project.
It is obvious that:
 individual entities of these databases must be somehow defined,
 there must be a way to edit them, copy them, delete them,
 the user must have an opportunity to review parameters of the individual entities,
 there must exist a procedure to select one entity as a "default" for functions requiring an entity of that type as an
input parameter,
 the approach to all these points must be unique regardless the type of database.
Consequently, Scia Engineer integrates a tool called "manager".

Layout and operation of a database manager
A manager consists basically of the following controls:
List of defined entities of a
particular database
The list shows all the entities related to the database of the manager that have
been defined in the current project so far.
Property table This table shows a brief summary of parameters for the database entity that is just
selected in the list of already defined entities (see above).
Graphical window This window displays a drawing of the database entity whose parameters are just
listed in the property table.
Control buttons The buttons provide the access to the functions that are accessible from within the
particular manager.
Filter The filter allows for a readable representation of data in the Manager.

List of defined database entities
The list summarises all the database entities that has been defined in the project. Most often, the list contains names of
the entities. However, if useful and practical, some additional information may be added next to the name.
Property table
The property table displays parameters for the entity that is selected in the list of defined entities. It provides for a quick
review of the parameter values. Some of the parameters can also be edited here. But normally, the modification of the
parameters is performed in the editing dialogue for a particular entity type.
Graphical window
This window contains a schematic drawing of the database entity the parameters of which are presented in the property
table. This window is fitted with a pop-up menu. The menu offers the user some important functions related to the
displayed entity.
Control buttons
There are several control buttons in the Manager that allow to user to use various actions that may be performed with
database entities.
button

meaning
[New]

This button opens the New entity dialogue where a new entity can be
defined and inserted into the current project.
The newly defined entity is inserted at the end of the list of defined entities.
[Insert]

This button also opens the New entity dialogue where a new entity can be
defined and inserted into the current project.
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44
But, the newly defined entity is inserted before the currently selected entity
in the list of defined entities.
This feature can be used to have the entities in user-defined order and not
in the order of insertion.
[Edit]

This button opens the Editing dialogue for the entity currently selected in
the List of defined entities. The Editing dialogue provides for thorough and
detailed review or editing of the entity parameters.
[Delete]

This button allows the user to get rid of those entities of the particular
database that are no longer necessary in the project.
[Copy]

The Copy button makes a copy of the entity that is selected in the List of
defined entities.
[System database]

It enables the user to read items from a standard system database.
[Read]

It enables the user to read database items from an external file – user’s
database.
[Save]

It saves selected entities of the database to an external file – user’s
database.
[Text Output]

This button opens the preview window and displays all the parameters in it
for the entity that is selected in the List of defined entities.
[Close]

This button has got two functions. First, it sets the currently highlighted
item in the List of defined entities as the active (or current) entity. Second,
it closes the database manager.
[Unify]

This button enables the user to select items from the list of defined items
that will be united with the currently selected item.
Thus it is possible to get rid of excessive number of doubled items, or to
establish a single item for entities that originally used several items (e.g. to
assign one cross-section to 1D members that originally had different cross-
sections). See Example below.

Example - function Unify
Let us suppose that we have defined three beams, each of them of a different cross-section.

Later you may want to unify the section of the two left beams and have both of them of rectangular cross-section. Of
course, you may edit the properties of the beam and change its cross-section. On the other hand, sometimes it may be
useful to "unify" the sections (and if required, get rid of the abandoned cross-section type, that can be automatically
deleted from the database).
You call the Unify function to merge two cross-sections into one. In our example do the following:
1. select the rectangular cross-section,
2. call function Unify,
3. select the I section,
4. confirm with OK,
5. the I-section is removed from the project database, two beams are assigned the same rectangular cross-section.
Layout and operation
45


Filter
The filter provides for more readable representation of data in the Manager if the current project contains an excessive
number of defined entities of the particular type. The filter allows the user to set a limited set of entities that are displayed
in the List of defined entities. The entities that do not meet the chosen criterion are "removed" from the list, but still
remain normally defined in the project.

Note: Some specific database managers may contain additional functionality. It is added in the form of
additional control buttons.

Name
Note: The name of any item in any manager should be up to 8 characters in length. Longer names should not
be used and may be truncated by the program.

Example of a database manager


Opening the database manager
A Manager is opened whenever the appropriate function is activated. E.g. function Library > Cross-sections opens the
Cross-section manager, etc.
In general, the particular manager is also opened when a general procedure for the definition of a new database entity is
invoked. In such a case, the opening of the manager is usually one of the first steps of the procedure.
From the user’s point of view a database manager is a standard Windows modal dialogue. That means that:
Basic Reference Guide
46
 it is opened via a function associated with it,
 it must be closed before the user can continue with the started multi-step action of before another function can be
activated.
 it contains control elements that provide for actions and tasks that are accessible from within the manager.
The operation is simple and straightforward and is clear from the description of layout of a database manager.

Note: The Particular manager can also be opened from various property dialogues that contain an item
associated with the particular database manager Such an item contains a button to open the appropriate
manager.

Example:
A cross-section manager opened from within the property dialogue of a new 1D member.


Pop-up menu of database manager
The graphical window of a database manager is equipped with a pop-up menu that summarises some important
functions.
Zoom rectangle The user may define the cut-out that should fit into the graphical window.
Zoom all This option zooms the drawing in or out so that the whole drawing fits the
available window area.
Gallery It copies the drawing into the Picture gallery.
Layout and operation
47
Document It copies the drawing into the Document.
Print This function prints the drawing on the connected graphical device.
Copy to clipboard It copies the drawing into the Windows clipboard.
Copy to BMP file It saves the drawing into a Windows Bitmap file.
Copy to WMF file It saves the drawing into a Windows Meta File.


49
Program settings
Language of program
Language of the program
By default, the program starts and works in the language chosen during the installation. For many users, however,
another language of the user interface may be more suitable. The language of the application and language for outputs
can be set in the Setup > Options dialogue.
The procedure for adjustment of a required language
1. Open function Setup > Options :
a. using menu function Setup > Options,
b. using icon Options settings ( ) on toolbar Main.
2. Select tab Other.
3. In the group Language default select the required language for the program.
4. In the group Language default select the required language for outputs.
5. Confirm the settings.

Note: The change takes affect only after the restart of the program.

User level
Level of the user interface
The user may choose from two predefined settings of the user interface:
Standard This option is recommended for beginners and for those who need to
analyse just simple, mainly 2D, frame structures. In this level, the program
automatically hides some features that are not essential for standard or
simple projects.
Advanced This option is useful for those who need to make a project of a complex
structure and for well trained and advanced users of the program. In this
mode, the user has access to all program features which inevitably leads
to longer menus and fuller dialogues.

Standard level
In the Standard level there are several limitations:
Project settings:
Functionality
Only options Non-linearity, Buckling and CAD-shape are available.
In Non-linearity, only options Initial deformations and curvature and 2
nd

order – geometrical nonlinearity are available.
Project settings:
Model
Only option One is available.
Project settings:
Loads
Neither Wind load nor Snow load can be defined.
Service Structure Items Arbitrary profiles, Import ESA project, Rigid arm, Cross-link are
not available.
Service Structure:
New beam
In 3D model, parameter Alpha is not available.
Service Structure: Only Point supports in node can be defined.
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50
Support
Node It is not possible to define local co-ordinate system of nodes.
Geometrical manipulations The following geometric manipulations are not available:
 Scale
 Stretch
 Enlarge by defined length
 Break in defined points
 Join
 Extend
 Polyline edit
 Curve edit
Calculation Function Mesh generation is not available. The mesh can be generated
only as an integral step of calculation procedure.
Force load Parameter Eccentricity is not available for force loads.
Predefined load Predefined load is not available.
User co-ordinate system Definition and storing of named user co-ordinate systems is not available.
Line grid Line grid is not available.
Selections Filter for selections is not available.


Application options
Workspace settings
Workspace settings cover various parameters that allow the user to adjust the Scia Engineer user interface to meet
his/her needs, requirements and habits.

Environment This group comprises parameters linked to the display style, in other words the style in which
the information is shown on the screen. In addition, this group contains also some general
parameters related to the user interface.
Templates Here, the user may specify template drawings that are used whenever a new drawing is being
printed or created in the Paper space gallery.
Directories Appropriate directories (or folders) can be defined for individual program files.
Protection This group defines the type of protection.
Code This tab contains a button adjusting an active code of the project.
Other This group enables the user to adjust language of the application and default behaviour on
opening of the program.

For setting of application options see chapter Adjusting the application options.

Program settings
51
Environment settings
Parameters affecting the user interface appearance make up this group of Workspace settings.
Window settings
Show scrollbar in view This item specifies whether the graphical windows are equipped with scroll-bars on their right
and bottom edges.
Rendering The item sets the mode that is used for drawing into application graphical windows.
Hidden lines This option specifies the mode for hidden lines of individual structural entities.
Line pattern length This item specifies the style of dashed lines.

Rendering
Disabled This mode disables any rendering. The drawing on the screen is fast but reverse surfaces of the
structure cannot be hidden and are shown.
Disabled – wire This mode is almost identical to the one above. It is however modified to run even on computers
with old types of graphical cards where the mode above may not function properly.
Enabled (hardware or
graphic card rendering)
If this option is selected, the hardware rendering capability of the computer is employed. This
option may lead to a "distorted" display on some computers, especially those with older models
of graphic cards.
Software emulation This options tells the computer to simulate the rendering capability by means of software
algorithms. This option should work properly on all computers. However, if selected on slower
one it may lead to longer response of the computer during regeneration of the screen.

Hidden lines
The Hidden lines option serves as a substitute for full and proper rendering if the Rendering itself is disabled.
The available options are:
Invisible The hidden lines (hidden parts of entity surfaces) are not drawn at all.
Dashed The hidden lines are drawn in dashed style.

In addition to the above-mentioned options, it is possible to select whether the intersections of individual surfaces should
be calculated and displayed.

Note: The settings made here determine which mode of rendering and hidden line display is set for the
application. This setting does not mean that the rendering of the scene (i.e. of what is displayed on the screen)
is really applied. To do so, the rendering must be switched on for the required graphical window. This can be
done by means of the appropriate view parameter for the appropriate graphical window.

Line pattern length
This item affects the style of dashed lines. The dashed lines may be used whenever within the projects. Any dashed line
is controlled by this item.
Small number means short lines used in the dashed line with smaller gaps in between.
Large number means long lines used in the dashed line with longer gaps in between.

Command settings
Right mouse button click
generates End of function
If this option is ticked, the right mouse button generates End of command when pressed in any
opened function such as definition of a new 1D member, move of 1D member, etc.

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52
Skins
Select skin This option allows the user from pre-defined screen styles of the application.

Other parameters
Maximum number of
grouping properties
This value determines the maximum number of entities that can be selected at a time so that
the Property window was filled with the parameters of the selected entities. If the number
specified here is exceeded, the property window is left blank and can be filled in only on user’s
explicit request.
Display global co-ordinates
in status bar
By default, the status bar displays co-ordinates defined in an active user co-ordinate system. In
addition, the global co-ordinates may be displayed as well.

For setting of application options see chapter Adjusting the application options.

Graphic templates settings
This tab enables the user to define templates which new drawings will be based on. This option may be useful for
example if a title block with the company logo should be attached to every drawing.
Print picture Defines the template for function Print picture.
Overview drawings manager Defines the template for drawings created in the Paper space gallery.

For setting of application options see chapter Adjusting the application options.

Directories settings
This dialogue allows the user to specify the location of Scia Engineer files. The adjustment can be made separately for
individual file types.

Temporary files The folder stores any temporary files.
User setting files The folder stores all files with user-made settings.
Project files The folder stores projects created and saved by the user.
Database files The folder stores databases provided with the program.
Profiles libraries The folder stores databases of cross-sections provided with the program.
User block library The folder stores all user blocks that may be arranged in subfolders of this main library folder.
User templates The folder stores user templates (i.e. template projects created by the user).
Predefined shapes This folder contains predefined shapes such as cylinder, cone, etc.

Note: The changes made in this dialogue will take affect ONLY after the program is closed and restarted. The
items on this tab sheet CANNOT be edited if any project is currently opened.

For setting of application options see chapter Adjusting the application options.

Program settings
53
Project settings
This dialogue offers a set of settings that relates to projects opened in Scia Engineer.
None No action is carried out when the application is started.
Last opened project The last opened project is automatically loaded into the application on its start.
Show Open project dialogue When the application is started, the Open project dialogue is automatically displayed to allow
for the selection of the project to be processed.

For setting of application options see chapter Adjusting the application options.

Protection settings
The Protection settings specify the type of software protection that is used with the program.
The hardware lock (dongle) that is an integral part of a properly licences installation of Scia Engineer contains
information about available (i.e. legally purchased) modules. The licence information can also be stored in a coded file
that can be stored on the local computer or anywhere within the local network. The licence information from this coded
file can be read by a commercial licence manager Flexlm. The licence manager can manage multiple licences and
control the number of simultaneously attached (i.e. working at the same time) users. The licences controlled by the
licence manager Flexlm are called "floating" licences. The licence stored directly in the dongle is called "standalone".
Type
demo The program starts in demo mode only.
only standalone The licence information is read only from the hardware lock.
only floating The licence information is read only from the licence file of licence
manager Flexlm.
first standalone, then
floating
First, the licence stored in the hardware lock is sought. In case of
failure, the licence manager Flexlm is used to find a valid and free
licence.
This option is useful if a user with a local hardware lock wants to
use his/her licence. The licence-seeking process ensures that the
licence from the local hardware lock is used instead preferably and
the network licence is preserved for other users that are not
equipped with hardware locks.
first floating, then
standalone
First, the licence is sought using the licence manager Flexlm. In
case of failure, the local hardware lock is sought.

Software floating protection
local For standalone licence, the local hardware lock is used. For floating
licence a local licence file is used. The file provides for an automatic
start and configuration of the licence manager Flexlm.
network A network licence is used. The licence manager must be installed
by the administrator on the network server.

For setting of application options see chapter Adjusting the application options.

Adjusting the application options
The procedure for the adjustment of application options
1. Open Options dialogue
a. either: using menu function Setup > Options,
b. or: using button [Options] ( ) on Main toolbar.
2. Make required settings on individual tabs.
Basic Reference Guide
54
3. Confirm with [OK].

The dialogue also contains three save/read buttons.
Read application
default

Reads settings as they were pre-defined by the developer of the program.
Read user default

Reads settings that have been previously saved as user’s own default.
Save as user default

Saves the current settings as the user’s default settings. These settings
may be later read by the above mentioned function.

Project settings
Basic project settings
Basic project data
The basic data of a project describe the project and define some of its main parameters.
Project filename
It shows the name of the project.
Project data
This group of items allows the user to enter some statistical data about the project

Name name of the project
E.g. Eddy Merckx's Airport – Brussel
Part name of the project part, if the project is complex and consists of several partial sub-projects
E.g. Western hall + connection footbridge
Description E.g. variant A (underground parking, restaurants on first floor, check-in desks on second floor)
Author name of the project author
E.g. Sven Nijs
Date date of the last project modification, or date of the program creation, etc.
E.g. 02/02/02

Structure
Here, you can choose the type (or we can say "dimension") of the structure you want to model. Depending on the type
selected, some of the functions and options of the program may be disabled or hidden (e.g. in the case of 2D frame
oriented in plane XZ, the button for setting the sight of the model from the direction of X and Z axes respectively won't be
present on the View toolbar). This feature leads to a significant simplification in the operation of the program for simpler
types of structures. The functions and options that are not appropriate (are not possible practically) for the particular type
are hidden and do not add to the complexity of the program. The idea behind this feature is: A complex task requires a
complex tool, but a simple task can get by a simple tool.

Truss XZ The 1D members of a model are capable of carrying axial forces only. That means that pin ends
(hinges) are meaningless, supports do not have rotation degrees of freedom defined and results
consists of axial forces only. Only a 2D model can be created.
Frame XZ The 1D members can represent a planar frame structure. Only a 2D model can be created.
Truss XYZ This mode is similar to Truss XZ, but a real 3D structure can be created.
Program settings
55
Frame XYZ This option is similar to Frame XZ, but a real 3D structure can be created.
Grid XY A horizontal grate can be modelled in this mode.
Plate XY This mode provides for analysis of combined 1D member and slab structure. All the members
must be located in a horizontal plane. Only a 2D model can be created.
Wall XY This mode is similar to Frame XZ mode, but vertical walls can be inserted as well. Only a 2D
model can be created.
General XYZ This option allows the user to model and analyse a 3D structure consisting of any structural
members: 1D members as well slabs (plates, walls, shells).

Note: Item Structure is compulsory and the user has to make a choice from the available variants.

Material
This option tells the program which materials will be used for members of the structure. The advantage of this in advance
selection is that the program functions working with materials will know, which material the user is interested in.
Therefore, the functions will not offer other material types and, consequently, the dialogs, lists and similar items will be
lucid and readable as much as possible.
If the user realises later that some other material type is necessary, it is of course possible to call the setting dialogue
any time in the future and widen the selection of used material types.

Note: At the beginning, i.e. at the time when a new project is being created, it is necessary to select at least one
material type.

Project level
The user can choose a layout of the program interface which best reflects (i) his or her habits, (ii) his or her level of
familiarity with the program, and (iii) the complexity of the project to be dealt with. Two options are available:

Standard the program interface will offer the most often used functions and features
Advanced the program interface will offer all available functions and features

Model
One the project will contain a single model of a structure
Absence the project can contain some members that may be missing in some stages of the analysis
Construction stages the project will represent modelling of construction stages appearing during the execution of the
structure

Code
The selection of the active code determines how the program deals with data related to a specific technical standard. In
practice it means that the code selection affects:
 the materials offered as code-related materials, e.g. steel or concrete grades, etc.
 the procedures, algorithms and possible parameters performing and necessary to perform code checks.

Note: The choice of a particular national standard may have an effect on the layout and even functionality of
numerous functions. E.g. functions like Load case and Load group have got parameters that depend on the
current code of the project. That means that these function offer the user different parameters for e.g. Czech
standard than for let’s say Eurocode. Also the functionality of some functions or services is different for different
codes.

The procedure for setting the parameters is the same as for other project parameters.

Basic Reference Guide
56
Functionality settings
Scia Engineer offers a wide range of capabilities. In order to make the operation of the program as clear and simple as
possible, the project settings allow for selection of those features that are needed and required.
The Functionality settings dialogue comprises options that control both the appearance and function of the program.
That means that until some advanced feature is selected in this dialogue, the program neither performs the specific task
nor even offers it in the menu.
The functionality options are divided into several groups.
Non-linearity
This option controls whether the non-linear analysis is available in solver options and, therefore, whether the user can
perform a non-linear calculation of his/her problem. The Non-linearity functionality comprises several sub-items. These
sub-items are independent on each other and only some of them may be selected for a particular project.

Initial deformations and
curvature
If this option is ON, functions for introduction of initial deformations before calculation are
available.
2
nd
order – geometrical non-
linearity
If this option is ON, functions for geometrically non-linear calculation are available.
Support non-linearity If this option is ON, functions for non-linear analysis of supports are available.
Beam local non-linearity If this option is ON, functions for non-linear analysis of 1D members are available (e.g. 1D
member acting only under compression, etc. may be analysed).
Friction support If ON, friction supports may be defined in the model.
Nonlinear line support If ON, nonlinear line supports may be used in the model.

Stability
This option allows the user to calculate stability problems.
Dynamics
When ticked the option makes the dynamic analysis features available to the user. The appropriate dynamics-related
functions and parameters become available in menus and solver adjustment dialogues.
There is one dynamics sub-option:

Seismic If this option is ON, seismic calculations can be performed.
Harmonic band analysis New way of dealing with the calculations in harmonic analysis by doing multiple analysis on a
range of frequencies. Harmonic analysis is possible for a range of frequencies controlled by the
user. The frequency of the harmonic force varies over a range and a harmonic analysis is done
for many values in that range.
General dynamics One or more time-dependant dynamic load cases can be defined with name, mass
combination, damping, total time and integration steps. Multiple time-dependant dynamic load
functions can be used as modal and basic functions. It is possible to use the results in
combination with other (static) load cases for further post-processing.
Non-proportional damping This option enables the user to define separate damping for selected parts of structure.
Dynamic wind Available only for CSN.

Initial stress
The option, when selected, opens possibility for the introduction of initial stress state in members of a structure being
modelled in Scia Engineer.
Subsoil
The Subsoil functionality represents an important and powerful feature of the program especially if the interaction of the
analysed structure with its subsoil must be taken into account.
Program settings
57
Structural shape
This option enables the user to use two different "shapes" in his/her model. Normally, the calculation model is created
and used for calculations, evaluation of results and design and checking to a particular technical standard.
In addition, the user may also define a structural shape that is derived from the calculation shape and can be used for
impressive drawings and is also useful during the design of connections.
Climatic loads
If wind or snow loads are supposed to act on the structure, this functionality option must be set ON.
Parameters
Advanced users of Scia Engineer may find it very useful to define some of the program input values as parameters.
Parameters, if applied, provide for fast, easy and simple change of e.g. structure dimensions, load values, etc. One
single modification of the appropriate parameter leads to automatic regeneration of the model with the new defined
value.
Prestressing
This option provides for calculation of prestressing.
Steel
Design of steel structures may require not only the determination of internal forces and deflexions, but also some other
tasks related to a safe design and realisation of a steel structure.

Pinned connections This option opens possibility for the definition of pinned connections of steel members.
Frame connections This option opens possibility for the definition of frame connections of steel members.
Fire resistance The type of fire resistance for steel members may be defined after this option has been
selected.
Overview drawings This option controls whether "wizards" for automatic generation of pictures in the Picture gallery
are available or not.
Expert system If this option is ON, the user may use the expert system for the design of connections. User
defined connections may be saved into this system and the saved connections may be applied
later to other joints.
Connection monodrawings This option activates a wizard that helps the user create drawings of defined connections.

The procedure for setting the parameters is the same as for other project parameters.

Loads settings
The procedure for setting the parameters is the same as for other project parameters.
Wind region
This parameter defines the region where the modelled structure will be located. The region may influence wind loads that
the building will be exposed to. The user may choose from three options for this item:

None There is be no wind load applied.
Code The wind region is defined according to appropriate national standard.
Library The user specifies the height-wind pressure curve. The real load is then defined as a force load
but its type must be set to Wind. The load value input by the user then represents the load
width.

Library of wind pressures
When the option Library is selected, it is possible to open [using the three-dot button] the Wind pressure database
manager. In this manager the user may input the required wind curves.
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Editing dialogue for the input of wind pressure
The Editing dialogue for the input of wind pressure can be opened from the Wind pressure database manager.
This dialogue contains the following controls.

Name Specifies the name of the wind curve.
Graphical window The diagram of the defined wind curve is displayed in this small graphical window. The
graphical window offers standard functions such as zoom-in and zoom-out, pan, copy to
clipboard, save to file. The functions can be accessed through a pop-up menu or using mouse
move with the right button held pressed with simultaneously held Ctrl and/or Shift key(s).
Table with curve values The table contains the values that define the shape of the curve.
Depending on the option in item Input, this table can be "read-only".
Input User input
The curve is defined manually by the user in the table with curve values.
EC-EN
The EC-EN-defined wind curve is used. For this option the table with curve values is "read
only".
DIN
The DIN-defined wind curve is used. For this option the table with curve values is "read only".
NEN
The NEN-defined wind curve is used. For this option the table with curve values is "read only".
Height range This parameter defines the height range of the curve. This item is accessible only for code-
based wind curves. It is disabled for user-input curve.
Edit curve This button opens a special where the parameters of the code-based curve can be edited. This
item is accessible only for code-based wind curves. It is disabled for user-input curve.
OK Confirms the changes and closes the dialogue.
Cancel Discards the changes and closes the dialogue.

Note: The defined wind curves can be reviewed and edited also through tree menu function Library > Loads >
Wind pressures. This function becomes accessible only if parameter Wind region in the project setup has
been set to Library.

Note: For more information about the generation of wind load see chapter Loads > Load generators > Wind
generator.
Snow region
This parameter defines the region where the modelled structure will be located. The region may influence snow loads
that the building will be subject to. The user may choose from three options for this item:
None There is be no snow load applied.
Code The snow region is defined according to appropriate national standard.
Snow weight The user specifies the snow weight per square meter. The real load is then defined as a force
load but its type must be set to Snow. The load value input by the user then represents the load
width.

Note: For more information about the generation of wind load see chapter Loads > Load generators > Snow
generator.

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59
Combinations settings
This tab provides for the adjustment of load case parameters for automatic generation of load case combinations based
on a particular national standard.
The procedure for setting the parameters is the same as for other project parameters.

National annexes
This tab contains a standard database manager. You may create national annexes for EC-EN code.
This feature enables you to store to disk the current settings for all code related coefficients from the open project to one
library item.
Later, in another project, you may easily read these settings without having to tediously type them again.
Another purpose of this sheet is to gather together all the code-related settings and have them accessible from one place
in the program.
Each library item has the following parameters.

Name Specifies the name of your settings.
Annex code Selects the national code to which your settings relate.
Wind setup Opens a dialogue with settings related to wind load.
Snow setup Opens a dialogue with settings related to snow load.
Combination setup Opens a dialogue with settings related to load combinations.
Connection setup Opens a dialogue with settings related to steel frame connections.
Steel setup Opens a dialogue with settings related to design of steel structures.
Concrete setup Opens a dialogue with settings related to design of concrete structures.
Timber setup Opens a dialogue with settings related to design of timber structures.
Aluminium setup Opens a dialogue with settings related to design of aluminium structures.
Composite setup Opens a dialogue with settings related to design of composite slabs.
Load annex values to
project
Loads values from the selected item to all corresponding setup dialogues in your project.
Save project values to
annex
Reads the current settings from your project and saves them to the selected item in the
national annexes database manager.
Procedure for setting project data
The procedure for the adjustment of project parameters is similar for all groups of parameters.
1. Procedure for setting Basic project data
2. Open dialogue Project data in one of the following ways:
a. Use Menu function Tree > Project.
b. Click Tree menu item Project.
3. Select the required tab (Basic data / Functionality / Loads / Combinations / Protection / National annexes).
4. Adjust the required parameters or select options that should be applied in the project.
5. Click [OK] to confirm the settings.

Display style settings
Display Setup palettes
Scia Engineer uses a set of palettes to display project data (i) in the graphical window of the program, (ii) in the
document window, and (iii) on an external graphical device. The palette comprises settings of:
 colours,
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60
 line styles,
 fonts,
 dimension lines,
 beam types,
 isolines.

It is possible to adjust separate palettes for individual output "directions". What’s more, it is possible to use settings from
one palette for another one, i.e. load settings of one palette into the other one.
The available palettes are:
white background Used for the screen, the structure is drawn in colours on white background.
black background Used for the screen, the structure is drawn in colours on black background.
document – colour Used for the document, the structure is painted in colours.
document – monochrome Used for the document, the structure is painted in black-and-white style.
graphic output – colour Used for the graphical output (paper space gallery), the structure is painted in colours.
graphic output –
monochrome
Used for the graphical output (paper space gallery), the structure is painted in black-and-white
style.

The procedure for selection of palettes for individual output "directions"
1. Open any of the following Setup dialogues (all of them can be found under function Setup of the main menu):
a. Colours / lines,
b. Fonts,
c. Beam types.
d. Dimension lines.
2. At the top of the dialogue, select the tab corresponding to the "device" you want to adjust.
3. In the combo box named Current palette select the required palette.
4. If required, make any changes to the settings (see chapters Colours setup, Font setup, Beam type setup,
Dimension line setup for more information).
5. Confirm with [OK].

Loading and saving defined settings
Loading and saving settings for all the palettes at the same time
If required, you may use one the three buttons at the bottom edge of the dialogue to reload or save the settings for all the
palettes used in the program.
Load program default
settings
This option loads default settings as they were adjusted by the developer of the program.
Store user default setting This option saves the current settings for all palettes as your personal settings.
Store user default setting This option loads the settings that have been previously saved by means of the button
described one line above.

Loading and saving settings for a separate palette
If required, you may use one the three buttons in the top part of tabs Screen, Document and Graphic output to reload
or save the settings for the selected group of parameters. Each of the following buttons works just with one sub-tab of
the main tabs, i.e. for example with tab Screen > Fonts, Document > Structural types, etc.
Load program default
settings
This option loads settings for the current tab as were define by the manufacturer.
Store user default setting This option saves the current settings as a user-defined default.
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61
Load user default setting This option reads the settings that have been previously saved with button Store user default
setting.
Load settings from other
palette
This option enables the user to load into the current tab settings from the corresponding tab of
any other palette.
Convert colours to grey
scale
This option converts the colours on the current tab into grey scale.
This option is not available for dimension lines.
Convert colours to black This option converts all the colours on the current tab into black colour.
This option is not available for dimension lines.

Colours Setup
Adjustment of colours is a part of settings made for graphical palettes.
The adjustment of colour and line style can be made separately for each entity type and drawing part. The following
parameters can be adjusted for each available entity or symbol:
colour The user may select from a set of basic pre-defined colours or may mix his/her own shade.
line style The user may select from a set of available line styles.
width This parameter defines the thickness of the line.
If the width type is set to pixels, the user may select the thickness in pixels of the screen.
If the width type is set to metric, the user may adjust the thickness in metric units.
width type This options tell in which units the line thickness is specified.
Pixels are useful if the drawing is "tuned" for screen display.
Metric option is usually the right choice if the final drawing is made on a graphical device such
as printer, plotter, etc.

The procedure for adjustment of colours
1. Open dialogue Colours Setup using menu function Setup > Colours / lines,
2. Make the required settings.
3. Confirm with [OK].

Note: The settings are made separately for individual palettes. For more information about the use of palettes
see chapter Display Setup palettes.

Font Setup
Adjustment of fonts is a part of settings made for graphical palettes.
For each of the texts the following parameters can be adjusted:
size Specifies the size of labels.
size definition Specifies how the size is measured. It may be measured in units of graphical device or in
absolute units (i.e. the units in which the structure is defined).
colour This item specifies the colour of the text.
placement The labels may be put into:
the plane of the screen
plane XZ
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62
plane XY
bold Labels are in bold letters.
italic Labels are in italic letters.
underline Labels are in underlined letters.
strikeout Labels are in stroked out letters.

The procedure for adjustment of fonts
1. Open dialogue Fonts Setup using menu function Setup > Fonts,
2. Make the required settings.
3. Confirm with [OK].

Note: The settings are made separately for individual palettes. For more information about the use of palettes
see chapter Display Setup palettes.

Beam type Setup
Adjustment of beam types is a part of settings made for graphical palettes.
For each of the types the following parameters can be adjusted:
colour The user may select from a set of basic pre-defined colours or may mix his/her own shade.
style The user may select from a set of available line styles.
width This parameter defines the thickness of the line.
If the width type is set to pixels, the user may select the thickness in pixels of the screen.
If the width type is set to metric, the user may adjust the thickness in metric units.
width type This options tell in which units the line thickness is specified.
Pixels are useful if the drawing is "tuned" for screen display.
Metric option is usually the right choice if the final drawing is made on a graphical device such
as printer, plotter, etc.
middle line This option specifies the style that is used to display 1D member middle line.
surface This option specifies the style that is used to display 1D member surface.
labels This option specifies the style that is used to display 1D member labels.
cross-section This option specifies the style that is used to display 1D member cross-section.

The procedure for adjustment of beam types
1. Open dialogue Beam types Setup using menu function Setup > Beam types,
2. Make the required settings.
3. Confirm with [OK].

Note 1: The settings are made separately for individual palettes. For more information about the use of palettes
see chapter Display Setup palettes.
Note 2: The Setup dialogue supports the standard Windows feature – multiple selection. Therefore, if the same
property should be set for several beam types, the types can be selected at the same time and the property
adjusted in one step. The multiple selection is accessible via [Shift] + click and [Ctrl] + click combination.
Note 3: For more information about structural types see chapter Geometry > Structural model.

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63
Dimension line Setup
Adjustment of dimension lines is a part of settings made for graphical palettes.
The dialogue enables the user to set the following parameters of dimension lines:
end mark style This option defines the shape of end mark (slash or arrow).
size definition This option specifies how the size is measured. It may be measured in units of graphical device
or in absolute units (i.e. the units in which the structure is defined).
end mark size This parameters specifies the size of end mark.
font size This parameters specifies the size of dimension line font.
plot line style This parameters specifies the style of plot line.
plot line offset This parameters specifies the offset of plot line.
1
st
dimension line offset This parameters specifies the offset of the dimension line closest to the dimensioned object.
next dimension line offset This parameters specifies the offset of other dimension lines.

The procedure for adjustment of dimension line style
1. Open dialogue Dimension lines Setup using menu function Setup > Dimension lines,
2. Make the required settings.
3. Confirm with [OK].

Note: The settings are made separately for individual palettes. For more information about the use of palettes
see chapter Display Setup palettes.

Units Setup
In Scia Engineer the user uses and comes into contact with a good number of various physical quantities. In order to
allow the user to adjust preferable units and display style of these quantities, the program offers a means for user’s
adjustment.
The adjustment can be done in Units Setup dialogue.
Unit " parameters"
Unit It sets the unit in which the value of appropriate quantity is displayed.
Decimal length It defines number of decimal digits to be displayed when the
corresponding quantity is displayed.
Output format It specifies the format of displayed value for individual the quantity. See
below.

Output format
decimal standard representation of a number 78.24 cm
782.4 mm
scientific representation of a number by means of a base
and an exponent
7.824E+01 cm
7.82E+02 mm
engineering representation of a number by means of a base
and an exponent, where the exponent is always a
multiple of three
78.240E+00 cm
782.40E+00 mm
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64
fractional

fractional representation of a number by means of a
fraction
3/16 in
deg/min/sec representation of a number used for angles

ft in representation of a number used for imperial
units
2 ft 6.803 in

The procedure for adjustment of units
1. Open dialogue Units Setup:
a. either using menu function Setup > Units,
b. or using button Units ( ) on toolbar Project.
2. Make the required settings.
3. Confirm with [OK].

Note: For more information about units see chapter Terminology and conventions > Units.

Scales
Adjusting the scales
The entities displayed on the screen are displayed in a specific scale. The user can control the scales through settings
made in the Scales manager.
The scales are stored and can be adjusted in the Scales manager. This allows the user to have several "sets" of defined
scales for different purposes and to simply swap between them.
The Scales manager always contains the set named "Current". The "Current" set is always associated to graphical
windows. All graphical windows use the same set of scales. In addition, you can define as many user-defined sets of
scales as required. When you create a new set of scales and assign it to the graphical window, this set is stored in the
Scales manager under the name you define and it is also copied to the "Current" set. This way, the graphical windows
are always associated with the "Current" set of scales.

Toolbar Scales

Scales toolbar contains the following controls:
Spin control for fast adjustment of scales for additional data
This control enables you to quickly multiply all the scales for additional data by the factor in the spin control.
Button "Autofit scales for data" to recalculate the scales for additional data
This button recalculates the adjusted scales for additional data so that the drawing fits the screen. The ratio between
scales for individual entities is maintained, but the absolute value of the scales is changed. The button performs no action
if the Scale type in the "Current" set of scales is set to Symbol size.
Spin control for fast adjustment of scales for results
This control enables you to quickly multiply all the scales for results by the factor in the spin control
Button "Autofit scales for results" to recalculate the scales for results
This button recalculates the adjusted scales for results so that the drawing fits the screen. The ratio between scales for
individual entities is maintained, but the absolute value of the scales is changed. The button performs no action if the
Scale type in the "Current" set of scales is set to Symbol size.
Button "Scales" for access to Scales manager
This button opens the Scales manager.

Scales manager
The Scales manager is a standard database manager. It can be used to:
Program settings
65
a) create a new set of scales,
b) edit the existing set of scales,
c) activate one of the defined sets of scales,
d) copy, delete, export or import the sets of scales.

Note: The "Current" set of scales cannot be deleted.

Scales parameters
General parameters
Name
Specifies the name of the set of scales. (The "Current" set of scales cannot be renamed).
Group data
Scale type
Symbol size
You define the absolute size of the symbol that is used for each type of entity. The multiplier is taken into
account during drawing.
Real ratio
You define the scales for individual types of entities. This scale is used directly (taking into account the multiplier)
to display the data.
Automatic ratio
You define the scales for individual types of entities. These scales, however, are used only to determine the
ratios between the size of individual entities. The absolute size is determined using the following algorithm: the
largest entity (e.g. the largest force) is so scaled, so that its size in the graphical window is 1 metre. All other
entities are scaled using the calculated ratios. The multiplier is taken into account, which means that if the
multiplier is set to 2, the size of the largest entity is 2 metres..

Multiplier
This multiplier is used to increase (or decrease) the real size of the displayed entities.

Point data
This value specifies the scale for "point" data such as point load, concentrated moment, etc.

Line data
This value specifies the scale for "line" data such as line load, line moment, etc.

Surface data
This value specifies the scale for "surface" data such as surface load, etc.

Group Result
Scale type
See Group Data (above).

Multiplier
See Group Data (above).

Reaction, Deformation, Internal forces, Stress, Contact stress, Unity check, Other results
The value specifies the scale for individual type of result value.

Group Symbols
Scale type
See Group Data (above).

Multiplier
See Group Data (above).

Point symbols, Line symbols, Surface symbols, Structure node symbol, Local axis symbols, Other symbols
The value specifies the scale for individual type of symbols.


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66
The procedure to open the Scales manager
a) Use menu function Setup > Scales, or
b) click button Scale ( ) on toolbar Scales.

The procedure to create a new set of scales
a) Open the Scales manager,
b) Click button [New].
c) Define the name of the Scales set and, if necessary, adjust the individual parameters.
d) Close the Scales manager.

The procedure to assign a set of scales to the graphical window
a) Open the Scales manager,
b) Select the required Scales set.
c) Close the Scales manager.


Advanced settings
Document Setup
The Document Setup dialogue enables the user to adjust default values for the style of document. The parameters are
described in chapter Document > Adjusting the document default settings.

Picture gallery Setup
The Gallery Setup dialogue enables the user to adjust default values for style of pictures inserted into or created in the
Picture gallery. The parameters are described in chapter Graphic output >Picture gallery > Picture gallery manager >
Inserting a new picture into the Picture gallery > Adjusting the default values for new pictures.

Note: The settings adjusted in this dialogue are taken into account whenever a new drawing is inserted into the
picture gallery by means of Picture to gallery function ( ). For example, if the default picture style is set to
"wire", the drawing from the graphical window is inserted as "wired" even though it was e.g. rendered in the
graphical window. The style may be later edited in the Picture gallery manager.

FE mesh Setup
Finite element mesh is generated automatically by the program. The user, however, may specify parameters that control
the generation process.
These parameters may be defined in the calculation dialogue or in the program setup.
The setup dialogue can be opened using menu function Setup > Mesh.
The meaning of individual parameters is given in chapter Calculation > Generating the FE mesh > Parameters of FE
mesh.

Solver Setup
This setup dialogue provides for adjustment of basic parameters controlling the calculation. The parameters are
described in chapter Calculation> Calculation types > Static linear calculation.
The parameters may be also specified in the calculation dialogue just before the calculation is executed.

Program settings
67
Advanced geometry setup
The parameters in the first group are identical with some items from the Parameters controlling the alignment of the
structure. These values are used for all geometrical operations and for your convenience they are added into this
dialogue as well
Geometric tolerances
Min. distance of two nodes,
node to curve
Specifies the min. distance of two nodes for which the two nodes are
considered separate nodes. If the real distance of two nodes is lower than
this parameter, the two nodes are merged together.
This parameter is used by the function for connection of entities and by the
function for check of data.

Max. distance of node to 2D
member plane
Specifies the maximal allowable distance of a node from the plane of a 2D
member. If the actual distance is larger than this limit value, the geometry
is considered invalid and a corresponding warning is issued.

Displaying
Precise member surface This parameter comes into account only if surfaces are switched on.
If ON, the shape is displayed as precisely as possible.
If OFF, only the schematic shape of the cross-section is displayed.
The parameter has meaning in particular for steel rolled sections.

Immediate refresh of
structural model
If ON, the structural model is automatically refreshed after all changes.
If OFF, the structural model is refreshed manually on user’s request.

Precision of displayed curves This parameter control smoothness of curves and curved surfaces. The
higher the number the smoother the curve. On the other hand, the higher
the number the slower the response of your computer may be.
The parameter must be from interval <1, 10>.
The parameter does not affect the precision of the calculation.

Precision of cut-out mesh This parameter controls smoothness of the displayed shape of intersecting
surfaces.
The parameter does not affect the precision of the calculation.


69
Basic working tools
Selections
Introduction to selections
Whenever the user needs to do anything with any part of his/her model, s/he must, first of all, determine which part of the
model should be treated. In other words, the user has to make a "selection" of members that will be processed.
Once the selection is defined, the required operation may be started. The selection may be formed by a single entity or it
may hold as many entities as required. Generally, the selection may contain entities of the same type, or it may contain
several entity types. Which of the two cases is applied depends on the intended operation. Some operations require
specific entity types, other operations may be carried out with any entity types.
In general, there are two approaches to start an operation:
 the user first makes the selection and then starts the appropriate function (the function then deals with the prior
made selection),
 the user first starts the required function and then (i.e. from within the function) makes the selection.
Which approach is actually applied depends only on work habits of a particular user.
To sum up, the selection can be not only made and utilised in a function, but it can be also modified (reduced or
extended), cleared, saved into a file for later use or loaded from a previously created file.
Selections are controlled by:
 Menu View > Selections,
 Selections toolbar.

Making a selection
In order to make a selection, the program must be in the selection-enabled mode. This mode is the default mode of the
program and only a limited number of functions changes this mode into a selection-disabled mode. The selection-
enabled mode is identified by the mouse cursor that looks like a diagonally oriented arrow with a small square attached
to the tip of the arrow. Once this cursor is on the screen, it is possible to make selections freely.
There are two basic ways to make a new selection: using the mouse or typing a command on the command line. In both
ways it is a piece of cake.
In addition, a selection can also be made via filters. That means, that the user specifies a condition that should be
fulfilled by all selected entities. For example, the user may specify the condition that the cross-section must be a rolled
IPE 300. The filter-controlled selection then looks for and selects all 1D members with such a cross-section.
Making a selection by the mouse cursor
When using the mouse cursor, there are several selection modes:
single selection One entity is selected each time the user clicks the mouse button.
intersection line The user draws a line (or a polygon) on the screen. The program
selects all entities that have an intersection with the drawn line.
rectangular cut-out The user draws a rectangle on the screen. The program selects all
entities located inside the rectangle or overlapping it (see the
paragraph below for details about this selection mode).
polygonal cut-out The user draws a closed polygon on the screen. The program
selects all entities located inside the polygon.
working plane The program selects all entities located in the current working
plane.
select-all All currently displayed entities are selected
previous Activates the last made selection.

How to activate the required selection mode:
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70
selection mode via toolbar Selections via menu Tools > Selections
Single selection

click button [Selection by mouse] call function Selection by mouse
Intersection line

click button [Selection by cut-out] call function Selection by intersection line
Rectangular
cut-out

click button [Selection by intersection
line]
call function Selection by cut-out
Polygonal cut-out

click button [Selection by polygonal
cut-out]
call function Selection by polygonal cut-
out
Working plane

click button [Select by working plane] call function Select by working plane
Select all

click button [Select all] call function Select all
Previous

click button [Previous selection] call function Previous selection
Single selection
mode toggle

swaps between "First found" and "All
found" mode
see paragraph Selection of entities
with overlapping edges
Selection mode
toggle

swaps between "Select" and
"Deselect" mode
see topic Removing the entities from
selection
Visibility selection
mode

swaps between "normal" selection
mode and a special mode for OPGL
see paragraph Visibility selection
mode
Visibility selection
accelerator

switches ON/OFF the OPGL
acceleration when in Visibility
selection mode
see paragraph Visibility selection
acceleration

Single selection
In order to make a selection, the user has to:
1. place the mouse cursor on the entity he/she wants to select,
2. click the left mouse button.
That is all that is necessary to make a selection by mouse. To add another entity, the user just puts the cursor on
another entity and clicks the left mouse button.
Intersection line
When this mode is invoked, all entities that are intersected by a defined line are added into the selection. The line may
be either a single straight line or a polygon consisting of straight lines.
The procedure to define a polygon
1. Position the mouse cursor to the place where the polygon should start.
2. Click the left mouse button.
3. Position the mouse cursor where the end point of the polygon line segment should be located.
4. Click the left mouse button.
5. Repeat the previous two steps as many times as required.
6. Close the polygon, ie. either
a. press [ESC] key, or
b. invoke the pop-up menu, select End polyline command and run it, or
c. define the last point with a double-click on the left mouse button.
Cut-out
This mode enables the user to select all entities located inside a mouse defined cut-out. There are two different kinds of
the cut-out. The first one serves for selection of entities located fully inside it. The other one can be used to select entities
that are both fully inside and overlap the cut-out.
The procedure to define a cut-out that selects inside-located entities only
1. Place the mouse cursor to the TOP LEFT corner of the rectangular cut-out.
2. Press the left mouse button and hold it down.
3. Drag the mouse to the BOTTOM RIGHT corner of the rectangular cut-out.
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71
4. Release the button.
The procedure to define a cut-out selecting both inside-located and overlapping entities
1. Place the mouse cursor to the TOP RIGHT corner of the rectangular cut-out.
2. Press the left mouse button and hold it down.
3. Drag the mouse to the BOTTOM LEFT corner of the rectangular cut-out.
4. Release the button.
Polygon
This mode is similar to the previous one. The difference is that the user draws an arbitrarily shaped closed polygon
instead of a simple rectangle.
The procedure to define a polygonal cut-out
1. Position the mouse cursor to the place where the polygon should start.
2. Click the left mouse button.
3. Position the mouse cursor where the next vertex of the polygon should be located.
4. Click the left mouse button.
5. Repeat the previous two steps as many times as required.
6. Close the polygon:
a. either press [ESC] key, or
b. invoke the pop-up menu, select Close polygon command and run it.
Working plane
In this mode, the program automatically selects all entities located in the current working plane.
Select-all
All displayed entities are automatically selected.

Selection of entities with overlapping edges
In a real-life model it is frequent situation that several entities (e.g. beams, walls) meet in one place (joint, corner). In that
case it may be difficult to select the proper entity, because when you place the mouse cursor over the intersection of
these entities, the program does not know, which one to select. To solve such situations, the program offers a special
toggle: Single selection. This switch enables you to work in two modes:
First found
In this mode, the first entity found by the selection algorithm is selected (usually, it is the entity that was input first).
All found
In this mode, the program finds all entities under cursor and offers you a list of them so that you may decide yourself
which one(s) should be selected.
Imagine a simple model of three walls.

If you place the cursor over the corner in which the three walls meet and click the left mouse button, the program opens
a small dialogue with a list of found entities.
You may roll the mouse cursor over the list. The entity over which the cursor is just placed is highlighted in the graphical
screen, so it is easy to find out which entity is which.
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72

If you want to select a particular entity, just click on its name in the list. You may select as many entities as you want.

When you press the green-mark button, the selection is confirmed.


Visibility selection mode
In the "normal" selection mode, you must select an edge of an entity in order to select it.
However, if the Visibility selection mode is activated, you may just put the mouse cursor anywhere on the displayed
member and it can be selected. The only precondition is that Rendering display style is active.
The Single selection mode toggle is taken into account in the Visibility selection mode.
Examples (the little cross in the blue circle indicates the position of the mouse cursor):
A) Single selection mode toggle set to FIRST FOUND
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73


B) Single selection mode toggle set to ALL FOUND



Please note that the cursor changes its shape when the program is in the visibility selection mode.
Visibility selection acceleration
When you use the Visibility selection mode, the acceleration can be used to speed up the manipulation with large
models. However, it is important to know that the final effect of the acceleration depends on the model of the structure
and that the acceleration may, under certain circumstances, even slow down the program response.

The principle of the acceleration is that the model that is displayed in the graphical window is converted to an OPGL
scene (a special graphical scene optimised for the graphical card) that is usually processed faster by the graphical card.
However, in order to allow for selections, the OPGL scene must handle also a list of all members that are displayed. And
this may be the core of the problem. If the "workload" related to the management of this list exceeds the "workload"
related to displaying of the graphical scene, the effect of the acceleration may be negative. This can be better
understood on the following example.

Let us have a structure model composed of 1000 members (beams and columns).
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A) All the members have a rectangular cross-section. It is quite a simple task for the graphical card to display such a
simple shape (even if it is repeated 1000 times). On the other hand, the maintenance of the list of 1000 items is a rather
complex matter. As a result, if the acceleration is ON, the response of the program will be most likely slower.

B) All the members have a circular (pipe) cross-section. It is more complex task for the graphical card to display such a
shape. As a result, the acceleration will probably have no effect. In other words, the time saved during the display
operation equals the time needed for the management of the list of the members.

C) All the members have a cross-section of a complex shape (e.g. a complex aluminium profile). In this case, the time
savings reached due to faster display operation are much greater than the time-losses due to the management of the list
of the members. Which means that the acceleration has a positive effect.


Filter-controlled selection
The filter-controlled selection is useful if the user wants to select all entities that meet a specific condition. This type of
selection is described in the following chapter.

Making a selection from the command line
A selection can be also made (sometimes very effectively) from the program’s command line.
The procedure is similarly simple as the "mouse procedure". The user types a command on the command line and the
selection is made.
Command syntax
SEL [ swi t ch] par amet er [ par amet er 2] [ par amet er 3] [ et c. ]

or

SELM [ Ent er ]
name1 [ Ent er ]
name2 [ Ent er ]
. . .
END [ Ent er ]

The latter alternative provides fo multiple selections. SELM + [Enter] starts the multi-selection mode. Then you can type
the names of required entities one by one – each one followed by [Enter] key. The selection can be completed with
command END (followed by [Enter] key).

Switch
switch meaning
+ adds into selection
- subtracts from the current selection
| inverts the current selection

Parameter
parameter example description
entity name
SEL BEAM23
selects entity named BEAM23
entity name with a wildcard
SEL BEAM2?
selects all entities whose name starts with
BEAM2 and is followed with a single character

SEL B?
if 1D members are named B and numbered, this
command selects all "one-digit" 1D members

SEL B??
if 1D members are named B and numbered, this
command selects all "two-digit" 1D members

SEL B*
selects all entities whose name starts with letter B
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SEL B1 B2
selects entities named B1 and B2
NONE
SEL NONE
clears the selection

Examples
sel none
clears the selection
sel *
selects all entities
sel N1
selects entity N1
sel + N*
adds into the current selection entities whose name starts with N
sel – B*
removes from the current selection entities whose name starts with B
sel | B1
inverts entity B1 in the selection (i.e. if the entity WAS in the selection, it is
removed; if the entity WAS NOT in the selection, it is added)



Removing the entities from selection
When using complex and extensive selections, it may be necessary or at least useful to remove a particular entity or
entities from the already made selection.
In general, there are two ways to remove an entity from an existing selection: "[Ctrl] key" method and "Inverted selection
mode" method.
" [Ctrl] key" method
All the selection modes for making a selection can be used as well for removal of specific entities from the current
selection. In order to activate the "subtract from selection" mode, the user must press down and hold [Ctrl] key on the
keyboard.
Example 1:
Let’s assume that a selection of some entities has been already made. Now, the user needs to remove one particular
entity.
The procedure will be:
1. Position the mouse cursor over the entity that should be extracted from the selection.
2. Press down and hold [Ctrl] key.
3. Click the left mouse button.
4. The entity is removed from the selection.
5. Release [Ctrl] key.
Example 2:
Let’s assume that a selection of some entities has been already made. Now, the user needs to remove a few entities that
are parallel to each other and located close to each other.
The procedure will be:
1. Select Intersection line selection mode.
2. Position the mouse cursor next to the first entity that should be removed from the selection and outwards from the
others.
3. Press down and hold [Ctrl] key.
4. Define the intersection line, i.e. the line or polygon intersecting all the required entities.
5. Close the intersection line.
6. Release [Ctrl] key.

" Inverted selection mode" method
It is also possible to press button [Selection mode toggle] ( ) on toolbar Selections. All the selection modes
described in chapter Making a selection then remove entities from the previously made selection.

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Note: It is also possible to remove entities from selection using command "SEL" typed on the command line
with the appropriate switch and parameter. For more information see chapter Making a selection.

Making a selection based on a specific property
Very often the user needs to select all entities that meet some specific condition. For example, to select all 1D members
made of one material type or all supports allowing for free movement in X-direction, the filter-controlled selection is the
right choice.
The procedure to apply a filter-controlled selection
1. Select one entity that meets the required condition.
2. In the property table click the left column cell of the row that contains the required condition.
3. Click icon [Quick select] ( ) at the top of the property dialogue frame.

Note: This type of selection may be used to select e.g.
- all the 1D members of the same cross-section,
- all the slabs of the same thickness,
- all the entities located in the same layer, etc.

Adjusting the filter for selections
Sometimes it may be very useful to limit the selection on some entity types only. Scia Engineer enables the user to
specify the filter for selections.
There are three filter options:
OFF The filter is OFF and any entity of any type may be selected.
For service Function for making a selection recognises only those entities which the
active service can deal with.
For tree The type of entities that can be selected is defined by the position of cursor
in the tree.

Filter for service
If this filter option is selected, the set of entities for selections is defined by the currently opened service. The user can
select only those entities that the service can deal with.
For example, if service Loads is open, and this filter option is ON, only 1D members, nodes, and loads of all types can
be selected.
Filter for tree
If this filter option is selected, the set of entities for selections is defined by the currently opened service. and by the
position of cursor (by the focus) in the tree menu. The user can select only those entities that are specified by the
function "under focus".
For example, if service Loads is open, and this filter option is ON, and the focus in on function Line force on beam, only
line loads can be selected.
The procedure to adjust the required filter
1. Click button [Filter] on the Status bar.
2. A short menu is opened.
3. Select the required filter.
The alternative procedure for the adjustment of the required filter
1. Press in button [Filter for selection on/off] ( ) on Selection of objects toolbar in order to select Filter for
service.
2. This action makes another filter button available – [Filter by service tree on/off] ( ).
3. Press in button [Filter by service tree on/off] on Selection of objects toolbar in order to select Filter for tree.

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Modifying a selection
Any existing and active selection may be modified, i.e. some of the selected entities may be removed from it and some
other entities may be added to it.
Removal of entities from the selection
In order to remove an entity from the current selection, follow the procedure given in chapter Removing the entities from
selection.
Adding another entity into the selection
In order to add another entity into the current selection, simply follow the procedure for making the selection. Until you
clear the selection, any new selected entities are added to the current selection.

Applying a selection
A selection is usually made to carry out an action (i.e. call one or more of Scia Engineer functions). In fact, vast majority
of Scia Engineer functions works with a selection and modifies the entities in the selection according to defined
functionality. Therefore, it must be clear how to associate the selection with the required action. Fortunately, this crucial
step is completely automatic and absolutely straightforward in Scia Engineer despite the fact that there exist two
opposing approaches.
Applying a pre-created selection
This approach leads to the following steps:
1. Select the required entities.
2. Start the function.
3. The function "works" with the previously made selection.
Applying a post-created selection
On the other hand, this approach means:
1. Call the required functions.
2. Select the entities that should be treated with the function.
3. The function then processes the in-function-defined selection.

Both approaches have their advantages. The latter is useful mainly if the user wants to apply the same function on
several different selections. It is possible to change the function parameters for each particular selection, but the main
function itself must be called just once.

Clearing a selection
If a selection is no longer useful, or if it was made improperly (e.g. wrong entities have been selected), or if any other
reason occurs, the selection may be cleared. It means that the selected entities are removed from the selection but NOT
from the project. Just the selection is emptied.
There are several ways to clear a current selection:
 Press [ESC] key,
 Click [Cancel selection] ( ) button on the Selections toolbar,
 Call function Cancel selection from menu Tools > Selections.
All the possibilities are equivalent to each other.

Saving and reading a selection
Any selection made for any purpose can be saved to a disk for later re-use.
Any selection can be saved or loaded through appropriate functions from the Selections toolbar or via menu Tools >
Selections.
The selections are stored with the project. It is however possible to export the selections out of the project and use them
in another project. This export can be made in the Selection manager (see below).
There are, in principle, three actions that can be done with selections:
 a new selection can be saved (done through Save selection dialogue),
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 an existing selection can be loaded (done through Selection manager dialogue),
 an existing selection can be updated (done through Selection manager dialogue).
In addition (as already stated), any selection can be exported from the project to an external file that can be later
imported into another project.
Note: Be careful when using one selection (EPS) file with multiple projects. The program makes no special
checks and mechanically reads the selection from the file. However, the entities stored in the selection that do
not exist in the project are, naturally, ignored.

Saving a new selection
When a selection is being saved, the Saved selection dialogue is opened on the screen.
Saved selection dialogue

Name You can assign an arbitrary name to each saved selection.
Edit selection The selection that was made in graphical window before invoking this
dialogue can be further modified or reviewed in the Make selection
dialogue – see below.
This option can be also useful when a new selection is made directly in the
Selection manager – see below.
Select picture Each saved selection can be accompanied with an illustrative picture – e.g.
screen copy – that may be worth thousand words in explaining which
entities are in the selection in question.
Comment You may add e few lines of comment.
Description This field contains an automatically generated list of all entities included
into the selection.

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Make selection dialogue

On condition that you know the names of individual entities in your project, you can manually add or remove the required
entities to or from the selection.
Available (entities) This list contains a list of all available entities that can be included into the
selection. This list does not contain the entities that have been already
inserted into the current selection.
Selected (entities) This list names the entities that have been inserted into the currently edited
selection.
Button [--] This button collapses all the branches of the tree with the list of
(available/selected) entities.
Each list in the dialogue has its own button.
Button [++] This button expands all the branches of the tree with the list of
(available/selected) entities.
Each list in the dialogue has its own button.
Button [>] Use this button to move the highlighted item from the "available" to the
"selected" list, i.e. add it to the selection.
Button [>>] Use this button to move all the items from the "available" to the "selected"
list, i.e. add them to the selection.
Button [<] Use this button to move the highlighted item from the "selected" to the
"available" list, i.e. remove it to the selection.
Button [<<] Use this button to move all the items from the "selected" to the "available"
list, i.e. remove them to the selection.

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Loading a saved selection
Once a selection was saved, it is possible to load it back for use with any function that works with selections. Any saved
selection can be loaded through the Selection manager. The Selection manager is a standard Scia Engineer database
manager.

Selection manager
New Creates a new selection.
Edit Edits the existing selection.
Copy Creates a copy of an existing selection.
Delete Deletes the existing selection.
Undo, Redo Takes back the last action done in the manager.
Read from disk Reads a selection that was saved to an external EPS file.
Save to disk Saves the selection into an external file with extension EPS.
Selection properties The right-hand side of the Selection manager dialogue contains the
information about the selection. The content is identical to the Saved
selection dialogue described above.

Updating a saved selection
Any saved selection can be updated any time later, if required. The update is made through the Selection manager.
That is however modified a bit. The button load is replaced with button [Update].
The fact that the update uses the Selection manager has one major advantage. Let us assume that you loaded a saved
selection, modified it in the graphical window, started function Update named selection and only then you realise that you
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do not want to lose the original selection – that it is still useful and necessary. You are in the Selection manager, so
instead of selecting (and updating, i.e. changing) one of the existing named selections, you can create a new selection
and use it for the update function. In other words, you can swap from "Update" to "Save as new" even if the update
function is already in the progress.

The procedure to save a new selection to a disk
1. Make a selection.
2. Start function Save selection (either on toolbar Selections or in menu Tools > Selections).
3. Select Save as new from the submenu.
4. Fill in the parameters in the Saved selection dialogue.
5. Confirm with [OK].

The procedure to update the existing selection
1. Load the required selection (see below for the procedure).
2. Modify the selection as required.
3. Start function Save selection (either on toolbar Selections or in menu Tools > Selections).
4. Select Update existing from the submenu.
5. The Selection manager is opened on the screen.
6. Select the selection to be updated.
7. (If you change you mind, you can create a new empty selection to be "replaced" by the updated selection).
8. Confirm with [Update].

The procedure to read a selection from a disk
1. Start function Load selection (either on toolbar Selections or in menu Tools > Selections).
2. Select the selection you want to read.
3. Confirm with [Load].


Selections versus editing of properties
Selections are very advanced feature of Scia Engineer. They do not provide just for the passive selection of entities that
will be further treated in some way. The selections represent a powerful tool for editing of the project.
The principle is that whenever whichever entity is inserted into a current selection, its properties are automatically and
immediately displayed in the property window of the application.
If multiple entities of the same type are selected then the intersection of their properties is displayed in the window. If
multiple entities of different types are selected, the user may choose the type whose properties should be displayed. It is
of course possible to simply swap between the types once the parameters for one type have been reviewed.
What’s more, any data displayed in the property window can be edited and the change is immediately recorder.
Editing in the property window for one selected entity
If just one entity is selected, the property window shows it’s properties and, if possible, co-ordinates of its endpoints.
Once the user changes any of the values in the property window, the change is recorder and the entity is re-displayed to
reflect the changes.
Editing in the property window for multiple selected entities of the same type
If several entities of the same type are selected, the property window displays the intersection of their properties. That
means that the dialogue contains values of those parameters which are identical. If any parameters are of different value
for different 1D members in the selection, the value cell in the property window is left blank.
The user may once again edit any item in the property window. This relates even to the blank cells. If a value is input into
any of the cells, that value is assigned to all the entities in the selection.
Editing in the property window for multiple selected entities of various types
Here the same can be said as in the paragraph above. What’s more, the combo box at the top part of the property
window contains a list of all types whose entities are in the current selection. When the used selects any item from this
list, the properties of this entity type are shown in the property window.
The user may then review or edit them as described above.

Note: chapter Controlling the selection-versus-editing process.

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Controlling the selection-versus-editing process
The principle of editing in the Property window as described in chapter Selections versus editing of properties can be
controlled by means of settings made in the Environment settings.
The Environment settings dialogue contains item Maximum number of grouping properties. This items tells the
program what is the maximum number of entities for which the "selection-versus-editing" process should be started.
In other words, if the user selects fewer entities than specified in the parameter Maximum number of grouping
properties, the Property window is filled in with the parameters of selected entities. Consequently, the parameters can
be easily edited.
On the other hand, if the number of selected entities is greater than the number specified in parameter Maximum
number of grouping properties, the Property window is left blank. If required, the Property window may be filled in
manually by pressing button [Update property dialogue] ( ) located at the top right corner of the Property window..
This feature may be useful particularly for large projects with a great number of entities. The time that is necessary to
collect and sort all the parameters of all selected entities is growing with the number of selected entities. In addition, it is
assumed that usually the user will select only a limited number of entities for direct editing in the Property window. And,
if the user selects a really vast number of entities, it is assumed that the selection was made for some of manipulation
functions and not for direct editing.
Therefore, it is possible to make as large selection as necessary and apply any of manipulation function to it, but the
Property window is not filled in for excessive selections. If, however, the user does want to edit directly even the
enormous number of entities, he/she may fill in the Property window manually by means of the above mentioned button.

Selections of slabs with openings
If a slab has an opening or a subregion, there are a few rules concerning the selection of such a slab.
Let’s assume a simple rectangular slab with an opening.

Adjust the view parameters so that only the middle line of a slab is displayed on the screen

If you select the outline of the main slab, the main slab is highlighted and also selected.
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In order to select the opening, you must select the opening itself.


And now, let’s change the view parameters and let also the surfaces of the slab displayed.

If you select the surface outline of the main slab, the main slab is highlighted and also selected. In addition, the surface
of the opening is highlighted as well, BUT be careful, it is NOT selected (see the middle line of the opening – it is
NOT highlighted).

In order to select the opening, you must select the opening middle line itself.
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Activity
Introduction to activity
The concept of activity is based on the assumption that it is convenient to hide a part of the modelled structure and work
only the remaining part. This is useful mainly for larger projects where a great number of 1D members and other entities
may reduce the lucidity and comfort of performed operations.
The activity feature provides for selection of only those members that are essential for a certain manipulation or
operation. The rest of the structure is temporarily hidden from the user’s view.
In Scia Engineer the activity can be realised by means of two approaches:
 Layers - see chapter Layers for more details
 Activity functions – see individual activity functions.

Activity types
There are several approaches the user may choose to determine which part of the structure should be active (i.e. visible
and available for manipulations).
Layers The activity is completely controlled by layers.
See chapter Basic working tools > Layers > Displaying and hiding a layer.
Working plane Only members located in the current working plane become active.
Selection Only members being currently selected become active.
Optionally, the selected members may become inactive and all the others
remain active.
Clipping box Only members located inside the current clipping box become active.


Switching the activity On or Off
Despite the currently selected type of activity, the user may decide whether the activity as a whole should be switched on
or off. In other words, whether only the "active" part of the modelled structure should be visible or whether the whole
structure should be displayed and available for manipulations.
The procedure to switch the activity (i.e. to switch it ON if the activity is OFF and vice versa)
 Either call function Tools > Activity > Activity On (or Activity Off).
 Or click button Activity On (or Activity Off) on Activity toolbar ( ).

Note: Both the menu item and the tooltip of the function mentioned above contain the information about the
current Activity type.

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Activity according to layers
When this activity type is selected, the information specified in the Layers manager controls the activity of structure
members.
For more details about layers and their use see chapter Basic working tools > Layers > Displaying and hiding a layer.
The procedure to adjust the activity according to layers
 Either call function Tools > Activity > Activity by layers.
 Or click button Activity by layers on Activity toolbar ( ).

Activity according to current selection
The user may simply select (using standard Scia Engineer selections) members that he/she wants to make either active
or inactive. In general, there are two approaches:
 selected members are let active; all the others become inactive,
 selected members become inactive; all the others are let active.
Making the selected members active
The procedure to adjust the activity according to selection – selected members become active
 Either call function Tools > Activity > Activity by selection (Selected members On).
 Or click button Activity by selection (Selected members On) on Activity toolbar ( ).
Making the selected members inactive
The procedure to adjust the activity according to selection – selected members become inactive
 Either call function Tools > Activity > Activity by selection (Selected members Off).
 Or click button Activity by selection (Selected members Off) on Activity toolbar ( ).

Activity according to working plane
When this activity type is selected, the members located in the currently adjusted working plane become active. All other
members become inactive.
For more details about working plane see chapter Basic working tools > working plane > Adjusting a working plane.
The procedure to adjust the activity according to working plane
 Either call function Tools > Activity > Activity by working plane.
 Or click button Activity by working plane on Activity toolbar ( ).

Activity according to clipping box
When this activity type is selected, the members located inside the currently adjusted clipping box become active. All
other members become inactive.
For more details about clipping box see chapter Advanced tools > Clipping box > Introduction to clipping box.
The procedure to adjust the activity according to clipping box
1. Activate the clipping box and adjust it in required way.
2. Adjust the activity type to "by clipping box":
a. Either call function Tools > Activity > Activity by clipping box.
b. Or click button Activity by clipping box on Activity toolbar ( ).

Inverting the activity
If required, the currently adjusted activity may be inverted so that:
 the currently active members become inactive,
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 the currently inactive members become active.
The procedure to invert the activity
 Either call function Tools > Activity > Invert current activity.
 Or click button Invert current activity on Activity toolbar ( ).

Controlling the display style of inactive members
The user may decide whether the members that are currently inactive should be partly visible or completely hidden.
The procedure to display inactive members
 Either call function Tools > Activity > Draw inactive members.
 Or click button Draw inactive members on Activity toolbar ( ).

Note 1: When visible, the inactive members are drawn in a style defined for Inactive members in Colours
setup (see chapter Program settings > Project settings > Display style settings > Colour setup).
Note 2: The function works like an ON / OFF switch. That means that if the inactive members ARE NOT drawn,
the function makes them appear. If the inactive members ARE drawn, the function hides them.

Clipping box
Introduction to clipping box
Clipping box is a very powerful tool that facilitates manipulation mainly with excessive structures. The Clipping box
defines an area (3D-area) that is visible on the screen. The rest of the structure located behind the given area is
temporarily hidden from the user’s view.

Defining a new clipping box
The definition of a new clipping box is similar to the adjusting of the clipping box in the setting table.
The procedure for the definition of a new clipping box
1. On toolbar View click button [Clipping box for active view] ( ) and select function Clipping box - new.
2. Define the origin (i.e. the centre) of the clipping box.
3. The setup dialogue appears on the screen.
4. Fill in the table.
5. Confirm with button [OK].

Defining the clipping box around the working plane
Sometimes it may be very useful to define the clipping box in such a way so that only entities located in the working
plane are visible.
The procedure for attaching the clipping box to the working plane
1. On toolbar View click button [Clipping box for active view] ( ) and select function Attach to workplane.
2. The clipping box is adjusted accordingly.

Defining the clipping box around an entity
Sometimes it may be very useful to define the clipping box in such a way so that only selected entities are visible.
The procedure for adjusting the clipping box around selected entities
1. On toolbar View click button [Clipping box for active view] ( ) and select function Around selected entity.
2. The clipping box is adjusted accordingly.
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Defining the clipping box around the model
Sometimes it may be very useful to define the clipping box in such a way so that it "outscribes" the whole model.
The procedure for adjusting the clipping box around the whole model
1. On toolbar View click button [Clipping box for active view] ( ) and select function Around all entities.
2. The clipping box is adjusted accordingly.

Using the clipping box
The procedure to switch the clipping box ON or OFF
1. On toolbar View click button [Clipping box for active view] ( ) and select function Clipping box On/Off.
2. The clipping box is activated or switched off accordingly.
Example of clipping box application
view without
clipping box

view with clipping
box ON

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view with clipping
box ON after being
zoomed in



Adjusting the clipping box in the setting table
The procedure for tabular adjustment of the clipping box
1. On toolbar View click button [Clipping box for active view] ( ) and select function Alphanumerical edit.
2. The setup dialogue appears on the screen.
3. Fill in the table.
4. Confirm with button [OK].

Note 1: If the clipping box was not displayed before the setup dialogue was invoked, the clipping box is
switched ON on confirming the settings with [OK] button.
Note 2: If the clipping box is ON and has been defined around the current working plane, the setting dialogue
looks different and allows the user to specify the depth around the working plane.

Adjusting the clipping box using the mouse
The procedure to adjust the clipping by mouse
1. Turn the clipping box ON.
2. Position the mouse cursor over one of the clipping box borders.
3. Click the left mouse button to select the clipping box.
4. Special box-editing symbols are displayed in the centre of all clipping box surfaces. The ball symbol provides for
resizing of the box, the cylinder symbol enables the user to rotate the box.
5. Select corresponding symbol for required manipulation.
6. Position the mouse cursor over the symbol.
7. Press the left mouse button and hold it down.
8. Drag the mouse to adjust the clipping box as required.
9. Release the mouse button.
10. Repeat steps 5 to 9 as many times as required to tune the adjustment of the box.
11. Press [Esc] key to close the adjustment function.
The picture above is a video that demonstrates the adjusting of clipping box. To start the video, just position the mouse
cursor over the picture. Or you may position the mouse cursor over the picture, click the right mouse button to invoke the
video pop-up menu and select function Play.
The alternative procedure for mouse controlled adjustment of the clipping box
1. On toolbar View click button [Clipping box for active view] ( ) and select function Graphical edit.
2. The clipping box is turned ON and swapped into the editing mode.
3. Follow the procedure described above.
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4. Confirm with button [OK].

Note: If the clipping box was not displayed before the graphical dialogue was invoked, the clipping box is
switched ON before enabling the adjusting.

Moving the clipping box
If required, the current clipping box can be moved to a new location. The size of the clipping box remains unchanged,
only its position in space is altered.
The procedure for moving of the clipping box
1. If it is not the case, activate the clipping box (i.e. switch it on).
2. On toolbar View click button [Clipping box for active view] ( ) and select function Move.
3. Define the new origin (i.e. the centre) of the clipping box.
4. The clipping box is moved accordingly.

Layers
Introduction to layers
One of the important entity properties that should be understood well is the layer property. Experienced users definitely
use layers all the time and that is why their work is so effective. Good use of layers is one of important aspects of a good
model-making-and-evaluating practice.
Basically, layers are the computer equivalent of tracing overlays on a drawing board. However, layers are much more
powerful because you can have many layers in a single project and you can control the visibility and colour of layers
independently. This makes working with very complicated projects much more efficient.
When you start a new project, it has only one layer. The first thing you should do, therefore, when you start a new Scia
Engineer project is to create some new layers.

Layers manager
The Layers manager is a tool to control the layers defined in a project. The Layers manager provides for creating,
editing and deleting of layers.
The manager itself uses the same "manager philosophy" as other Scia Engineer managers do. It contains control
buttons for standard manager operations:
New It creates a new layer. The new layer is created with default
properties that may be later edited.
Edit It opens an editing dialogue where the layer’s properties may be
changed.
Copy This function creates a copy of the selected layer.
Delete It removes the selected layer from the project database.
Undo / Redo It performs an Undo or Redo operation.
Text Output It opens a small document window with a table that summarises
properties of selected layers.

In order to open the Layers manager use either menu function Tools > Layers or tree menu function Tools > Layers.
The Layers manager can also be opened from various property dialogues that contain item Layer. Such an item
contains a button to open the Layers manager.
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Displaying and hiding a layer
The Layers manager also enables the user to specify which layers should be visible and which ones should be hidden.

Defining a new layer
A new layer can be defined in the Layers manager.
The procedure to define a new layer
1. Open the Layers manager.
2. Click button [New] to create a new layer.
3. If required, click button [Edit] to change the default layer parameters (name, colour, visibility).
4. If required, repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as you need.
5. Close the Layers manager.

Applying defined layers
A defined layer may be applied in the property dialogue of each particular entity. One of the table items contains the
layer name. This item defines the layer that the entity is put into.
Once the layer is specified in the property dialogue of an entity, the entity may be displayed or hidden according to the
settings made in the Layers manager.
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The picture above shows the selection of the appropriate layer for a 1D member.

Displaying and hiding a layer
One of the important features of a layer is that it can be hidden. Let’s assume that the user have finished modelling of
one part of the structure. Let’s suppose that now s/he needs to work on another part of the same structure and that the
new part is independent on the first part. The best s/he can do is hide the whole first part or at least its major part. This
can be done by switching the appropriate layers off. The new part of the structure then can be modelled in new layers.
The layers can be switched OFF or ON (i.e. displayed or hidden) in the Layers manager.
The procedure for hiding (or displaying) a layer
1. Open the Layers manager.
2. In the right hand side part of the dialogue is located a layer property table containing option Display.
3. Select the layer or layers you want to display.
4. Tick the option Display.
5. Select the layer or layers you want to hide.
6. Remove the tick from the option Display.
7. If necessary, repeat the steps 3 to 6 as many times as required.
8. Close the Layers manager.

Ignoring selected layers in calculation
It may happen that a calculation model of a structure may be quite simple. Simultaneously, the structure may contain a
lot of additional parts that have no load-bearing function but that are important for production of nice-looking and
accurate drawings.
Such a situation calls for using of special type of layers – layers used in structural model only and ignored in the
calculation. This feature may be adjusted in the Layers manager.
The procedure for extracting the layer from calculation
1. Open the Layers manager.
2. In the right hand side part of the dialogue is located a layer property table containing option structural model
only.
3. Select the layer or layers you want to ignore in calculation.
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4. Tick the option Structural model only.
5. Select the layer or layers you want to consider in calculation.
6. Remove the tick from the option Structural model only.
7. If necessary, repeat the steps 3 to 6 as many times as required.
8. Close the Layers manager.

User co-ordinate system (UCS)
Introduction to a user co-ordinate system
The definition of points may be facilitated by the application of a user co-ordinate system. This system can be so defined
(i.e. positioned and oriented) that it reflects the geometry of the model (or its part) that is being defined.
The user can define as many user co-ordinate systems as necessary. However, only one of them can be active in one
graphical window at a time. Nevertheless, the user may swap between individual user co-ordinate systems at any time.
What’s more, even a new user co-ordinate system may be defined any time it is necessary or efficient to do so.
The active user co-ordinate system is indicated on the program status bar.

Adjusting a user co-ordinate system
UCS defined by three points
A new UCS can be defined by means of three points that do not lie on the same line. Each of the points has a precisely
specified meaning:
1
st
point It defines the origin of the new co-ordinate system.
2
nd
point It defines the direction of X-axis of the new co-ordinate system.
3
rd
point It defines the side to which the Y-axis of the new co-ordinate system will point.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

Horizontal UCS defined by one point
A new co-ordinate system is defined by a single point. The point defines the origin of the new user co-ordinate system
(UCS). The axes of the user co-ordinate system are parallel with corresponding global co-ordinate axes.
That means that:
 the X-axis of the UCS is parallel with the X-axis of the global co-ordinate system (GCS),
 the Y-axis of the UCS is parallel with the Y-axis of the GCS,
 the Z-axis of the UCS is parallel with the Z-axis of the GCS.
The XY plane of this user co-ordinate system is always horizontal.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

Vertical UCS defined by two points
A new co-ordinate system is defined by two points (or one line).
The first inserted point defines the origin of the new co-ordinate system. The second point defines the direction of the X-
axis of the new system. However, the X-axis is not defined precisely by the second point. The X-axis is always
horizontal, and therefore, the second inserted point specifies the direction of the X-axis of the new user co-ordinate
system. The Y-axis of the new user co-ordinate system is always vertical.
The XY plane of this user co-ordinate system is always vertical with the Y-axis pointing upwards.

Note 1: The two inserted points defining the new system MUST NOT lie on a vertical line.
Note 2: Please read Rules for using a UCS.
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Vertical UCS perpendicular to global X-axis
A new user co-ordinate system is defined by a single point. The point defines the origin of the new user co-ordinate
system.
The axes of the user co-ordinate system are oriented in such a way so that:
 the X-axis of the user-coordinate system is always horizontal,
 the Y-axis of the user-coordinate system is always vertical,
 the XY plane of the user-coordinate system is perpendicular to the global X-axis.
The XY plane of this user co-ordinate system is always vertical with the Y-axis pointing upwards.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

Vertical UCS perpendicular to global Y-axis
A new user co-ordinate system is defined by a single point. The point defines the origin of the new user co-ordinate
system.
The axes of the user co-ordinate system are oriented in such a way so that:
 the X-axis of the user-coordinate system is always horizontal,
 the Y-axis of the user-coordinate system is always vertical,
 the XY plane of the user-coordinate system is perpendicular to the global Y-axis.
The XY plane of this user co-ordinate system is always vertical with the Y-axis pointing upwards.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

UCS identical with the global co-ordinate system
A new user co-ordinate system is identical with the global co-ordinate system.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

UCS perpendicular to the current UCS's X-axis
A new user co-ordinate system (UCS) is defined according the following rules:
 the X-axis of the new UCS is put into the Y-axis of the current UCS,
 the Y-axis of the new UCS is put into the Z-axis of the current UCS.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

UCS perpendicular to the current UCS's Y-axis
A new user co-ordinate system (UCS) is defined according the following rules:
 the X-axis of the new UCS remains unchanged,
 the Y-axis of the new UCS is put into the Z-axis of the current UCS.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

UCS defined according to an entity's LCS
A new user co-ordinate system is defined by means of an existing entity (e.g. beam).
The new user co-ordinate system has got its origin in the starting point of the selected entity. The axes of the user co-
ordinate system are identical with the local co-ordinate axes of the selected entity.
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Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

UCS defined from a view direction
A new user co-ordinate system is calculated from the current view direction. In other words, the X-axis of the new co-
ordinate system appears horizontal on the screen, the Y-axis of the new co-ordinate system appears vertical on the
screen, and the Z-axis of the new co-ordinate system points towards the user’s eyes.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

Editing a user co-ordinate system
UCS Manager
The UCS manager gives the user full control over the existing user co-ordinate systems. Similarly to other database
managers, it provides for the definition of a new UCS, for the modification or copying of existing systems, and for
removal of no-longer-used co-ordinate systems.

Association of the active graphical window with a particular UCS
The UCS manager is also used to select a particular UCS and associate it with (assign it to) the active graphical window.
The UCS that is selected (highlighted) in the list of defined UCSs becomes the one associated with the graphical
window.
The procedure for the selection of UCS for the active graphical window
1. Open the UCS manager:
a. in tree menu call function Tools > UCS,
b. on status bar click button showing the name of UCS associated with the active graphical
window.
2. Select the UCS that should be assigned to the active graphical window.
3. Close the UCS manager.

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Modifying an existing UCS
An existing user co-ordinate system may be edited and thus its origin or direction of axes or both may be altered. In
general, there are two ways to modify an existing UCS:
 type values of UCS parameters into the editing dialogue of the UCS,
 apply one of many modifying functions collected in submenu UCS (opened either from menu Tools > UCS, or
under button [Setting of UCS for active view] ( ) on toolbar View) (see chapter Adjusting a user co-ordinate
system).
The procedure for direct editing of UCS parameters
1. Open the UCS manager.
2. Select the UCS you want to modify.
3. Click button [Edit] to adjust parameters of the new UCS.
4. Type in the required values for the origin of the UCS and for direction of its axes.
5. Close the editing dialogue.
6. Close the UCS manager.
The procedure for the modification of a UCS by means of UCS submenu functions
1. If it is not the case that the UCS you want to modify is the current (active) one, make it current first.
2. Open submenu UCS (either in menu Tools > UCS, or under button [Setting of UCS for active view] ( ) on
toolbar View).
3. Select the required way of modification.
4. If necessary, input required parameters (i.e. required point or points).
5. The UCS has been modified and is now kept as the current UCS.
6. Open submenu UCS (either in menu Tools > UCS, or under button [Setting of UCS for active view] ( ) on
toolbar View).
7. Select function Store the current UCS ( ).
8. Select the name of the UCS that has been modified and rewrite it with the new adjustment.

Defining a new UCS
A new user co-ordinate system (UCS) can be defined in the UCS manager.
The UCS manager can be used to define completely a new user co-ordinate system if the user knows numerically the
parameters of the system. That means, if the user knows the exact global co-ordinates of the UCS’s origin and the exact
direction vectors of individual UCS’s axes. Otherwise, the UCS manager is used to create a new UCS instance, and one
of numerous UCS-modifying functions is later applied to specify the origin and orientation of the UCS exes.
The procedure for the definition of a new UCS from within the UCS manager
1. Open the UCS manager.
2. Click button [New]. This creates a copy of the current UCS.
3. Click button [Edit] to adjust parameters of the new UCS.
4. Type in the required values for the origin of the UCS and for direction of its axes.
5. Close the editing dialogue.
6. Close the UCS manager.
The procedure for the definition of a new UCS parameters using a menu/toolbar function
1. Open submenu UCS (either in menu Tools > UCS, or under button [Setting of UCS for active view] ( ) on
toolbar View).
2. Select the required way of definition.
3. If necessary, input required parameters (i.e. required point or points).
4. Once more open submenu UCS (either in menu Tools > UCS, or under button [Setting of UCS for active view] (
) on toolbar View).
5. Select function Store the current UCS ( ).
6. Type the name of the UCS and confirm with [OK].
7. That’s it. A new UCS is defined and will appear in the UCS manager.

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Copying an existing UCS
Any of already defined UCSs may be copied. The copy may be further modified to define a new unique user co-ordinate
system.
The procedure to make a copy of an existing UCS
1. Open the UCS manager.
2. Select the UCS you want to copy.
3. Click button [Copy] to create a new UCS that is identical in its parameters with the selected one.
4. If required, click button [Edit] to adjust parameters of the new UCS and type the required values for the origin of
the UCS and for direction of its axes. Then close the editing dialogue.
5. If required, repeat steps 2 to 4 as many times as necessary.
6. Close the UCS manager.

Moving an existing UCS
An existing UCS can be moved to a new origin. The orientation of the system remains unchanged, only the UCS’s origin
moves to a new position.
The procedure to move a UCS to a new origin
1. If it is not the case that the UCS you want to move is the active one, make it active first.
2. Call menu function Tools > UCS > Move (You may as well activate toolbar function Setting of UCS for active
view > Move from toolbar View).
3. Define the new origin of the UCS.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

Rotating an existing UCS
An existing UCS can be rotated by a specified angle. The origin of the system remains unchanged, only the direction of
UCS’s axes changes accordingly. The rotation is performed in the adjusted working plane, i.e. the axis of rotation is
normal to the current working plane.
The procedure to rotate a UCS
1. If it is not the case that the UCS you want to move is the active one, make it active first.
2. Make sure that the working plane is adjusted properly, i.e. that it is oriented in such a way that a normal to the
working plane is parallel with the axis of intended rotation.
3. Call menu function Tools > UCS > Rotate (You may as well activate toolbar function Setting of UCS for active
view > Rotate from toolbar View).
4. Type the angle by which the UCS should be rotated.
5. Close the dialogue.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

Deleting an existing UCS
It may happen that some of the previously user co-ordinate systems are no longer necessary, or even that some of the
user co-ordinate systems have been defined by mistake. Such user co-ordinate systems may be removed from the
project.
The procedure to delete an existing UCS
1. Open the UCS manager.
2. Select the UCS you want to delete.
3. Click button [Delete].
4. If required, repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as necessary.
5. Close the UCS manager.

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Storing the user co-ordinate system
Any UCS created by the user may be stored as a named UCS. The user can specify the name and once stored, the UCS
is listed in the UCS manager.
The procedure to store the UCS as named UCS
1. Adjust the UCS as required.
2. Call menu function Tools > UCS > Store the current UCS (You may as well activate toolbar function Setting of
UCS for active view > Store the current UCS from toolbar View).
3. Input the required name.

Using a user co-ordinate system
Rules for using a UCS
There are some rules concerning the use of user co-ordinate system that should be clearly stated here in order to
prevent a possible confusion.
UCS in windows
Each graphical window can have a different UCS. The UCS can be assigned to a particular window from the UCS
manager.
The procedure for association of a particular graphical window with a particular UCS
1. Select the graphical window you need to associate with the required UCS.
2. Open the UCS manager.
3. Select the required UCS.
4. Close the UCS manager.
Modification of an existing UCS in the UCS manager
If a UCS is edited in the UCS manager (i.e. edited numerically), the changes are made to the UCS that is being edited.
Modification of an existing UCS by means of modification functions
If a current UCS assigned to a particular window is edited by means of a function for modification of UCS, IT IS
IMPORTANT TO KNOW that:
 Before the modification itself, the window is associated with the default (called current) UCS.
 The modification is made with the current UCS.
 The current UCS is let associated with the window.
If a named user-created UCS was associated with the window before the modification has been performed, that UCS
remains unchanged.
If a named user-created UCS should be modified using modification functions, the following procedure must be
executed.
The procedure for modification of a named user-created UCS
1. Use modification function or functions to define the UCS as required.
2. Call function for storing of the current UCS.
3. Rewrite the original named user-created UCS with the newly defined one.

Using a UCS in the graphical window
The origin of the current user co-ordinate system is always displayed in the graphical window. Also directions of
individual co-ordinate system axes are shown.

If the program is in point definition mode or point selection mode, the co-ordinates of the mouse cursor are displayed on
the program status bas. The co-ordinates are given in user co-ordinate system.

Note: If required, the co-ordinates of position of the mouse cursor may also be displayed in the global co-
ordinates.
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Using a UCS from the command line
If co-ordinates of an inserted point are typed on the command line without any prefix, the co-ordinates are considered to
be in the current UCS. For more information about the syntax of the command line see chapter Command line in book
Layout and operation > User interface.

Working plane
Introduction to a working plane
A working plane is a plane in which the mouse cursor moves in the three-dimensional modelling space. The working
plane can be adjusted arbitrarily to reflect the current needs of the user. The working plane is always placed into one of
the basic planes of a user co-ordinate system (UCS). It means that the working plane is very closely bound to UCS.

Adjusting a working plane
A working plane can be adjusted in any direction. There is only one limitation. A working plane is always bound to the
currently set user co-ordinate system. The working plane may be oriented in one of the main planes of this co-ordinate
system, i.e. into XY, XZ or YZ plane.
Therefore, in order to adjust the working plane into the required direction, the user may need to adjust the user co-
ordinate system first.
The procedure to adjust the working plane into the required UCS main plane
1. Verify that the current UCS is defined as required.
2. Adjust the working plane into XY or YZ or XZ plane of the UCS:
a. Either using toolbar View and its button [Setting of UCS for active view] ( ),
b. Or calling function Tools > UCS,
3. In both cases, select one of the following items: XY workplane, YZ workplane, or XZ workplane.

Cursor SNAP modes
Introduction to SNAP modes
Whenever the user needs to define a new point (e.g. an end-point of a new 1D member), it is possible to do so by typing
the point co-ordinates on the command line. It is clear that this approach will not be always the most efficient one. Very
often, a new point is identical with one of the already defined points (e.g. individual 1D members are connected to each
other). What’s more, the geometry of the structure is usually regular in some way, and therefore, end-points of individual
entities fit into a regular scheme. Both of these facts have been taken into account during the design of Scia Engineer’s
SNAP modes.
A SNAP mode is a mode for locking a mouse cursor into alignment with an invisible rectangular grid or with characteristic
points of already defined entities (such as their end-points, middle points, centres of circles, etc.).
When the SNAP mode is on, the screen crosshairs and all input coordinates are snapped to the nearest point on the grid
or to the nearest characteristic point.

Grid SNAP modes
The grid SNAP mode is a SNAP mode where the mouse cursor is locked into alignment with a grid. Scia Engineer offers
two types of grid:
 a dot grid (that may be either orthogonal or radial),
 a line grid (that may be both two- and three-dimensional).
When this SNAP mode is on, the screen crosshairs and all input coordinates are snapped to the nearest point of the grid.
The grid SNAP mode can be combined with the object SNAP mode if required.
The activation of the grid SNAP mode can be done in the Cursor snap setting dialogue.

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Object SNAP modes
The object SNAP mode is a SNAP mode where the mouse cursor is locked to commonly needed points, or we can say
characteristic points, on entities (such as their end-points, middle points, centres of circles, etc.).
If required, the object SNAP mode can be combined with the grid SNAP mode.
A required kind of the object SNAP mode can be selected (activated) in the Cursor snap setting dialogue.

The picture above shows "in action" the SNAP mode set to Midpoints.

Adjusting a SNAP mode
Adjustment of the required SNAP mode or modes can be done in the Cursor snap setting dialogue.

The dialogue offers a vide range of SNAP variants:
Line grid The cursor is locked to the vertices of a defined line grid.
Dot grid The cursor is locked to the points of a defined dot grid.
Only snapped points If this option is ON, the first two variants are automatically turned
OFF and only characteristic points of already defined entities may
be used to snap to. In other words, only the object SNAP mode is
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enabled.
Midpoints Middle points of entities are used as snap points.
Endpoints / Nodes End points of entities are used as snap points.
Intersections Intersections of entities are used as snap points.
Orthogonal points This option snaps to a point which forms a perpendicular with the
selected object.
Tangential points The Tangential point SNAP mode snaps to a tangent point on a
circle.
Arc / circle centre This option snaps to the centre of a circle, arc or polyline arc
segment. The cursor must pass over the circumference of the
circle or the arc so that the centre can be found.
Points on line / curve N-th The program automatically divides a selected entity into N
segments and thus generates (N+1) points on an entity under
cursor. The points may be used to snap to.
Points in line / curve % of length This option is similar to the one above. But the division of a 1D
member is defined by percents and not by the number of
segments.
Surface edges This option is available only if at least one of the above listed
object SNAP modes is ON.
If this option is ON, the mouse cursor snaps also to the surface
lines of entities.

The procedure for the adjustment of the required SNAP mode:
1. Open the Dot grid setting dialogue. The dialogue can be opened in two ways:
a. via [Snap mode] button on the Status bar,
b. via [Cursor snap setting] button ( ) on the toolbar at the command line.
c. using menu function Tools > Cursor snap setting.
2. Select the required SNAP option or options.
3. Press button [OK] to close the dialogue.

Adjusting the temporary one-step SNAP mode
Sometimes it may be useful to let the current SNAP mode AS IS, and change the SNAP mode just and only for a single
step (single action). For example, all new end-points of a set of 1D members are defined as end-points of existing
entities, but suddenly it may happen that one particular point would be easily defined as a midpoint.
In Scia Engineer the user may change the SNAP mode temporarily for a single step only.
The procedure for the adjustment of a temporary SNAP mode
1. Once a function requiring the definition of points is started a toolbar is displayed at the top of the command line.

2. Proceed with the opened function up to the moment you need to change temporarily the SNAP mode.
3. Click the required icon on the mentioned toolbar.
4. The SNAP mode is temporarily re-adjusted for the following single step.
5. Once you define the point, the SNAP modes returns to the original setting.

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Dot grid
Introduction to a dot grid
A dot grid is an area in the graphical window covered with regularly spaced dots to aid drawing. The spacing between
grid dots is adjustable. The grid dots are not plotted.
The dot grid is always put into the current working plane, so that it can be used for the definition of points (e.g. end points
of individual members) by means of mouse.
Properly adjusted dot grid may significantly speed up the process of geometry definition.
Scia Engineer offers two types of the grid: orthogonal and radial.

Adjusting dot grid parameters
The dot grid can be adjusted to meet the needs of a particular project. Sometimes, it may be good idea to re-adjust the
grid settings from time to time, especially if the geometry of the whole structure is not regular and varies from one part to
another.
The procedure to adjust dot grid parameters
1. Open the Dot grid setting dialogue:
a. Either using toolbar View and its button [Setting of the dot grid] ( ),
b. Or via menu function Tools > Dot grid settings
2. Select the required type of the grid: orthogonal or radial
3. Type in the parameters of the grid (the individual parameters are self-explicable).
4. Close the dialogue.

7. The adjusted grid will be displayed on the screen unless it is switched off.

Using the dot grid
The dot grid may be used to insert points if the following conditions are met:
 the dot grid is switched on (i.e. it is displayed),
 the snap mode is adjusted to stick to the grid points,
 the program is in the point definition mode.
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To be precise, the first condition does not have to be fulfilled and the dot grid may still be used. But as the dots of the
grid are not visible, it is not recommended to use this configuration (unless you are a really advanced and skilful user of
Scia Engineer).
Displaying the dot grid
The dot grid may be switched on and off using menu function View > View > Show / hide dot grid.
Setting the snap mode to use the dot grid
The capability of the snap mode to stick to the dot grid can be set in two different dialogues. The result is the same
regardless of which dialogue is used.
Setting in Snap mode dialogue
1. Open the Cursor snap setting dialogue.
2. Tick the option Dot grid on or off (as required).
3. Close the dialogue.
Setting in Dot grid settings dialogue
1. Open Dot grid setting dialogue.
2. Tick option Snap cursor to dot grid on or off (as required)
3. Close the dialogue

Line grid
Introduction to a line grid
A line grid is a kind of a three dimensional grid. Individual vertices of the grid can be used to define points of the
modelled structure.
One can imagine the line grid as a set of wire cubes placed one next to another to create a larger wire cube. The vertices
of individual small wire cubes are the vertices of the line grid. What’s more, the cubes may be not only regular cubes, but
also other solids like a tetrahedron, irregular hexahedron, etc. The grid may be of either regular or irregular (variable)
dimensions in any direction.
The tool is extremely useful for the definition of complex 3D structures on condition that at least some parts of the
structure are regular (i.e. of the same spans or of the same height).

Types of line grid
A line grid may be of several types. Each type may be useful for different "configuration" of the geometry of a modelled
structure.
Cartesian This line grid represents the basic type. The vertices of the grid are defined
in Cartesian co-ordinates and the grid as a whole resembles a regular
rectangular prism.

Oblique This type is based on the previous one. In addition, the user may define
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two angles that make the grid oblique.

Spherical Vertices of this grid type are defined by means of spherical co-ordinates.

Cylindrical Vertices of this grid of this type are defined by means of cylindrical co-
ordinates.



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Line grid manager
The Line grid manager provides for operations related to line grids. It can be used to create a new line grid, to switch
the existing line grids on or off, to modify an existing grid, to copy it or delete it.
The manager is operated the same way as any other Scia Engineer database manager.
The procedure to open the Line grid manager
 Either: Use tree menu function Tools > Line grids.
 Or: Use menu function Tools > Line grids.
 Or: Click button [Line grid] ( ) on View toolbar.


Creating a new line grid
Similarly to a great number of other "objects" in Scia Engineer, a new line grid can be created in the appropriate
database manager. The Line grid manager has been designed to create and edit line grids
The procedure to create a new line grid
1. Open the Line grid manager.
2. Click button [New].
3. The editing dialogue is opened.
4. Specify grid dimensions.
5. Adjust its display parameters.
6. Close the editing dialogue.
7. Choose whether the new line grid should be displayed or hidden.
8. Close the Line grid manager.
Note: If no line grid has been defined in the current project so far, step 1 leads directly to opening of the editing dialogue.
As a result, step 2 is automatically skipped.

Adjusting line grid parameters
Each line grid is defined by means of:
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 dimensions in individual directions,
 location of its origin (i.e. the insertion point),
 possible rotation,
 angles of obliqueness (for oblique line grid only),
 name,
 parameters of its display style.
Line grid type
The combo box at the bottom part of the dialogue selects the required grid type.
Line grid dimensions
Depending on the grid type, the dimensions are defined in Cartesian, spherical, or cylindrical co-ordinates.
There are two ways to define the individual "spans" and "storey heights":
 the user inputs the dimensions of individual "spans" and "storey heights",
 the user inputs the co-ordinates of individual line grid vertices (i.e. co-ordinates of end-points for individual "spans"
and "storeys").
The approaches are independent for each direction. In other words, the user can specify the dimension of the grid in X
and Y direction by means of "span" lengths and then use grid absolute co-ordinates for the definition of individual
"storeys" (in the case of Cartesian type) or vice versa. Which approach will be used can be set in the combo box located
above the table for each particular direction.
Another general rule is that:
 either each "span" and each " storey" of the line grid is defined explicitly,
 or a "span" or "storey" dimension is input only once and the number of repetition of this dimension is added (if
"spans" or "storeys" of the same dimension are adjacent to each other).
The latter can be user for grid with repetitious "spans" and may significantly speed up the definition of the grid.
Insertion point and rotation
This point defines the location of the grid in the global co-ordinate system.
If required, the whole line grid may be rotated around the global Z-axis.
Name
The name serves for easy identification of individual line grids if more than one grid are defined.
Parameters of display style
The user can control the way the line grid is displayed on the screen.

Adjusting the display style of line grid
The user can easily control the appearance of the grid on the screen by means of a few parameters. The parameters are
grouped on the Drawing setup tab of the line grid editing dialogue.
Base plane This parameter specifies which plane is the base plane for the
labelling system of the grid.
Lines between planes Connecting lines may be or may be not drawn between individual
grid layers (i.e. "floors" or "spans" depending on the base plane).
Label format The user can control the format of the labels.
Visibility of grid layers Individual grid layers (i.e. "floors" or "spans" depending on the
base plane of the grid) may be visible or hidden.
Labelling of grid layers Individual grid layers may be labelled.
Dimensioning of grid layers Dimension lines may be added to individual grid layers.

Base plane
The base plane defines the plane where the main grid labels will be located. The user can select from the three base
planes oriented in the three main planes of the global co-ordinate system (XY plane, YZ, plane, XZ plane).
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Lines between planes
The individual grid layers (e.g. "floors" in case of XY base plane) may be graphically connected to each other or may be
drawn as separate layers. If the lines are drawn, the final line grid looks like a three dimensional solid. If the lines are not
drawn, the final grid resembles of a set of sheets put one above the other.
Label format
The user may adjust the format of the labels. The following parameters can be specified:
 position of labels,
 offset of labels,
 text size,
 a circle drawn around labels.
Visibility of grid layers
Each layer can be separately set as visible or hidden. This may be very useful especially for large and complex line
grids.
Labelling of grid layers
Labels are added to individual layers according to the user’s settings. There are two types of labels:
 labels for individual "spans" in a grid layer,
 labels for the whole grid layer.
Each of the types is controlled by a separate parameter.
Dimensioning of grid layers
The individual grid layers may be equipped with dimension lines. The dimension lines may dimension:
 either individual spans in individual directions,
 or the total dimension in individual directions.

Displaying and hiding a line grid
A line grid can be switched on / off (in other words displayed / hidden or activated /deactivated) in the Line grid
manager. It is possible to switch on as many different line grids as required.
The procedure for switching a line grid on / off
1. Open the Line grid manager.
2. In the list of defined line grids select the line grid you want to switch on or off.
3. In the grid property table tick option Visible in order to switch the grid on, or remove the tick from this option to
hide the grid.
4. Repeat points 2 and 3 as many times as required.
5. Close the Line grid manager.

Using a line grid
In order to use a previously defined line grid, two conditions must be met:
 at least one line grid must be switched on,
 the SNAP mode must be set to pick points of line grid.
Once the two conditions are met, the vertices of the displayed line grids may be used to define points. When the mouse
cursor is positioned on a line grid point (vertex), the program automatically detects it, snaps to it and shows its co-
ordinates. If the user wants to use the highlighted point, the only thing he/she have to do is click the left mouse button.
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The picture above shows the use of line grid for the insertion of columns during creation of a model of a hall.

Editing an existing line grid
The way to edit parameters of an already defined line grid is very straightforward and simple.
The procedure to edit an existing line grid
1. Open the Line grid manager.
2. Select the grid you want to modify.
3. Click button [Edit] to open the editing dialogue.
4. Change the required parameters on the Input data tab.
5. Change the required parameters on the Drawing setup tab.
6. Close the editing dialogue.
7. Close the Line grid manager.
If a defined line grid is no longer needed it may be deleted. The Line grid manager’s button [Delete] can be used for
this operation.

Window pop-up menu
Introduction to window pop-up menu
Every graphical window that is created in Scia Engineer has a pop-up menu associated with it. This pop-up menu
provides for fast access to frequently used functions. The menu can be invokes by clicking the right mouse button if the
mouse cursor is positioned inside the window.
The list of functions offered in the pop-up menu depends on several factors:
 whether any function is opened (has been activated),
 whether some entities are selected,
 whether the mouse cursor is positioned on some entity (at the moment when the right mouse button is being
pressed),
 if the mouse cursor is positioned on some entity ,what kind of entity it is.
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In addition to the pop-up menu in graphical window, Scia Engineer offers also a similar menu in a document window.
This particular type of pop-up menu is described in chapter covering the document.

Functions of the pop-up menu
The pop-up menu of the graphical is created dynamically. That means that the functions offered in the menu vary
according to the current state of the program.
Standard pop-up menu
Zoom all Displays the whole model.
Zoom – cut-out Displays the selected cut-out so that it fits the whole area of the
graphical window.
Set view parameters Opens the dialogue for adjustment of view parameters, i.e. the
parameters that control the way the modelled structure is
displayed on the screen.
Cursor snap setting Opens the dialogue for adjustment of required SNAP mode.
Copy picture to clipboard Copies the contents of the graphical window into clipboard of
Windows system.
Export picture to file Saves the contents of the graphical window into an external file.
The user may choose from a list of supported file formats.
Picture to document Inserts the contents of the graphical window into the document as
a new picture.
Picture to gallery Inserts the contents of the graphical window into the Picture
gallery as a new picture.
Print picture Opens the graphic output dialogue and allows the user to carry out
the print set-up before the print itself.
Wire model in manipulations If the option is ON and the view direction or zoom is being
adjusted by means of mouse (i.e. appropriate control keys and
right mouse button held down during mouse movement), only a
simplified wire representation of the structure is displayed during
the operation of adjustment.
If the option is OFF, the normal (or full) display is used during the
operation.
It is clear that the latter may lead to slower response of the
program.
Picture wizard Starts the wizard for generation of pictures.
See appropriate chapters in the Picture gallery.

Pop-up menu if a function is opened
If a function (e.g. Insert a new beam, Define load, etc.) is opened, Scia Engineer adds an additional function to the pop-
up menu.
End of command This command may be used to close the currently opened
function. The command closes just the function and lets the
current service opened.

Pop-up menu if some entities are selected
If at least one entity is selected, the contents of the pop-up menu is rearranged in order to provide for common
manipulations with the selected entities. The pop-up menu consists of the following functions:
Set view parameters (for the selected Opens the dialogue for adjustment of view parameters, i.e. the
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entities only) parameters that control the way the modelled structure is
displayed on the screen. The settings made here are applied to
the selected entities only.
As this function deals with a specified set of entities, the range of
the view parameters in the setting dialogue is limited to
parameters related to the selected entities.
Set view parameters for all entities Opens the dialogue for adjustment of view parameters, i.e. the
parameters that control the way the modelled structure is
displayed on the screen.
The settings made here are applied to all entities in the model.
Cursor snap setting Opens the dialogue for adjustment of required SNAP mode.
View This sub-menu comprises majority of the standard pop-up menu
functions.
Move Start function for move of 1D members.
Rotate Start function for rotation of 1D members.
Scale Starts function for change of the scale of 1D members.
Stretch Opens function for stretching of 1D members.
Mirror Opens function for mirroring of 1D members.
Copy Starts function for copying of 1D members.
Copy Add data Starts function for copying of additional data.
This item is only available if at least one entity of additional data is
in the current selection.
Move Add data Starts function for moving of additional data.
This item is only available if at least one entity of additional data is
in the current selection.
Delete Opens function for deletion of selected entities.
Picture wizard Opens wizard (i.e. a set of dialogues) that helps the user generate
pictures of the modelled structure.

Pop-up menu if the cursor is positioned over any entity
If the mouse cursor is located over an entity at the moment the mouse button is clicked, the program adds a few special
items that are related to the very entity under the cursor.
Brief information about the entity
under cursor
This menu item contains type and name of the entity under cursor.
This item performs no action, it just says the user which entity the
mouse cursor is positioned over.
Edit properties Opens the property dialogue for the entity under cursor. In this
property dialogue the parameters of the entity may be changed as
required.

The picture below shows a sample pop-up menu that was invoked with the mouse cursor positioned over an entity called
B3.
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Using the window pop-up menu
The pop-up menu of the graphical window can be invoked any time the graphical window is displayed and holds the
focus.
The procedure for opening and using the pop-up menu
1. Place the mouse cursor into the drawing area of the required graphical window (please notice that several
graphical windows may be opened at a time and therefore the cursor must be put into the required one).
2. If required, position the cursor over particular entity.
3. Click the right mouse button.
4. The pop-up menu appears on the screen.
5. Select the function that should be invoked and click the left mouse button.
6. The function starts or is performed (if the function does not require any parameters or response of the user, it is
carried out immediately).
7. Finish the opened function.

Note: If the pop-up menu is invoked accidentally, just place the mouse cursor anywhere into the empty area of
the graphical window and click the left mouse button. The pop-up menu disappears.

Adjusting the viewpoint (view direction + zoom)
Introduction to view adjustment
If a simple two-dimensional structure is being modelled and analysed, it may be sufficient enough to have just one side
view of the structure during the whole design and evaluation process. However, if a complex three-dimensional structure
is handled, the user needs to:
 view the structure from different sides,
 zoom in important details,
 zoom out to get the overall view,
 possibly limit the view to only a part of the structure.
All the points mentioned above can be covered by one term – the user needs to adjust the view.
This task may be carried out by means of numerous view adjusting functions that Scia Engineer offers in its menus and
toolbars.

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Adjusting the view
The adjustment of the view may consist of two separate operations:
 definition of the view direction (i.e. from which side the structure is looked at),
 specification of the distance of the view point from the structure (i.e. how big the structure appears to be on the
screen).
Scia Engineer offers a wide range of functions to adjust the required view. Some functions perform just one of the two
mentioned operations, others merge both of them into one action.
Menu functions for adjustment of the view
View > ZOOM > Zoom + Zooms in.
View > ZOOM > Zoom - Zoom out.
View > ZOOM > Zoom Cut-out Requires to define a cut-out for the zoom. The cut-out is then
magnified in order to fit into the whole area of the graphical
window.
Once the function is started the mouse cursor changes. Position it
to the upper left corner of the cut-out. Press the left mouse button
and hold it down. Drag the mouse to place the cursor to the
bottom right corner of the cut-out. Release the button.
View > ZOOM > Zoom All Zoom in or out in order to fit the whole structure into the whole
area of the graphical window.
View > ZOOM > Zoom All – Selection Zoom in or out in order to fit the selected entities into the whole
area of the graphical window.
View > View > View X Adjusts the view in such a way so that the structure is viewed from
the positive X-axis direction. Simultaneously zooms in or out to fit
the whole structure into the whole area of the graphical window.
View > View > View Y Adjusts the view in such a way so that the structure is viewed from
the positive Y-axis direction. Simultaneously zooms in or out to fit
the whole structure into the whole area of the graphical window.
View > View > View Z Adjusts the view in such a way so that the structure is viewed from
the positive Y-axis direction. Simultaneously zooms in or out to fit
the whole structure into the whole area of the graphical window.
View > View > View AXO Sets the view point vector to (1, -1, 1). Simultaneously zooms in or
out to fit the whole structure into the whole area of the graphical
window.

Toolbar functions for adjustment of the view
Functions for the adjustment of the view are arranged on toolbar View.

View in direction X Adjusts the view in such a way so that the structure is viewed from
the positive X-axis direction. Simultaneously zooms in or out to fit
the whole structure into the whole area of the graphical window.
View in direction Y Adjusts the view in such a way so that the structure is viewed from
the positive Y-axis direction. Simultaneously zooms in or out to fit
the whole structure into the whole area of the graphical window.
View in direction Z Adjusts the view in such a way so that the structure is viewed from
the positive Y-axis direction. Simultaneously zooms in or out to fit
the whole structure into the whole area of the graphical window.
View in direction AXO Sets the view point vector to (1, -1, 1). Simultaneously zooms in or
out to fit the whole structure into the whole area of the graphical
window.
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Zoom in Zooms in.
Zoom out Zooms out.
Zoom by cut-out Requires to define a cut-out for the zoom. The cut-out is then
magnified in order to fit into the whole area of the graphical
window.
Once the function is started the mouse cursor changes. Position it
to the upper left corner of the cut-out. Press the left mouse button
and hold it down. Drag the mouse to place the cursor to the
bottom right corner of the cut-out. Release the button.
Zoom all Zoom in or out in order to fit the whole structure into the whole
area of the graphical window.
Zoom all – selection Zoom in or out in order to fit the selected entities into the whole
area of the graphical window.

Window scroll-bar wheel-like buttons for adjustment of the view
Each graphical window has got three wheel-like buttons on the scroll-bar. If the scroll-bar is visible the "wheels" may be
used to adjust the required view. The function of the three wheel-like buttons is:
Zoom (located on the bottom scroll-bar) Zooms in or out.
Rotate horizontally (located on the
bottom scroll-bar)
Rotates the structure around the vertical axes (i.e. vertical axis of
the screen).
Rotate vertically (located on the right
hand side scroll-bar)
Rotates the structure around the horizontal axes (i.e. horizontal
axis of the screen).
The operation of the wheel-like buttons is simple. Just place the mouse cursor over the "wheel", press the left mouse
button, hold it down and "turn the wheel" with left-right, or up-down, movement of the mouse over the pad.
Mouse controlled adjustment of the view
In addition to the standard menu and toolbar functions Scia Engineer offers also a set of fast-access functions for the
view adjustment.
Zoom in

Press [Ctrl] and [Shift] keys simultaneously and hold them down.
Then press the right mouse button and hold it down as well. Move
the mouse up (away from you) over the pad.
Zoom out Press [Ctrl] and [Shift] keys simultaneously and hold them down.
Then press the right mouse button and hold it down as well. Move
the mouse down (towards you) over the pad.
Rotate

Press [Ctrl] key and hold it down. Then press the right mouse
button and hold it down as well. Move the mouse over the pad in
order to get the required view direction.
Shift

Press [Shift] key and hold it down. Then press the right mouse
button and hold it down as well. Move the mouse over the pad in
order to get the required position of the structure on the screen.
Zoom All Double-click the middle-button of your mouse to invoke
function Zoom All.

The pictures in the table are videos that demonstrate the individual view adjusting features. To start the video, just
position the mouse cursor over the picture. Or you may position the mouse cursor over the picture, click the right mouse
button to invoke the video pop-up menu and select function Play.
Rotation of view
The centre of rotation depends on initial conditions.
No entity is selected The centre of rotation is put into the point that forms a centroid of
an imaginary rectangular prism outscribed around the existing
model.
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Some entities are selected The centre of rotation is put into the point that forms a centroid of
an imaginary rectangular prism outscribed around the selected
entities.
One node is selected The selected node is the centre of rotation.
Clipping box is ON The centre of rotation is put into the point that forms a centroid of
the current clipping box.


Limiting the view
If a modelled structure is larger and complex, it may be convenient to display only a limited part of it. This "limitation" can
be achieved in two different ways:
Activity or layers The parts of the structure that are not necessary for the current
operations may be hidden, in other words removed from the view.
This approach is described in chapter Basic working tools >
Layers or Basic working tools > Activity.
Clipping box The view can restricted to a three-dimensional area (defined as a
rectangular prism) called clipping box. If the clipping box is
defined, only entities located inside it are displayed.
Features of the clipping box are described in chapter Advanced
working tools > Clipping box.


Adjusting the view numerically
The view direction may be specified also numerically by means of view direction vector. The vector can be defined in the
View parameters dialogue on tab View. The three numbers in the table represent the X, Y, and Z components of the view
direction vector.
Examples:
View direction vector View
-1.0
1.4
-1.0

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-1.0
-1.4
-1.0

0
0
1



Adjusting perspective projection
By default, an orthogonal projection is used to display three-dimensional models on the screen. As an alternative, also a
perspective projection can be activated.
The perspective projection can be set using:
 Either: Menu function View > View > Perspective view,
 Or: Button [Switch view to perspective mode] ( ) on toolbar View.

Special view settings
In addition to the adjustment of the viewpoint (view direction and zoom), some other properties of the view can be
controlled by the user.
Wire model in manipulations
This option can be set in:
 Either: Menu View > View > Wire model in manipulations,
 Or: Right mouse button pop-up menu of the graphical window.
Option is ON Only a simplified representation of the structure is displayed
during the mouse controlled adjustment of the view.
This option increases significantly the response of the computer
during the above mentioned operation. It is therefore more than
recommended for standard speed computers and other than very
simple models.
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Option is OFF This option results in "fully displayed structure" during the mouse
controlled adjustment of the view.
This option may lead to slow response of the computer and is
recommended only for very state-of-the-art and fast computers
and simple models.


View parameters
Introduction to view parameters
Each entity that is defined in Scia Engineer is not "just a geometrical shape". There is a good number of various
attributes attached to each entity. The attributes may be for example material, cross-section, layer, name, construction
type, etc. Each of the attributes that is defined for a particular entity can be displayed on the screen.
What’s more, some of the attributes such as for example cross-section or surface can be drawn in several ways. Scia
Engineer enables the user to control the way individual entities are displayed by means of view parameters.
These view parameters tell the program which particular attribute of each entity should be shown and which graphical
representation should be used.
View parameters can be defined en block for the whole structure as unique, or they may be defined separately for
individual entities. Each entity can be displayed with different view parameters.

Overview of view parameters
Available view parameters
 Tab Structure  Tab Labels  Tab Model
 Tab Loads  Tab View  Tab Miscellaneous

Note: In addition to these general view parameters, there are a few specialised tabs with view parameters for a
particular advanced module, e.g. Steel code check, etc. These tabs are not shown until such a module is
initialised.
Note: The following list contains the available view parameters. It should be noted that not all of them are
always offered in the Setup dialogue. The Setup dialogue offers only those parameters for which the appropriate
entity type has been already defined. E.g. until you define at least one support in your model, view parameters
for supports are not shown in the dialogue.
 Tab Structure

Tab Structure > Group Service
Display on opening the service
If ON, entities appropriate for the service are automatically displayed as soon as the service is opened (in the tree
menu). If OFF, no change of display takes place when a service is opened.

Tab Structure > Group Structure
Style + colour
It controls the style and colour of members of the model (beams, plates, shells, etc.)
normal: settings made in Setup > Colour/Lines dialogue are used,
by layers: each member is displayed in the colour of the appropriate layer, all members assigned to the same layer are of the
same colour,
by material: each member is displayed in the colour of the appropriate material, all members made of the same material are of
the same colour,
by cross-section: each member is displayed in the colour of the appropriate cross-section, all members of the same cross-
section are of the same colour,
according to structural type: each member is displayed in the colour corresponding to its structural type.
Note: If e.g. two materials, two layers, two cross-sections have assigned the same colour, than the same colour is used for
members of different controlling property.
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Draw member system line
The system line (midline) is drawn if this option is ON.
Note: If this option is OFF and also Member surface is OFF, then the whole structure disappears from your view.

Member system line style
It controls the style of the member's system line (midline)
Definitions: System line is a line connecting the nodes of a member. This line is what you define when you input a new
member. Fine elements are also generated on this system line. Reference line coincides with the system line if no eccentricity of
a member is defined. If eccentricity is defined, the reference line is the centroidal axis of the member. Even if eccentricity is
defined, the finite elements are generated on the system line (and the defined eccentricity is used in the relevant formulas of the
finite elements). Bar is a highlighted system line. However, the bar is not drawn from the node to the node. It just indicates the
member and leaves some space around the node for further information to be displayed.

system line: the system line of members is drawn.

system line + reference line: system line (solid) and possibly reference line (dashed) is displayed

bar: highlighted "system line" is drawn

system line + bar: the system line is displayed and it is highlighted with the bar

Model type
You can define different geometry parameters for the "calculation model" of your structure and for the " structural model" of your
structure. The calculation model is used for the numerical analysis, the structural model can be used for drawings, detailing,
attractive presentations of your project, etc. For example, you can define different eccentricities in the two models, you can
define cut-offs at ends of 1D members in the structural model, etc. This parameter tells the program which model you want to
see on the screen.
analysis model: the parameters relating to the calculation model are used to display the structure
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structural model: the parameters relating to the structural model are used to display the structure
Example: When you open the property table of a member, the calculation-model-parameters are in the top part of the table. The
structural -model-parameters are grouped lower in the table under heading structural model.


Member surface
It defines whether the surface of members should be displayed.

Rendering
specifies the style the surface of members is displayed
wired: only the wired scheme of the surface is displayed

hidden lines: the real surface is calculated and those surface lines that are hidden from the view are not drawn
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rendered with edges: the real rendered view with outlined edges is displayed

rendered: the real rendered view is displayed

transparent: the surface is filled but it is transparent (this rendering style may be e.g. useful when you want to present designed
steel frame connections - the structure may be transparent, the connection may be fully rendered)

Example: The picture shows the combination of transparent rendering style for 1D member and full-rendering for connection.
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Draw cross-section
This option tells if the cross-section of a 1D member should be displayed.

Cross-section style
If the previous option is ON, this item defines the style of the displayed cross-section.
section: one section is drawn about in the middle of each 1D member. The section is 3D oriented, i.e. it is displayed AS IS in
the structure and in some views may not be clearly recognisable.
in screen plane: one section is drawn about in the middle of each 1D member. The section is transformed into the screen plane
so that it is clearly recognisable in all view of the structure.
longitudinal XZ: a short part of XZ projection of the 1D member surface is drawn. In other views than side view, the section
may be hardly recognisable.
longitudinal XY: a short part of XZ projection of the 1D member surface is drawn. In other views than plan view, the section
may be hardly recognisable.

Tab Structure > Group Structural node
Display
The FE nodes of the structure can be displayed or hidden. Especially in very large models, it may be convenient to hide
the nodes when a picture of the whole model is to be drawn.

Mark style
Specifies the style )shape) of the node mark.

Mark size
Specifies the size of the node mark.

Tab Structure > Group Member parameters
Buckling lengths
Buckling lengths (in all directions) for individual 1D members are displayed.

Member non-linearities
If a non-linearity is assigned to a member, a symbol is displayed indicating the type of the assigned non-linearity.

FEM Type
Various FEM types can be assigned to individual members (tension only, normal 1D member) and a description
indicating the selected type is displayed if this option is ON.

Tab Structure > Group Mesh
Draw mesh
The generated mesh is displayed (the mesh can be displayed only if it has been already generated).

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Draw refinement
The FE mesh can be refined in manually defined area and the defined refinements are displayed if this option is ON

Note: The finite element mesh can ONLY be displayed if at one calculation has been already performed and its
results are still available.

Tab Structure > Group Local axes
Nodes
Axes of local coordinate systems of individual nodes are displayed.

Members 1D
Axes of local coordinate systems of individual 1D members are displayed.

Members 2D
Axes of local coordinate systems of individual plate and shell members are displayed.

Tab Structure > Group Sections
Members 1D
Sections (i.e. sections for the evaluation of results) on 1D members are displayed.

Members 2D
Sections (i.e. sections for the evaluation of results) through plate/shell members are displayed.

Tab Structure > Group Calculation info
Display singularity
If a calculation fails, the problematic place is shown.

 Tab Labels
Tab Labels > Group Beam labels
Display label
It controls the group as a whole - if ON, the selected labels are displayed, if OFF, no labels of the group are shown.

Name, Cross-section name, Cross-section type, Length, Layer, Type and priority
Individual labels correspond to individual items in the property table of a member.

Tab Labels > Group Node labels
The meaning is more or less self-explanatory.

Tab Labels > Group Slab labels
The meaning of most of the view flags is more or less self-explanatory.
Edges
Each edge of a slab has a unique number (unique within the single slab) and these edge numbers are displayed if this
option is ON.

Tab Labels > Group Mesh
Display label
see above

Nodes
FE-node numbers

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Elements 1D
Numbers of 1D finite elements.

Elements 2D
Numbers of 2D finite elements.

Note: The finite element mesh can ONLY be displayed if the calculation has been already performed and its
results are still available or if the mesh has been generated by means of function Calculation > Generate
mesh.

Tab Labels > Group Buckling lengths
Display label, Name
The meaning is more or less self-explanatory

Label
Description of the buckling length including the dimension.

Tab Labels > Group Sections
Display label, Name
The meaning is more or less self-explanatory.

Tab Labels > Group Non-linearities
Display label
The label of the defined type of non-linearity.

 Tab Model
Tab Model > Group Service
Display on opening the service
If ON, entities appropriate for the service are automatically displayed as soon as the service is opened (in the tree
menu). If OFF, no change of display takes place when a service is opened.

Tab Model > Group Supports
The meaning of most of the view flags is more or less self-explanatory.

Tab Model > Group Other model data
The meaning of the view flags is more or less self-explanatory.

Tab Model > Group Support labels
Displays the label of supports.

Tab Model > Group Labels of other model data
Displays the label of other model data such as hinges, cross-links, etc. This view parameter displays or hides the label
for all the types of other model data at the same time. It is not possible to attach the label to e.g. one type of other model
data only.

 Tab Loads
Tab Loads > Group Service
Display on opening the service
If ON, entities appropriate for the service are automatically displayed as soon as the service is opened (in the tree
menu). If OFF, no change of display takes place when a service is opened.

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Tab Loads > Group Display loads
Display
If OFF, no load is displayed at all. This item controls the whole tab.

Load case
You can select here the load case to be displayed.

Plane load generator
Displays the loading polygon of the plane load generator.

Absences
Displays the absences.

Absence
You can select here the absence group to be displayed.

Tab Loads > Groups for individual type of load
The meaning of the view flags is more or less self-explanatory.

Tab Loads > Groups Labels of loads
Display label
This item controls the display of load labels.

Name
If ON, the name of the load is attached to every loading impulse (force, moment, temperature load, etc.)

Value
Shows the "input" value of the load.
See the note below.

Total value
Shows the "real" value of the load.
See the note below.

Note: Items Value and Total value are significant for loads that are not defined directly by its force or moment
impulse, but that were defined by means of a wind generator, load generator, or as a predefined load. For such
loads, Scia Engineer can display two different types of data. First, the input value (e.g. width load) can be
shown, i.e. the value. Second, the calculated load per meter of length can be displayed (i.e. the total value).

Tab Loads > Groups Masses
Displays the masses.

Tab Loads > Groups Labels of loads
Display label
This item controls the display of mass labels.

Name
If ON, the name of the mass is attached to the mass symbol.

Value
Shows the size of the mass.
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 Tab View
Tab View > Groups Display tools
Disable tooltips
If ON, no tooltips in the graphical window are shown. I.e. no information concerning the entity under cursor is displayed. This
option may reduce the response time in large projects. It also reduces the size of images in the Picture gallery.
Before this option takes effect, the screen must be regenerated.

Disable layers
If ON, no information on layers is stored in the data for the graphical window. This option may reduce the response time in large
projects. It also reduces the size of images in the Picture gallery.
However, if this option is ON, it is not possible to e.g. make export of the drawing into DXF file including layers – only one
"universal" layer is exported.
Before this option takes effect, the screen must be regenerated.
On the other hand, this option does not prevent you from using e.g. activity by layers. This feature is fully working regardless of
this parameter.

View vector X, Y, Z
Enables the user to numerically adjust the view direction.

Clipping box
Switches the Clipping box ON/OFF.

 Tab Miscellaneous
Tab Miscellaneous > Group Results diagram
Results
Displays the result diagrams on members.

Tab Miscellaneous > Group Construction stages
Display
Displays data relating to construction stages.
It controls the group as a whole - if ON, the selected labels are displayed, if OFF, no labels of the group are shown.

Already installed
Already installed members are displayed.

Currently installed
Currently installed members are displayed.

Not yet available
Members that are not yet available are displayed.

Already removed
Members that have been already removed are displayed.

Tab Miscellaneous > Group Construction stages data labels
Label local beam history
Attaches labels to the local 1D member history.

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Tab Miscellaneous > Group Connection force
Display
Displays the forces in connections (in joints of several 1D members)

Tab Miscellaneous > Group Connection force labels
Display label
Displays the labels of connection forces.
It controls the group as a whole - if ON, the selected labels are displayed, if OFF, no labels of the group are shown.

Name
The name is attached to connection forces.


Adjusting the view parameters
In general there are three ways to adjust the view parameters:
 in the Setup dialogue,
 using the fast-access group-commands,
 using the fast-access window-buttons for certain types of entities.
Adjusting the view parameters using the Setup dialogue
The Setup dialogue provides for the adjustment of all available view parameter. In addition to the parameters
themselves, the dialogue contains also other controls. They are grouped at the bottom of the dialogue.

Check / uncheck group If the cursor is placed on the name of a group of view parameters (in any
of the tabs), it is possible to use this check box to select or deselect the
whole group.
Lock position You can move the dialogue to any position on your screen and check this
option. When you closed the dialogue and open it again, it is not displayed
in the centre of the screen (which is the default position), but in the place
you "locked" it.
Check / uncheck all This check box can be used to select or deselect all the view parameters
on the active tab.

The procedure to open the Setup dialogue
The Setup dialogue can be opened using:
 the button Fast adjustment of viewflags on whole model (or if required Fast adjustment of viewflags on
selection) on the button-bar of the graphical window and selecting command Setup dialogue,
 the pop-up menu (opened by a click of the right mouse button on the area of the graphical window) and selecting
the function Set view parameters for all (or if required Set view parameters for selected).

Adjusting the view parameters using the fast-access group-commands
For selected groups of entities (the groups in terms of the overview of available parameters) fast-access group-
commands are available in the menu opened through the button Fast adjustment of viewflags on whole model (or if
required Fast adjustment of viewflags on selection) on the button-bar of the graphical window.
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Most groups from the Setup dialogue can be quickly controlled (switched ON/OFF) through these commands. Each
command in the menu can be used to display or hide the entities (labels) covered by the corresponding group. The
commands work like a toggle menu item: one click on them selects the group, next click deselects the group, etc.
Detailed "toggling"
The fast-access group-commands can work in two modes. The required mode can be set in the menu that opens when
you click on the button Fast adjustment of viewflags on whole model (or Fast adjustment of viewflags on
selection) on the button-bar of the graphical window.
Default
(i.e. Detailed Off)
In this mode, whenever you turn the corresponding group OFF, the whole
group becomes hidden.
Whenever you toggle the group ON, the whole group is displayed.
Detailed
(i.e. Detailed On)
In this mode, whenever you turn the corresponding group OFF, the whole
group becomes hidden (so far it is the same as in the pervious mode).
But, whenever you toggle the group ON, the only those entities are
displayed that are "ticked" (selected) in the Setup dialogue.
See the example below.

Note: The Detailed mode is not available until you at least once open the Setup dialogue for View parameters,
make your settings there and confirm them with [OK] button.
Example
Let us take group Other model data. It can offer the following entities:
 hinges on 1D members,
 hinges on slabs,
 cross-link,
 rigid arm,
 relative node,
 internal node,
 internal edge.
Let us suppose that you use Fast adjustment of viewflags on whole model.
First, let us talk about the Default mode. If you toggle the group OFF, all the above listed entities become invisible. If you
then toggle the group ON, all the above listed entities are displayed on the screen.
Now, let us move to the Detailed mode. Let us suppose that in the Setup dialogue, the following settings were made
when the dialogue was edited last time:
hinges on beams

hinges on slabs

cross-link

rigid arm

relative node

internal node

internal edge


If you toggle the group OFF, all the above listed entities become invisible. There is no difference in hiding the group.
However, when you toggle the group ON, only the selected entities are shown on the screen (i.e. hinges on 1D
members, cross-link, rigid arm, relative node) while the entities that are not marked in the Setup dialogue remain hidden
(i.e. hinges on slabs, internal node, internal edge).
This mode is intended for such a style or phase of work when you need to check your model repeatedly and you want to
see and hide in turns some part of your model.
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Adjusting the view parameters using fast-access window-buttons for certain types of entities.
The button bar of the graphical window offers a set of buttons for fast displaying or hiding of certain types of entities or
their labels.
Show / hide surfaces Displays / hides the surface outline of members (1D members, slabs,
shells).
Render geometry Switches ON/OFF rendering of members.
Fast adjustment of viewflags
on whole model
Offers a menu with fast-access group-commands (see above) or opens the
Setup dialogue (see above).The adjustment is valid for all entities in the
model.
Fast adjustment of viewflags
on selection
Offers a menu with fast-access group-commands (see above) or opens the
Setup dialogue (see above). The adjustment is valid for currently selected
entities.
Show / hide label of nodes Displays / hides numbers of nodes. It effects the whole model.
Show / hide label of members Displays / hides numbers of members (1D members, slabs, shells). It
effects the whole model.
Show/hide dot grid Displays / hides the dot grid.
Select load case for display Selects the load case that will be displayed if the view parameter for load is
switched on.

Note: Please note that some view parameters always relate to the whole structure. For example, it is not
possible to display reinforcement in selected 1D members only, it is either shown in the whole structure, or
hidden everywhere. In order to see e.g. the mentioned reinforcement in selected 1D members only, function
Activity must be used to hide (or display in grey colour) the "unwanted" members.
Note: Not all view parameters are always offered in the Setup dialogue or in the menu with fast-access group-
commands. The Setup dialogue and the menu with fast-access group-commands offer only those parameters
for which the appropriate entity type has been already defined. E.g. until you define at least one support in your
model, view parameters for supports are not shown.

Predefined view parameters settings
Full and complete setting of all the view parameters may be awkward and tiresome task. Especially if the user needs to
repeatedly swap between two types of display.
Consequently, Scia Engineer offers several sets of predefined settings. The predefined sets should cover most of
commonly needed cases. The predefined sets can be found in menu View > Set view parameters and they are:

Model of structure

This variant displays the structure itself as is. Any supports, loads, etc. are not
shown to provide for clear view of the structure.
Analysis model

This option displays the model with the focus laid on the numerical calculation.
Therefore, only axes of individual 1D members are displayed and they are
accompanied with supports, loads, local co-ordinate systems and other data that
are important from the calculation point of view.
Structural model

This variant shows the structural model of the structure.

Other predefined views may be found in the main View menu.

Wired

This option displays the wired representation of the model.
Surfaces of members are switched on.
Rendered

This option switches on the rendering of entities. Surfaces of members are switched
on.
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Transparent

This option displays members using transparent rendering. Surfaces of members
are switched on.

Note: The number and types of predefined views may vary depending on the "skin" and mode you select for
Scia Engineer. For example, the Graphical User Interface of the full Scia Engineer may look different from 3D
Free Form Modeller or ESA Modeller (the last two are accessible, for example, when you call Scia Engineer
from inside Allplan application).


Drawing of input data with eccentricity
Terminology
system line
The line inputted by the user, it has nodes at its ends.
eccentricity of beam
The offset of a 1D member defined in the local coordinates of the 1D member. We have the eccentricity in y- and z-
direction.
reference line
The reference line of a 1D member if obtained when the eccentricity is added to the system line. The reference line
corresponds to the centroidal axis of the 1D member.
eccentricity of loads
The offset of the load (or we may say add-data in general) related to the reference line.

Current status
Recent versions of Scia Engineer drew loads relatively to the system line of the corresponding 1D member.
Consequently, users could not check their real position on the 1D members, which could result in the wrong
interpretation of input data and also results as we have to realise that results are related to the reference line
and not to the system lines.
A related topic is the drawing of surfaces (and reference lines) of 1D members with regard to Construction
Stages (CS). Cross-sections could change their shapes over time (in general the shape may differ for every
CS). This influences the position of the reference lines of 1D members in individual CS and, of course, it also
influences the drawing of loads and results on 1D members.

Drawing of input data with the eccentricity taken into account
Loads
So far, the load was displayed on the system line of the 1D member. This was a correct solution only if the load was
defined without any eccentricity and if the reference line (centroidal line) of the 1D member coincided with the system
line (i.e. in the case of a straight 1D member the line connecting the end nodes of the 1D member). However, as soon as
any eccentricity was introduced either to the 1D member or to the load, this display style became misleading.
The new solution is based on the principle that all the loads (and other displayed quantities such as hinges, and even
results) are always displayed in their real position.
A few examples dealing with input data follows.
A 1D member with a one-side haunch subjected to a distributed load.

As you can see, the load follows the reference line (centroidal axis) of the 1D member.
A 1D member with a one-side haunch subjected to an eccentric distributed load.
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Here, the load acts on eccentricity defined in the z-direction. In the next picture, also the eccentricity in y-direction was
introduced to the load.



When required, also a line showing the defined eccentricity of the load can be drawn. Thus, you can more easily see
what the real action of the load is. In addition, in the case of several eccentrically loaded 1D members located close to
each other, it will be unambiguous which load belongs to which 1D member.
The procedure to display the "eccentricity lines"
1. Open View parameters settings dialogue.
2. Select Tab Loads/Masses.
3. Tick option Display eccentricity.
4. Confirm with [OK].
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In addition to the "eccentricity lines", you can also display the magnitude of the specified eccentricity.
The procedure to display the eccentricity label
1. Open View parameters settings dialogue.
2. Select Tab Loads/Masses.
3. Tick option Labels of loads > Display label and Labels of loads > Eccentricity label.
4. Confirm with [OK].

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Note: Loads are always drawn at their real location. View parameter Miscellaneous > Drawing style for
Model+Loads > Show add data, results at has no effect on the loads.
Supports
Let us have two beams supported at the end. One of the beams is defined with the system-line in the centre line of the
beam. The second beam has the system line at the bottom surface.

The support is displayed where its real location in the calculation model is: (i) in the first case at the centre line of the
beam, (ii) in the second case at the bottom edge of the beam.
Note: Supports are allways drawn at the system line of the beam. View parameter Miscellaneous > Drawing
style for Model+Loads > Show add data, results at has no effect on the supports.
Hinges
Hinges, which also belong to additional data of the Scia Engineer model, can also take into account possible eccentricity
of the 1D member at which they are defined.
Unlike loads and supports however, hinges allow the user to decide on the drawing style.

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The procedure to select the display mode
1. Open View parameters settings dialogue.
2. Select Tab Misc..
3. Set the option Drawing style for Model+Loads > Show add data, results at to:
a. Reference line in order to see the real position of the hinge (the hinge is put on a short rigid arm
that is not drawn in the screen).
b. System line in order to see the schematic position of the hinge.
4. Confirm with [OK].
Results
Note: Results are always drawn in the system line. (Despite the specification, it was not done in this version.)
Structural model
Note: The display of eccentric entities relates exclusively to the analysis model. It has no relation to the
structural shape.
Lights
If rendering is switched on in View parameters, you may control the direction of the light used to illuminate the graphical
screen.
The following examples give the idea of what the effect of the light direction is.





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The dialogue for the adjustment of the light direction can be opened through menu function: View > Light. When the
dialogue is opened, the light direction can be adjusted by a single click on the picture of the ball in the dialogue. The
effect is immediately shown in the graphical window, so it is quite easy to find the required light direction. When the light
is adjusted appropriately, close the dialogue.
Regeneration of view
Introduction to regeneration of view
It is a common phenomenon in CAD and similar "drawing" programs that once the drawing becomes excessive or is
being edited and modified, the "current state" displayed on the screen may happen not to reflect completely the "reality".
This is due to the fact that it is not possible to guarantee a flawless automatic regeneration of the view. If the automatic
regeneration of the view had to be ensured, it would result in unbearably slow response of the program.
Therefore, Scia Engineer, similarly to other graphically oriented program, offers the user the possibility to regenerate the
view manually at any time when necessary.

Redrawing the active graphical window
This function redraws the graphical window if some changes affecting the display were made and the window has not
been regenerated automatically.
The procedure to regenerate the contents of the graphical window
1. Press button [Redraw] ( ) on toolbar View.
2. The contents of the active window is regenerated and redrawn.

Calculator
Calculator
Any time you enter a number into an edit box or command line, you may use the internal calculator. This calculator
provides for basic operations: addition, multiplication, subtraction and division. You may use brackets, basic goniometric
functions (tan, sin, cos) and it is possible to calculate powers of numbers. The calculator takes account of priorities of
operators.
If you want to use the calculator to calculate the value in the input box, you must start with the equals sign (=).
As soon as you type the first character, a temporary field - "bubble" - appears just below the input box. This new field
calculates the result of the input formula. If the field shows "error" than the syntax of the formula is invalid.

Valid operators and functions
= obligatory, this character must start the formula
+ addition; e.g. 1+2
- subtraction; e.g. 2-1
* multiplication; e.g. 1*1
/ division; e.g. 2/1
^ power;; e.g. 2^3
() brackets; e.g. 2*(3+3)
e exponential notation, useful for large numbers; e.g. 1e5
sin() sinus; e.g. sin(45)
cos() cosine; e.g. cos(30)
tg() tangent; e.g. tg(45)

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The calculator may be used also in the situation when set of numbers is to be input, e.g. when point coordinates are
defined. In such a case any of the coordinates can be input as formula, and any of the coordinates can be input as
number.
Example 1
The input of point
1;=2*(3+2);sin(45)*5
is "decoded" as:
X = 1
Y = 2*(3+2) = 10
Z = sin(45)*5 = 3,5355339
Example 2


Cleaner
Removing unnecessary data from the project
When you work for some time on a project, it may happen that some data you input at the beginning are not relevant any
more. For example, you may be force to change the material grades, you decide on replacing certain types of cross-
sections, you may opt for another type of reinforcement, the load the structure is subjected to may have been altered,
etc.
In order to keep the project (especially a large one) "free of ballast", it is convenient to remove all the entities that are no
longer necessary.
Sometimes, it may happen that you must completely abandon the solution you chosen and you must start from scratch –
sometimes not exactly, but almost.
For all these situations, you may use tool called Cleaner. It is a simple tool that enables you to select which particular
data should be removed from your project.
There are several groups defined within the Cleaner dialogue with each of them containing usually several items. The
number and type of the items depends on the data that were defined in the project. The Cleaner dialogue offers only the
data that really exist in the project.
Below, you will find an example of the groups and individual items in them (the complete list would be too long and it
would contain all possible entities that can be defined in Scia Engineer).

General This group allows you to delete e.g. results, temporary solver data, mesh, etc.
Document Here you can clear the document.
Model This group allows you to remove e.g. supports, hinges, etc.
Loads It is possible to remove all the applied loads or just the selected types of loads.
Sets Defined sets such as load cases, combinations, bore holes, stressing beds, etc. can be deleted
here.
Unused library entities The unused items in specified libraries can be removed from the project to make the project file
more compact.
Coordinate information
Information about coordinates of selected points
Function Coordinates info enables the user to review the coordinates of selected points in the model and to measure
the distance between two defined points.
The function is easy to use. Once it is started, the user just selects (clicks) the required points (nodes) in the model and a
simple dialogue shows the information:
 coordinates of the selected point in the global coordinate system,
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 vector (in the global coordinate system) from the previous point to the last point,
 coordinates of the selected point in the current user coordinate system,
 vector (in the current user coordinate system) from the previous point to the last point,
 distance between last two selected points,
 angle defined by the last three selected points.



The procedure to obtain the information about coordinates
1. Start function Coordinates info:
a. either through menu function: Tools > Coordinates info,
b. or through tree menu function: Tools > Coordinates info,
c. or through icon on toolbar Tools.
2. The information dialogue is opened on the screen.
3. If necessary, position the dialogue so that it does not it does not hinder you.
4. Select (click) the points you are interested in.
5. When ready, use the close button in the top right corner to close the information dialogue.

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Materials
Introduction to materials
Material is one of the principal parameters that affect the behaviour of the structure.
In Scia Engineer, the user can define his/her own material or use a pre-defined material type from Scia Engineer
database. The predefined materials correspond to materials defined in particular technical codes. The properties of
predefined materials thus depend on the active code adjusted in the current project.

Material types
In Scia Engineer the user may select from the following material types:
steel represents material based on a particular national code for materials
concrete represents material based on a particular national code for materials
timber represents material based on a particular national code for materials
general enables the user to define an arbitrary material that is completely independent on
codes assigned to the project

Note: Even the properties of a code-based material may be edited.

Material properties
For each material, the user must specify its properties. It is clear that for material types corresponding with material
grades of a particular technical code the properties are predefined.
The properties may be divided into two groups:
 basic material properties,
 advanced material properties.
Basic material properties
The basic properties are those that are necessary for the standard finite element calculation of the model. Without them,
no analysis is possible.
The basic parameters are:
 unit mass,
 modulus of elasticity,
 Poisson’s coefficient.
Advanced material properties
The advanced parameters may be required for:
 either an advanced type of calculation (e.g. non-linear analysis, dynamic calculation, etc.),
 or checking to a particular technical code.
Examples of advanced parameters may be:
 independent G modulus,
 logarithmic decrement,
 nominal or design strength,
 ultimate strength,
 etc.
There are also special material parameters that do not affect the calculation and results, but that may help the user to
make the model clearer. This is e.g. colour. The colour may be used when 1D members are displayed on the screen.
Thus, all the 1D members made of the same material will be drawn in the same colour. The display style can be set in
View parameters.

Note: The units for the individual material parameters may be set in Units setup.
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Materials manager
The Materials manager is a tool that provides for control of material defined in the project. The Materials manager
provides for creating, editing, deleting, and saving of materials.
The manager itself uses the same "manager philosophy" as other Scia Engineer managers do. It contains control
buttons for the standard manager operations:
[New] It creates a new material.
[Edit] It opens an editing dialogue where the material’s properties may
be changed.
[Copy] This function creates a copy of the selected material.
[Change] It enables the user to replace an existing material with a new one.
All the members in the project that ware made of the original
material are now made of the new one.
[Delete] It removes the selected material from the project database. It is
not possible to delete material that is used anywhere in the
structure.
[Undo] / [Redo] It performs an Undo or Redo operation.
[Text Output] It opens a small document window with a table that summarises
properties of selected materials.
[Read from system database] It reads predefined materials from system database.
[Read from user database] It reads material types that the user has saved into his/her
external database.
[Save to user database] It saves selected material types into the user’s external database.

In order to open the Materials manager use:
 either menu function Tools > Materials,
 or tree menu function Tools > Materials,
 or button Materials ( ) on toolbar Project.

Note: The Materials manager can also be opened from various property dialogues that contain item Material.
Such an item contains a button to open the Materials manager.

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137
Specifying the materials for the project
When a new project is being created, the user has to specify basic project parameters. Material is one of the compulsory
parameters. It is not necessary to specify all the materials that will be used. However, at least one material type must be
selected (e.g. steel).

The program adds into the project all material grades defined for the selected material type in the active code of the
project. The active code can be also defined in the project setup dialogue.
It is possible to add some material type in the same way any time later (i.e. not only during the phase of project creation).
The user may use tree menu function Project to open the Project settings dialogue. Here it is possible to add ticks to
any other material types that have not been selected at the beginning. Once again, the program adds into the project all
materials that are specified in the active national code for the selected material type.

Note: Unless the specific material type is selected in the project settings, it is not possible to add such material
into the project. For example, unless timber is selected in the project settings dialogue, the material manager
does not allow the user to add any timber material.

Defining a new code-specific material
All the code specific materials (that means material grades for particular material types specified by a particular national
technical code) are stored in the material system database.
The procedure for the definition of a new code-specific material
1. Open the Materials manager.
2. Click button [System database] ( ).
3. A dialogue with available materials appears on the screen. Its left hand side window shows that materials defined
in the project. The right hand side window lists all available code-specific materials.
4. Add as many materials into the project as required.
5. Close the System database dialogue.
6. Close the Materials manager.

Note: Unless the specific material type is selected in the project settings, it is not possible to add such material
into the project. For example, unless timber is selected in the project settings dialogue, the material manager
does not allow the user to add any timber material.

Defining a new user-defined code-specific material
The user may need to define a material (related to a specific code) that does not coincide with any standard grade
specified in technical codes.
The procedure for the definition of a new user-defined code-specific material
1. Open the Materials manager.
2. Click button [New] ( ).
3. Select the required material type.
4. A new material is added to the List of defined materials in the Materials manager.
5. Click button [Edit] ( ).
6. The editing dialogue for the selected material is opened.
7. Type required parameters.
8. Confirm with [OK] button.
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9. Repeat steps 2 to 9 as many times as required.
10. Close the Materials manager.

Note: Unless the specific material type is selected in the project settings, it is not possible to add such material
into the project. For example, unless timber is selected in the project settings dialogue, the material manager
does not allow the user to add any timber material.

Defining a new general material
The user may need to define any non-standard material that will be used for calculations. It won’t be possible to use such
material for code checks, but it may be used for other calculations.
The procedure for the definition of a new general material
1. Open the Materials manager.
2. Click button [New] ( ).
3. Select the material type General.
4. A new material is added to the list of defined materials in the Materials manager.
5. Click button [Edit] ( ).
6. The editing dialogue for the selected material is opened.
7. Type required parameters.
8. Confirm with [OK] button.
9. Repeat steps 2 to 9 as many times as required.
10. Close the Materials manager.

Note: Unless the material type General is selected in the project settings, it is not possible to add such material
into the project.

Editing the defined material
The user may need to edit the properties of a particular material. It can be done in the Materials manager.
The procedure to edit the materials properties
1. Open the Materials manager.
2. Select the material that should be edited.
3. Click button [Edit] ( ).
4. The editing dialogue for the selected material is opened.
5. Type required parameters.
6. Confirm with [OK] button.
7. Repeat steps 2 to 6 as many times as required.
8. Close the Materials manager.

Copying the defined material
If necessary, it is possible to create a copy of any of the already defined materials. This copy may be later edited.
The procedure for the copying of a particular material
1. Open the Materials manager.
2. Select the material that should be copied.
3. Click button [Copy] ( ).
4. A copy of the selected material is added to the List of defined materials in the Materials manager.
5. Click button [Edit] ( ).
6. The editing dialogue for the selected material is opened.
7. Type required parameters.
8. Confirm with [OK] button.
9. Repeat steps 2 to 8 as many times as required.
10. Close the Materials manager.

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Changing the defined material
Sometimes, the need may arise to replace a particular material with another one. E.g. to increase the grade of material
used for some structural members. The user must select the original material, specify the substituting material, and the
program applies the change to all affected members.
The procedure for the change of a particular material
1. Open the Materials manager.
2. Select the material to be changed.
3. Click button [Change] ( ).
4. Select the type of the substituting material.
5. The material is replaced.
6. If required, click button [Edit] ( ).
7. The editing dialogue for the selected material is opened.
8. Type required parameters.
9. Confirm with [OK] button.
10. Repeat steps 2 to 10 as many times as required.
11. Close the Materials manager.

Deleting the defined material
Any material that is no longer necessary may be deleted from the project.
The procedure for the deletion of a particular material
1. Open the Materials manager.
2. Select the material to be deleted.
3. Click button [Delete] ( ).
4. Confirm the action.
5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 as many times as required.
6. Close the Materials manager.

Reviewing the defined material parameters
There are a few ways to see and scrutinise the parameters of a particular material.
Property table in the Materials
manager
The Materials manager contains a vertically oriented window that
displays the parameters of currently selected material in a
property table.
Property table in the dialogue for
editing of a material
Each dialogue for editing of a material contains a property table
with all the available parameters of the edited material.
Document-style view in the preview
window
This is the most sophisticated kind of display for parameters of a
material.

Property table in the Materials manager
The property table in the Materials manager provides for quick overview of parameters of individual materials. It is
possible to edit some of the parameters.
Property table in the dialogue for editing of a particular material type
The property table in this dialogue provides for both lucid overview of the material parameters and their straightforward
modification.
Basic Reference Guide
140

Document-style view in the preview window
The material parameters can be displayed in tabular form in the Preview window. The preview window displays a table
with all the material parameters sorted in it.
The table is in fact a standard Scia Engineer document table and consequently its format can be adjusted to meet any
specific requirements. The adjustment can be done the same way as with any other document table.
The picture below shows a sample preview of material properties for three selected materials.



141
Cross-sections
Introduction to cross-sections
A cross-section together with material is a basic property of a 1D member. In practice, one can meet a wide range of
various cross-section types, shapes, and sizes. Scia Engineer provides powerful tolls for easy definition of almost any
cross-section type.
A cross-section in Scia Engineer is defined not only by dimensions and shape, but also by the material or materials used.
This means that if you want to use in your project the exactly same shape of a cross-section for two different 1D
members and each of the two 1D members is made of a different material, let’s say of wood and concrete, you have to
define two different cross-sections: one of wood and the other of concrete.
To minimize the effort the user has to invest in order to define a cross-section, the program offers selection from a
plentiful library of:
 industrially produced steel profiles (e.g. I-beams, channels, angles, tubular profiles, etc.),
 common geometric shapes,
 often used shapes for thin-walled cross-sections,
 common shapes of concrete profiles,
 commonly used welded steel sections (both open and box) made of steel flats,
 often applied two material built-up sections,
 possible combinations of two or more steel cross-sections welded together,
 variants of rolled cross-section pairs,
 standard bridge sections,
 solutions for haunch application,
 common timber profiles.
In addition, the program allows the user to define an arbitrary cross-section regarding shape, size, number of parts,
number of materials used for individual parts, etc. If required in some special cases, a cross-section may be defined not
via its shape and size, but only by means of explicitly typed sectional characteristics as the characteristics are what is
essential for the calculation.

Sectional characteristics and other properties
Overview of sectional characteristics and parameters
The calculation method (applied in the calculation module of Scia Engineer) requires some characteristics of cross-
sections to be determined beforehand and supplied in the form of input data. In addition, some other sectional
characteristics are required for the design and check of cross-sections according to appropriate national technical
standards.
Scia Engineer calculates all the required sectional characteristics and offers them both (i) to the calculation module in the
form of internally supplied data, and (ii) to the user in the form of editable tables.
In addition to sectional characteristics, a cross-section in Scia Engineer has some additional parameters such as name,
material, type description, colour, etc. All of these parameters are available to the user for inserting, editing, reviewing,
and printing.
Generally, the parameters may be divided into three groups:
basic sectional characteristics Sectional characteristics that are common to all cross-section
types, i.e. sectional area, moment of inertia, section modulus,
radius of gyration, position of centroid, position of shear centre,
etc.
sectional characteristics specific for
particular cross-section type
Some sectional characteristics that are specific for a particular
cross-section type and are undefined or unused for other types;
for example, stiffeners for concrete or bridge sections, etc.
general parameters Mainly non-numerical parameters such as material, name, colour,
etc.

Each of the groups is dealt with in a separate chapter.
Basic Reference Guide
142

Sectional characteristics
The user normally defines a cross-section by means of its type and dimensions. Scia Engineer calculates automatically
the required sectional characteristics.
The basic automatically calculated sectional characteristics are:
A Surface
Ay/A, Az/A Effective surface for shear in y and z direction respectively (ESA-Prima Win considers
shear force deformation).
AL Painting surface of the cross-section defined per one metre of length.
Iy, Iz Moment of inertia for bending around the principal y and z axis respectively
IyLCS, IzLCS Moment of inertia for bending around the yLCS and zLCS axis respectively. The yLCS,
zLCS axes are parallel to the axes of the input axis system, and go through the centre
of gravity. The input axis system is visible on the picture of the cross-section.
Alpha Angle between the x axis of the input axis system and the principal x axis.
It Torsion moment of inertia.
Iw Warping constant.
Wely, Welz Elastic section modulus for bending around the y and z axis respectively
Wply, Wplz Plastic section modulus for bending around the y and z axis respectively
cyLCS, czLCS Coordinates of the centre of gravity in the input axis system.
dy, dz Coordinates of the shear centre relative to the centre of gravity
Points points where the stresses are calculated
y, z Coordinates of a point in the input axis system.
Shear y, Shear z Shear stress in this point for a unit shear force in y and z direction respectively.

The sectional characteristics are calculated automatically on closing of the dialogue for the editing of a cross-section. In
addition, the automatic calculation may be carried out at any time during the editing phase via button [Update] of the
above-mentioned dialogue.
In addition to the common sectional characteristics, there are some other parameters that are common to all cross-
section types, such as name, type description, colour, etc.

Note: Each cross-section has two co-ordinate systems which are displayed in the picture of the cross-section :
(i) the input co-ordinate system - the co-ordinates of the points where stresses are calculated, co-ordinates of
the centre of gravity and the shear centre are given in this axis system; (ii) the principal co-ordinates in the
centre of gravity.

Calculation of sectional characteristics
Basic sectional characteristics
The following sectional characteristics are calculated for all cross-section types using the standard formulas known from
basic mechanics:
 Surface A
 Moments of inertia Iy, Iz
 Moments of inertia IyLCS, IzLCS
 Angle Alpha
Cross-sections
143
 Elastic section moduli Wely, Welz
 Plastic section moduli Wply, Wplz
 Coordinates of the centroid cyLCS, czLCS
 Radii of gyration iy, iz.
For the calculation of the following characteristics three different types of calculation are implemented.
 shear surfaces Ay and Az
 torsion moment of inertia It
 warping constant Iw
 shear centre dy, dz,
 shear stresses.
Each method is described in a separate paragraph. The last paragraph describes the calculation method for built-up
sections.
Cross-section characteristics – thin-walled cross-sections
Thin-walled sections are cross-sections:
 which contain only thin-walled elements and rolled elements
 which contain maximally one hole
All standard and built-up steel sections in Scia Engineer are of this type.
torsional moment of inertia, It
for open thin-walled cross-sections, it is calculated using the following formula :

i.e. the sum over the rectangular parts of the thin-walled cross-section where:
d = width of each rectangular part,
t = thickness of each rectangular part.
For closed thin-walled cross-sections, it is calculated using the following formula (2nd formula of Bredt) :

where:
Am = surface inside the centreline of the thin-walled section
the sum is over the rectangular parts of the thin-walled section
d = width of each rectangular part
t = thickness of each rectangular part

Note: For more explanation on these formulas we refer to "Stahl im Hochbau, 14. Auflage, Band I/Teil 2, Verein
Deutscher Eisenhüttenleute, Düsseldorf, par. 7.4.3.2.2.".
warping constant, Iw
Warping constant, Iw, is calculated by numerical integration over a cross-section coordinate along the centre line for
those thin-walled open cross-sections, for which it is - according to the theory - different from zero
Cross-section characteristics – Geometric shapes, timber sections, concrete sections
The following formulas are used :
 effective surfaces for shear are taken equal to the total surface Ay = Az = A)
 torsional moment of inertia It : is calculated as the polar moment, It = Iy + Iz, except for rectangular sections (see
the remark at the end of this topic)
 warping constant Iw is equal to 0
 shear centre : dy, dz are equal to 0
Basic Reference Guide
144
It for rectangular cross-sections
For the calculation of It for rectangular cross-sections, an empirical formula based on the height-to-width ratio of the
section is used:

where:
b = width of the cross-section
h = height of the cross-section
gamma = coefficient depending on the height to width ratio according to the following table :
h/b gamma
1 0.1406
1.2 0.1661
1.5 0.1958
2 0.2287
3 0.2633
5 0.2914
10 0.3123
infinity 0.3333

Note: For more information about this method see e.g. "Stahl im Hochbau, 14. Auflage, Band I/Teil 2, Verein
Deutscher Eisenhüttenleute, Düsseldorf, Table 7.85.".
Cross-section characteristics – built-up cross-sections
The following rules are valid for built-up cross-sections.
Cross-sectional area, A
The cross-sectional area, A, is calculated by summing up the sectional areas of individual cross-sections,
Moments of inertia Iy and Iz
The moments of inertia Iy and Iz are calculated with the parallel axis theorem; the partial profiles of the cross-section are
assumed to be perfectly connected to each other even for very large profile inter-centre distances.
This assumption may lead, particularly with large profile spacing, to discrepancies between the program theory and real
structure elements. When assembling an equation system, the difference between the calculated and actual stiffness is
not taken into consideration. Therefore, a variance in internal force distribution in statically indeterminate structures may
occur.
Torsional moment of inertia, It
The torsional moment of inertia, It, is taken to be a simple sum of torsional stiffness values for the individual cross-
section parts.
Warping constant, Iw
The warping constant, Iw, is taken as the sum of warping constants of the individual cross-section parts.

Other cross-section parameters
In addition to sectional characteristics, a cross-section in Scia Engineer has some additional parameters such as name,
type description, colour, etc.
The common parameters in Scia Engineer (except the common sectional characteristics) are:
Name A name of a cross-section. The name must be unique within one
project. If an attempt to insert a name that already exists in the project,
the typed name is not accepted and is automatically changed to a
project-unique name.
Cross-sections
145
Type This parameter describes briefly the cross-section type so that the
user can easily and quickly see what type the particular cross-section
is.
Detailed (description) Some cross-sections (e.g. welded ones) use this item to specify the
cross-section type, shape and possibly dimensions in more detail.
Material This item defines the material the cross-section is made of.
Colour This item defines the colour that is used in Scia Engineer to draw the
cross-section in the cross-section manager.
Edit property If this option is not selected then it is not possible to edit individual
calculated sectional characteristics.
If the option is ON, some of the sectional characteristics may be
manually edited in order to define the cross-section whose
characteristics exactly correspond to particular conditions.
Buckling y-y, z-z These two parameters determine the buckling curve types used for
buckling calculations.
Fabrication This item specifies the way the cross-section is produced.

In addition to the numerical data available for a cross-section, the program offers also a drawing of the cross-section with
marked vertex numbers. The numbers are important mainly if the user includes a cross-section characteristics table into
a document where some of the values correspond to individual vertices. Therefore, it is essential to know the convention
of vertex numbering. The vertex numbers are given on a separate tab of the graphical window in the editing dialogue.

Special sectional characteristics
During the input of a new of cross-section, the user may also specify Average yield strength.
Use If ON, the yield strength of the material is increased due to cold working.
The term 'average yield strength' is used.
k The value k is a coefficient depending on the type of forming. Default value
k = 7.0 is for cold rolling.

Note: This option is ONLY available if EC3 is selected as a national code, and (at the same time) the fabrication
parameter of the cross-section is set to Cold formed.

Sectional characteristics calculated by FEM
The sectional characteristics can be calculated through Finite Element Method. This is recommended and sometimes
compulsory especially for complex shape cross-sections, composite cross-section, phased cross-sections, etc.
This calculation can be applied to Concrete sections, Timber sections, Polygon sections and Graphical cross-sections. If
the FE analysis option in the Cross-section parameters dialog is not marked, these sections are calculated with the
general method. If the option is marked, the finite element calculation is used.
Options of the Cross-section characteristics dialog
Draw group
Prandtl – F The Prandtl function is displayed on the cross-section

dF/dz The first derivative of the Prandtl function – torsional shear stress

dF/dy The first derivative of the Prandtl function – torsional shear stress

Basic Reference Guide
146
tau xz The translational force induced shear stress

tau xy The translational force induced shear stress



Torsion
Displays the calculated torsional stiffness of the cross-section.

Ay (z) /A groups: the calculated shear relaxation
With Tau xz(y) The calculated Ay/A value with transversal stress.
If the switch is on, this value will be used.

Without Tau xz(y) The calculated Ay/A value without transversal stress.
If the switch is on, this value will be used.

No calculation The cross-section shear relaxation is not taken into account and
the shear area to cross-section area ratio equals one.

Calculation of the torsion moment of inertia and the torsion stress
This calculation is based on the theory of Prandtl. This method is applicable to general cross-sections. For background
information we refer to "Handbook of engineering mechanics, W.Flügge, First edition, paragraph 36.3".
Calculation of the shear areas Ay and Az and the shear stresses
This calculation is based on the theory of Grasshof-Zuravski, which assumes that the cross-section is thick-walled and
symmetrical.
If a cross-section is symmetrical about one axis only, the results related to the other axis will be technically incorrect and
such results should no longer be taken into account for the calculation. The calculation is carried out for the transversal
shear effect being both included and not included.
In practice, the theory is also sufficiently accurate for what is termed high cross-sections (in the bending and shear
plane). The calculation leads to rather high errors in the case of low cross-sections. Thin-walled cross-sections are
inadmissible.
If a cross-section is made of several materials (heterogeneous cross-section), the calculated shear areas Ay and Az can
be used under the following conditions:
1. the heterogeneities are symmetrical
2. the heterogeneity does not disturb the Grasshof-Zuravski theory’s stress
3. the heterogeneity is diffused
4. a local heterogeneity consists of less than 10% of the cross-section area

Mesh size
The size of the mesh for this calculation can be adjusted in the editing dialogue of the particular cross-section.
Important
The FE analysis of a cross-section is performed in two steps:
1. shear analysis for Ay, Az and tau_xy, tau_xz,
2. torsion analysis for It, F, dF/dy, dF/dz.
The size of the FE mesh for the shear analysis is given by the parameter adjusted in the dialogue.
However, as the torsion analysis is extremely time-consuming, it uses adapted mesh size with elements 3 times larger
than for the shear analysis. This may lead to the result that even if the original mesh is symmetrical, the mesh for the
torsion analysis may become non-symmetrical. Especially if the elements are quite large, this may distort the results (e.g.
break their symmetry in case of a symmetrical cross-section).
The calculated results are displayed on the mesh defined in the dialogue and used for the shear analysis.
Cross-sections
147
It is highly recommended to have at least 1000 finite elements for the shear analysis, which mean at least 300 finite
elements for the torsion analysis.

The picture below shows an example of a very coarse mesh that gives completely unreliable and unusable results of the
torsion analysis.

However, if the mesh is fine enough (here about 2000 elements not shown in the picture), the results are accurate – see
below:

Cross-section types
Geometric shapes
Scia Engineer offers a predefined set of basic cross-section shapes.
The procedure for insertion of this cross-section type into a project is identical with the procedure for any other cross-
section type; the user just has to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, choose the appropriate shape and size,
and review or change the required parameters.
Similarly to other cross-section types, basic sectional characteristics are automatically calculated and the user may type
in the non-numerical parameters such as name, material, colour, etc.
Sample cross-sections
Basic Reference Guide
148

Note: A separate book Profile library: Checked sections contains an overview of rolled cross-sections included
in Scia Engineer’s database.

Thin-walled cross-sections
Scia Engineer offers a predefined set of common steel thin-walled cross-sections.
The procedure for insertion of this cross-section type into a project is identical with the procedure for any other cross-
section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then choose the appropriate shape and
size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of inertia, position of
centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or modify other cross-section parameters
such as material, name, etc.
In addition to the basic sectional characteristics, the program also calculates, designs and displays data such as:
 shape of a wall stiffener,
 diagram of warping lines,
 diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Y-direction,
 diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Z-direction,
 centre lines of the cross-section.

Note: Some of the above mentioned data depend on the shape of the particular cross-section. Therefore, some
of the values may not be available for some of the cross-section shapes.
Sample cross-sections


Steel rolled cross-sections
Hot-rolled and cold-formed cross-sections made of steel are cross-sections manufactured in specialised factories. In
Scia Engineer whenever the user wants to use a hot-rolled or cold-formed steel cross-section, s/he may select
appropriate shape and size from the integrated library of industrially manufactured cross-sections. All sectional
characteristics are automatically read into the program and the user is not forced to take care of anything related to the
section and its parameters and characteristics.
The procedure for insertion of a rolled cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for any other cross-
section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then choose the appropriate shape and
size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
By default, all the sectional characteristics of a rolled or formed cross-section are automatically imported into Scia
Engineer the moment the user makes a selection of required shape and size in the integrated cross-section library. If
required, the user may specify the non-numerical parameters such as name, colour, material, etc. In addition to the basic
sectional characteristics, the program also calculates data such as:
 shape of a wall stiffener,
 diagram of warping lines,
 diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Y-direction,
 diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Z-direction,
Cross-sections
149
 centre lines of the cross-section.
The table below shows diagrams of the above-mentioned sectional characteristics for an I-beam.
Warping lines

Shear Y

Shear Z

Basic Reference Guide
150
Shape of stiffeners


Note: Some of the above mentioned data depend on the shape of the particular cross-section. Therefore, some
of the values may not be available for some of the cross-section shapes. E.g. the shape of stiffener is not
provided for angles, or no additional parameters are available for bars, etc.
Sample cross-sections


Welded steel cross-sections
Scia Engineer provides for easy definition of commonly used types of welded cross-sections made of steel flats by
offering the selection from a library of such cross-sections.
The procedure for insertion of a welded cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for any other cross-
section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then choose the appropriate shape and
size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of inertia, position of
centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or modify other cross-section parameters
such as material, name, etc.
In addition to the basic sectional characteristics, the program also calculates, designs and displays data such as:
 shape of a wall stiffener,
 diagram of warping lines,
 diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Y-direction,
Cross-sections
151
 diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Z-direction,
 centre lines of the cross-section.

Note: Some of the above mentioned data depend on the shape of the particular cross-section. Therefore, some
of the values may not be available for some of the cross-section shapes.
Sample cross-sections


Welded hollow cross-sections
Welded cross-sections are similar to welded built-up open cross-section. The user can make a selection from a library of
commonly used shapes of welded hollow sections.
The procedure for insertion of a welded hollow cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for any other
cross-section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then choose the appropriate
shape and size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of inertia, position of
centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or modify other cross-section parameters
such as material, name, etc.
In addition to the basic sectional characteristics, the program also calculates, designs and displays data such as:
 shape of a wall stiffener,
 diagram of warping lines,
 diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Y-direction,
 diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Z-direction,
 centre lines of the cross-section.

Note: Some of the above mentioned data depend on the shape of the particular cross-section. Therefore, some
of the values may not be available for some of the cross-section shapes.
Sample cross-sections


Haunch cross-sections
It is quite common that a 1D member contains haunches at one or both of its ends. Sometimes the beam cross-section
just simply "changes" its dimension (usually the height), sometimes a special cross-section is made for such a 1D
member. This special cross-section consists of two parts – one that remains constant along the whole beam span, and
one that "makes" the haunch. Scia Engineer allows the user to select from a set of pre-defined "haunch" cross-sections.
The procedure for insertion of a "haunch" cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for any other cross-
section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then choose the appropriate shape and
size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of inertia, position of
centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or modify other cross-section parameters
such as material, name, etc.
In addition to the basic sectional characteristics, the program also calculates, designs and displays data such as:
Basic Reference Guide
152
 shape of a wall stiffener,
 diagram of warping lines,
 diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Y-direction,
 diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Z-direction,
 centre lines of the cross-section.

Note: Some of the above mentioned data depend on the shape of the particular cross-section. Therefore, some
of the values may not be available for some of the cross-section shapes.
Sample cross-sections


Built-up steel cross-sections
Built-up members are used when a single member would not be sufficient or when the slenderness ratio is too high and
resulting in excessive vibrations or when a built-up member would reduce the complexity of the connection.
The procedure for insertion of a built-up cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for any other cross-
section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then choose the appropriate shape and
size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of inertia, position of
centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or modify other cross-section parameters
such as material, name, etc.
In addition to the basic sectional characteristics, the program also calculates, designs and displays data such as:
 shape of a wall stiffener,
 diagram of warping lines,
 diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Y-direction,
 diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Z-direction,
 centre lines of the cross-section.

Note: Some of the above mentioned data depend on the shape of the particular cross-section. Therefore, some
of the values may not be available for some of the cross-section shapes.
Sample cross-sections

Cross-sections
153


Multi-material built-up cross-sections
Cross-sections composed of two different materials are quite common in the engineering practice. They provide for the
combination of "good qualities" and "advantages" of the combined materials. Probably most often a steel beam is joined
together with a concrete slab creating thus the top flange of the cross-section. However, Scia Engineer allows the user to
define materials of the composite cross-section freely.
The procedure for insertion of a composite cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for any other cross-
section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then choose the appropriate shape and
size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of inertia, position of
centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or modify other cross-section parameters
such as material, name, etc.
In addition to the basic sectional characteristics, the program also calculates, designs and displays data such as:
shape of a wall stiffener,
 diagram of warping lines,
 diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Y-direction,
 diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Z-direction,
 centre lines of the cross-section.

Note: Some of the above mentioned data depend on the shape of the particular cross-section. Therefore, some
of the values may not be available for some of the cross-section shapes.
Sample cross-sections


Concrete cross-sections
Scia Engineer offers a predefined set of concrete cross-section shapes that are used most often. The section may be
simply selected from the library list. All basic sectional characteristics are automatically calculated by the program.
The procedure for insertion of a concrete cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for any other cross-
section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then choose the appropriate shape and
size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
Similarly to other cross-section types, basic sectional characteristics are automatically calculated and the user may type
in the non-numerical parameters such as name, material, colour, etc.
Sample cross-sections


Basic Reference Guide
154
Timber cross-sections
Members made of wood generally use a wooden-specific cross-sections. Scia Engineer library of pre-defined cross-
sections offers also a set for this material.
The procedure for insertion of a concrete cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for any other cross-
section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then choose the appropriate shape and
size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of inertia, position of
centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or modify other cross-section parameters
such as material, name, etc.
Sample cross-sections


Bridge cross-sections
Special cross-sections are used for bridges. Scia Engineer offers a collection of such cross-sections.
The procedure for insertion of a bridge cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for any other cross-
section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then choose the appropriate shape and
size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of inertia, position of
centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or modify other cross-section parameters
such as material, name, etc.
Sample cross-sections


Numerical cross-section
A numerical cross-section is a special cross-section type. It enables the user to define an arbitrary cross-section. The
user does not have to define the shape of the cross-section. The only thing s/he has to do is fill in a table of sectional
characteristics.
Cross-sections
155


General cross-section
A general cross-section is a cross-section that:
 may be of an arbitrary shape,
 may consist of an arbitrary number of partial cross-sections,
 may be made of an arbitrary number of materials.
This type of cross-section may be useful mainly for sections tailored for a specific purpose (steel thin walled cross-
sections, aluminium sections, bridge sections, hollow concrete sections, etc.).
The general cross-section may be designed by means of a tool called General cross-section editor. This editor is a
special environment, fully integrated into Scia Engineer that provides the user with all functions necessary for an efficient
design of a "free-shape" and "free-composition" cross-section.

Defining a new cross-section
Cross-section manager
The Cross-section manager is a versatile tool for dealing with cross-section. The cross-section manager is used to:
 define a new cross-section,
 edit an existing cross-section,
 delete an existing cross-section,
 review parameters of existing cross-sections,
 choose one if the existing cross-sections as a "default" for later called functions that require a cross-section as a
parameter.
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The cross-section manager is one of the "managers" integrated in Scia Engineer and its layout and operation is identical
to the other Scia Engineer "managers". It is open when function Cross-sections is activated. It may represent one of the
steps in the General procedure for the definition of a new cross-section.
Generally, there are several ways to open the Cross-section manager:
 Tree menu function Library > Cross-sections.
 Project toolbar.
 Menu function Libraries > Cross-sections.
 "Manager" button in any of numerous property dialogues that contain at least one item Cross-section.

Note: Which way is actually chosen depends on two factors: (i) where (what part of the program) is the manager
called from, and (ii) habits of a particular user.


General procedure for the definition of a new cross-section
The process for the definition (or we can say insertion) of a new cross-section in a Scia Engineer project consists of a
few steps.
Procedure for the definition of a new cross-section
1. Call function Cross-sections. There are various ways to do so:
a. Use tree menu function Library > Cross-sections.
b. Start function for the insertion of a new 1D member and open the Cross-section manager
from within the Beam properties dialogue.
c. Click the appropriate icon on the Project toolbar.
d. Call menu function Libraries > Cross-sections.
2. Function Cross-sections opens the Cross-section manager.
3. Press button [New item]. This action opens a dialogue for the selection of cross-section type. (Note: If no cross-
section has been defined yet, this step is automatically skipped and the cross-section type dialogue is opened
directly).
4. Select the appropriate cross-section type.
5. Specify the sectional parameters and properties.
6. Review the calculated sectional characteristics and possibly include them into a document.
7. Close the Cross-section manager or repeat steps 3 to 6 as many times as required.
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Selecting the cross-section type
The selection of a required cross-section type or types can be done in the New cross-section type dialogue.

The dialogue consists of the following control and information elements:
List of available cross-section
types
It contains all the available cross-section types.
List of possible variants (sub-
types) for the current type
It offers possible sub-types for the selected type.
Drawing of the currently selected
variant
It shows the particular selected cross-section.
List of already defined cross-
sections
It lists all he already defined (inserted) cross-section.
Control buttons They provide for the control of the dialogue.

List of available cross-section types
The dialogue offers a list of available cross-section types. The contents of the list may vary depending on the purchased
configuration of Scia Engineer and the material types selected for the particular project.
For example, a user who selected steel and concrete materials in the Project settings dialogue can select from variety
of steel and concrete cross-sections, while another user who selected just timber material in the project settings can only
use timber cross-sections.
List of possible variants (sub-types) for the current type
This dialogue element displays a set of graphical symbols (icons) representing the individual variants of the cross-section
type that is currently selected in the List of available cross-section types.
Note: If the type selected is "rolled steel cross-section ", the list of possible variants is different than for other
cross-section types. In this case, the list offers both "shapes" of rolled section and available dimensions for each
particular "shape". That means that the user can select directly the required type (shape) of rolled section and
its appropriate size.
Drawing of the currently selected variant
A small window displays a drawing of the currently selected variant of the currently selected cross-section type. A short
"description name" of the particular variant is added to the drawing mainly to facilitate the identification of a particular
cross-section sub-type and type.
Note: This window is hidden if the rolled steel cross-section type is selected.
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List of already defined cross-sections
In addition to the available cross-section types, the dialogue displays a list containing all the cross-sections that have
been defined (i.e. inserted into the project) so far.
Control buttons
Button [Add] and Button with a " Right Arrow"
Button [Add] confirms the selection of a particular type and variant. Depending on the cross-section type and variant, a
new cross-section is either (i) inserted directly into the Scia Engineer project, or (ii) a dialogue for editing of cross-section
parameters is opened. The former happens if e.g. a rolled steel section has been selected because there is no need to
specify its dimensions, name, etc. The latter action is performed if some kind of specification is required for the selected
cross-section such as the definition of dimensions for welded steel or cast concrete cross-section, etc. Once a new
cross-section is inserted by means of this button, the cross-section is added to the List of already defined cross-
sections.
Button [Close]
This button closes the New cross-section type dialogue.

Specifying sectional parameters and properties
The specification of cross-section parameters can be done in a dialogue for editing of a particular cross-section. This
dialogue is opened automatically once the user selects and confirms the required type in the New cross-section type
dialogue. In addition, the editing dialogue can be opened any time later via the [Edit] button of the Cross-section
manager.

The editing dialogue consists of three main parts:
Graphical window It displays the cross-section including dimension lines, labels, etc.
Property table If comprises all the parameters and sectional characteristics of the
cross-section and provides for their editing.
Control buttons They perform various tasks connected with the editing.

Graphical window
The graphical window displays the cross-section, dimension lines, labels and, if available, some of the cross-section
properties or characteristics: for example cross-section vertex numbers, shape of stiffeners, diagrams of selected
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159
quantities such as shear stress distribution, etc. These additional data about the cross-section are shown on separate
tabs (one tab per each property).
Property table
The property table contains all the available and computable cross-section characteristics and parameters. Here the
parameters can be input or edited.
The parameters can be divided into three groups: basic sectional characteristics, parameters independent of the cross-
section type and type-specific parameters.
It should be stated here that some of the parameters (basic sectional characteristics in particular) cannot be neither input
nor edited as they are uniquely determined by the shape and dimensions of the cross-section and are therefore
automatically calculated by the program.
There exists a special interconnection between the property table and graphical window that will be described later in this
chapter.
Control buttons
Button [Update]
This button starts an algorithm that recalculates the sectional characteristics on the basis of input values.
On entering the editing dialogue for a new cross-section, the property table shows only those parameters that may be
edited. In order to the computer sectional characteristics, the button must be user.
What’s more, the computed sectional characteristics listed in the property table disappear once the user changes any of
the input values. The characteristics are displayed again after this button is pressed. It must be also used to initiate the
regeneration of some of the drawings in the graphical window.
Button [Document]
This button invokes the preview window to show the cross-section parameters in a document-style table. The table may
be edited the same way as a standard document table.
Button [OK]
This button closes the dialogue and accepts all the inputs and changes made in it.
If a new cross-section has been defined in the editing dialogue it is inserted into the project.
If an existing cross-section has been modified here, the changes are taken into account and saved into the project.
Button [Cancel]
This button closes the dialogue and all the inputs and changes made in it are abandoned.
If a new cross-section has been defined in the editing dialogue it is NOT inserted into the project.
If an existing cross-section has been modified here, the changes are not taken into account and the project remains
unchanged.
Graphical window versus property table relation
The graphical window and the property table are provided with a special interlink that provides for easy and lucid style of
editing.
The graphical window contains two types of labelling symbols: either dimension lines, or labels, or both. The dimension
lines describe dimensions of the individual cross-section edges and parts. The labels depict partial units (e.g. individual
rolled steel sections) of a built-up or composite cross-section.
The same items (partial units or dimensions) that are referred to in the graphical window by means of dimension lines
and labels can also be found in the property table where they form individual editable cells. In order to facilitate the
editing process, there is a link between corresponding property table cells and graphical symbols in the graphical
window. That means that if the user wants to change a dimension of a cross-section, it may either (i) select the
appropriate cell in the table, or (ii) select the corresponding graphical symbol in the graphical window. What’s more, in
order to find quickly which dimension or partial unit the individual table cells refers to, the user can simply select the cell
in the table and the appropriate dimension line or label is highlighted in the graphical window.

Reviewing the calculated sectional characteristics
There are a few ways to see and scrutinise the parameters of a cross-section including both the input data and
calculated sectional characteristics.
Property table in the Cross-section
manager
The Cross-section manager contains a vertically oriented window
that displays the basic sectional characteristics and parameters of
currently selected cross-section in a property table.
Property table in the dialogue for
editing of a cross-section
Each dialogue for editing of a cross-section contains a vertically
oriented property table with all the available parameters of the edited
cross-section.
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Document-style view in the
preview window
This is the most sophisticated kind of display for parameters of a
cross-section. It is accessible from within the dialogue for editing of a
cross-section.

Property table in the Cross-section manager
The property table in the Cross-section manager provides for quick overview of basic characteristics and parameters of
individual defined cross-sections. It is possible to edit some of the parameters, however, this table is not primarily
intended for thorough editing of a cross-section. If a cross-section must be modified, the cross-section editing dialogue
should be invoked.
Property table in the dialogue for editing of a cross-section
The property table in this dialogue provides for both clear overview of the cross-section parameters and their
straightforward modification. Most of the items may be edited in this dialogue. The only exception is the sectional
characteristics that are automatically calculated from the dimensions. Such characteristics are not allowed to be
modified.
Document-style view in the preview window
The sectional characteristics and all the other parameters can be displayed in a readable way in the preview window.
The preview window then displays a table with all the cross-section parameters sorted in it.
The table is in fact a standard Scia Engineerdocument table and consequently its format can be adjusted to meet any
specific requirements. The adjustment can be done the same way as with any other document table.
The table shows not only all the parameters of the cross-section and all its parameters which are displayed in the
property tables of dialogues for dealing with cross-sections (i.e. Cross-section manager and Editing dialogue), but also a
set of additional information including a couple of diagrams. The additional information depend on the type of cross-
section.
The picture below shows a sample preview for an angle section
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161


Importing the cross-sections from another project
Quite often, the user may encounter the situation that s/he wants to use the same cross-sections in several different
projects. Especially for "man-made" cross-sections (i.e. not rolled ones), the repetitious definition of the same cross-
sections may be rather time consuming and boring. What’s more, it may become a source of serious mistakes.
Scia Engineer enables the user to solve this task effectively and clearly. The procedure consists of two separate steps
and is limited only by one rule.
Export of required cross-sections from the " source" project
Firstly, the cross-sections defined in one project must be exported into an external database. Later, they may be
imported into other projects. The export can be controlled in the Write to database dialogue.
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The left hand side of the dialogue lists all the cross-sections defined in the current project.
The right hand side of the dialogue lists all the cross-sections saved in the selected user-database file.
The buttons below the list boxes can be used to manage the external database.
Write to database Writes the selected cross-section from the list of project cross-sections into the
database file.
Write all Writes all the cross-section from the list of project cross-sections into the database
file.
Delete Deletes the selected cross-section from the database file.

The procedure for export of cross-sections into an external database
1. In it is not the case, define the required cross-sections in the original (or source) project.
2. Open the Cross-section manager.
3. Press button [Save into file] ( ).
4. Define a new or browse for the existing User-database file.
5. The Write-to-database is opened on the screen.
6. Export the required cross-sections.
7. Confirm with [OK].
8. Close the Cross-section manager.

Import of required cross-sections into the " target" project
Once the required cross-sections have been successfully exported into the user-database file, they may be imported into
the target project.
The import can be controlled in the Read from database dialogue, which is similar in appearance to the Write to
database dialogue (see above).
The left hand side of the dialogue lists all the cross-sections defined in the current project.
The right hand side of the dialogue lists all the cross-sections saved in the selected user-database file.
The buttons below the list boxes can be used to import items from the external database.
Copy to project Copies the selected cross-sections from the external user-database into the current
project.
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163
Copy all Copies all the cross-sections from the external user-database into the current
project.

The procedure for import of cross-sections from an external database
1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Press button [Read from file] ( ).
3. Browse for the existing User-database file.
4. The Read-from-database is opened on the screen.
5. Import the required cross-sections.
6. Confirm with [OK].
7. Close the Cross-section manager.

Limitations of the import process
Despite the fact that the Import is rather versatile, there is a limitation with reference to material code of cross-section
materials. As a cross-section stores, among others, the information about the material it is made of, there is a rule
concerning materials defined in the project.

Note: AT LEAST ONE of the material codes defined in the source project MUST also be defined in the target
project. Otherwise, the import is not made correctly.

Example:
Source project material codes
Material codes defined in the
source project, i.e. the project from
which the cross-sections have
been exported
Target project material codes
Material codes defined in the target
project, i.e. the project into which
the cross-sections are being
imported
Import result
CSN, EC, DIN EC, SIA correct
CSN, DIN EC, SIA INCORRECT
CSN,DIN DIN correct


Modifying an existing cross-section
Editing a cross-section
Any cross-section that has been inserted into a project can be edited any time later. In order to do so, the user has to
activate the editing dialogue of the particular cross-section.
Procedure for editing of an existing cross-section
1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Select the required cross-section in the list of defined cross-sections.
3. Use button [Edit] to open the editing dialogue for the selected cross-section.
4. Make the necessary changes of cross-section parameters.
5. Close the editing dialogue using [OK] button to confirm the changes.
6. If required, repeat steps 2 to 5 for other cross-sections.
7. Close the Cross-section manager.

Deleting a cross-section
A cross-section that is no longer used in a project, i.e. that is no longer assigned to any of the 1D members in the
modelled structure, can be removed from the project database. The deletion may both save the computer memory and
improve the orientation in the project data.
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It is advisable to remove all unnecessary cross-sections from the project. Any redundant item in the project database
deteriorates the lucidity of the data and may be a source of an accidental mistake.
Procedure for deletion of an existing cross-section
1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Select the required cross-section in the list of defined cross-sections.
3. Use button [Delete] to erase the cross-section from the project database.
4. If required, repeat steps 2 and 3 for other cross-sections.
5. Close the Cross-section manager.

Note: If a cross-section is used anywhere in the project, the program does not allow the user to remove it.

Copying a cross-section
It may be convenient for some reason or another to create a copy of an existing cross-section. The copy may be later
modified to define a new cross-section that is similar to its original and varies in a few parameters only. This procedure
may be useful for example if the user wants to make experiments or variants for cross-sections of the same geometry
but different material.
Procedure for copying of an existing cross-section
1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Select the required cross-section in the list of defined cross-sections.
3. Use button [Copy] to make a copy of the selected cross-section.
4. If required, repeat steps 2 and 3 for other cross-sections.
5. Close the Cross-section manager.
This procedure will be most likely immediately followed by the procedure for editing of a cross-section in order to make
necessary modifications to the copies.

Replacing a cross-section
Sometimes a need may arise to replace one cross-section used in the structure with another one in all its appearances.
This task may be done effectively by means of Change cross-section function.
This function allows the user to replace one of the already defined cross-sections with a new one. Once the new cross-
section is defined, it is applied for all 1D members in the structure where the "replaced" cross-section was used so far.
Procedure for replacing of an existing cross-section
1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Select the required cross-section in the list of defined cross-sections.
3. Use button [Change] to replace the selected cross-section with a new one.
4. If required, repeat steps 2 and 3 for other cross-sections.
5. Close the Cross-section manager.

General cross-section
General cross-section
A general cross-section is a cross-section that:
 may be of an arbitrary shape,
 may consist of an arbitrary number of partial cross-sections,
 may be made of an arbitrary number of materials.
This type of cross-section may be useful mainly for sections tailored for a specific purpose (steel thin walled cross-
sections, aluminium sections, bridge sections, hollow concrete sections, etc.).
The general cross-section may be designed by means of a tool called General cross-section editor. This editor is a
special environment, fully integrated into Scia Engineer that provides the user with all functions necessary for an efficient
design of a "free-shape" and "free-composition" cross-section.

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165
Examples of a general cross-section
This chapter has been made just to give a gist of what form a general cross-sections can be.






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Rules for general cross-sections
The final cross-section may consist of several partial sections. The mutual position of these partial sections follows
several rules:
 The partial sections may be independent, i.e. they do not intersect nor "touch" each other.
 The partial sections may "touch" each other or they even may overlap one another (see Properties of the partial
section).
 It is possible to combine solid (thin-walled) partial section, thin-walled partial section and library cross-section in
one general cross-section.
 If solid and thin-walled sections are combined in the general cross-section, principles given in chapter Thin-walled
versus solid cross-section should be taken into account.

Type of partial sections in the general cross-section
Polygonal cross-section
A polygonal cross-section is an arbitrary closed polygon. It is clear that individual segments (edges) of the polygon
MUST NOT intersect each other. On the other hand, if the final cross-section consists of several partial sections, these
may intersect or overlap - see Rules for general cross-sections.
The individual segments of the polygon may be (i) linear or (ii) circular.
It is possible to adjust the following parameters for the polygonal section.
Name Specifies the name of the polygonal. It is used for easier orientation especially if the
final cross-section consists of a larger number of partial sections.
Type This parameter cannot be changed and indicates the type of the partial section.
Material See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.
Corrosion See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.
Phase See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.
Overlap See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.

A polygon may also be used to create an opening in another polygonal cross-section. The only requirement is that the
opening intersects or lies inside the other partial section that may be either of polygonal or thin-walled type. The
intersection of two regions is deducted from the non-opening shape. A few examples follow.
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167
" Full-time" opening
The smaller polygon (with one circular edge) is fully inside the rectangular polygon. The result is a cross-section of
rectangular outline with an opening.

Partial opening
The two triangular openings just overlap the solid square.

The result is an irregular hexagonal cross-section.


Thin walled cross-section
A thin-walled cross-section is a section defined by its centreline (or midline) and the width. If a cross-section is supposed
to have segments of different width, it must be defined as consisting of two (or more) partial and interconnected sections.
Even a thin-walled cross-section may be subject to corrosion. It should be stated, however, that in Scia Engineer the
corrosion affects only the thickness of the section. The length of the midline remains unaffected by the corrosion.
Opening may also be defined in a thin-walled cross-section. It is possible to just cut (shorten) a thin-walled section or
even make a whole in it (even though this may be considered strange from the practical point of view).
For more information about openings in a thin-walled section, see chapter Thin-walled versus solid cross-section.
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Name Specifies the name of the polygonal. It is used for easier orientation especially if the
final cross-section consists of a larger number of partial sections.
Type This parameter cannot be changed and indicates the type of the partial section.
Material See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.
Corrosion See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.
Thickness Specifies the thickness of the section web.
Alignment The "definition" line may be either the mid-line of the section, or its left or right
surface line.
Phase See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.
Overlap See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.


Library cross-section
A partial section of a general cross-section may also be formed by standard cross-sections imported from the cross-
section library, e.g. by rolled steel cross-sections, predefined concrete sections, wooden sections, etc.
An arbitrary number of library sections may be added into a general cross-section and they may be freely combined with
polygonal and/or thin-walled sections.
What’s also important is the fact that once inputted the library cross-section may still be edited inside the General cross-
section editor, e.g. the depth of a concrete section, its inclination, etc. may be changed.

Thin-walled versus solid cross-section
A partial cross-section of a general cross-section may be defined as a thin-walled section or as a solid section (thick-
walled) section. If the final general cross-section consists of one type of sections only, there is nothing to bother about. If
all the partial sections are thin-walled, the final cross-section is thin-walled as well. If all the partial sections are solid, the
final cross-section is solid as well.
But what happens if thin-walled parts are combined with solid ones? In Scia Engineer, the final cross-section is
considered as solid section.
What’s more important to know is the fact that even an opening is considered to be a "solid" section, so if a thin-walled
section is cut with an opening, the result is a solid cross-section.

Note: It is important to remember this rule as it determines which formulas are used to calculate sectional
characteristics.

General cross-section editor
Opening the General cross-section editor
The General cross-section editor is a tool that, at first sight, resembles the Picture gallery editor. What both editors
have in common is that they both are a "drawing tool" for creation of a "drawing".
In General cross-section editor, the drawing represents a cross-section. In Picture gallery, the drawing is a picture of
analysed structure.
The procedure to open the General cross-section editor in order to create a new general cross-section
1. Open the Cross-section manager:
a. either via tree menu item Library > Cross-sections,
b. or using menu function Libraries > Cross-sections,
c. or by means of button [Cross-sections] on toolbar Project.
2. Click button [New] to add a new cross-section.
3. Select General in the Available groups list.
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169
4. Click button [Add].
5. The General cross-section editor is opened on the screen.
6. Define the new cross-section.
7. Close the editor.
8. Confirm the new cross-section.
9. Close the New cross-section dialogue.
10. Close the Cross-section manager.
The procedure to open the General cross-section editor in order to edit an existing general cross-section
1. Open the Cross-section manager:
a. either via tree menu item Library > Cross-sections,
b. or using menu function Libraries > Cross-sections,
c. or by means of button [Cross-sections] on toolbar Project.
2. In the list of defined cross-section, select the one you need to change.
3. Click button [Edit] to edit the selected cross-section.
4. The Cross-section edit dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. If only some of the general parameters need to be altered, make the change in the property table of the dialogue.
6. If the shape or property of only a partial section need to me modified, press button [Edit] in the property table of
the dialogue.
7. The General cross-section editor is opened on the screen.
8. Make the necessary changes.
9. Close the editor.
10. Confirm the result in the General cross-section editor.
11. Close the Cross-section manager.

Using the General cross-section editor
Once the General cross-section editor is opened, it is possible to define (draw) a new cross-section or edit an existing
one. This may be done by means of numerous functions available in the General cross-section editor.
The functions can be sorted by their type:
 Working plane and user-coordinate system
 Adjustment of the view
 Setting of view parameters
 Dot grid
 Selections
 SNAP mode
 Geometric manipulations
 Input of a new partial cross-section
 Dimension lines
 Definition and application of parameters
The individual functions are described in separate chapters of this book.

Functions of the General cross-section editor
Working plane and user co-ordinate system
The principles of working plane and user co-ordinate systems have been laid in the main reference manual. Those
capabilities that are meaningful also in the General cross-section editor have been implemented in it.
UCS by 3 points Defines a UCS by means of 3 points.
According to entity LCS Defines a UCS in such a way that X-axis goes along a selected
entity edge (e.g. polygon segment).
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GCS The UCS is made identical to the GCS.
GCS parallel The UCS axes are parallel with the GCS axes but the origin is not
in the origin of the GCS.
Move The UCS may be moved to a new origin.
Rotate The UCS may be rotated.
Previous The previous UCS may be taken back.

Note: For more information about working plane and user co-ordinate systems in general see chapters Basic
working tools > Working plane and Basic working tools > User co-ordinate system (UCS).

Adjusting the view
The General cross-section editor offers similar view adjusting function as the main Scia Engineer graphical
environment.
Zoom in Zooms in.
Zoom out Zooms out.
Zoom – Cut-out Requires defining a cut-out for the zoom. The cut-out is then
magnified in order to fit into the whole area of the graphical
window.
Zoom – All Zoom in or out in order to fit the whole structure into the whole
area of the graphical window.
Zoom – Selection Zoom in or out in order to fit the selected entities into the whole
area of the graphical window.

Note: For more information about adjusting the view in general see chapter Basic working tools > Adjusting
the viewpoint.

Controlling the view parameters
The user may control the way the partial cross-sections are drawn on the screen. There are several means of control.
Names of partial sections and node (vertex) numbers
A button on the main toolbar ( ) can be used to switch ON / OFF the labels giving (i) partial section names and (ii)
vertex numbers of polygonal partial section or thin-walled partial section.
Depiction
OFF

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Depiction ON


Colour palette
As in the main graphical environment of Scia Engineer, the user may adjust colour for individual types of lines. In the
General cross-section editor the following colours related to the cross-section may be set in addition to standard line
types.
The setup dialogue may be opened via button ( ) on the main toolbar.
Cross-section outline Specifies the colour of the contour of the cross-section.
Cross-section midline Specifies the colour of the midline of the cross-section.
Cross-section fibre Specifies the colour of letters used to depict cross-section
vertices.
Cross-section corrosion Specifies the colour of the corrosion level.
Cross-section joints

Cross-section insert point Specifies the colour of the insertion point, i.e. the point that is used
to manipulate with the section by mouse.

Fonts
Once again, the General cross-section editor enables the user to set required font type and size.
The setup dialogue may be opened via button ( ) on the main toolbar.
Labels of nodes Specifies the font used to depict cross-section vertices.
Labels of sectional parts Specifies the font used to depict partial cross-sections.
Main labels Specifies the font used for basic labels.

Dimension lines
Similarly to dimension lines used in picture gallery or paper-space gallery, it is possible to set the basic parameters of
dimension lines used for dimensioning of general cross-sections.
The setup dialogue may be opened via button ( ) on the main toolbar.

Dot grid
The definition and use of the dot grid are identical with those of the main Scia Engineer graphical environment.
Note: For more information about dot grid in general see chapter Basic working tools > Dot grid.

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Making the selection
Making a selection by the mouse cursor
single selection One entity is selected each time the user clicks the mouse button.
rectangular cut-out The user draws a rectangle on the screen. The program selects all
entities located inside the rectangle or overlapping it (see the
paragraph below for details about this selection mode).
intersection line The user draws a line (or a polygon) on the screen. The program
selects all entities that have an intersection with the drawn line.
polygonal cut-out The user draws a closed polygon on the screen. The program
selects all entities located inside the polygon
select-all All currently displayed entities are selected
previous Activates the last made selection.
clear selection The current selection is cleared (the entities are not deleted, they
are just unselected).

Note: For more information about selections in general see chapter Basic working tools > Selections.

Adjusting the snap mode
The principles of "snapping" have been laid in other chapters of the main reference manual. Here, in the general cross-
section context, it is worth to say that the same SNAP modes can be utilised for the definition or modification of a general
cross-section in the General cross-section editor.
Available SNAP modes are:
Dot grid The cursor is locked to the points of a defined dot grid.
Only snapped points If this option is ON, the first two variants are automatically turned OFF and only
characteristic points of already defined entities may be used to snap to. In other
words, only the object SNAP mode is enabled.
Midpoints Middle points of entities are used as snap points.
Endpoints / Nodes End points of entities are used as snap points.
Intersections Intersections of entities are used as snap points.
Orthogonal points This option snaps to a point that forms a perpendicular with the selected object.
Tangential points The Tangential point SNAP mode snaps to a tangent point on a circle.
Arc / circle centre This option snaps to the centre of a circle, arc or polyline arc segment. The cursor
must pass over the circumference of the circle or the arc so that the centre can be
found.
Points on line / curve
N-th
The program automatically divides a selected entity into N segments and thus
generates (N+1) points on an entity under cursor. The points may be used to snap
to.
Points in line / curve
% of length
This option is similar to the one above. But the division of a 1D member is defined
by percents and not by the number of segments.

Note: For more information about SNAP modes in general see chapter Basic working tools > Cursor SNAP
modes.

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Geometric manipulations
Several geometric manipulations are available to modify the already input polygonal partial cross-sections. The functions
are analogous to geometric functions for Scia Engineer structural entities (e.g. 1D members).
Geometric manipulations
Move Moves selected partial section/sections to a new location.
Copy Makes a copy of the selected partial section/sections.
Multicopy Makes several copies of the selected partial section/sections.
Rotate Rotates the selected partial section/sections.
Scale Enlarges or scales down the selected partial section/sections.
Mirror Creates a mirror image of the selected partial section/sections.
Trim Trims the selected partial section/sections to a given border entity.
Extend Extends the selected partial section/sections to a given border entity.

Edit polyline
Insert node Inserts a node to the selected part of a polygon.
Remove node Removes the selected from the selected part of a polygon.

Geometric manipulation with curves
Edit arc angle Changes the angle of the selected arc.
Edit arc bulge Changes the bulge of the selected arc.
Edit arc radius Changes the radius of the selected arc.
Convert curve to line Converts the selected curve to a straight line.
Convert line to circle
arc
Converts the selected straight line to an arc.

Note: For more information about geometric manipulations in general see chapter Geometry.

Dimension lines
Once the general cross-section is defined (or partly defined), it is possible to add dimension lines to the drawing of the
section.
There are three types of drawing lines: (i) vertical, (ii) horizontal, and (iii) general.
The procedure to input a new dimension line
1. Open function Dimension line from the tree menu of the General cross-section editor.
2. If required, change dimension line parameters.
3. Select the first point that the dimension line refers to.
4. Select the second point that the dimension line refers to.
5. Define the position of the dimension line.
6. Repeat as many times as required.
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Parameters of dimension line
Name Specifies the name of the dimension line.
Style Selects the style: vertical, horizontal, general.
Label Specifies a text label attached to the dimension line.
Plot line offset Defines the offset of the plot line from the cross-section.
offset = 5
offset = 50
Plot line Selects the type of plot line.
short
long
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Label alignment Defines the alignment.
left
centre
right

Example of dimension lines


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Creating a new general cross-section
Inserting a new polygonal section
The procedure to insert a new polygonal section
1. Open the General cross-section editor.
2. Use the tree menu located on the left hand side to start function Polygon.
3. If required, adjust polygon parameters in the dialogue that opens on the screen.
4. Close the setting dialogue.
5. Define the starting point of the section’s outline:
a. either by means of mouse which "sticks" to selected SNAP points,
b. or by typing the vertex co-ordinates on the command line.
6. Use the same approach to define additional vertices of the polygon.
7. When finished, close the function:
a. either by pressing [Esc] key,
b. or via right mouse button’s pop-up menu and its function End of command.

Note 1: chapter Plane polygon toolbar.

Note 2: When you start inputting individual vertices, the program draws the outline of the section. If possible, the
program also closes the polygon and gives the idea of what the cross-section would look like if you input the
vertex and then immediately close the function. If however, it is not possible to close the polygon (without
intersecting one or more segments), the polygon is let open and only the defined part of the polygon is drawn.

The two pictures below demonstrate what has been said in the note above. Please note, that the vertex at the cursor
(small square) has not been input yet.

The program suggests the "closed" shape (Fig. above).

There is no possibility to close the polygon at the moment (Fig. above).

Example of a polygonal section
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Plane polygon toolbar
Once function New polygon is started the user may select advanced option from toolbar Plane polygon.

Buttons of the toolbar have the following meaning.
New circle
If this button is pressed, the sub-toolbar with two buttons is opened.
New circle – centre, radius point
The user must define the centre point and a point on the circle that specifies the radius.
New circle – 3 points
The user must input three points located on the circle.
New rectangle
The user must define two opposite corners of a rectangle.
New polygon
The user must define individual vertices of the polygon.
New straight line
The following edge (segment) of the currently defined polygon will be a straight line.
New circular arc
The following edge (segment) of the currently defined polygon will be a circular arc (the intermediate point and end point
of the circular segment must be input).
Select line
This button is useful if a new polygon is supposed to follow the shape of a previously defined polygon. The user does not
have to pick all the vertices of the new polygon, but may select existing edges of the already input polygon.
Example:
Let’s assume that a polygon has been input as shown below.
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Another polygon is supposed to follow the circular part of the first polygon.
The procedure may be:
1. Start function New polygon.
2. Input the first point to the right of vertex P4 of the defined polygon.
3. Input the second point in directly in vertex P4.
4. Press button [Select line] on the toolbar.
5. Select edge P4-P5 of the first polygon.
6. Select edge P5-P7 of the first polygon.
7. Select edge P7-P6 of the first polygon.
8. Press button [New straight line] on the toolbar.
9. Input the remaining vertices of the new polygon.

Step back
This button goes one step back in the definition of the polygon. If a polygon is being defined, the last vertex is removed.
If a circle is being defined by means of three points and two points have been defined so far, this function removes the
second point of the circle but leaves the first circle point unaffected.

Inserting a new thin walled section
The procedure to insert a new thin walled section
1. Open the General cross-section editor.
2. Use the tree menu located on the left hand side to start function Thin walled.
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3. If required, adjust section parameters in the dialogue that opens on the screen.
4. Close the setting dialogue.
5. Define the starting point of the section’s midline:
a. either by means of mouse which "sticks" to selected SNAP points,
b. or by typing the vertex co-ordinates on the command line.
6. Use the same approach to define additional vertices of the section midline.
7. When finished, close the function:
a. either by pressing [Esc] key,
b. or via right mouse button’s pop-up menu and its function End of command.
Example of a thin-walled section


Inserting a new library section
The procedure to insert a new library section
1. Open the General cross-section editor.
2. Use the tree menu located on the left hand side to start function Section from library.
3. Select the type and size of the library section.
4. If required, adjust section parameters in the dialogue that opens on the screen.
5. Close the setting dialogue.
6. Define the location of the reference point of the section:
a. either by means of mouse which "sticks" to selected SNAP points,
b. or by typing the vertex co-ordinates on the command line.

Inserting a new opening
An opening is in fact a polygon. So the procedure for its definition is very similar to that for polygonal cross-section. The
difference is that the opening has got no material property.
The procedure to insert a new opening
1. Open the General cross-section editor.
2. Use the tree menu located on the left hand side to start function Polygonal opening.
3. If required, adjust parameters in the dialogue that opens on the screen.
4. Close the setting dialogue.
5. Define the starting point of the opening’s outline:
a. either by means of mouse which "sticks" to selected SNAP points,
b. or by typing the vertex co-ordinates on the command line.
6. Use the same approach to define additional vertices of the polygon of the opening.
7. When finished, close the function:
a. either by pressing [Esc] key,
b. or via right mouse button’s pop-up menu and its function End of command.

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Import of a general cross-section
Not only a structure itself, but also a cross-section shape can be imported from DWG/DXF files.
The editor of a general cross-section can be opened via the Cross-section manager. Use function New cross-section >
General cross-section.

Procedure to import the shape of a cross-section from DWG/DXF file
1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Start function New.
3. Select General.
4. The Cross-section editor is opened on the screen.
5. Double click function Import DXF/DWG.
6. Browse for the file to be imported.
7. The import dialogue is opened on the screen.
8. Make necessary adjustments and/or actions (see below for the meaning of dialogue controls).
9. Complete the action of the import usng buttons [Import selected] or [Import all].

Layers
This list box contains the layers that were defined in the original DWG/DXF file. Only selected layers are shown in the
preview window of the Import dialogue.
Entity types
This list contains available entity types. Only selected types are shown in the preview window of the Import dialogue.
Selection mode
Thin walled The selected lines are imported as a thin-walled section.
Polygons The selected lines are imported as a polygonal cross-section.
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Polygonal openings The selected lines are imported as a polygonal opening in the cross-
section.
Scale
The scale for the import. It may be necessary when the drawing is not in SI units. The item provides for the
transformation from "imaginary" units of the DWG/DXF file and metres (used in Scia Engineer as the basic unit).
Sizes
This is an informative item, which shows the dimensions calculated from the input scale.
Connect single curves to closed polygon
The following procedure merges individual lines of the drawing into polygon
Press [Select curves].
Select lines to be inserted into the polygon.
Press [Connect curves].
Repeat as many times as required.
Press [End]
Preview window
The view in the preview can be adjusted using the standard Scia Engineer mouse+key controls (shifted, rotated, zoomed
in/out).

Adjusting the properties
Properties of the final general cross-section
The final general cross-section has a set of properties that may be adjusted by the user.
Name Specifies the name of the cross-section
Buckling y-y Buckling length related to y-y axis.
Buckling z-z Buckling length related to z-z axis
Fabrication Type of fabrication of the section.
Display final shape If ON, the shape of the area of the section is drawn as filled.
If OFF, only the contour of the section is drawn.
See example below.
Refresh Regardless of the adjustment of the parameter above, displays temporarily the final
shape of the section.

Example
Final shape ON

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Final shape OFF



Properties of the partial cross-section
Each partial section of a general cross-section has several parameters that may (but also may not) be adjusted
independently on other parts of the general cross-section. For example, individual partial sections may be made of
different material or they may be subject to different level of corrosion, etc.
The parameters are:
Material This parameter specifies the material the part is made of.
Corrosion Here, the user may define that the partial section has been exposed to the
elements and has been "weakened" due to corrosion.
Phase The partial section may belong to a particular phase (or stage) of the construction
process.
Overlap If two partial sections overlap, this parameter says which of the two parts is of
higher priority and should be taken as the leading part. The other part is then cut
accordingly (see the example below).

Corrosion example
If corrosion is defined, the corresponding partial cross-section is drawn with a dashed line next to the outline of the
section. The dashed line shows the corroded part of the section. Sectional characteristics are automatically calculated
from the part of the section that has NOT corroded.


Overlap example
Let’s assume a general cross-section consisting of two overlapping partial sections: (i) a square and (ii) a triangle.
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The square is made of concrete (will be drawn in grey colour), the triangle of steel (will be drawn in blue).
First, let’s set the overlap for the square to 1 and let the overlap for the triangle on the default value equal to zero.
The square is of higher priority, its shape is taken as the leading one, and a part of the triangle is automatically cut off.

Second, if the overlap priorities are swapped, i.e. the overlap for the square is set to 0 and the overlap for the triangle is
set to 1, the result will be the opposite. The triangle will remain unaffected and a part of the square will be removed from
the final cross-section.


Modifying the existing general cross-section
Modifying the properties of the whole cross-section
The properties of a general cross-section can be edited in two ways. First, they may be changed directly in the Editing
dialogue of the cross-section. Second, it is possible to change them in the General cross-section editor.
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Editing dialogue
Procedure for changing the properties in the editing dialogue
1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Select the cross-section to be modified.
3. Click button [Edit].
4. The editing dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. On its right hand side there is a list of sectional properties.
6. The first three groups may be edited here – see below for details.
7. Change the required parameters.
8. Close the editing dialogue via button [OK].
9. Close the Cross-section manager.
Parameters that may be changed in the editing dialogue:

Name Specifies the name of the cross-section
Mat 1, 2, etc. Materials used in the general cross-section. There may be one or more materials
defined in one general cross-section.
Colour Colour of the section.
It is applied when colours by cross-section are adjusted in the graphical window of
Scia Engineer.
Buckling y-y Buckling length related to y-y axis.
Buckling z-z Buckling length related to z-z axis.
Fabrication Type of fabrication of the section.

General cross-section editor
Procedure for changing the properties in the editor
1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Select the cross-section to be modified.
3. Click button [Edit].
4. The editing dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. Click button [Edit] located in the property table.
6. The General cross-section editor is opened on the screen.
7. On its left hand side there is a list of sectional properties.
8. Change the required parameters.
9. Close the editor.
10. Close the editing dialogue via button [OK].
11. Close the Cross-section manager.
Parameters that may be changed in the editor are described in chapter Properties of the final general cross-section.

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185
Modifying the properties of a partial cross-section
Properties of a partial section of a general cross-section may be edited in the General cross-section editor.
Procedure for changing the properties of a partial section
1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Select the cross-section to be modified.
3. Click button [Edit].
4. The editing dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. Click button [Edit] located in the property table.
6. The General cross-section editor is opened on the screen.
7. Select the part of the general cross-section to be edited.
8. On its left hand side there is a list of sectional properties.
9. Change the required parameters.
10. If required, clear the selection and modify other parts of the cross-section.
11. Close the editor.
12. Close the editing dialogue via button [OK].
13. Close the Cross-section manager.

Note: For library cross-sections, the parameters that may be changed in the editor depend on the type of the
section. For example, the depth and width will be offered in the property table for rectangular concrete section,
while the selection of a different size or type will be available for rolled cross-section.

Changing the geometry of the general cross-section
Any part of the general cross-section may be treated the same way as a standard geometric entity in the main Scia
Engineer environment.
The cross-section as a whole or any of its parts may be:
 moved to a new location,
 copied,
 rotated,
 mirrored,
 enlarged to the given scale,
 trimmed,
 stretched.
The application of above-mentioned functions is the same as the application of corresponding functions in the main Scia
Engineer environment.

Changing the geometry of a partial section
The geometry modification functions applicable to the whole cross-section (see chapter Changing the geometry of the
general cross-section) are also available for any of the partial sections.
In addition, polygon-editing functions are available for thin-walled and polygonal sections. These are:
Insert node into
polyline
This functions enables the user to add a new intermediate vertex to the outline or
midline, respectively, of an already defined solid or thin-walled section.
Delete node from
polyline
This function removes the selected node from the outline or midline, respectively,
of an already defined solid or thin-walled section.

Further, co-ordinates of vertices of both polygonal outline of a solid section and midline of a thin-walled section can be
manually edited in the property table. The user just has to select the required node (or nodes) and retype the appropriate
co-ordinate in the property table.
Finally, for library sections, the property table provides for the modification of the:
 insertion point (which leads to a change of the position of the section within the general cross-section).
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 rotation.

Note: All the available modification functions and procedures may be freely combined for any of the partial
sections in order to achieve the required final shape and dimension of the overall general cross-section.

Defining a parametric cross-section
Introduction to the parametric cross-section
Sometimes it may be useful to define the general cross-section not by direct definition of its dimensions, partial section
types, etc., but by means of parameters. The parameters may be later easily modified and thus the shape and/or
dimension of the general cross-section may be changed.

Note: For more information on parameters see chapter Advanced tools > Parametric input > Using the
parameters in the project of the main Reference manual of Scia Engineer.

Defining a new parameter
The procedure to define a new parameter
1. In General cross-section editor, open tree menu function Parameter.
2. The Parameters manager opens on the screen.
3. Define the required parameters and set their type and values.
4. Close the Parameters manager.
5. It is now possible to assign the defined parameters to appropriate dimensions.

Assigning the parameters
The procedure to assign the defined parameter
1. Input the cross-section in usual way.
2. Define the parameters.
3. Select the node (vertex) whose position should be defined by means of "length" parameter.
4. In the property table of the node, select the appropriate parameter.
5. Repeat for other nodes.
6. If applicable, select the rolled cross-section whose size and type is to be defined via parameter.
7. In the property table of the node, replace the type by the appropriate parameter.
8. Repeat for other rolled cross-sections.
9. Close the General cross-section editor.

Note 1: Whenever the value of parameters is changed, the corresponding cross-section is reshaped
accordingly.
Note 2: What’s more, the parameters appear in the editing dialogue of the cross-section. Therefore, it is easy to
change the cross-section section without necessity to open the General cross-section editor.

Example of parameterised cross-section
Let’s create a simple rectangular cross-section with two circular openings. Further, let’s edit this section and make it
parameterised.

Note: The dimensions stated in this example are in metres. Generally, be careful with units when defining new
parameters.

First of all, define the section in usual way. Input the bottom left corner of the section to the origin of the global co-
ordinate system (This is not a general condition, but it is assumed in our example).
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Then, define the necessary parameters:
Parameter Type Evaluation Value / Formula
H Css length Value 0.6
B Css length Value 1.0
H1 Css length Formula H * 0.5
D Css length Value 0.25
D1 Css length Formula H1 + D / 2
B1 Css length Formula B / 3
B2 Css length Formula B / 3 * 2

Further, assign the parameters to appropriate points of the defined cross-section.
Select the top left corner of the rectangle (see below).

In the property table set the global Z co-ordinate to parameter H (see below).

Clear the selection. Select the top right corner and set the global Z co-ordinate to parameter H and the global Y co-
ordinate to parameter B (see below).
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Z = H; Y = B

Clear the selection. Select the bottom right corner and set the global Y co-ordinate to parameter B (see below).





Y = B

Clear the selection. Select the centre of the left circular opening and adjust the global Y and Z co-ordinates to parameter
B1 and H1 respectively (see below).





Z = H1; Y = B1

Clear the selection. Select the centre of the right circular opening and adjust the global Y and Z co-ordinates to
parameter B2 and H1 respectively (see below).
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189





Z = H1; Y = B2

Clear the selection. Select the top most point of the left circular opening and adjust its global Y and Z co-ordinates to
parameter B1 and D1 respectively (see below).





Z = D1; Y = B1

Clear the selection. Select the top most point of the right circular opening and adjust the global Y and Z co-ordinates to
parameter B2 and D1 respectively (see below).





Z = D1; Y = B2

Close the General cross-section editor. In the editing dialogue, you can see the three Value-type parameters B, H, D
that fully define the cross-section’s dimensions (see below).
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The same parameters may be reviewed, though not changed, in the Cross-section manager (see below).

Any time in the future, you may edit these three values and reshape the cross-section.
It may also be convenient to make copy or copies of this cross-section and create a set of cross-sections of different
size.
What’s more, dimension lines may be added to the cross-section. If provided with proper labels they may significantly
improve the clearness of the parameters (see below).
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191

An example of the "D" dimension line is in the figure below (see the parameter values on the left).



193
Geometry
Elements of a model
A model of a structure consists of many parts or elements. Some of them form the geometry of the model and some of
them define other properties of the structure or define effects that the structure is subject to.
node Primarily, it represents an end-point of a 1D member. It also defines the
point where finite element node will be placed. In addition, it may define a
place where two 1D members touch or intersect each other.
beam A 1D member represents a 1D member that the real structure consists of.
Beam in the model may represent a whole set of structural members such
as a column, joist, tie beam, rafter, strip foundation, etc.
plate, wall Plates and walls model slabs and load bearing walls ob the analysed
structure. Both entity types may contain openings or subregions. Before
calculation the finite element mesh is generated on them.
rigid connection of beams If two 1D members have a common end point, the connection of the 1D
members in this point (or node) is normally rigid. Also, if any two members
that intersect each other are told to be connected (via a linked node), the
connection is rigid by default.
connection of beams with
defined non-rigid properties
The parameters of any connection of two 1D members can be adjusted in
a way so that the connection corresponds to the practical solution of the
detail. That means that the degrees of freedom in the connection may be
altered and the connection in any direction (concerning both translation
and rotation) may be either rigid or free or anything in between (i.e.
elastic).
load A structure does not exist on its own; it is subject to multiple effects of
various load types. All the load types that can be applied on the model in
Scia Engineer are described in a separate chapter.
support A structure itself must be somehow supported, as the supports must, in the
end, bear the entire load applied on the structure. The applicable support
types are described in separate chapters.
mass Masses are used in connection with dynamic calculation to define the
"dynamic" properties of the structure.
Structural shape The shape of structure that is not considered during calculations, but is
used for preparation of drawings and design of connections.


Nodes
Introduction to nodes
The term "node" is a common finite element method term. However, when talking about Scia Engineer program, we have
to make a strict definition of what the word "node" means in the context of this software.
First of all, we have to distinguish between a standard finite element node and an ESA node. The two node types have
something in common, but there are also some differences.
FE node
A standard finite element node will be always referred to as an "FE node". Normally, the user will not encounter this type
of node when creating a model of a structure. The FE nodes must be dealt with just before the calculation of the project,
and usually only in special cases. For common projects, the user can rely totally on the automatic finite element mesh
generator integrated in the Scia Engineer program.
Node
The word "node" will be used to talk about ESA nodes – i.e. about nodes (or points, if you prefer) that the user deals
with.
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A node is the simplest entity applied in Scia Engineer program. A node is the basic element. The nodes define other
entity types. For example, a 1D member is defined primarily by its two end-points that are nothing else but two nodes.
Each node has got some properties including:
 position in modelling space (i.e. co-ordinates),
 nodal co-ordinate system (used to define the direction of direction-related properties such as degrees of freedom).
Each node may belong to just one 1D member or to as many 1D members as required. If a node belongs to several 1D
members, the 1D members are mutually connected in such a node and internal forces from one 1D member are
transferred into the other 1D members. If required, special boundary conditions can be defined for the connection and
thus only some of the internal forces (e.g. only bending moments or shear forces) may be transferred into the adjacent
entities.
What the node and FE node have in common is that both are a proper finite element node. That means that the finite
element mesh generator will ALWAYS place an FE node into an ESA node. On the other hand, the generator may add
some more FE nodes in between the user-defined ESA nodes, in order to ensure that the finite element mesh
corresponds with the required fineness.
There are several types of nodes depending on their "relation" to the 1D member they are part of.

Types of nodes
Scia Engineer recognises primarily two types of nodes:
 an absolute node,
 a linked node.
It is important to understand the differences between the two types as the type of node can have a significant influence
on the model properties and behaviour and it also affects functions used for the modification of model geometry.
Absolute node
An absolute node is defined by its "absolute" position, or we can say absolute co-ordinates, in space.
An absolute node is used to define end-points of members (e.g. 1D members).
Linked node
A linked node is usually defined by its position, or we can say relative co-ordinate, on a 1D member.
As the term "linked" suggests, a linked node is used to "link" two entities together.
On the screen, a linked node is marked by a unique graphical symbol. The linked node mark looks like a pair of short
parallel lines drawn in a node.
Difference between absolute and linked node
In order to show an example, let’s assume a simple plane frame consisting of two vertical columns and a horizontal
beam connecting heads of the two columns with a short cantilever on one side.

Column B1 has two end-nodes N1 and N2. Both nodes are absolute.
Column B2 has two end-nodes N3 and N4. Node N3 is absolute, node N4 is linked and is bound (linked) to beam B3.
Horizontal beam B3 has three nodes N2, N4, and N5. Nodes N2 and N5 are absolute. Node N4 is linked is related to
beam B3.
The linked node N4 guarantees that column B2 is connected to beam B3 and that internal forces in any of the two beam
1D members are transferred into the other one. This configuration represents the state usually required in practice.
To demonstrate what happens if the linked node is not applied, let’s consider the sample structure as shown in the
following figure.
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195

The structure here is very similar to the previous one. However, there exists a seemingly small difference and the
difference leads to significant consequences.
Column B2 has two end-nodes N3 and N4. And both nodes are absolute.
Horizontal beam B3 has just two end-nodes N2 and N5 which are both absolute.
Because there is no node lying on horizontal beam B3 in the place where column B2 intersects with this horizontal beam,
the two 1D members do not have a single common node and are not connected to each other. Both the 1D members
would act as separate structures and not as a single column-beam unit.
The differences between the two node types concerning modification functions (such as move, rotate, etc.) are given in
chapters describing the modification functions.

Defining a new node
Even though Scia Engineer knows the entity "node" and uses it for various purposes (mainly related to the definition of
structure model), nodes themselves are not defined as separate and self-standing entities. A new node can only be
defined as an integral part of a new 1D member. It is not possible to define an independent and self-standing node.
On the other hand, it is possible that, thanks to various geometric manipulations, some nodes become self-standing. This
may occur after a node looses its relation to the 1D member, for example due to the deletion of the 1D member. Such
nodes are called free nodes and have no specific purpose in the project. Therefore, Scia Engineer offers tools for their
removal (see chapter Deleting the nodes).

Defining a local co-ordinate system of a node
The procedure for the definition of a local co-ordinate system of a node
1. Use the UCS Manager to create a new user co-ordinate system. Define the co-ordinate system in such a way so
that its axes are oriented in the direction required for the orientation of the local co-ordinate system of the nodes.
2. Make sure that no entities are selected. If necessary, clear the selection.
3. Select the node (or nodes) where the local co-ordinate system should be applied.
4. In the property dialogue (that opens in the property window) tick option LCS.
5. The dialogue then offers a list of defined user co-ordinate systems.
6. Select the UCS that is adequate for the selected nodes. That means the UCS whose axes are oriented in direction
of the intended local co-ordinate system of the node or nodes.
7. Clear the selection

Deleting the nodes
Nodes, similarly to other entities, may be deleted if they are no longer necessary. On the other hand, one must be aware
that there are some conditions that must be met so that the program can perform the deletion of node.
First, it is not possible to delete a node that relates to any entity. For example, it is not possible to delete the end-point
(i.e. node) of an existing 1D member. If this should really be done, the relating entity must be deleted together with the
node or nodes. Therefore, it is possible to delete a 1D member and two nodes that are the 1D member end-points.
Second, if it happens and some nodes are free nodes (i.e. do not relate to any entity), it is possible to remove such
nodes.
Deletion of proper nodes (nodes that relate to 1D members)
Procedure for deletion of nodes
1. Select the nodes that are supposed to be deleted.
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196
2. Select also the entities that the selected nodes relate to.
3. Call function Delete:
a. either: open menu function Modify > Delete,
b. or: use window pop-up menu function Delete,
c. or: press key Del.
4. Confirm the question box (or question boxes).
Deletion of free nodes
Free nodes (if they occur in a project) can be deleted either manually or automatically
Procedure for manual removal of free nodes
1. Select any free nodes that should be deleted.
2. Call function Delete:
a. either: start menu function Modify > Delete,
b. or: start window pop-up menu function Delete,
c. or: press key Del.
3. Confirm the question box (or question boxes).
Procedure for automatic removal of free nodes
1. Start function Check structure data.
a. either: use menu function Tree > Calculation, Mesh > Check structure data,
b. or: start tree menu function Calculation, Mesh > Check structure data.
2. Make sure that option Search free nodes is ticked.
3. Press button [Check].
4. Check the upper right part of the dialogue and verify whether any free nodes have been discovered.
5. If so, make sure that option Delete free nodes is selected.
6. Press button [Continue] to delete the revealed free nodes.

Tip: For more information about function Check structure data see chapter Calculation > Check of data.

If the user is not sure whether there are any free nodes in his/her project, it is always possible to use the second
approach because it means that the program automatically finds any free nodes in the project and informs the user about
the findings. The user then may decide whether the discovered free nodes should be deleted or kept.

Beams
Introduction to beams
From the definition point of view, 1D members used in Scia Engineer can be divided into several types concerning their
orientation (vertical, horizontal, etc.) or cross-section (constant, variable). In addition, there exists another division taking
account of the function of 1D members or their position in the structure (see chapter Structural model)
Regardless of the type, each 1D member is primarily defined by its two end-points and by a set of properties. The
properties can be defined in advance (i.e. before the 1D member is inserted into the modelled structure) or afterwards.
Once a 1D member is inserted, it is not bound to its position forever. If required, it can be moved to another location,
rotated, prolonged, shortened or adjusted in any other way to correspond with the changing demands. Also its properties
such as material, cross-section, type of transmitted internal forces, etc. can be modified any time and as many times as
required.
There are two criterions concerning the definition of 1D members:
 Which type of 1D member can be inserted (defined) directly in one-step action.
 Which type of 1D member can be defined via additional adjustment of appropriate properties on already inserted
(defined) 1D members.
Types of directly defined beams
general beam This beam type can represent an arbitrarily oriented and located 1D
member.
column This type represents a vertical column.
Geometry
197
horizontal beam This type represents a horizontally oriented 1D member.

What all the above-mentioned beam types have in common is that they have a constant cross-section.
Types of beams defined as a " property" of existing beams
haunch beam A haunch beam is a beam of a linearly variable cross-section. The change
of cross-section may extend from one end point to the other end point, or
from one end point to an intermediate point lying on the 1D member. The
cross-section on both ends of a haunch must be of the same shape (e.g.
rectangular, solid I-section, etc.).
beam of variable cross-
section (arbitrary beam)
A 1D member of this type can consist of multiple intervals each of which
can be of different cross-section, material, and other properties.


Common beam parameters
Some of 1D member parameters that define the properties of a 1D member are common for all beam types.
Name A name of the 1D member.
Type The beam type is not essential for the definition of a 1D member but may
take effect later. For example, some functions performing design and
check to technical standards take account of the type.
Cross-section The cross-section influences the properties of a 1D member and defines
its shape and also material (as the material is one of cross-section
properties).
Alpha This angle determines the rotation of the cross-section of the inserted 1D
member around the longitudinal axis of the 1D member.
Member system line at The 1D member is inserted by means of two insertion points. This property
item determines the position of the insertion points on the cross-section of
the 1D member.
Eccentricity ey, ez The eccentricity is similar to the previous feature. However, while the
Insertion point item only allows for positions of the insertion point in
certain characteristic points of the cross-section, the Eccentricity provides
for an arbitrary position of the insertion point.
LCS - local co-ordinate
system of the beam
This item specifies the way the local axes of the 1D member are
determined.
LCS Rotation This value defines the rotation of local axes of the 1D member. The
rotation is measured around the 1D member longitudinal axis, i.e. X-axis.
FEM type This item says which type of finite element will be used for the 1D member.
Buckling length Buckling length for individual directions may be specified on each 1D
member. For more information see chapter Buckling parameters.
Layer Any entity including a 1D member can be put into a layer. The layer can
thus comprise entities that have something in common (e.g. one floor,
columns of one floor, columns of the same length, etc.) Once layers are
defined and assigned, they can be used to e.g. display just a particular part
of the structure, make selection of that particular part, etc.)

Name
The name is used mainly for a unique identification of 1D members (or all entities in general). The name can be
displayed on a screen, printed in output documents, used for selections, etc. For example, the name together with an
advanced feature of the program command-line can be used for very fast multiple selection of all 1D members whose
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198
name starts with the same letter or letters (e.g. SEL B1? selects all 1D members whose name consists of letter B and a
number within the range from 10 to 19).
The name is typed as a simple text.
Type
The type is not very important for the very act of 1D member insertion (or definition). The beam type has also no effect
on calculation of deflections and internal forces.
However, if one thinks about further analysis and evaluation of the structure in design (code check) modules and if one
wants to perform detailing works (e.g. define lattice girder connections), the beam type must be set properly. Especially
the module for design and checking of connections uses the type as a crucial piece of information.
The required type can be selected from a list of available options.
Cross-section
The 1D member shape is defined by the selected cross-section type. Beams of "general beam", "column" and "horizontal
beam" type have got a constant cross section over their length. On the other hand, "haunch beams" and "arbitrary
beams" can have the cross section variable along the longitudinal axis.
The orientation of the cross-section in the 1D member local co-ordinate system can be adjusted via angle Alpha (see
below).
The appropriate cross-section can be:
 either selected from a list of already defined cross-sections,
 or defined as a new cross-section in the project via the [Cross-section manager] button.
Alpha
This parameters defines the inclination of the cross-section Z-axis from the beam local Z-axis. This parameter together
with "LCS rotation" provide for an arbitrary "positioning" of a cross-section in a model.
The angle is input in the pre-adjusted angle unit that is shown in square brackets in the corresponding table cell.
Member system line at
By default, a 1D member is inserted into the model by the end points of its midline. The user, however, may decide to
insert the 1D member by any of outer corners of the 1D member cross-section. This option is useful when an eccentricity
is to be introduced and it coincides with the outer dimensions of the cross-section.
The required Insertion point can be selected from a list of available option.
Eccentricity
If required, an eccentricity may be input in order to provide for more precise definition of structure shape. The eccentricity
is defined in the definition axes of the cross-section.
The eccentricity is defined by two values: eccentricity in Y-direction and eccentricity in Z-direction. Both values are input
into the appropriate table cells in units that have been pre-adjusted in project settings and that are shown in square
brackets in the table cells.

Tip: If the eccentricity value is such that the "eccentric insertion point" coincides with an outer corner of the
cross-section, the eccentricity may be defined simply by means of the "Insertion point" parameter (see above).
Local co-ordinate system (LCS)
Each 1D member has got its local co-ordinate system. The user can define the orientation of the system’s Y and Z axes.
There are several options:
 to accept the default standard setting
 to define the orientation of Y-axis either by a vector or by a point that the axis passes through,
 to define the orientation of Z-axis either by a vector or by a point that the axis passes through.
 to specify that the 1D member local Z-axis is parallel to the Z-axis of the current UCS.
LCS rotation
Sometimes it may be convenient to rotate the local co-ordinate system. For example, if the user wants to define some
load acting in a general direction and introduce it in 1D member local co-ordinate axes.
The angle defines the rotation of the local co-ordinate system around the X-axis of the same system.
The angle is input in the pre-adjusted angle unit that is shown in square brackets in the corresponding table cell.
FEM type
From the finite element analysis point of view, the 1D member can act like a standard 1D member or like a hinged
(pinned) rod. The difference is that the standard 1D member is capable of transferring all the internal forces, while the
latter variant only provides for transferring of the axial force.
The required option can be selected from a provided list.
Geometry
199
Layer
Each 1D member can be "put into" a specific layer. The layer, that could be called group, thus can comprise such 1D
members that will be in the future treated simultaneously. A good and well thought out grouping of 1D members in layers
can significantly facilitate the manipulation with the model, including even the evaluation of results. And what’s more, a
professional use of layers may save a lot of the user’s valuable time.
The required layer may be selected from a list of already defined layers. Or, a new layer may be defined for the 1D
member.

Buckling parameters
Buckling parameters are described in detail in Book Steel Code Check chapter Buckling parameters > Code
independent buckling parameters
and in chapter related to individual national codes.
Additional information can be found in Book Steel Code Check chapter Buckling parameters > Buckling parameters
related to a particular standard.
For adjustment of buckling parameters see chapter Adjusting the buckling parameters.

Beam types
General beam
A general 1D member has got only the common beam parameters. Once these parameters are specified, the 1D
member may be inserted into the model.
In order to insert a new general 1D member into a model of the structure that is being analysed, you just follow the
general procedure for the definition of a new beam. Attention must only be paid to the specification of 1D member’s
position. A general 1D member is defined by its two end-points (or we can say nodes). Therefore, the 1D member
position must be specified by insertion of two points: first, the starting or begin point and then the end point.


Column
A column is an always vertical 1D member of a constant cross-section. In addition to common beam parameters, it has
the following properties:
Length This parameter says what is the length (height) of the inserted column.
Insertion point This option specifies which of the two column end-points is considered as
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200
the base (or insertion) point.

In order to insert a new column into a model of the structure, the general procedure for the definition of a new beam
should be followed. Attention must only be paid to the specification of 1D member position. A column is defined by its
base point (starting point) only. Therefore, the 1D member position must be specified by insertion of a single point.

Note: The statement that the column is always vertical is related to the user co-ordinate system. Therefore, if
the user defines such a UCS whose Z-axis is inclined or even horizontal, a column defined in this UCS will not
be vertical from the global co-ordinate system’s point of view. It will vertical in the context of the current UCS.

Horizontal beam
A horizontal beam is always horizontal and has a constant cross-section. In addition to common beam parameters, beam
has the following properties:
Direction A horizontal beam may be oriented either along the global X-axis or global
Y-axis.
Length This parameter says what is the length of the inserted beam.
Insertion point This option specifies which of the two beam end-points is considered as
the insertion point.

In order to insert a new horizontal beam into a model, you just follow the general procedure for the definition of a new
beam. Attention must only be paid to the specification of beam’s position. A horizontal beam’s position is specified by
insertion of a single point that determines the location of the adjusted insertion point.
Geometry
201

Note: The statement that the horizontal beam is always horizontal is related to the user co-ordinate system.
Therefore, if the user defines such a UCS whose Z-axis is inclined or even horizontal, a horizontal beam defined
in this UCS will not be horizontal from the global co-ordinate system’s point of view. It will horizontal in the
context of the current UCS.

Haunch beam
A haunch beam is a 1D member whose cross-section varies along the length of the 1D member. It is also possible that a
part of the 1D member is of a constant cross-section and only the remaining part contains a haunch.
Therefore, the list of haunch beam parameters may be rather long. It contains the following items:
Haunch placement Specifies the location of the haunch on the 1D member.
Cross-section Tells which cross-section will be used to form the haunch. (see Note below
! )
List of dimensions that can
vary along the haunch length
This list contains the dimension of the assigned cross-section that may
vary along the haunch length.
Alignment Specifies the alignment of the haunch.
Length of haunch Determines the length of the haunch.
This item is not accessible if the haunch is defined per the whole 1D
member, i.e. from one 1D member end to the other.
Co-ordinate definition Tells if the haunch length is input in relative 1D member co-ordinate (i.e.
from zero to one) or in absolute values (i.e. for example in metres).
This item is not accessible if the haunch is defined per the whole 1D
member, i.e. from one 1D member end to the other.

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202

Haunch placement
The variants for the placement are:
From start

The haunch starts at the starting
point of the 1D member and its
length is determined by the value
input in cell Length of haunch.
From end

The haunch starts at the end point of
the 1D member and its length is
determined by the value input in cell
Length of haunch.
Symmetrical

The haunch is located at both ends
of the 1D member its length is
determined by the value input in cell
Length of haunch.
From start –
whole length

The cross-section varies along the
whole 1D member length. The
haunch starts at the starting point of
the 1D member.
Geometry
203
From end – whole
length

The cross-section varies along the
whole 1D member length. The
haunch starts at the end point of the
1D member.
Symmetrical –
whole length

The haunch is at both sides of the
1D member, is symmetrical and
extends from each of the 1D member
ends towards the 1D member centre.

Cross-section
The cross-section defined here replaces the original cross-section of the 1D member on which the haunch is defined.
That means that the original 1D member cross-section can be of any type. When a haunch is defined on a 1D member,
the original cross-section is completely forgotten and the haunch cross-section is applied.
Examples
A haunch on a basic cross-section of I shape with the height equal to 300 millimetres and top flange thickness 50
millimetres.
Height of haunch Shape of haunch
H = 500 mm

H = 1000 mm

H = 1000 mm
and
top flange thickness
increased to 200 mm


Note: It is important to be aware of the fact that only specific cross-sections can be used for haunches. For
example, it is not possible to use a rolled cross-section as it not possible to change its height over the length of
a 1D member.

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204
List of dimensions that can vary along the haunch length
The cross-section defined for a haunch can vary in size along the haunch length. However, not all the possible
dimensions of the cross-section can vary. The list of dimensions that may be variable is limited and is stated in the
haunch property dialogue. What’s more, these dimensions are highlighted in yellow both in the haunch property dialogue
and in the cross-section editing dialogue.
Thanks to the "highlighted" dimensions the cross-section changes linearly its shape along the haunch. The haunch starts
with the cross-section specified by the "highlighted" values. And at the end of the haunch there is the cross-section of
standard dimensions as defined in the Cross-section manager.
Alignment
The alignment of the haunch may be of several types.
In order to explain clearly the meaning of individual option, let’s assume a horizontal 1D member with a haunch whose
cross-section is of variable height as well as of variable width.
Default

The alignment of the haunch is adjusted
according to the Insertion point of the
1D member. E.g. if the Insertion point of
the 1D member is set to Top, Top
surface alignment of the haunch is used.
Centre line

side view


plan view
In plan view as well as in side view the
midline of the 1D member remains
straight and horizontal. Both left and right
surface are inclined to allow the cross-
section change its width. The centre line
of the 1D member (i.e. the centroid axis)
of the 1D member remains straight. Both
top and bottom surface are symmetrically
inclined to allow the cross-section
change its height.
Top surface

side view
The top surface of the 1D member
remains flat and horizontal. The bottom
surface is inclined in order to provide for
the change of the height.
In plan view, the midline of the 1D
member is straight. Both left and right
surface are symmetrically inclined to
allow the cross-section change its width.
Bottom
surface

side view
The bottom surface of the 1D member
remains flat and horizontal. The top
surface is inclined in order to provide for
the change of the height.
In plan view, the midline of the 1D
member is straight. Both left and right
surface are symmetrically inclined to
allow the cross-section change its width.
Geometry
205
Left surface

plan view
The left surface of the 1D member
remains flat and horizontal. The right
surface is inclined in order to provide for
the change of the width.
In side view, the midline of the 1D
member is straight. Both top and bottom
surface are symmetrically inclined to
allow the cross-section change its height.
Right surface

plan view
The right surface of the 1D member
remains flat and horizontal. The left
surface is inclined in order to provide for
the change of the width.
In side view, the midline of the 1D
member is straight. Both top and bottom
surface are symmetrically inclined to
allow the cross-section change its height.


Beam of a variable cross-section
Scia Engineer allows the user to define a 1D member whose cross-section varies arbitrarily along the 1D member length.
1D member of arbitrarily variable cross-section can be divided into segments called spans. Each span has got specific
properties that are absolutely independent on the properties of adjacent spans.
Coordinate definition Specifies whether individual spans will be defined in absolute or relative
co-ordinates. See note below.
Length Defines the length of the span.
Type of cross-section Specifies how the cross-section of the span varies.
Cross-section or
cross-sections
This option depends on the previous one. In general, it defines the cross-
section of the span.
Alignment The alignment is identical to the alignment of a haunch.

Tip: The individual spans can be of different cross-section. And as material is a parameter of cross-section, it is
possible that the individual spans are of different material.

Note: When spans are defined in absolute coordinates, one must be careful to "cover" the whole length of the
1D member. Otherwise, the "span-profiles" cover only part of the original length of the 1D member. Or, if the
sum of the spans exceeds the length of the 1D member, spans overlapping the original length of the 1D
member are ignored, in other words, the arbitrary beam is simply cut at the length of the original 1D member.
Type of cross-section
The cross-section of the span and its change can be defines in several ways.
Prismatic The cross-section of the span is constant.
Parametric haunch A standard haunch is inserted into the span.
Two cross-sections Two cross-sections corresponding to the two end-points of the span are
defined. The cross-section varies over the span from one section to the
other.

Cross-section / Cross-sections
For prismatic cross-section, this item offers the selection of just one required cross-section.
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206
For parametric haunch, two cross-sections must be specified. However, both of are based on one base cross-section.
The user can specify parameters of the two end-sections. Each of the end-sections may be either identical with the base
cross-section, or changes of the base cross-section dimensions can be specified.
If the "two cross-sections" option is chosen, the user just selects two end cross-sections.
Example

The 1D member defined in the property table above looks like:


Defining a new beam
Inserting a new beam
When inserting a new 1D member into a model the user must distinguish between two situations:
 insertion of a general 1D member or column or horizontal beam,
Geometry
207
 insertion of a 1D member that has got a variable cross-section (either haunch or generally variable cross-section).
The first situation means a real insertion of a new 1D member into the model. The latter means that appropriate
properties are defined on already an existing 1D member in the model. The procedures for the definition of a "haunch"
beam and a beam with a variable cross-section are given in separate chapters.
The principle of the procedure for insertion of a new 1D member is identical for both a general 1D member and a column
and a horizontal beam. It is clear that there are some differences between the individual beam types, and therefore there
must be slight differences also in the defining procedure. However, the differences are so small that a united procedure
may be presented here and the differences discussed in chapters dealing with appropriate beam type.
Procedure for insertion of a beam
1. In the main tree menu, select and open service Structure. (As an alternative, service Structure may also be
opened via its toolbar button or via the menu function).
2. In the Structure service, open the appropriate function according to 1D member type you want to insert.
3. Fill in the displayed dialogue, i.e. define the properties of the 1D member(s) you want to define in the next step.
4. Confirm the property dialogue by pressing [OK] button.
5. Define the position of the 1D member (using a mouse and any of available snap mode options or by typing the co-
ordinates on the command line). This point varies according to the selected beam type (see General beam,
Column, or Horizontal beam chapter).
6. The 1D member has been inserted.
7. Either (i) close the function or (ii) insert another 1D member, i.e. repeat steps 5 and 6.
8. Close the Structure service.

Inserting a new beam of a complex axis shape
Real structures are very often composed of members whose longitudinal axes are not straight-line segments. Scia
Engineer enables the users to draw almost any shape they may find in architectural sketches.
The principle for the insertion of a non-straight 1D member remains the same as for a straight one (i.e. general beam).
The only difference is in the definition of the endpoints of the 1D member.
The procedure for the insertion of a polygonal 1D member
1. When asked to enter the first endpoint of the 1D member do the following:
2. Click button [New polyline] ( ) that appears just above the command line once the program gets into the "point
definition mode".
3. Enter the vertices of the polygon one after another.
4. Press [Esc] key to finish the definition of the polygon.
5. Then follow the standard procedure for the definition of a 1D member, i.e. close the function or service.
The procedure for the insertion of a circular arc 1D member
1. When asked to enter the first endpoint of the 1D member do the following:
2. Click button [New arc] ( ) that appears just above the command line once the program gets into the "point
definition mode".
3. Enter the starting point of the arc.
4. Enter the intermediate point of the arc.
5. Enter the end point of the arc.
6. Then follow the standard procedure for the definition of a 1D member, i.e. close the function or service.
The picture above is a video that demonstrates the curve definition procedure. To start the video, just position the mouse
cursor over the picture. Or you may position the mouse cursor over the picture, click the right mouse button to invoke the
video pop-up menu and select function Play.
The procedure for the definition of a Bezier-curve beam
1. When asked to enter the first endpoint of the 1D member do the following:
2. Click button [New Bezier] ( ) that appears just above the command line once the program gets into the "point
definition mode".
3. Enter the starting point of the curve.
4. Enter the end point of the arc.
5. Enter the 2
nd
control point of the curve.
6. Enter the 3
rd
control point of the curve.
7. Then follow the standard procedure for the definition of a 1D member, i.e. close the function or service.
The picture above is a video that demonstrates the curve definition procedure.
Basic Reference Guide
208
The procedure for the definition of a parabolic-curve 1D member
1. When asked to enter the first endpoint of the 1D member do the following:
2. Click button [New parabolic arc] ( ) that appears just above the command line once the program gets into the
"point definition mode".
3. Enter the starting point of the curve.
4. Enter the intermediate point of the curve (i.e. the vertex of the parabola).
5. Enter the end point of the curve.
6. Then follow the standard procedure for the definition of a 1D member, i.e. close the function or service.
The picture above is a video that demonstrates the curve definition procedure.
The procedure for the insertion of a spline-curve 1D member
1. When asked to enter the first endpoint of the 1D member do the following:
2. Click button [New spline] ( ) that appears just above the command line once the program gets into the "point
definition mode".
3. Enter the vertices of the spline one after another.
4. Press [Esc] key to finish the definition of the spline curve.
5. Then follow the standard procedure for the definition of a 1D member, i.e. close the function or service.
The picture above is a video that demonstrates the curve definition procedure.

Note: Please note, that it is possible to enter multiple "shaped" 1D members from within one call of Drawing a
member function. You can enter one shape (e.g. polygon), press [Esc] to finish the definition of the polygon.
You however are still "inside" the Drawing a member function. Therefore, you may for example click [New arc]
button, define an arc and again you are still "inside" the Drawing a member function. This fact can be easily
visually verified on the screen. As far as you are still "inside" the Drawing a member function, the inserted 1D
members are drawn in RED colour. Only when you close the Drawing a member function, the 1D members are
redrawn in violet colour which means that they are selected.

Defining a haunch on a 1D member
A haunch beam is not a special type of 1D member in the full meaning of the word. A haunch is in fact a property that
can be assigned to any previously defined 1D member. Consequently, the definition of a haunch beam is always a two-
step procedure.
First step is the insertion of the 1D member itself (either a general beam or column or horizontal beam). This is then
followed by the specification of parameters defining the haunch.
The procedure for the definition of a haunch
1. Insert the 1D member that is supposed to contain a haunch and close the New beam function. (Unless it has been
made earlier).
2. In the tree menu open service Structure.
3. Start function Haunch.
4. Input and select required parameters and properties of the haunch.
5. Confirm the setting with [OK] button.
6. Select the 1D member(s) that should contain the haunch.
7. Close the function.
8. Close the Structure service.

Note: A standard 1D member (i.e. horizontal beam, column or general 1D member) is defined with a specific
cross-section. This cross-section is one of the beam’s parameters. However, when a haunch is defined on this
1D member, the haunch defines its own cross-section and assigns it to the 1D member. The original cross-
section is overloaded (forgotten for the moment). However, if the haunch is later deleted, the 1D member
remains in its position and takes back its original cross-section.

Defining a 1D member with a variable cross-section
Similarly to haunch beam, also this beam type is not a specific type in the full meaning of the word. Once again it is an
advanced property of a 1D member. Therefore, the procedure is similar to the definition of a haunch.
The procedure for the definition of a 1D member with variable cross-section
1. Insert the 1D member that is supposed to contain a haunch and close the "New beam" function. (Unless it has
been made earlier).
Geometry
209
2. In the tree menu open service Structure.
3. Start function Arbitrary profile.
4. Define required number of spans.
5. Input and select required parameters and properties of the spans.
6. Confirm the setting with [OK] button.
7. Select the 1D member(s) that should be of the specified type.
8. Close the function.
9. Close the Structure service.

Slabs
Slab types
Plate
Parameters
Name Defines the name of the slab.
Type Specifies the type of the slab. The user may select from types: (i) plate, (ii)
wall, and (iii) shell.
Note: This type plays role e.g. in code checks. The check
procedure applied depends on this parameter. Therefore,
pay attention to the selection of proper type.
Material Defines the material of the slab.
FEM model Isotropic
A normal isotropic slab with identical properties in all directions is used.
Orthotropic
An orthotropic slab with different properties in two orthogonal directions is
used.
Membrane
Special membrane elements are used for the analysis of the slab.
Thickness It is possible to input a slab of constant or variable thickness.
See below.
Thickness value For constant thickness, just one thickness value must be defined.
For variable thickness, two thickness values must be defined.
Variable thickness type If the variable thickness type is selected, the user must specify the
direction in which the thickness varies.
Point 1 Defines the first point used for the definition of variable thickness.
Point 2 Defines the second point used for the definition of variable thickness.
Member system-plane at The input-plane (system-plane) of the input slab may be in the mid-surface
of the slab, at the top surface or bottom surface of the slab.
Eccentricity If required, eccentricity of the slab may be input.
LCS type Defines the type of the local coordinate system of the slab.
LCS Z axis The orientation of the local Z axis of the slab may be easily turned around.
This check box does it. See figures below.
Basic Reference Guide
210
LCS angle The direction of the local X-axis may be input here.
Layer Selects the layer of the slab.

Example of a slab

Variable thickness
The variable thickness of a slab can be input in the property table of a slab. Two points must be input to define the
gradient of thickness change. Corresponding thickness values are specified for each point. The adjusted gradient is
related to the global co-ordinate system. It is advisable to input the two points in place where the thickness change starts
and ends. Otherwise it may happen that due to the extrapolation of thickness, the final thickness value becomes
negative, which would result in an error message during the calculation of the project.
Example of a slab of variable thickness


Note: The definition of a slab of variable thickness is a two-step procedure. First, a slab of a constant thickness
must be input. This slab may be then modified and changed into a slab of variable thickness. The reason is that
the "property" of variable thickness is bound to the particular nodes of the slab that are not yet known in the
phase of slab input. In other words, variable thickness is similar to a haunch on a 1D member – it is an
additional property of a slab, not the basic, fundamental parameter.

The effect of LCS Z-axis parameter
Parameter LCS Z-axis controls the direction of local Z-axis of the slab. It should be remembered that the parameter
might affect the direction of load defined in LCS of the slab.
Geometry
211
normal orientation

swapped orientation



Wall
Parameters
Name Defines the name of the wall.
Type Specifies the type of the slab. The user may select from types: (i) plate, (ii)
wall, and (iii) shell.
Note: This type plays role e.g. in code checks. The check
procedure applied depends on this parameter. Therefore,
pay attention to the selection of proper type.
Material Defines the material of the wall.
FEM model Isotropic
A normal isotropic wall with identical properties in all directions is used.
Orthotropic
An orthotropic wall with different properties in two orthogonal directions is
used.
Membrane
Special membrane elements are used for the analysis of the wall.
Thickness The thickness of the wall is always constant.
Thickness value The thickness value must be defined.
Member system-plane at The input-plane (system-plane) of the input slab may be in the mid-surface
of the slab, at the top surface or bottom surface of the slab.
Eccentricity If required, eccentricity of the slab may be input.
LCS type Defines the type of the local coordinate system of the slab.
LCS Z axis The orientation of the local Z axis of the slab may be easily turned around.
This check box does it.
LCS angle The direction of the local X-axis may be input here.
Basic Reference Guide
212
Layer Selects the layer of the slab.
Height Defines the height of the wall.
Insertion point The wall may be input using its base or its top edge.

The effect of LCS Z-axis parameter
Parameter LCS Z-axis controls the direction of local Z-axis of the wall. It should be remembered that the parameter
might affect the direction of load defined in LCS of the wall. For more information see chapter Plate.


Slab components
Introduction to slab components
There may be a situation that it is convenient to separate a part of a main slab and specify special parameters for this
part. Scia Engineer enables the user to define various types of such a part.
Subregion A subregion is a slab defined inside the main slab. This subregion may be
of different thickness, material, etc. than the main slab.
For example, a subregion may be useful to define a local thickening of the
slab, to implement area load acting on a part of the slab only, etc.
Opening An opening is just an opening in the main slab.
Internal edge An internal edge is a line intersecting the main slab. For example, line load
may be defined along this edge.

The number of subregions and opening in the main slab is not limited. Individual subregions and openings may even
overlap the main region or intersect each other. The final shape is found as the intersection of all defined subregions and
openings with the order of definition taken into account.
It is not possible, e.g. to insert a subregion into an opening. However, it is possible to do so if at least one edge of the
subregion lies on any edge of the opening.
On the other hand, it is possible to define a main slab into an opening inserted into another main slab.

Subregion of a slab
Parameters
Name Defines the name of the subregion of the slab.
Material Defines the material of the subregion of the slab.
Thickness It is possible to input a slab of constant or variable thickness.
Thickness value For constant thickness, just one thickness value must be defined.
For variable thickness, two thickness values must be defined.
Variable thickness type If the variable thickness type is selected, the user must specify the
direction in which the thickness varies.
Member system-plane at The input-plane (system-plane) of the input slab may be in the mid-surface
of the slab, at the top surface or bottom surface of the slab.
Eccentricity If required, eccentricity of the subregion of the slab may be input.

Geometry
213


Opening in a slab
Parameters
Name Defines the name of the opening.
2D member Informs about the master plate.
Roof/facade panel If ON, the opening represents a panel that can be loaded and whose load
will be transformed into the edges of the opening.
For more read chapter Geometry > Slabs > Defining a new load panel .
Cut 1D member If ON, the opening cuts and removes the ribs if the opening is being
inserted into a ribbed slab.
Cut out opening in 1D
member
If ON and if the opening in the slab cuts also the ribs of the ribbed plate,
then new openings are created in the ribs (beams).


An opening may be input in two ways: (i) as a normal opening that lies fully inside the main slab, (ii) as an opening that
overlaps the main slab – such an opening then serves as a "cut" to the main slab.
Basic Reference Guide
214
normal opening

opening as a cut –
definition phase

opening as a cut – final
shape



Internal edge in a slab
Parameters
Name Defines the name of the internal edge.

Geometry
215


Internal node in a slab
If required, it is possible to define a node inside any slab. This node may be used to attach another entity, for example.
Example
The following couple of pictures show an example of an internal node. The first picture shows the symbol that is used to
depict an internal node in a slab.

The second picture then shows the tooltip that appears on the screen whenever the mouse cursor passes over the node.


Basic Reference Guide
216
Rib in the slab
Name Defines the name of the rib.
Type Informs about the type of the entity.
Cross-section Defines the cross-section of the rib.
Alignment Specifies the alignment of the rib:
Bottom
The rib is attached to the bottom of the slab. The eccentricity is calculated automatically as the
sum of the half of slab thickness and the distance from the bottom slab face to the centroid of
the cross-section.
Top
The rib is attached to the top of the slab. The eccentricity is calculated automatically as the sum
of the half of slab thickness and the distance from the top slab face to the centroid of the cross-
section.
Centre
Middle axis of the rib and the slab are coincident. The final eccentricity is equal to zero. The
calculation model shows a partial doubling of stiffness of the (i) slab and (ii) the rib.
Effective width Specifies how the effective width is defined:
Default
The effective width is determined as a multiple of slab width. The multiple can be defined in
Calculation, Mesh > Solver setup > Number of thicknesses of rib plate.
Width
The effective width is explicitly specified. The value can be input below.
Number of thicknesses
The effective width is determined as a multiple of the thickness. The multiple can be input below
this parameter.
for internal forces Two types of effective width can be input. Both the value are used for the modelling of
composite cross-section. Value "for internal forces" is used to recalculate internal of the
created composite cross-section section. Value "for check" (see below) is used to define the
cross-section for the needs of design and check of reinforced cross-section.
Usually, a rectangular section is attached to the slab creating the final T or L section. However,
also other library cross-sections can be used to form various composite sections (e.g. steel I
section + concrete reinforced plate).
for check See above.
FEM type Defines the type of finite element:
Standard
The standard 1D finite element is used. The element can transfer both moments, axial and
shear forces.
Axial force only
Truss finite element is applied. This element is capable of transferring the axial force only.
Buckling and relative
lengths
Can be used to specify buckling lengths.
Layer Specifies the layer of the rib.
2D member Informs about the "associated" slab.

Geometry
217
General parameters
Length Tells the length of the rib.
Shape Informs about the shape of the entity.
Beg. node Specifies the starting node of the rib. This parameter can be edited, which
would affect the location and length of the rib. Before editing, you must find
the name of node you want to use as the beginning node.
End node Similar to above. Defines the end-node of the rib.

Structural model
This set of parameters can be used to specify the structural model of the rib. The structural model is important especially
if drawings and/or impressive pictures of the structure are to be made.
See chapter Geometry > Structural model > Parameters of structural model for more details.

Shell
Introduction to shells
Scia Engineer enables the user to define curved 2D members – called shells in Scia Engineer. They are defined by
border lines (i.e. border curves). At the moment Scia Engineer accepts if the shape of the shell is defined by four, three
or two curves / straight lines.
Some shapes require certain "mathematical imagination" when they are created. Therefore, the basic shapes has been
pre-created in the form of templates and can be easily input through user blocks.
The following pictures present a few samples of what can be created in Scia Engineer.

Basic Reference Guide
218



Geometry
219



Shell parameters
Shell parameters
Name Identifies the shell. It is useful e.g. for output tables and for selections
made from the command line.
Type Specifies the type of the slab. The user may select from types: (i) plate, (ii)
wall, and (iii) shell.
Note: This type plays role e.g. in code checks. The check
procedure applied depends on this parameter. Therefore,
pay attention to the selection of proper type.
Material Specifies the material.
FEM model Isotropic
A normal isotropic shell with identical properties in all directions is used.
Orthotropic
An orthotropic shell with different properties in two orthogonal directions is
used.
Membrane
Special membrane elements are used for the analysis of the shell.
Thickness / Material Thickness is constant in case of shells.
Thickness value Specifies the thickness.
Member system-plane at The input-plane (system-plane) of the shell may be in the mid-surface of
the shell, at the top surface or bottom surface of the shell.
Eccentricity If required, z-eccentricity of the shell may be input.
Basic Reference Guide
220
LCS Type Defines the type of the local coordinate system of the slab.
LCS Z axis The orientation of the local Z axis of the shell may be easily turned around.
This check box does it.
LCS Angle The direction of the local X-axis may be input here.
Layer Specifies the layer.


Membranes
Prerequisites for membrane elements
Theoretical assumptions
Membrane elements are shell elements with zero flexural stiffness and zero axial compression stiffness.
Prerequisites
In Project settings > Functionality options Nonlinearity > Membrane elements and 2nd order – geometrical
nonlinearity must be selected.
In Calculation, Mesh > Solver Setup the parameter Nonlinearity > Geometrical nonlinearity – 2nd order must be set
to Newton-Raphson method (even the Modified Newton-Raphson is not allowed for this type of calculation).
Usually the nonlinear calculation must be run in order to obtain realistic results. This means that at least one nonlinear
combination must be defined.
Note: Technically speaking, Scia Engineer allows you to run even a linear calculation with the membrane
members defined, but the results may be seriously affected (negatively) by the one-step solution. Therefore, in
general, use the nonlinear calculation for the membrane members.

Limitations for membrane elements
There are several limitations concerning the membrane elements.
1. Membrane elements can be modelled in general XYZ – environment only.
2. It is not possible to calculate PNL for these membrane elements.
3. It is not possible to set orthotropic parameters for the membrane elements.
4. It is not possible to define ribs for these membrane elements.
5. It is not possible to define prestressed tendons for these elements.
6. It is not possible to use other, steel and aluminium materials.
7. It is not possible to set physical non-linearity for these elements.

Orthotropy
Orthotropic properties of slab members
The procedure to define an orthotropic slab
1. Open service Structure.
2. Start any function for the input of a slab member (plane 2D member, wall, shell member).
3. The property dialogue opens on the screen.
4. Fill in the required parameters.
5. Set the FEM model parameter to orthotropic.
6. A new item appears in the dialogue: Orthotropy.
7. Click the three-dot button [...] in this added line.
8. A dialogue with orthotropy parameters is opened on the screen.
9. Input correct values.
10. Confirm with [OK].
11. Confirm the slab-property-dialogue.
12. Input the slab member.

Geometry
221
IMPORTANT: The direction of orthotropy is in general defined by the x-axis of the finite element. If the
orthotropic 2D member has been input using function Plate, it is possible to control the direction of orhotropy.
The local x-axis of each finite element follows the direction of the local x-axis of the plate. If the local x-axis of
the plate is rotated, the direction of orthotropy rotates as well. On the other hand, if the plate is input using
function Shell, it is not possible to control explicitly the direction of local x-axis of individual finite elements.
Therefore, if orthotropy is to be applied in your model, it MUST be defined for Plates and not for Shells.

Orthotropy parameters
There are two cases of orthotropy :
1. physical orthotropy caused by different moduli in the x and y direction, i.e. a real material property due to the
technology of material production (various layers, wood, etc.)
2. technical or shape orthotropy of ribbed plates / walls

a) Physical orthotropy
First we describe the parameters for the physical orthotropy. The orthotropic material is defined by the following physical
constants:
h E
1
E
2
G
12

12
G
13
G
23

The value of
21
is determined as follows :
21
=
12
* E
2
/E
1

The shear modulus G
12
is determined using Kirchoff’s plate:

The parameters G
13
and G
23
are necessary because Mindlin’s plate element is used, with a substantial influence of shear
forces q
x
and q
y
on the deformations.
We assume a plate/wall with a uniform thickness h.

The parameters entered in the program are calculated from these physical constants as follows:
A. For a plate element

For a plate element the angle Beta between the direction 1 (for which the orthotropy parameters are entered) and the
local x direction of the element can be entered.

B. For a wall element

Basic Reference Guide
222

C. For a shell element
A shell element is a plate / wall element and possesses both kinds of physical constants with no additional constants.

b) Technical orthotropy
For technical or shape orthotropy we refer to P. Timoshenko, S. Woinowsky, Theory of plates and shells, McGraw Hill,
second edition, 1987. The relation between the bending moments and the curvature of an orthotropic plate is given by
the following relation:

The definition of moments an curvatures are as follows:

The following notations are used in the program:
D
11
= D
x

D
22
= D
y

D
33
= 0.5 Dxy
D
12
= D
x

D
44
and D
55
are added because Mindlin elements with shear force deformation are used. In many cases there are no
simple formulas to calculate these stiffnesses. Shear force deformation is neglected (as by other FEM elements) when
big values are entered for this two constants. Further a recommendation how to calculate these factors in some practical
cases is given.

Determination of rigidities in various specific cases:
The expressions given for the rigidities are subject to slight modifications according to the nature of the material
employed. In particular, all values of torsional rigidity D
xy
based on purely theoretical considerations should be regarded
as a first approximation, and a direct test must be recommended in order to obtain more reliable values of the modulus
G. Usual values of the rigidities in some cases of practical interest are given below:
b.1) Isotropic plate
An isotropic plate with constant thickness is defined by : thickness h, modulus of elasticity E and Poisson coefficient :
Geometry
223

b.2) Reinforced concrete slabs
Let Es be Young’s modulus of steel, Ec that of the concrete, c Poisson’s ratio for concrete, and n = E
s
/ E
c
. For a slab
with two way reinforcement in the directions x and y we can assume:

In these equations, I
cx
is the moment of inertia of the slab material, I
sx
that of the reinforcement taken about the neutral
axis in the section x = constant, and I
cy
and I
sy
are the respective values for the section y = constant.
It is obvious that these values are not independent of the state of the concrete. For instance, any difference of the
reinforcement in the directions x and y will affect the ratio D
x
/ D
y
much more after cracking of the concrete than before.
b.3) Slab reinforced by a set of equidistant ribs

In this case the orthotropic plate theory can only give a rough idea of the actual state of stress and strain of the slab.
With :
Basic Reference Guide
224
E = modulus of the material (for instance, concrete)
I = moment of inertia of a T section of width a
1

A
z
= shear surface of a T section of width a
1

C = torsional rigidity of one rib
= h / H
When you enter this T section a geometric section, I, A
z
and C are calculated automatically by the program.
Then we may assume:



with D’
xy
the torsional rigidity of the slab without the rib


You can check this by taking the ribs not into account. The solution must be the same as for isotropic plates in section
b.1.
b.4) Gridworks
The gridwork consists of two systems of parallel beams spaced equal distances apart in the x and y directions and rigidly
connected at their points of intersection. The beams are supported at the ends, and the load is applied normal to the xy
plane. If the distances a
1
and b
1
between the beams are small in comparison with the dimensions a and b of the grid, and
if the flexural rigidity of each of the beams parallel to the x axis is equal to I
1
and that of each of the beams parallel to y
axis is equal to I
2
, the coefficients are as follows:


For all types of elements the thickness which is taken into account for the calculation of the dead weight must be entered
in the Load t field. This thickness is multiplied with the density of the selected material.
Orthotropy manager
When an orthotropic plate is to be analysed, the user must input the required orthotropy parameters: in total 10 different
values.
Geometry
225
In order to make the task simpler, the program stores the orthotropy data in a library called Orthotropy. Individual items
(types of orthotropy) from this library can be edited in the Orthotropy database manager (a standard Scia Engineer
database manager). Moreover, the orthotropy manager enables the user to select from predefined types of orthotropy.
For these types, the ten parameters of orthotropy are not input directly by the user, but are calculated by the program
from other specific parameters input by the user.

The parameters for individual types of orthotropy can be divided into three groups:
 general,
 bending (flexural) effects,
 membrane effects.

General parameters
General parameters are common to all types orthotropy.
Name Specifies then name of the orthotropy.
Type of orthotropy Selects the required type (see below).

Types of orthotropy
Standard
This is a general orthotropy. For this type of orthotropy, the user must manually input all the required parameters: D11,
D22, D12, D33, D44, D55m d11, d22, d12 and d33.
In addition to the general parameters, this type defines the following parameters.

Thickness of plate/wall Defines the thickness of the orthotropic element.
Material Selects the material of the plate.

Two heights
This type of orthotropy is suitable for slabs that feature "different height" in two parallel directions. For example, this type
can be used for lattice girder slabs.
The slab is composed of panels covered by an in-situ cast topping. The panels and the topping are "linked" together
through reinforcement protruding from the panels and entering the topping. Despite it, the final slab features different
characteristics in the direction of the panels and in the perpendicular direction.



Basic Reference Guide
226
Flexural behaviour is defined by the following parameters

Material Selects the material of the plate.
Effective height d1 The total depth of the final slab.
Effective height d2 The depth of the in-situ cast topping.
Torsion reduction coefficient Torsion reduction coefficient; using phi_f –> 0, the so called "torsion-weak" plate models can be
simulated, providing reduction of lifting corner forces as well as the lower/upper corner main
reinforcement.
Shear reduction coefficient Shear reduction coefficient for a rectangular cross-section.

Membrane behaviour is defined by means of the following parameters

Effective height h1 Specifies the effective height h1 for the membrane effects.
Effective height h2 Specifies the effective height h2 for the membrane effects.
Shear reduction coefficient Membrane shear reduction coefficient; using phi_m –> 0, the so called "shear-weak" wall
models can be simulated, e. g. aimed at excluding such members (maybe masonry walls) from
the horizontal stiffening system of the structure.


One direction slab
This type can be applied e.g. to hollow core slabs. Similarly to the type above, the final slab is composed of prefabricated
panels and in-situ cast topping.
However, the main purpose of the topping is to make the top surface even. The topping does not really co-act with the
panels.


Flexural behaviour is defined by the following parameters

Material Selects the material of the plate.
CSS Defines the cross-section of the prefabricated panel.
Geometry
227
L Specifies the axial distance of two adjacent panels.
h Defines the depth of the in-situ cast topping.

Membrane behaviour is defined by means of the following parameters

Effective height h1 Specifies the effective height h1 for the membrane effects.
Effective height h2 Specifies the effective height h2 for the membrane effects.


Slab with ribs
This type represents a standard ribbed plate with ribs oriented in one direction.



Flexural behaviour is defined by the following parameters

Rib – rib input type Selects the way the rib dimensions are input.
CSS lib
The rib is selected from the cross-section manager.
Input
The dimensions of the rib are input directly by the user.
Rib – cross-section (only for rib input type set to CSS lib)
Selects the required cross-section of the rib from the project database of defined cross-
sections.
Rib – spacing a1 Defines the distance between two adjacent ribs.
Rib – material (only for rib input type set to Input)
Selects the material of the rib.
Rib – thickness, t (only for rib input type set to Input)
Basic Reference Guide
228
Defines the width of the rib.
Rib – depth, h (only for rib input type set to Input)
Defines the depth of the rib.
Slab – material Selects the material of the plate.
Slab – height, h Defines the depth of the plate.

Membrane behaviour is defined by means of the following parameters

Effective height h1 Specifies the effective height h1 for the membrane effects.
Effective height h2 Specifies the effective height h2 for the membrane effects.


Grid work
This type represents a ribbed plate with ribs oriented in two perpendicular directions.



Flexural behaviour is defined by the following parameters

beam 1

Spacing Defines the distance between ribs in direction 1.
Material Selects the material of the rib in direction 1.
Width of beam Defines the width of the rib in direction 1.
Depth of beam Defines the depth of the rib in direction 1.

beam 2

Geometry
229
Spacing Defines the distance between ribs in direction 2.
Material Selects the material of the rib in direction 12.
Width of beam Defines the width of the rib in direction 2.
Depth of beam Defines the depth of the rib in direction 2.


Membrane behaviour is defined by means of the following parameters

Effective height h1 Specifies the effective height h1 for the membrane effects.
Effective height h2 Specifies the effective height h2 for the membrane effects.
Plates with beams
Plates with beams
Scia Engineer offers a set of function for fast definition of non-ordinary slabs. Special function is available for:
 plate with beams, i.e. ribbed plate (isotropic, orthotropic, membrane),
 load panel with beams, i.e. load panel laid on beams,
 plate from beams, i.e. plate composed of beams (isotropic and orthotropic),
 load panel inside a regular slab.

Plate with beams
This function enables the user to input a plate with stiffening ribs. The calculation takes this entity as a real ribbed plate.
The same result can be obtained by a separate input of the plate and the ribs using two separate functions (Structure >
Plane 2D member + Structure > Plate rib).
Defining a new plate with beams.


Load panel with beams
This function is useful for structures where the only purpose of the plate is to distribute the defined load into the system
of beams on which the plate is laid. The plate itself is ignored in the calculation. Its only purpose is to allow for the input
of plane load on this plate. This plane load is then automatically recalculated to a distributed load acting on the beams
supporting the plate.
Only surface load can be define on this type of plate.
Defining a new load panel with beams.
Basic Reference Guide
230


Plate from beams
This is a special type of plate whose all features can be fully exploited in connection with function upgrading a 2D project
to 1D project.
The idea is the following:
You have a floor composed of let us say prefabricated panels (e.g. hollow core slabs). The checks that are to performed
require that these panels be defined. On the other hand, the analysis of the whole structure can be performed with a
"substitute" plate whose properties correspond to the system of the panels. It is possible to use the analysed model of
the substitute slab, extract just one of the beams into a separate project including the internal forces obtained by the
analysis of the whole structure and perform a detailed checking of that single member.
It is not possible to define additional data such as supports, masses, loads, etc. on the beams in this type of plate with
beams.
Defining a new plate from beams.

Geometry
231


Load panel
A load panel is a plate that is subjected to surface load but is missing in the calculation model of the structure. For
example, roof window is a typical example. It is normally ignored in the analysis of the structure, but it may be subjected
to snow load. Scia Engineer enables you to input such a window (or any other part of the structure that has the same
behaviour) as a load panel, specify the load that the load panel is subjected to and the program itself transforms the
surface load to a set of linear uniformly distributed loads acting on the edges of the load panel. Moreover, you may
specify different weight factors for individual edges. For example, the picture below displays a load panel whose weight
factors on two opposite sides are equal and whose weight factors on two other opposite sites are zero.
Surface load and all types of free load can be defined on this type of plate.
Defining a new load panel.

Defining a new slab
Defining a new plate
Procedure for the definition of a new plate
1. Open function Plane slab:
a. either use menu function Tree > Structure > Plane slab,
b. or open tree menu service Structure and call function Plane slab.
2. Input and adjust the required parameters.
3. Confirm with [OK].
4. Input individual vertices of the slab.
5. Close the function.

Note: If two overlapping slabs are input, the question that arises is "what property should be assigned to the
intersection of the two slabs?" The answer is simple: "The parameters of the later input slab are those of the
highest priority."
Basic Reference Guide
232

Defining a new wall
Procedure for the definition of a new wall
1. Open function Wall:
a. either use menu function Tree > Structure > Wall,
b. or open tree menu service Structure and call function Wall.
2. Input and adjust the required parameters.
3. Confirm with [OK].
4. Input individual vertices of the wall.
5. Close the function.

Defining a new subregion
Procedure for the definition of a new subregion
1. Open function Subregion:
a. either use menu function Tree > Structure > Subregion,
b. or open tree menu service Structure and call function Plane component > Plane slab.
2. Input and adjust the required parameters.
3. Confirm with [OK].
4. Select the slab where the subregion is to be inserted.
5. Press [Esc].
6. Input individual vertices of the subregion.
7. Close the function.

Note: As soon as the function is invoked and the master slab selected, working plane is automatically moved to
the plane of the selected master slab. When the definition of the slab-component is over, the working plane
returns back to its original position.

Defining a new opening
Procedure for the definition of a new opening
1. Open function plane Opening:
a. either use menu function Tree > Structure > Opening,
b. or open tree menu service Structure and call function Plane component > Opening.
2. Input and adjust the required parameters.
3. Confirm with [OK].
4. Select the slab where the opening is to be inserted.
5. Press [Esc].
6. Input individual vertices of the opening.
7. Close the function.

Note: As soon as the function is invoked and the master slab selected, working plane is automatically moved to
the plane of the selected master slab. When the definition of the slab-component is over, the working plane
returns back to its original position.

Defining a new internal edge
Procedure for the definition of a new internal edge
1. Open function plane Internal edge:
a. either use menu function Tree > Structure > Internal edge,
b. or open tree menu service Structure and call function Plane component > Internal edge.
2. Input and adjust the required parameters.
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233
3. Confirm with [OK].
4. Select the slab where the internal edge is to be inserted.
5. Press [Esc].
6. Input the starting and end point of the internal edge.
7. Close the function.

Note: As soon as the function is invoked and the master slab selected, working plane is automatically moved to
the plane of the selected master slab. When the definition of the slab-component is over, the working plane
returns back to its original position.

Defining an internal node in a slab
Procedure for the definition of a new internal node in a slab
1. Open function Internal node:
a. either use menu function Tree > Structure > Internal node,
b. or open tree menu service Structure and call function 2D member component > Internal
node.
2. Select the slab where you need to insert the rib into.
3. Press [Esc].
4. Insert the node.
5. Close the function.

Defining a new rib
Procedure for the definition of a new plate rib
1. Open function Plate rib:
a. either use menu function Tree > Structure > Plate rib,
b. or open tree menu service Structure and call function 2D components component > Plate
rib.
2. Input and adjust the required parameters.
3. Confirm with [OK].
4. Select the slab where you need to insert the rib into.
5. Press [Esc].
6. Input the starting and end point of the rib.
7. Close the function.

Note: There are a few limitations concerning the rib:
(i) the rib must not "overlap" the slab, the rib must be attached to the slab along its whole length,
(ii) the rib must not intersect an opening or a subregion,
(iii) the rib however may go along the edge of an opening.
(iv) a geometric manipulation with an earlier defined rib may result in an forbidden configuration of the rib; Such
a situation is corrected during the Check of data before calculation.
Note: As soon as the function is invoked and the master slab selected, working plane is automatically moved to
the plane of the selected master slab. When the definition of the slab-component is over, the working plane
returns back to its original position.

Defining a new plate with beams
Input parameters for the plate
Name Defines the name of the slab.

Type Specifies the type of the slab. The user may select from types: (i) plate, (ii)
wall, and (iii) shell.
This type plays role e.g. in code checks. The check procedure applied
depends on this parameter. Therefore, pay attention to the selection of
Basic Reference Guide
234
proper type.

Material Defines the material of the slab.

FEM model Isotropic
A normal isotropic slab with identical properties in all directions is used.
Orthotropic
An orthotropic slab with different properties in two orthogonal directions is
used.
Membrane
Special membrane elements are used for the analysis of the slab.

Thickness Specifies the thickness of the plate.

Member system plane at The input-plane (system-plane) of the input slab may be in the mid-surface
of the slab, at the top surface or bottom surface of the slab.

Eccentricity If required, eccentricity of the slab may be input.

LCS type Defines the type of the local coordinate system of the slab.

LCS axis The orientation of the local Z axis of the slab may be easily turned around.
This check box does it. See figures below.
normal orientation

swapped orientation


LCS angle The direction of the local X-axis may be input here.

Geometry
235
Layer Selects the layer of the slab.

Geometry of beams (part of the input parameters for the plate)
Position The position of the beams can be defined by the distance between two
adjacent beams or by the number of beams that is required under the
plate.

Offset Available only if Position set to Distance.
This value defines the offset of the first beam from the plate edge. The
distance is measured in the positive direction of the local y-axis of the
plate.
The beams follow the direction of the local x-axis of the plate.

Offset first
Offset last
Available only if Position set to Number.
These values define the offset of the first and last beam from the plate
edge. The numbering of beams is made in the positive direction of the
local y-axis of the plate.
The beams follow the direction of the local x-axis of the plate.

Distance Specifies the axial distance between two adjacent beams.

Alignment Top
The beams are laid on the top surface of the plate.
Centre
The axis of the beam is at the same level as the middle-plane of the plate.
Bottom
The beams are attached to the bottom surface of the plate.

Generate subregions If ON, the final plate is defined with as many subregions as there are
beams in the plate. One beam is accompanied with one subregion and
they together create a T-section composed of the beam (i.e. rib) and the
effective slab width.

Input parameters for the beams (parameters from the separate dialogue for the beams)
Name Defines the name of the rib.

Type rib Informs about the type of the entity.

Cross-section Defines the cross-section of the rib.

Alignment Disabled.
Informs about the alignment adjusted in the plate parameters.

Shape of rib T symmetric
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236
The beam and the plate form a regular T-section.
slab left
The plate is on the left side of the effective slab width.
slab right
The plate is on the right side of the effective slab width.
slab non-sym
The final cross-section is not symmetrical. The user must define the
effective width on the left of the rib and on the right of the rib.

Effective width Specifies how the effective width is defined:
Default
The effective width is determined as a multiple of slab width. The multiple
can be defined in Calculation, Mesh > Solver setup > Number of
thicknesses of rib plate.
Width
The effective width is explicitly specified. The value can be input below.
Number of thicknesses
The effective width is determined as a multiple of the thickness. The
multiple can be input below this parameter.

for internal forces Two types of effective width can be input. Both the values are used for the
modelling of composite cross-section. Value "for internal forces" is used
to recalculate internal of the created composite cross-section section.
Value "for check" (see below) is used to define the cross-section for the
needs of design and check of reinforced cross-section.
Usually, a rectangular section is attached to the slab creating the final T or
L section. However, also other library cross-sections can be used to form
various composite sections (e.g. steel I section + concrete reinforced
plate).
for check See above.
FEM type Defines the type of finite element:
Standard
The standard 1D finite element is used. The element can transfer both
moments, axial and shear forces.
Axial force only
Truss finite element is applied. This element is capable of transferring the
axial force only.
Buckling and relative lengths Can be used to specify buckling lengths.
Layer Specifies the layer of the rib.
2D member Informs about the "associated" slab.

The procedure to define a new plate with beams
1. Open service Structure.
2. Start function 2D member > Ribbed slab.
3. Set the FEM model to Isotropic with beams or Orthotropic with beams or Membrane with beams.
4. Fill in other parameters (see below).
5. Confirm with [OK].
6. Define the shape of the plate.
7. When the shape definition is complete the input dialogue with beam (rib) parameters is opened on the screen.
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237
8. Fill in the required parameters (see above).
9. Confirm with [OK].
10. The input is complete.
Defining a new plate from beams
Input parameters for the plate
Name Defines the name of the slab.

Type Specifies the type of the slab. The user may select from types: (i) plate, (ii)
wall, and (iii) shell.
This type plays role e.g. in code checks. The check procedure applied
depends on this parameter. Therefore, pay attention to the selection of
proper type.

Material Defines the material of the slab.

FEM model Isotropic
A normal isotropic slab with identical properties in all directions is used.
Orthotropic
An orthotropic slab with different properties in two orthogonal directions is
used.

Thickness Specifies the thickness of the plate.

Member system plane at The input-plane (system-plane) of the input slab may be in the mid-surface
of the slab, at the top surface or bottom surface of the slab.

Eccentricity z If required, eccentricity of the slab may be input.

LCS type Defines the type of the local coordinate system of the slab.

LCS axis The orientation of the local Z axis of the slab may be easily turned around.
This check box does it. See figures below.
normal orientation

swapped orientation
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238


LCS angle The direction of the local X-axis may be input here.

Layer Selects the layer of the slab.

Geometry of beams (part of the input parameters for the plate)
Position The position of the beams can be defined by the distance between two
adjacent beams or by the number of beams that is required under the
plate.

Offset Available only if Position set to Distance.
This value defines the offset of the first beam from the plate edge. The
distance is measured in the positive direction of the local y-axis of the
plate.
The beams follow the direction of the local x-axis of the plate.

Offset first
Offset last
Available only if Position set to Number.
These values define the offset of the first and last beam from the plate
edge. The numbering of beams is made in the positive direction of the
local y-axis of the plate.
The beams follow the direction of the local x-axis of the plate.

Distance Specifies the axial distance between two adjacent beams.

Position in plate Specifies the position of the beam over the height of the plate.

Alignment Top
The beams are laid on the top surface of the plate.
Geometry
239
Centre
The axis of the beam is at the same level as the middle-plane of the plate.
Bottom
The beams are attached to the bottom surface of the plate.

Beams eccentricity Z Defines the eccentricity of the beams in the Z-axis.
Generate subregions If ON, the final plate is defined with as many subregions as there are
beams in the plate. One beam is accompanied with one subregion and
they together create a T-section composed of the beam (i.e. rib) and the
effective slab width.

Input parameters for the beams (parameters from the separate dialogue for the beams)
Name A name of the 1D member.

Type The beam type is not essential for the definition of a 1D member but may
take effect later. For example, some functions performing design and
check to technical standards take account of the type.

Cross-section The cross-section influences the properties of a 1D member and defines
its shape and also material (as the material is one of cross-section
properties).

Alpha This angle determines the rotation of the cross-section of the inserted 1D
member around the longitudinal axis of the 1D member.

Member system line at Disabled.
Informs about the alignment adjusted in the plate parameters.

Eccentricity ey, ez Disabled.

LCS Disabled. Set to z by vector.

LCS Rotation Disabled.

FEM type Defines the type of finite element:
Standard
The standard 1D finite element is used. The element can transfer both
moments, axial and shear forces.
Axial force only
Truss finite element is applied. This element is capable of transferring the
axial force only.

Buckling length Disabled.

Basic Reference Guide
240
Layer Any entity including a 1D member can be put into a layer. The layer can
thus comprise entities that have something in common (e.g. one floor,
columns of one floor, columns of the same length, etc.) Once layers are
defined and assigned, they can be used to e.g. display just a particular part
of the structure, make selection of that particular part, etc.)

The procedure to define a new plate from beams
1. Open service Structure.
2. Start function 2D Member > Prefab slab.
3. Set the FEM model to Isotropic from beams or Orthotropic from beams.
4. Fill in other parameters (see below).
5. Confirm with [OK].
6. Define the shape of the plate.
7. When the shape definition is complete the input dialogue with beam (rib) parameters is opened on the screen.
8. Fill in the required parameters (see above).
9. Confirm with [OK].
10. The input is complete.
Defining a new load panel with beams
Input parameters for the plate
Name Defines the name of the slab.

Type Specifies the type of the slab. The user may select from types: (i) plate, (ii)
wall, and (iii) shell.
This type plays role e.g. in code checks. The check procedure applied
depends on this parameter. Therefore, pay attention to the selection of
proper type.

Material Defines the material of the slab.

FEM model Only option Load panel with beams is available.
Thickness Specifies the thickness of the plate.

Member system plane at The input-plane (system-plane) of the input slab may be in the mid-surface
of the slab, at the top surface or bottom surface of the slab.

Eccentricity If required, eccentricity of the slab may be input.

LCS type Defines the type of the local coordinate system of the slab.

LCS axis The orientation of the local Z axis of the slab may be easily turned around.
This check box does it. See figures below.
normal orientation
Geometry
241

swapped orientation


LCS angle The direction of the local X-axis may be input here.

Layer Selects the layer of the slab.

Geometry of beams (part of the input parameters for the plate)
Position The position of the beams can be defined by the distance between two
adjacent beams or by the number of beams that is required under the
plate.

Offset Available only if Position set to Distance.
This value defines the offset of the first beam from the plate edge. The
distance is measured in the positive direction of the local y-axis of the
plate.
The beams follow the direction of the local x-axis of the plate.

Offset first
Offset last
Available only if Position set to Number.
These values define the offset of the first and last beam from the plate
edge. The numbering of beams is made in the positive direction of the
local y-axis of the plate.
The beams follow the direction of the local x-axis of the plate.

Distance Specifies the axial distance between two adjacent beams.

Position in plate Specifies the position of the beam over the height of the plate.
Basic Reference Guide
242

Alignment Top
The beams are laid on the top surface of the plate.
Centre
The axis of the beam is at the same level as the middle-plane of the plate.
Bottom
The beams are attached to the bottom surface of the plate.

Beams eccentricity Z Defines the eccentricity of the beams in the Z-axis.

Input parameters for the beams (parameters from the separate dialogue for the beams)
Name A name of the 1D member.

Type The beam type is not essential for the definition of a 1D member but may
take effect later. For example, some functions performing design and
check to technical standards take account of the type.

Cross-section The cross-section influences the properties of a 1D member and defines
its shape and also material (as the material is one of cross-section
properties).

Alpha This angle determines the rotation of the cross-section of the inserted 1D
member around the longitudinal axis of the 1D member.

Member system line at Disabled.
Informs about the alignment adjusted in the plate parameters.

Eccentricity ey, ez Disabled.

LCS Disabled. Set to z by vector.

LCS Rotation Disabled.

Geometry
243
FEM type Defines the type of finite element:
Standard
The standard 1D finite element is used. The element can transfer both
moments, axial and shear forces.
Axial force only
Truss finite element is applied. This element is capable of transferring the
axial force only.

Buckling length Disabled.

Layer Any entity including a 1D member can be put into a layer. The layer can
thus comprise entities that have something in common (e.g. one floor,
columns of one floor, columns of the same length, etc.) Once layers are
defined and assigned, they can be used to e.g. display just a particular part
of the structure, make selection of that particular part, etc.)

The procedure to define a new load panel with beams
1. Open service Structure.
2. Start function Panel > Load to beams.
3. Fill in other parameters (see below).
4. Confirm with [OK].
5. Define the shape of the plate.
6. When the shape definition is complete the input dialogue with beam (rib) parameters is opened on the screen.
7. Fill in the required parameters (see above).
8. Confirm with [OK].
9. The input is complete.
Defining a new load panel
Parameters
Name Defines the name of the load panel.
2D member Informs about the master plate.
Roof/facade panel If ON, the opening represents a panel that can be loaded and whose load
will be transformed into the edges of the opening.
It can be switched off – then a normal opening would be input.
Cut 1D member If ON, the opening cuts and removes the ribs if the opening is being
inserted into a ribbed slab.
Cut out opening in 1D
member
If ON and if the opening in the slab cuts also the ribs of the ribbed plate,
then new openings are created in the ribs (beams).
Weights of edges Each edge can have its own weight factor assigned. These weights are
used to recalculate the surface load input on the load panel to a system of
linear loads assigned to individual edges of the load panel.
The weights are not available in the input dialogue. They appear only in
the property dialogue of an already inputted roof/facade panel.

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244

A load panel may be input in two ways: (i) as a normal load panel that lies fully inside the main slab, (ii) as a load panel
that overlaps the main slab – such a load panel then serves as a "cut" to the main slab.
normal load panel

load panel as a cut –
definition phase

Geometry
245
load panel as a cut –
final shape


Procedure for the definition of a new load panel
1. Open function plane Load panel:
a. either use menu function Tree > Structure > Load to edges,
b. or open tree menu service Structure and call function Panel > Load to edges.
2. Input and adjust the required parameters.
3. Confirm with [OK].
4. Select the slab where the opening is to be inserted.
5. Input individual vertices of the opening.
6. Close the function.

Note: As soon as the function is invoked and the master slab selected, working plane is automatically moved to
the plane of the selected master slab. When the definition of the slab-component is over, the working plane
returns back to its original position.
Defining a new shell
Defining a new shell
Each shell is defined as a closed polygon consisting of straight or curved lines.
The procedure to define a shell
1. Open service Structure.
2. Start function Shells.
3. Fill in the parameters – see chapter Shell parameters.
4. Confirm with [OK].
5. Input the vertices of the polygon.
6. If the defined polygon is not closed, the program tries to close it automatically.

Tip: If you want to define a curved 2D member, it may be very useful to input the shape-defining curves in
advance as normal lines (service Structure > Drawing tools > Line). Sample shells.

Sample shells
Cylinder
Start function Structure > Shell.
Adjust the parameters.
On the toolbar at the command line select that you want to input a circle.

Define its centre and radius. (Our example: centre = 0, 0, 0; radius point = 2, 0, 0)
Basic Reference Guide
246

Define the surface line – probably by typing the vertex coordinate on the command line. (Our example: 2, 0, 3)

Input the other circle by its centre only – probably by typing the vertex coordinate on the command line. (Our example:
0, 0, 3)
Geometry
247

Program closes the polygon and the cylinder is there.


Parabolic cylinder
The shell of rectangular plan view, whose two opposite edges are straight lines, and the other two opposite edges are
parabolic arcs.
Start function Structure > Shell.
Adjust the parameters.
Insert the first straight line (start in point 0, 0, 0 and end in 0, -5, 0).
Basic Reference Guide
248

The second edge is parabolic, so press button Parabolic arc on the toolbar at the command line.

Input the intermediate point (3, -5, 3) and the end point (6, -5, 0).

Add one more straight edge ending in point 6, 0, 0.

Geometry
249
Input the other parabolic edge with the intermediate point in 3, 0, 1 and the end point in 0, 0, 0 (do not forget to swap to
parabolic arc mode).

The final rendered shell looks like:


Shell templates
Some most common shells used in civil engineering practice have been pre-defined and can be inserted into your project
as a user block.
Basic Reference Guide
250
Available templates
cone

truncated cone

cylinder

Geometry
251
spherical cap

elbow


The procedure to input shell template
1. Open service Structure.
2. Start function User blocks.
3. Select the required shape.
4. Double-click on its icon to open the template-dimensions dialogue.
5. Input the dimension.
6. Confirm with [OK].
7. Insert the shell into your project.
8. If necessary, modify the shell parameters (e.g. thickness, material, etc.).


Defining a new membrane
Defining a new membrane element
The procedure to define a membrane member
1. Open service Structure.
2. Start function Plane 2D member or Shell member.
3. Fill in the parameters – see chapter Plate or Shell parameters to learn more about individual parameters.
4. Tick checkbox Membrane.
5. Confirm with [OK].
6. Input the shape of the membrane member.

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252
Geometric manipulations
Geometric manipulations with slabs
Slabs like any other entity may be moved, shifted, rotated, etc. Standard geometry-manipulation functions may be
applied to slabs with a few exceptions:
 a slab is manipulated (i.e. copied, moved, etc.) including all its components (i.e. subregions, openings, etc.),
 slab components may be freely manipulated inside the area of the main slab,
 it is not possible to copy or move any slab component to another main slab,
 if node or nodes (vertices) of a slab (both main and component) are manipulated, the operation is valid only if the
final slab remains planar (i.e. all the vertices of a slab must lie in one plane both before and after the
manipulation),
 geometry manipulation functions applicable to slabs are: (i) copy (single and multiple), (ii) move, (iii) stretch, (iv)
rotate, (v) scale, (vi) mirror.
 individual nodes of a slab may be moved to a new location using the Drag&Drop feature or via standard geometry
manipulation functions like move, rotate, mirror, stretch, scale.

Note: To move a node, you must first select the node and then invoke the required function (either the
Drag&Drop feature or any of standard geometry manipulation functions.

Editing the shape of a slab
A slab is in fact a closed polygon. Consequently, the shape of a slab can be modified using functions for editing of
polygons: (i) insert vertex, (ii) remove vertex, (iii) move vertex. The latter is possible through either (i) direct modification
of vertex coordinates in the property window (available for selected vertices) or (ii) drag-and-drop feature.
Example
Let’s demonstrate the feature on an example. Let’s have a rectangular plate and let’s assume that we need to change it
to a L-shape plate.

First, use function Modify > Polyline edit > Edit polyline – insert node and insert two vertices into the required slab
edge. One of the inserted vertices should in the corner of the "flange" of the final L-shape. The other vertex can be
inserted anywhere between the first inserted vertex and the "flange-edge" of the plate.
Geometry
253

Now, move the intermediate-vertex to its final location.

And finally, move the other "flange" vertex to its final position.

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In addition, individual slab edges may be treated as a standard polyline segment or "line", which means that they may be
converted to arcs.
Example
Let’s take the L-shaped plate created in the previous example. Let’s call function Modify > Curves edit > Convert line
to circle arc. In this first step simply define an arbitrary arc (turned to the right side, of course) as it will be modified to
the final shape in the second step.

Finally, use function Modify > Curves edit > Edit curve – arc by radius to input the proper final radius of the circular
arc.


Geometry
255
Intersection of two shells
The problem of intersection of two shells (or plates) is divided into two separate problems:
1. calculation of the intersection (i.e. the intersection curve),
2. removal of the part (called cut-out) that should not be considered in the calculation (if such a part exists).
Procedure to generate the intersection of two shells
1. Input the shells.
2. If you want to limit the action on selected shells only, select the required ones.
3. Call function Modify > Connect members / nodes.
4. The program calculates the intersection of all defined shells (the function connects also nodes to 1D members and
1D members to slabs).
Procedure to define the cut-out (i.e. to define the part of a shell that should be removed from the model)
1. In you have not done so yet, define the intersection – see above.
2. Start function Structure > 2D member components > Cut-out.
3. Select the shells you want to process and confirm the selection with [Esc].
4. The program highlights individual parts of the selected shells. The boundaries of the parts are defined by the shell
edges and by the generated intersections.
5. Select the parts that should be removed and confirm with [Esc].
6. The program draws a cut-out symbol around the border of the selected part(s).

Example
Let’s demonstrate the procedures on a simple example of two intersecting semi-cylinders that may represent an
intersection of two corridors.
Define the shells.

Call function Modify > Connect members / nodes ([ ]) to generate the intersection curves.

They may be better seen in the plan view (the black curves).
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256

When you rotate the view, you may see that even though the intersection has been generated, both shells remain
unchanged, i.e. it is not possible to pass from one corridor to the other one.

Now call function Structure > 2D member components > Cut-out and select both shells. Then select three end-outs.

Geometry
257


When you confirm the selection, the program removes the selected parts from the calculation model. To verify it,
generate the FE mesh and display it.

When you rotate the view, you may see that it is possible to freely pass from one corridor to the other.
Basic Reference Guide
258

Note: In Scia Engineer terminology, the cut-out is an extra entity added to the shell (it is called Additional Data,
or Add Data). The removed part of the shell is not removed from the graphical scene, the shell still remains
unchanged, and is drawn AS IS. The cut.-out is drawn as an additional entity relating to the shell.

It means that if you display rendered surfaces (or rendered middle plane) of the shell, the removed part (the cut-
out) is still displayed.

In order to see the final shape with cut-outs removed, it is necessary to switch off the rendering and display the
generated finite element mesh. See the example above.

Examples
The enclosed images show a practical application of shell intersections and cut-outs.
Geometry
259


Modification of the geometry and properties of plates with beams
In general, the following text applies also to plates from beams and load panels with beams.

Modifying the layout of beams
As long as the beams are not disconnected from the plate (see further in the text), the properties specified in the table
with input parameters of the plate can be arbitrarily modified. That means that it is possible to change the number and
distance of the beams, their alignment, etc.
In order to change for example the cross-section of the beams, it is necessary to select separately the beams that are to
be modified. In general, it is possible that each beam has different cross-section, is inserted into a different layer, etc.
The procedure to change the layout of the beams
1. Select the plate that is to be modified.
Basic Reference Guide
260
2. The properties of the plate are displayed in the Property window.
3. In section Beam layout change the required parameters.
4. All the changes are immediately reflected in the model.
5. Clear the selection.

Changing the general properties of the plate
The general parameters (listed in the table with Input parameters for the plate) can be changed in the same way as for
normal slabs. For example, the name, material, LCS, etc. can be modified this way.
Special note must be made concerning the FEM model of the plate. Plates with beams and plates from beams are input
through the same function. The final type of the plate is adjusted in the input parameters. However, once the plate is
defined, there are some limitations concerning the change of the FEM type.
1. If a plate with beams of any type (isotropic, orthotropic or membrane) has been defined, it cannot be changed to a
plate from beams. The user can only swap freely between isotropic, orthotropic and membrane option.
2. The same applies to the plate from beams. Once a plate is input as a plate from beams, it cannot be changed to a
plate with beams. Once again, it is possible to swap between orthotropic and isotropic plate from beams.
The procedure to change the general properties of the plate
1. Select the plate that is to be modified.
2. The properties of the plate are displayed in the Property window.
3. Change the required parameters at the top part of the table.
4. All the changes are immediately reflected in the model.
5. Clear the selection.

Changing the geometry of the plate
As long as the beams are not disconnected from the plate (see further in the text), all the changes to the geometry affect
also the beams. If the plate is for example rotated, the beams rotate as well. If an additional vertex is added to the outline
of the plate and the shape of the plate is changed, the beams are regenerated accordingly.
Example:
Let us have a plate like this:

Let us rotate it by 90 degrees.
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Let us change its shape. (The user changes just the shape of the plate, the beams are modified automatically to
correspond to the new geometry of the plate.

The procedure to change the geometry of the plate
1. Select the plate that is to be modified.
2. Use any available general function to change the shape. For example:
a. select the required nodes and drag-and-drop to their new position,
b. click action button [Table edit geometry] to open a table with the coordinates of the plate and
make necessary changes,
c. use function for editing of a polygon (menu Modify > Polyline edit > Insert node / Delete node /
etc.
3. All the changes are immediately reflected in the model.
4. Clear the selection.

Inserting an opening into a plate with beams
As long as the beams are not disconnected from the plate (see further in the text), the inserted openings and load panels
affect also the beams.
It can be clearly seen in the following picture. Let us have a plate with beams. An opening is inserted. One of the edges
of the opening follows the axis of one of the beams. Another beam is "cut" by the opening.
As a result, we get a plate with beams with:
 the beam that is "cut" by the opening is really cut into three segments and the segment lying below the opening is
removed, which means that only two segments remain in the model (see the blue numbers in the picture),
 the beam that goes along the edge of the opening is also divided into three segments and all the three segments
remain in the model (see the red numbers in the picture).
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Disconnecting the beams from the plate
If required, it is possible to disconnect the beams from the plate and treat both as separate entities (standard beams and
standard plate).
The procedure to disconnect the beams
1. Select the plate that is to be modified.
2. Click action button [Edit beams].
3. This action removes the relation between the plate and the beams.
4. From this moment, both entities are independent.
Auxiliary lines
Lines
Lines (it means lines and curves) can be used as an auxiliary tool for input of complex shapes. Alternatively, lines may
be used to "complete" your model in terms of graphical representation. For example, you may decide to draw something
around the structure itself, to indicate HVAC parts, etc .
The procedure to draw a line (curve)
1) Open service Structure.
2) Start function modelling/Drawing > Line > Line.
3) If required, type the name of the line and select the layer.
4) Confirm with [OK].
5) On the toolbar above the command line select the shape of the line/curve.
6) Follow the instructions on the command line and input the required points.
7) End the function.

Lines from text
Function Lines from text allow you to type a text message anywhere in the graphical window and treat the text as lines.
It means that you can move it, rotate it, resize it, etc. like any other entity.
The procedure to input lines from text
1) Open service Structure.
2) Start function modelling/Drawing > Line > Lines from text.
3) The input dialogue is opened on the screen.
4) Type the text and adjust other (self-explanatory) parameters (text size, font, code page, font type).
5) Confirm with [OK].
6) The Line input dialogue is opened on the screen now.
7) If required, type the name of the line and select the layer.
8) Confirm with [OK].
5) Position the text.
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7) End the function.

General solids
General solids
In addition to 1D members and slabs, you can use in Scia Engineer a general entity called general solid.
It is a geometrical shape that forms a part of your project but is completely neglected during the calculation. General
solids can be used to model parts of the model that should appear in drawings but that have no real meaning for the
analysis (air-conditioning, railing, etc.).
General solids can be also effectively used if Scia Engineer is used in combination with a CAD program and the
architectural model is imported into it from that third-party CAD program.
Defining a new general solid
There are two types of solid that can be defined in Scia Engineer.
Solid A solid is a 3D volume. Solids are defined by its surface and the interior is filled with an
imaginary mass.
Open shell An open shell is a surface. It may be planar or curved, but it is just the surface.

Solids
Prism
The prism is a solid whose base can be formed by a closed polygon of an arbitrary shape (with both straight and curved
edges) and whose height can follow either a straight line (the picture above) or a curve (circle, parabola, Bezier curve or
spline) (the picture below).



The procedure to input a new prism
1. Open service Structure.
2. Expand branch Drawing tools > General solids > Solid.
3. Select and start function Solid - extruded prism.
4. Input a few parameters of the solid: Name, Layer, Colour.
5. If required, input also the advanced parameters: material and role.
6. Define the base of the prism (i.e. input a closed polygon).
7. Once the polygon is closed, the working plane is automatically readjusted to allow for the input of the height of the
prism.
8. Input the height (a straight line or a curve).
9. Close the function.

Cylinder
The cylinder is a kind of the extruded prism. The limitation is that the base is always formed by a full circle. The height
can once again follow either a straight line or a curve.

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The procedure to input a new cylinder
1. Open service Structure.
2. Expand branch Drawing tools > General solids > Solid.
3. Select and start function Solid - cylinder.
4. Input a few parameters of the solid: Name, Layer, Colour.
5. If required, input also the advanced parameters: material and role.
6. Define the base of the cylinder (i.e. input a circle).
7. Once the base is input, the working plane is automatically readjusted to allow for the input of the height of the
cylinder.
8. Input the height (a straight line or a curve).
9. Close the function.

Surface of revolution
The Surface of revolution is defined by a line or curve and the axis around which it rotates.



The axis can be defined in several ways.

Working plane axis X The axis of rotation is parallel to the X-axis of the current working plane.
Working plane axis Y The axis of rotation is parallel to the Y-axis of the current working plane.
Working plane axis Z The axis of rotation is parallel to the Z-axis of the current working plane.
Define axis by cursor The axis of rotation is defined manually in the graphical window.
Enter custom axis vector The direction of the axis of rotation is defined by a user-input vector.

The procedure to input a new surface of revolution
1. Open service Structure.
2. Expand branch Drawing tools > General solids > Solid.
3. Select and start function Solid – surface of revolution.
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4. Input a few parameters of the solid: Name, Layer, Colour.
5. If required, input also the advanced parameters: material and role.
6. Define the line/curve that will rotate around the axis and thus define the surface.
7. Once the master curve is input, a dialogue opens on the screen.
8. Define the angle of rotation.
9. Define the way the axis of the solid will be defined (see the table above).
10. Confirm the settings in the dialogue.
11. Input the centre of rotation (and depending on the type of the definition of the axis, input other required points).
12. Close the function.

Open shells
General polygon
This is a simple planar shape with an arbitrary number of vertices and arbitrary shape of edges (straight, circular, spline,
etc.).
The procedure to input a new polygon
1. Open service Structure.
2. Expand branch Drawing tools > General solids > Open shell.
3. Select and start function Open shell – general polygon.
4. Input a few parameters of the solid: Name, Layer, Colour.
5. If required, input also the advanced parameters: material and role.
6. Define the polygon.
7. Close the function.

Swept surface
This shell is defined by a master curve and a line or curve along which the master curve is translated (swept). This
translation generates the final shape.



The procedure to input a new swept surface
1. Open service Structure.
2. Expand branch Drawing tools > General solids > Open shell.
3. Select and start function Open shell – swept surface.
4. Input a few parameters of the solid: Name, Layer, Colour.
5. If required, input also the advanced parameters: material and role.
6. Define the master curve. End its definition with [Esc].
7. Input the curve along which the master curve will be swept. End its definition with [Esc].
8. Close the function.

Surface of revolution
This component is similar to the Solid – surface of revolution described above. The difference is that this function (open
shell - surface of revolution) defines a surface and not a volume.

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The procedure to input a new surface of revolution
1. Open service Structure.
2. Expand branch Drawing tools > General solids > Open shell.
3. Select and start function Open shell – surface of revolution.
4. Input a few parameters of the solid: Name, Layer, Colour.
5. If required, input also the advanced parameters: material and role.
6. Define the line/curve that will rotate around the axis and thus define the surface.
7. Once the master curve is input, a dialogue opens on the screen.
8. Define the angle of rotation.
9. Define the way the axis of the solid will be defined (see the table above).
10. Confirm the settings in the dialogue.
11. Input the centre of rotation (and depending on the type of the definition of the axis, input other required points).
12. Close the function.
Editing the existing general solid
Any of the defined general solids can be modified using the same procedure that applies to other Scia Engineer entities
such as beam, slab, etc.
The procedure to modify the existing general solid
1. Select the solid to be edited.
2. Its properties are displayed in the Property window.
3. Change the required parameters. The changes are immediately reflected in the graphical window.
4. If you want to modify the geometry, press action button [Table edit geometry]. This button opens a dialogue with
coordinates of the vertices that define the shape of the solid. Make any changes that are necessary and confirm
with [OK].
Geometrical manipulations with general solids
You may perform standard geometrical manipulations with general solids. For example, they may be moved, copied,
stretched, etc. The procedures are the same as for standard Scia Engineer entities.
Boolean operations with general solids
Scia Engineer enables the user to perform standard Boolean operations with general solids.
The operations will be demonstrated on a set of simple examples.
Let us have two solids (cuboids) that intersect each other.
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Union
The union operation merges the two cuboids into one solid.

Subtraction
When you perform the subtraction, you may decide whether the subtracted solid should be deleted or kept in the model.
If you decide to delete it, it is removed.


If you keep it, it remains unaffected.


Intersection
There are two types of intersection: XOR (exclusive OR) and OR.
For the XOR option, what remains from the solids is the part that belongs to just one of them. The part that belongs to
both solids (the intersecting part) is removed.
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For normal OR it is the opposite way. The parts of the solids that belong to all intersecting solids are kept in the model
and the rest is removed.


Division
This operation divides the solids into more separate shapes. The parts that belong to just one solid are separated and
the parts that belong to more solids create a new solid or solids.


The procedure to perform a Boolean operation
1. Open service Structure.
2. Expand branch Transfer/Break/Unify.
3. Select the required function (Union of solids, Subtraction of solids, Intersection of solids, Division of solids).
4. Select the original entity for the operation.
5. Select the secondary entity or entities for the operation.
6. End selection with [ESC].
7. For subtraction and intersection operations decide on the type of the operation (see above).
8. That’s it.
Conversion of general components to structural members
General solids either directly inputted in your model or imported through any of available import function can be
transformed into Scia Engineer native entities: 1D members (beam, column, etc.) or 2D members (plate, wall, etc.).
Solid to beam
Any (reasonably shaped) general solid can be transformed to a Scia Engineer native entity of 1D member type. In
general, we can talk about three (or four – depending on the way you count it) different conversion algorithms: automatic,
straight prismatic beam, and arbitrary beam (which works in both "automatic" and "straight prismatic" mode).
The "automatic" recognition algorithm is intended for curved members (e.g. the image below).
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The "straight prismatic beam" recognition algorithm is able to create straight 1D members with a prismatic cross-sections
(e.g. the image below).


The "arbitrary beam" option can be used with any of the two above-mentioned modes. It produces curved or straight 1D
members with variable cross-section (e.g. the image below).


Setup parameters for solid to beam/column conversion

Recognition algorithm Automatic
This option first calculates an approximated oriented "bounding box" of the selected solid (i.e.
the smallest possible box containing the whole solid). Its longest axis determines the
approximate direction of the final 1D member. Then the system line of the member is
calculated (the algorithm is rather complex and will not be described here). When the system
line is found, the cross-section is analysed and determined. In this step the algorithm tries to
take into account possible openings defined in the member.

Detect straight prismatic beams
This option first calculates an approximated oriented "bounding box" of the selected solid (i.e.
the smallest possible box containing the whole solid). Its longest axis determines the
approximate direction of the final 1D member. So far, it has been identical to the Automatic
algorithm. From now on, however, the procedure is different and simpler. The algorithm finds
the edge the orientation of which is nearest to the approximated orientation determined earlier.
Then the solid is transformed to the coordinate system defined by the orientation of the edge in
question. A standard xyz system of the bounding box is created. The length of the system line
is then determined from it. Finally, the cross-section is detected.
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Recognition setup

Cross-section comparison
tolerance
This is the maximum allowable distance of two points that is used to determine whether the
cross-section created by the recognition algorithm already exists in the database of the project.
The larger the value the less exact recognised shape of the cross-section and, at the same
time, the lower total number of cross-sections defined in the project (even though, there may
be configurations in which this proportion does not hold).
Detect arbitrary beam If ON, the algorithm detects changes of the cross-section along the member and creates an
arbitrary beam.

Arbitrary beam recognition setup
This set of parameters is available only if Detect arbitrary beam (above) is set to ON.
Arbitrary beams can be detected for both "automatic" and "straight prismatic beams" option. The principal difference in
the algorithm is that the cross-section is detected in more points along the beam. The points where the detection takes
place are specified by the user. The definition is similar to the definition of SNAP points in SNAP function (see below).
Adjacent spans with identical cross-sections can be merged into single spans (see "Arbitrary beam output setup" below).

Points on line-curve length If ON, the recognition algorithm tries to recognise the shape of the cross-section in points
specified by the number, distance between them and distance from the beginning or end of the
beam.
Enabled
Switches ON/OFF this definition of points where cross-section is recognised.
Length
Specifies the distance between points.
Repeat
Specifies the number of points for the recognition.
Start point
Defines if the distance is measured from the beginning or end or both end-points of the beam.
Points on line-curve Nths If ON, the recognition algorithm tries to recognise the shape of the cross-section in points
located in N-ths ofthe beam length.
Enabled
Switches ON/OFF this definition of points where cross-section is recognised.
Number of Nths
Specifies the number of intervals to which the beam is divided (e.g. 3 = three intervals).
Points on line-curve % of
length
If ON, the recognition algorithm tries to recognise the shape of the cross-section in points
located in given percentage of the total length of the beam.
Enabled
Switches ON/OFF this definition of points where cross-section is recognised.
Point position
Defines the required percentage.

Arbitrary beam output setup
This set of parameters is available only if Detect arbitrary beam (above) is set to ON.

Merge identical spans If ON, all adjacent spans with identical cross-section are merged into one span.
Cross-section Prismatic
The cross-section does not change within the extent of one span.
Two css
The cross-section varies from CSS1 to CSS2 linearly over the length of the span.
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Output setup

Display output report If ON, a report is shown on the screen when the recognition is completed.

The procedure to convert a general solid to a 1D member
1. Start function Transfer/Break/Unify > General solid into beam/column.
2. Select the required member(s).
3. End the selection.
4. The setup dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. Define the required parameters.
6. Confirm with [OK].

Solid to plate
A reasonably shaped general solid can be transformed to a Scia Engineer native entity of 2D member type. In general,
we can talk about two different conversion algorithms: automatic, and flat slabs.
The "automatic" recognition algorithm is intended for more complex shapes as it is capable of creating a set of plates
located in different non-parallel planes. For example, the solid in the picture is transformed into four 2D members.


The "flat slabs" recognition algorithm is able to create 2D members from solids that are roughly "flat". For example, the
solid in the picture below is transformed into two 2D members, as the two corner "wings" are located out of the plane.


Setup parameters for solid to plate/wall conversion

Recognition algorithm Automatic
Converts selected solids to planar 2D members. The conversion may result in several plates.
The solid is internally split into individual planar parts which are then sorted by size and
processed. The result is one or more Scia Engineer native 2D members of plate type.
Detect flat slabs
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This option is intended for solids that are roughly flat. The algorithm is analogous to the
automatic mode. The exception is that at the very beginning all the planar parts of the solid that
are not located in the main plane of the solid are excluded from processing.
Detect circular slabs
This option is intended for circular walls imported from Allplan. When read from Allplan, these
walls are stored as a "collection" of a great number of small wall segments. The recognizer-
algorithm converts them to a standard Scia Engineer member.

Example: Circular wall - before and after recognition:


Output setup

Display output report If ON, a report is shown on the screen when the recognition is completed.

The procedure to convert a general solid to a 2D member
1. Start function Transfer/Break/Unify > General solid into plate/wall.
2. Select the required member(s).
3. End the selection.
4. The setup dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. Define the required parameters.
6. Confirm with [OK].
Catalogue blocks
Introduction to catalogue blocks
Catalogue blocks represent a powerful tool that allows the user to define the "whole" structure in a single step. The word
"whole" has been put into the quotation marks as the structure created here may either (i) really form the whole structure
that should be analysed, or (ii) be just a part of a larger, complex model.
The catalogue block is a smaller, or we can say standard or template, structure the geometry of which has been defined
in advance by the developer of Scia Engineer. The user has to specify only the dimensions and properties of his/her
particular application. The whole geometry-definition process is confined to a simple filling in of a short table.
Scia Engineer offers a wide range of catalogue blocks (standard template structures) such as 2D and 3D lattice girders,
towers (masts), 2D and 3D frames and much more. The procedure for their definition has been unified and, therefore,
once the user becomes accustomed to the definition of one of the catalogue block types, he/she is capable of inserting
all other types.

Overview of catalogue blocks
Catalogue blocks, or we can say standard template structures, that are accessible in Scia Engineer can be divided into
groups according to their shape and dimension:
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273
beam A 1D member of variable cross-section.
planar frame Simple two-dimensional frames.
frame 3D A couple of classical 3D frames.
tower 2D A set of 2D masts (analogous to 3D masts).
tower / mast A series of lattice masts with most usual variants of diagonal arrangement.
two-dimensional lattice girder -
straight variant
Simple 2D lattice girders with various arrangements of diagonals and verticals.
two-dimensional lattice girder -
curved variant
A set of 2D lattice girders with curved chords and different arrangement and
number of diagonals and verticals.
three-dimensional lattice girder -
straight variant
Practical variants of three-dimensional lattice girders with alternative arrangement
of diagonals, verticals and chord elements.
three-dimensional lattice girder -
curved variant
Several possible arrangements of diagonals, verticals and chord elements for 3D
lattice girders with curved chord.
curve A set of commonly used curves such as a circle, ellipse, parabola, etc.


Catalogue block types
Catalogue block - Beam
Catalogue block Beam represents an I-beam of a cross-section varying along the span. In cross-section the beam is
shaped like letter I with haunches in the inner corners between the flanges and the wall. In longitudinal section, the beam
is symmetrical and resembles of letter A. However, the longitudinal shape may be affected by the concrete values of
individual beam dimensions.
Beam parameters
Name The name is used for unique and straightforward identification of the catalogue
block.
Dimensions The dimensions define the size and consequently also the shape of the beam.
Meaning of individual dimension parameters can be clearly seen on the
accompanying picture.
Cross-section Catalogue block Beam always requires the definition of its cross-section before the
specification of dimensions.

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Catalogue block - 2D frame
Catalogue block Plane frame (2D frame) is a simple 2D frame. There are several types of the shape available.
2D Frame parameters
Name The name is used for unique and straightforward identification of the catalogue
block.
Dimensions The dimensions define the size and consequently also the shape of the frame.
Meaning of individual dimension parameters can be clearly seen on the
accompanying picture.
Cross-section Separate cross-section may be defined for columns and cross-beam of the frame.


Catalogue block - 3D frame
There are two variants of 3D frame available in Scia Engineer: a regular orthogonal frame and a "tapering" one. For both
variants a dialogue of the same type is opened and must be filled in.
3D Frame parameters
Name The name is used for unique and straightforward identification of the catalogue
block.
Dimensions The dimensions define the size and consequently also the shape of the frame.
Meaning of individual dimension parameters can be clearly seen on the
accompanying picture.
Cross-section Three different cross-sections must be defined for this type of catalogue block.
Each cross-section is used for members oriented in one direction: along X-axis,
along Y-axis, along Z-axis.


Catalogue block - 2D lattice girder
A wider range of plane lattice girders is available in the catalogue block library. They cover the most often used types of
girders.
Separate sets have been prepared for both straight and curved variants of plane lattice girders. The manipulation with
girders, procedure of definition, and meaning of parameters is the same for both.
Lattice girder parameters
Name The name is used for unique and straightforward identification of the catalogue
block.
Dimensions The dimensions define the size and consequently also the shape of the lattice
girder. Meaning of individual dimension parameters can be clearly seen on the
accompanying picture.
The parameters define not only the size and shape, but also number of spans of
the girder.
Cross-section Cross-sections may be defined separately for individual parts of the girder: upper
chord, lower chord, verticals, and diagonals.

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Catalogue block - 3D lattice girder
A wider range of space lattice girders is available in the catalogue block library. They cover the most often used types of
girders.
Separate sets have been prepared for both straight and curved variants of 3D lattice girders. The manipulation with
girders, procedure of definition, and meaning of parameters is the same for both.
Lattice girder parameters
Name The name is used for unique and straightforward identification of the catalogue
block.
Dimensions The dimensions define the size and consequently also the shape of the lattice
girder. Meaning of individual dimension parameters can be clearly seen on the
accompanying picture.
The parameters define not only the size and shape, but also number of spans of
the girder.
Cross-section Cross-sections may be defined separately for individual parts of the girder: upper
chord, lower chord, verticals, and diagonals.

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Catalogue block - Mast
Scia Engineer offers a whole set of masts, or we can say towers, with different arrangement of diagonals. The user thus
can select the required type. It may however happen that none of the pre-defined shapes satisfies particular needs and
the user needs to define a mast of type that is not in the library. Then it is possible to select the most similar, or the
closest, type, insert it into the project and subsequently apply modification functions (e.g. delete, move, copy, etc.) to
adjust the shape as necessary.
Mast parameters
Name The name is used for unique and straightforward identification of the catalogue
block.
Dimensions The dimensions define the size and consequently also the shape of the mast.
Meaning of individual dimension parameters can be clearly seen on the
accompanying picture.
Cross-section Three different cross-sections must be defined for this type of catalogue block.
Each cross-section is used for members oriented in one direction: horizontal
beams, vertical (or inclined) 1D members, and diagonals.

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Note: If the current project is of 3D type, the user may choose from a set of three-dimensional masts. It the
project is of 2D type, only two-dimensional musts are available.


Catalogue block - Curve
Catalogue blocks provide not only for simple structures, but also for common geometric shapes such as curves. A whole
set of basic curves is available in Scia Engineer. For each curve shape (e.g. circle, ellipse, hyperbole, etc.) the user can
select the most appropriate way of its definition.
Together with the shape also a cross-section is defined and as a result a curved 1D member is created. The generated
1D member is not smooth-curved, but the exact curve of the shape is substituted with a polygon of straight segments.
A big advantage of the pre-defined curve catalogue blocks is that not only the whole curve, but only a required segment
of it can be defined. Thus the field of application becomes much wider for this Scia Engineer feature.
Curve types
circle (x)

A circle segment defined by means of radius and a set of X co-
ordinates.
circle (y)

A circle segment defined by means of radius and a set of Y co-
ordinates.
circle (f)

A circle segment defined by means of radius and a central angle.
ellipse (x)

An ellipse segment defined by means of maximum and minimum
radius and a couple of X co-ordinates.
ellipse (y)

An ellipse segment defined by means of maximum and minimum
radius and a couple of X co-ordinates.
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ellipse (f)

An ellipse segment defined by means of maximum and minimum
radius and a central angle.
parabola (x)

A parabolic segment defined by means of its height, length and a
couple of X co-ordinates.
parabola (y)

A parabolic segment defined by means of its height, length and a
couple of Y co-ordinates.
hyperbole (x)

A hyperbolic segment defined by means of a X co-ordinates.
hyperbole (y)

A hyperbolic segment defined by means of a X co-ordinates.
hyperbole (f)

A hyperbolic segment defined by means of two central angle.
chain curve (x)

A "chain-curve" segment defined by means of X co-ordinates of chain-
curve ends.
chain curve (s)

A "chain-curve" segment defined by means of chain-curve end co-
ordinates measured along the curve.
sinusoid

A segment of a standard sinusoid.
spiral

A segment of a spiral.

Curve parameters
Name The name is used for unique and straightforward identification of the catalogue
block.
Dimensions and parameters of
shape
The dimensions and other parameters define the size and the shape of the
appropriate curve. Meaning of individual dimension parameters can be clearly seen
on the accompanying picture.
Number of straight segments per
curve
This number specifies how many line segments is used to substitute the exact
curve shape. The higher the number is the smoother is the final generated curve.
Cross-section The generated "curved" 1D member has got a constant cross-section. If necessary,
it may later altered via standard beam-modification functions.


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Defining a new catalogue block
Catalogue block manager
The Catalogue block manager is a tool that provides for all the possible operations related to the definition or editing of
catalogue blocks. The user may to:
 define a new catalogue block,
 select an already defined catalogue block and insert it repeatedly into the project,
 choose an already defined catalogue block, modify it as required and insert the modified variant into the project.
The Catalogue block manager is one of the managers integrated in Scia Engineer and its layout and operation are
identical to other Scia Engineer Managers.
The Catalogue block manager is open when function Catalogue block is activated. It may represent one of the steps in
the General procedure for the definition of a new catalogue block.
Generally, there are several ways to open the Catalogue block manager:
 Tree menu function Library > Catalogue blocks.
 Tree menu function Structure > Catalogue blocks.
 Menu function Libraries > Catalogue blocks.

Note: Which way is actually chosen depends on two factors: (i) where (what part of the program) is the
manager called from, and (ii) habits of a particular user.


Defining a new catalogue block
The process for the definition (or we can say insertion) of a new catalogue block into a Scia Engineer project consists of
a few steps.
The procedure for the definition of a catalogue block
1. Call function Catalogue block. There are several way to do so:
a. Use tree menu function Library > Catalogue block.
b. Activate menu function Libraries > Catalogue block.
c. Open service Structure in the menu tree and then call function Catalogue block.
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2. The function opens the Catalogue block manager. If no catalogue block has been defined yet in the project, the
program automatically opens New catalogue block dialogue (see point 4 of the procedure.
3. Select function New in the Catalogue block manager dialogue.
4. From the New catalogue block dialogue select the required type of catalogue block (standard structure).
5. Fill in the catalogue block parameters (name, dimensions, cross-section type, etc.).
6. Review the catalogue block parameters.
7. Close the Catalogue block manager.
8. Insert the catalogue block into the modelling space. This step may be repeated as many times as required. This
insertion phase is a standard "insert new entity" action and can be closed accordingly.

Note 1: Step 2 may be preceded by one more intermediate step. If no cross-section has been defined when the
Catalogue block manager is being opened, the dialogue for the definition of a new cross-section is opened first.
After at least one cross-section is defined, dialogue and Cross-section manager are closed, then the Catalogue
block manager is finally opened.
Note 2: Step 8 is available ONLY IF the Catalogue block function was called from within service Structure.
Otherwise, the catalogue blocks defined in steps 1 to 7 are added into the project and saved with it when the
project is saved, but they are not included into the model.
Note 3: When a catalogue block has been defined and is being inserted into the modelling space, the mouse
cursor is attached to one of the block nodes. If required, the user may change this node and define a new
insertion point of the catalogue block. To do so, button [Change the insertion point] ( ) that is located at the
end of the toolbar above the command line must be pressed. The catalogue block is then temporarily placed
"somewhere" into the modelling space and the user may select the new insertion point (using any SNAP options
that may be convenient for this). Once the new insertion point is selected, the mouse cursor is attached to it and
the user may finish the insertion of the catalogue block.

Selecting the catalogue block type
The selection of the required catalogue block type or types can be done in a New catalogue block dialogue. The
dialogue consists of the following control and information elements:
List of available catalogue block
types
It contains all the available catalogue block types.
List of possible variants for the
current type
It offers possible sub-types for the selected type.
Drawing of the currently selected
variant
It shows the particular selected catalogue block.
List of already defined catalogue
blocks
It lists all he already defined (inserted) catalogue block.
Control buttons They provide for the control of the dialogue.

List of available catalogue block types
The dialogue offers a list of available catalogue block types. The contents of the list may vary depending on the current
configuration of the program. The list provides for the selection of required type of standard structure (e.g. mast, 2D truss
girder, etc.).
List of possible variants (sub-types) for the current type
This dialogue element displays a set of graphical symbols (icons) representing the individual variants of the catalogue
block type that is currently selected in the List of available catalogue block types.
Drawing of the currently selected variant
A small window displays a drawing of the currently selected variant of the currently selected catalogue block type. A
short "description name" of the particular variant is added to the drawing mainly to facilitate the identification of a
particular catalogue block sub-type and type.
List of already defined catalogue blocks
In addition to the available catalogue block types, the dialogue displays a list containing all the catalogue block that have
been defined (i.e. inserted into the project) so far.
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Control Buttons
Button [OK]
Button [OK] confirms the selection of a particular type and variant. Once this button is pressed a dialogue for editing of
catalogue block parameters is opened. When the parameters are specified and confirmed, a new catalogue block is
added to the List of already defined catalogue blocks.
Button [Close]
This button closes the New catalogue block dialogue.


Specifying the block parameters
The specification of catalogue block parameters can be done in a dialogue for editing of a particular catalogue block.
This dialogue is opened automatically once the user selects and confirms the required type in the New catalogue block
type dialogue. In addition, the editing dialogue can be opened any time later via the [Edit] button of the Catalogue
block manager.
The editing dialogue consists of three main parts:
Graphical window It displays the particular catalogue block. For some types it includes dimension
lines, labels, etc.
Property table It comprises all the parameters the catalogue block and provides for their insertion
and editing .
Legend drawing It shows the meaning of individual parameters on a drawing of a sample catalogue
block structure.
Control buttons They close the editing dialogue in the required way.

Graphical window
The graphical window displays the catalogue block. For some of the types also dimension lines and labels are available.
The drawing immediately reflects any modifications of geometry parameters made in the property table.
Property table
The property table contains all the parameters that are necessary for full definition of the selected catalogue block
structure. The parameters can be both input or edited in this table.
The parameters can be divided into three groups: name, geometry parameters, and specification of cross-section or
cross-sections. The number of cross-sections that must be specifies depends on the type of the catalogue block. E.g.
curves require just one cross-section, and e.g. 3D frames need three ones.
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If the graphical window displays also dimension lines, then there exists a special interconnection between the property
table and graphical window. The principles, main features and advantages of this interconnection are described in detail
in book Cross-sections, chapter Specifying sectional parameters and properties.
Control buttons
Button [OK]
This button closes the dialogue and accepts all the inputs and changes made in it.
If a new catalogue block has been defined in the editing dialogue it is inserted into the project.
If an existing catalogue block has been modified here, the changes are taken into account and saved into the project.
Button [Cancel]
This button closes the dialogue and all the inputs and changes made in it are abandoned.
If a new catalogue block has been defined in the editing dialogue it is NOT inserted into the project.
If an existing catalogue block has been modified here, the changes are not taken into account.

Reviewing the block parameters
There are a few ways to see, scrutinise, and edit (if necessary) the parameters of a catalogue block.
Property table in the Catalogue
block manager
The Catalogue block manager contains a vertically oriented window that displays
the parameters of currently selected catalogue block.
Property table in the dialogue for
editing of a catalogue block
Each dialogue for editing of a catalogue block contains a property table with all the
parameters of the edited catalogue block.
Document-style view in the
preview window
This is the most sophisticated kind of display for parameters of a catalogue block. It
is accessible from within the dialogue for editing of a catalogue block.

Property table in the Catalogue block manager
The property table in the Catalogue block manager provides for quick overview of parameters of individual catalogue
blocks. It is possible to edit some of the parameters, however, this table is not primarily intended for thorough editing of a
catalogue block.
If a catalogue block should be modified, the catalogue block editing dialogue should be invoked via button [Edit].
Property table in the dialogue for editing of a catalogue block
The property table in this dialogue provides for both lucid overview of the catalogue block parameters and their
straightforward modification.
Document-style view in the preview window
The parameters of a catalogue block can be displayed in a readable way in the preview window. The preview window
then displays a table with all the catalogue block parameters sorted in it.
The table is in fact a standard Scia Engineer document table and consequently its format can be adjusted to meet any
specific requirements. The adjustment can be done the same way as with any other document table.
This display style can be invoked from within the Catalogue block manager by pressing button [Text output].

User blocks
Introduction to user blocks
Scia Engineer enables the user to make a library of his/her projects that are used over and over again. These projects
may be at any time included into a newly created project or appended to an earlier created and currently edited project.
The projects in this user-created library are called User blocks and the library is called User block library.

Using the user blocks
The application of user blocks can be divided into three independent steps. The steps must be carried out in the given
order and all of them must be made.
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Creating the user block
A user block can be created as a standard project. There are no explicit restrictions to it. Usually, the user will be
working on his/her project and either at the end or some time during the design phase s/he decides to make a user
block of the current state of the project.
Then the only thing that must be done is save the project to the disk. It may be useful, however not compulsory, to use
function Save As and give the project such a name that gives a hint about the structure in the project.
Storing the user block to the library
In order to be usable as a user block, the project must be stored in the User block library folder (see Program settings
> Directory settings). This may be achieved in two ways.
 The user specifies the proper path in the Save As dialogue (see paragraph above) and saves the project directly
to the User block library folder.
 The user saves the project to his/her common project folder and then copies the file to the User block library
folder. The file may be copied in any file-management tool (e.g. Windows Explorer, Total Commander, My
Computer dialogue, etc.)

Tip: The user blocks may be stored not only in the given User block library folder, but they may be arranged in
a tree of subfolders. The subfolders may then group user blocks that have something in common. This
arrangement may lead to easier and clearer application of user blocks, especially if a long time passes from the
time they were created and stored.
Inserting the user block into another project
The procedure for insertion of a user block into a project
1. Open service Structure:
a. either by means of tree menu function Structure,
b. or by means of menu function Tree > Structure,
c. or by means of icon Structure on toolbar Project.
2. Select and activate function User blocks.
3. A User block wizard opens on the screen. Its left hand side window shows the organisation of the User block
library folder, i.e. it shows any possible subfolders. The right hand side window then displays all available user
blocks saved in the appropriate folder or subfolder.
4. Select the required folder.
5. Select the required User block.
6. Click [OK] in order to insert the block to the current project.
7. Select the required options for the import (see below).
8. Position the user block to the desired place and click the left mouse button to put the block there.
9. If required, repeat the previous step as many times as required or necessary.

Note: It the User block is a parameterised project, the program asks the user to provide all necessary
parameters in order to complete the definition of the user block.
Import user block parameters
Import type Only structure
Only structural members (1D members, slabs, shells, etc.) will be imported.
Structure with all other data
Both the structure and all other defined data such as supports, loads, load cases,
connections, etc. will be imported.
Structure with selective other data
The structure will be imported together with user-selected model and other data.
Only other data
Only the model and other additional data will be imported. No structural member
will be added to the current project.
Model (available only for option Structure with selective other data)
If ON, the model data (e.g. supports) will be imported.
Loads (available only for option Structure with selective other data)
If ON, the loads will be imported.
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Connections (available only for option Structure with selective other data)
If ON, the connections will be imported.
Import structure into New layers
The structure will be imported into new layers. The number of newly created layers
corresponds to the number of layers in the user block.
Identical layers by name (when exist)
The import procedure tries to place the structural members from the user block into
identical layers in the current project – if such layers exist. In necessary, new layers
are created.
Current layer
The whole user block is imported into the current (active) layer of the current
project.
Load cases Add block library item
New load cases are added in the Load case manager. The number of added load
cases is equal to the number of load cases stored in the imported user block.
Collect block library item by name
The import procedure compares the names of load cases in the imported user
block and in the current project and when possible, it puts the imported loads into
the existing load cases.
Cross-sections Analogous to the load cases above.
Load groups Analogous to the load cases above.
Others Analogous to the load cases above.

Note: The number and type of the parameters in the import user block dialogue may vary depending on the
contents of the current project and imported block.
Limitations of the import
Different national code in the imported user block and current project
The national code of the imported user block is changed to the national code of the current project.
Each used material of the user block is shown to the user. User has to assign one material from the current project. The
assignment rule can be remembered and used for next user blocks (then it is applied automatically without asking). No
materials from the user block are added to the new project.
Parameters
After the modification of the user block, all parameters are disconnected from the block items and they are not copied
into current project.

Moving the entities
Introduction to moving of entities
The preparation of a model is rarely completed simply by insertion of new entities such as 1D members, slabs, loads,
supports, etc. Most likely you will need to modify the inserted objects in some way in order to create the model you really
need.
Scia Engineer provides a whole range of functions for moving of entities. For some intriguing manipulations the functions
may have to be combined in order to obtain the required effect. Sometimes, there may be a few ways to obtain the same
result. If so, it will be solely on the user which concrete procedure will be selected and carried out.
The move operations can be sorted by:
 the entity type which is being moved,
 the trajectory followed by the entity that is being moved.
Type of manipulated entity
 move of a geometric entity the description of which is given below,
 move of an additional-data entity (such as load, support, etc.) which is described in a separate chapter.
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Trajectory followed by the manipulated entity
(simple) move It shifts the object from one position to another. The trajectory is a straight line and
the orientation of the object remains unchanged.
rotation It rotates the object around a given point. The trajectory is a circle or a part of a
circle.
mirroring It makes a "mirror image" of the object.

Thus, for geometric entities one can use the following set of move functions:
(Simple) Move Move via a property table
Move using a menu function
Move by means of Drag & Drop feature
Move via the right mouse button pop-up menu
Rotation Rotation by means of changing one vertex location
Rotation using a menu function
Rotation via the right mouse button pop-up menu
Mirroring


In addition to move of entities, some other modification functions can be applied, such as copying, deleting, changing of
dimensions, connecting and disconnecting of members, dividing and joining of members, etc. These functions are
described in separate chapters.

Tip: If the modification is supposed to be done with a large or complex model or if the modification itself is going
to be rather excessive, it is highly recommended to make a backup copy of the project prior to the intended
changes. The program contains UNDO function, nevertheless, it is always better to have got a backup copy so
that one can:
 return to the original if the manipulations lead to a state that is even less suitable than the original,
 compare the results of both variants if the results of the modified structure may seem to be strange
or unexpected.
Note: Please, note that any kind of model modification will lead to the necessity to carry our all the previously
performed calculations once more because the change in the structure geometry, the re-positioning of load, and
the modification of boundary conditions do result in a different distribution of internal forces.

General rules for move of entities
There exists a set of rules that are followed when nodes or 1D members change their position. The rules, for example,
guarantee that an undefined state of geometry or otherwise forbidden situation won’t arise once the move operation has
been carried out.
Linked versus absolute node
Scia Engineer uses two types of nodes: absolute and linked. If a modification function is carried out with a part of a
structure model, the result will depend on the type of nodes that are included in the structure part being moved. The
differences may occur for move of separate nodes as well as for move of whole 1D members (and of course, for move of
both nodes and 1D members at the same time).
The rules that are applied during move operations are given below. The rules are divided into two separate parts. The
first one deals with move operation that includes nodes only. The other part describes that rules that are followed when
either 1D members or 1D members and nodes together are being moved.
Rules for move of nodes
 When an absolute node or several absolute nodes are moved, the 1D member(s) connected to the node before
the move operation remains connected also after the operation. It is not possible to "tear" the node out of the 1D
member. This feature may be used to e.g. rotate, shorten, or prolong a 1D member.
 If all the nodes relating to a particular 1D member are selected for the move operation, the result is the move of
the whole 1D member. This feature can be therefore deliberately used for the repositioning of 1D members.
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 An absolute node can be moved to an arbitrary new position. The connected 1D member follows the move of the
node and, as a result, the 1D member connected to the moved node may change its orientation or length or both.
A curved 1D member may also change its curvature.
 A linked node can be moved in two ways. First, it may be moved the same way as an absolute node. Second, it
can be shifted in a way so that it remains bound to the 1D member it relates to. The latter result is achieved if
nodal co-ordinates are modified in the property table.
Rules for move of 1D members
 When a 1D member is being moved to a new location, it may remain attached to the rest of the model (with
simultaneous distortion of the model) or it may separate from the remaining part of the model. Which variant
actually happens depends on the type of connection between the moved and unmoved 1D members (See below).
 If the 1D member that is being moved is connected to the attached 1D member s by means of linked nodes, the
connection remains unchanged and the ends of the connected 1D members move together with the moved 1D
member. That means that the attached 1D members may change its orientation, size, curvature, or both.
 If the connection between the moved and attached 1D members is NOT made via linked nodes, the 1D member
that is being moved is separated from the structure.
 If a 1D member is placed to a new location, the program verifies whether some unattached nodes would not
remain in the original 1D member location. If so, such nodes are automatically moved together with the 1D
member. If not, the 1D member is moved and new end nodes are automatically created for the 1D member in its
target location.
 If the 1D member end nodes in its target location fit into some of the existing nodes, the existing nodes are
assigned as the end nodes of the 1D member and no new nodes are created.
For more information about nodes read chapter Nodes.
Practical examples of node type influence
Let’s assume a simple plane frame consisting of two columns and a horizontal beam.

As the first step, let’s consider that the right hand column is connected to the horizontal beam by means of a linked node.
The linked node is marked by the short double line drawn at the connection of the members.
Now, let’s move the horizontal beam up and right. The result can be seen in the figure below. The right hand column has
remained connected to the horizontal beam, has inclined to the right and has changed its length. On the other hand, the
left hand column has stayed in its original position without any change. There is no linked node on the horizontal beam in
the point of connection with this column.

In the second step of the example, let’s assume that the linked node is missing also at the connection of the horizontal
beam with the right hand column. Consequently, when the beam is moved (again up and right), both the columns
undergo no change at all (see the figure below).
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Moving the geometric entities
Moving an entity via the property table
If you want to move a node or a 1D member to a new location and you know the co-ordinates of the final position, you
can define the co-ordinates directly in the property dialogue.
When moving a single node, its new position can be defined simply be typing the new X, Y, and Z co-ordinates. When
moving two or more nodes and when moving a 1D member or 1D members, one must be aware of the fact that only
some of the co-ordinates may be allowed to be changed.
For example, if you want to move a vertical column, it is not possible to move it in vertical direction. The only change that
is allowed is the horizontal move. This limitation stems from the following:
In order to move an entity using the discussed approach, you have to select its end points, i.e. its end nodes.
The move is carried out via the change of the position of these end nodes.
Assuming the situation that two nodes located one above the other, it is illogical to modify their Z co-ordinate, as the two
nodes would become identical. Therefore, only X and Y co-ordinates may be modified in the example under
consideration.
Similar rules are applied for entities oriented in a different than vertical direction.
The procedure for move of a node or nodes
1. Select the nodes you want to move.
2. In the property table, modify the co-ordinate or co-ordinates you require to.
3. Confirm each modified co-ordinate with [Enter] key.
4. After each confirmation, you will see the response in the graphical window, as the model will be regenerated.
5. Clear the selection (unless you want to continue to work with the selected nodes)
The procedure for move of a 1D member(s)
1. Select end nodes of the 1D members you want to move.
2. In the property table, modify the co-ordinate or co-ordinates you require to.
3. Confirm each modified co-ordinate with [Enter] key.
4. After each confirmation, you will see the response in the graphical window, as the model will be regenerated.
5. Clear the selection (unless you want to continue to work with the selected nodes)

Moving an entity via a menu function
Function Move entity can be activated in two ways:
 using menu item Modify > Move,
 using the [Move] ( ) icon on the Geometrical manipulations toolbar.
Both the approached call the same function for move of geometric entities.
The function works with selected entities and moves them to a new location. The selection can be made:
 either before the activation of the function,
 or after the activation of the function.
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The Move operation done with a previously made selection of entities
If some entities have been selected prior to calling the Move function, the function requires only the definition of the
move vector and then it performs the move operation with the already selected entities. Once the entities are moved to a
new location, the function is closed and the selection of the entities remains the same as it was before the function call.
The procedure for the Move operation done with a previously made selection of entities
1. Make the selection of entities you want to be moved or adopt the existing selection made for other purposes.
2. Call function Move.
3. Define the first reference point. (The vector along which the selected entities move is defined by two reference
points. The first reference point is the Start point and defines the origin of the move vector. The second reference
point is called the End point and defines the end point of the move vector. Please note that the first reference point
does not have to be located on the entity being moved, it can be defined anywhere within the modelling space.)
4. Define the second reference point.
5. The move operation has been completed and the selection remains unchanged.
The Move operation done with a selection created as a part the function procedure
The Move function can be, of course, called also without any existing, previously made selection. The selection of the
entities that are supposed to be moved is then made as a part of the Move operation procedure. Once the operation is
completed and the function closed, the selection is cleared and does not exist any more. However, it may be renewed
via the Previous selection function.
The procedure for the Move operation done with an afterwards-created selection of entities
1. Call function Move.
2. Make the selection of entities you want to be moved.
3. Press [Esc] key to end the selection part of the procedure.
4. Define the first reference point. (The vector along which the selected entities move is defined by two reference
points. The first reference point is the Start point and defines the origin of the move vector. The second reference
point is called the End point and defines the end point of the move vector. Please note that the first reference point
does not have to be located on the entity being moved, it can be defined anywhere within the modelling space.)
5. Define the second reference point.
6. The move operation has been completed and the selection is cleared.

Moving an entity via the window pop-up menu
An entity or a set of entities can be moved quite simply using the pop-up menu that appears when you click the right
button of your mouse.
Move of one or more previously selected entities using the right mouse button pop-up menu
The procedure is very similar to the procedure for the Move operation called from menu and done with a previously
made selection of entities. The only difference is the way the Move function is called.
The procedure for the Move operation using the right mouse button pop-up menu
1. Make the selection of entities you want to be moved or adopt the existing selection made for other purposes.
2. Click the right mouse button.
3. A pop-up menu appears on the screen.
4. Select the Move function.
5. Define the first reference point. (The vector along which the selected entities move is defined by two reference
points. The first reference point is the Start point and defines the origin of the move vector. The second reference
point is called the End point and defines the end point of the move vector. Please note that the first reference point
does not have to be located on the entity being moved, it can be defined anywhere within the modelling space.)
6. Define the second reference point.
7. The move operation has been completed and the selection remains unchanged.
Move of a single entity using the right mouse button pop-up menu
If only a single entity should be moved, the procedure may be even simpler and shorter. During this approach, no
selection is necessary to be made and, therefore, no selection remains active after the operation.
The procedure for Move of a single entity using the right mouse button pop-up menu
1. Place the mouse cursor on the midline of the entity you want to move.
2. Click the right mouse button.
3. A pop-up menu appears on the screen.
4. Select the Move function.
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5. Define the first reference point. (The vector along which the selected entities move is defined by two reference
points. The first reference point is the Start point and defines the origin of the move vector. The second reference
point is called the End point and defines the end point of the move vector. Please note that the first reference point
does not have to be located on the entity being moved, it can be defined anywhere within the modelling space.)
6. Define the second reference point.
7. The move operation has been completed.

Moving an entity using Drag&Drop feature
An entity can be moved by simple picking and dragging over the graphical window. This approach can be applied on a
single entity as well as on multiple entities.
The procedure for Drag&Drop move
1. Select the entity or entities you want to move
2. Place the mouse cursor on one of the selected entities near to its end point. This end point will become a reference
point for the move operation.
3. Press the left mouse button and hold it down.
4. Drag the mouse over the graphical window until the moved elements gets to the intended target position. You will
see the current position of the moved entities in thin-line style.
5. Release the mouse button.

Tip: The Drag&Drop approach for the move operation is convenient mainly if the target position of the moved
entity end-point lies (i) on a point of a grid, (ii) in an end-point of another entity, (iii) in an intermediate point (e.g.
one quarter, one half, centre of an arc, etc.) of another entity, or (iv) in any other point that is easily and uniquely
accessible by the mouse cursor.
The picture above is a video that demonstrates the Drag&Drop moving procedure. To start the video, just position the
mouse cursor over the picture. Or you may position the mouse cursor over the picture, click the right mouse button to
invoke the video pop-up menu and select function Play.

Rotating an entity via its vertex co-ordinate change
If you want to rotate a 1D member and you know the final position of its vertices, you may do that in the property table.
This approach is useful mainly if one of the vertices remains in its original position, i.e. if the vertex (the one that does not
change its position) represents a centre of revolution.
In order to rotate a 1D member, select one of the end nodes of the 1D member and modify its co-ordinates. The
procedure of co-ordinate modification is the same as if you move a node.

Rotating an entity via a menu function
Function Rotate can be activated in two ways:
 using menu item Modify > Rotate,
 using the [Rotate] ( ) icon on the Geometrical manipulations toolbar.
The function works with selected entities and rotates them to a new location. The selection can be made:
 either before the activation of the function,
 or after the activation of the function.
The procedure for the rotation (selections is made after the function is started)
1. Call function Rotate.
2. Make the selection of entities you want to be rotated.
3. Press [Esc] to end the selection.
4. Define the centre of rotation.
5. Define the first reference point. (The angle of rotation is defined by means of two reference points. These points
together with the centre of rotation define the rotation angle.)
6. Define the second reference point.
7. The move operation has been completed and the selection is cleared.
The alternative procedure for the rotation with pre-selected entities
1. Make the selection of entities you want to be rotated.
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2. Call the Rotate function.
3. Define the centre of rotation.
4. Define the first reference point. (The angle of rotation is defined by means of two reference points. These points
together with the centre of rotation define the rotation angle.)
5. Define the second reference point.
6. The move operation has been completed and the selection remains as it was prior to calling the rotation function.

Alternative with defined angle of rotation
In any of the above described procedures, you can alternatively define the axis and angle of rotation. The procedure will
be explained for the option when selection of entities is made after the function is called.
Procedure to rotate an entity by given angle
1. Call function Rotate.
2. Make the selection of entities you want to be rotated.
3. Press [Esc] to end the selection.
4. There is a special icon added to the end of the toolbar above the command line: "Enter the angle of rotation". Press
this icon.
5. The Rotation angle and axis dialogue is opened on the screen.
6. Input the angle and specify the way you want to define the axis (see below).
7. Confirm with [OK].
8. Input the centre of rotation.
9. If required (depending on the option selected in the Rotation angle and axis dialogue), define the axis of
revolution.
10. The entity is rotated.

Rotation angle and axis dialogue
Rotation
Angle Specifies the angle of rotation

Axis vector
Working plane
normal vector
The axis of rotation is perpendicular to the current working plane.
Define axis by cursor The axis must be defined by two points. The centre of rotation is input for all
options. This option then requires one more point.
Enter custom axis
vector
The axis of rotation is defined by the vector – see below.
Custom axis vector The vector defining the axis of rotation if option Enter custom axis vector was
selected.


Rotating an entity via the right mouse button pop-up menu
The procedure for the rotation of entities using the window pop-up menu is very similar to the same procedure for the
move of entities. The only difference is that instead of two reference points the user has to define the centre of rotation
and two reference points.
For details see chapters Moving an entity via the window pop-up menu and Rotating an entity via a menu function.

Rotating an entity using Drag&Drop feature
The Drag&Drop feature can be in some special cases applied also for the rotation of an entity. During the Drag&Drop
operation, just one of the end point of a 1D member can be moved to another location. If some specific conditions are
satisfied, the result of the operation may be the rotation of a 1D member.
The conditions that must be fulfilled are:
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 One of the 1D members end-points must also be the centre of rotation.
 The other end-point must be the point that is being Drag&Dropp-ed.
 The original and target position of the moved point must lie on a circle with the centre in the centre of rotation
defined above.
If the last of the conditions stated above is not satisfied, the "move" is still a kind of rotation, but simultaneously, the 1D
member changes its length. Such an operation is not called rotation in the full meaning of the word and is considered to
be an operation changing dimensions of a member.
The procedure for the Drag&Drop rotation
1. Select one end node of the 1D member you want to rotate.
2. Place the mouse cursor on the selected node.
3. Press the left mouse button and hold it down.
4. Drag the mouse over the graphical window until the node reaches the intended target position. You will see the
current position of the moved entity in thin-line style.
5. Release the mouse button.
The picture above is a video that demonstrates the Drag&Drop procedure. To start the video, just position the mouse
cursor over the picture. Or you may position the mouse cursor over the picture, click the right mouse button to invoke the
video pop-up menu and select function Play.

Mirroring an entity
Any entity can be mirrored to a new location. The "mirror" is perpendicular to the current working plane. The user just
has to define the inclination of the mirror. Once again, as in the case of move and rotation, there are two possible ways
to carry out the operation and two ways to activate the function itself.
Function Mirror can be activated in two ways:
 using menu item Modify > Mirror,
 using the [Mirror] ( ) icon on the Geometrical manipulations toolbar.
The procedure for the mirroring (selections is made after the function is started)
1. Call the Mirror function.
2. Make the selection of entities you want to be rotated.
3. Press [Esc] to end the selection.
4. Define the first reference point. (The plane of the mirroring is always perpendicular to the current working plane.
The precise orientation of the mirror is then defined by means of two reference points.)
5. Define the second reference point.
6. The mirroring operation has been completed and the selection is cleared.
The alternative procedure for the mirroring with pre-selected entities
1. Make the selection of entities you want to be moved.
2. Call the Mirror function.
3. Define the first reference point.
4. Define the second reference point.
5. The mirroring operation has been completed and the selection remains as it was prior to calling the mirroring
function.

Moving the additional data entities
Introduction to moving of additional-data entities
The term Additional data covers two major groups of entities: loads and model data (e.g. supports, hinges, etc.). Both
the groups form a very important part of a Scia Engineer project. Even though the two groups have a lot in common, they
represent separate compact units. The units are dealt with in separate chapters in this manual. Therefore, also the move
operations for the individual units are explained in separate texts. This division has been applied in order to provide the
reader with a good consistency in chapters devoted to related topics.
The relevant chapters are:
 Model data > Modifying the existing model data > Moving the model data
 Loads > Modifying the existing load > Moving the loads
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 Model data > Modifying the existing model data > Copying the model data
 Loads > Modifying the existing load > Copying the loads

Copying the entities
Introduction to copying of entities
Copying of members is an easy way to create models of complex structure. This is useful particularly if the geometry of
the modelled structure shows at least a few signs of regularity.
Members may be copied one by one or en bloc. It is possible to create only one or more copies at a time. If required,
additional members may interconnect the individual copies with the original and with each other in specified point.
In general, the user may choose from the following approaches:
 making a single copy of the original using menu function,
 making a single copy of the original using the pop-up menu of the graphical window,
 making multiple copies at a time with an advanced definition of copy parameters (e.g. the copied members may
rotate simultaneously with being shifted)

Making a single copy via menu function
The procedure to make a single copy of a 1D member
1. Start function Copy:
a. either: use button [Copy] ( ) on toolbar Manipulations
b. or: open menu function Manipulations > Copy
2. Select member(s) that should be copied.
3. Press key [Esc] to end the selection phase.
4. Define the direction and distance for the copy operation. That is, define first and second point of a vector that
defines both the direction and distance. (The vector along which the selected entities move in order to create the
copy is defined by two reference points. The first reference point is the Start point and defines the origin of the copy
vector. The second reference point is called the End point and defines the end point of the copy vector. Please note
that the first reference point does not have to be located on the entity being copied, it can be defined anywhere
within the modelling space.)
5. Once you define the second point, the action of copying is performed.
6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 as many times as required.
7. The function is closed.
An alternative procedure for making a single copy of a member
In general, the alternative procedure is identical to the one above. The difference is that you may swap the first two
steps.
1. First, you select the entities.
2. Second, you open the Copy function.
This approach means that once the second point of the copying vector (i.e. the vector that define the direction and
distance for the copy operation) is specified, the copy operation is performed. The selected entity remains selected and
may be copied to another location.

Making a single copy via window pop-up menu
Copying arbitrary number of entities
The procedure for the copy operation
1. Select the entities to be copied.
2. With the mouse cursor inside the graphical window but NOT OVER any entity, click the right mouse button.
3. A menu appears on the screen
4. Select function Copy.
5. Define the first reference point. (The vector along which the selected entities move in order to create the copy is
defined by two reference points. The first reference point is the Start point and defines the origin of the copy vector.
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The second reference point is called the End point and defines the end point of the copy vector. Please note that
the first reference point does not have to be located on the entity being copied, it can be defined anywhere within
the modelling space.)
6. Define the second reference point.
7. The operation is performed, copies are created, the function is closed and the selection remains unchanged.
Copying just a single entity
When only a single entity is copied, it is not necessary to make any selection.
The procedure for the copying of a single entity
1. Position the mouse cursor into the graphical window and over the entity you want to copy.
2. Click the right mouse button
3. A menu appears on the screen
4. Select function Copy.
5. Define the first reference point. (The vector along which the selected entities move in order to create the copy is
defined by two reference points. The first reference point is the Start point and defines the origin of the copy vector.
The second reference point is called the End point and defines the end point of the copy vector. Please note that
the first reference point does not have to be located on the entity being copied, it can be defined anywhere within
the modelling space.)
6. Define the second reference point.
7. The operation is performed, the copy is created, and the function is closed.

Tip: This approach can be applied even if no entity has been already inserted into selection. The fact that the
mouse cursor is positioned on an entity has bigger priority that the fact that any selection has been made.
Therefore, it is possible to prepare a selection for any operation, then position the mouse cursor over a single
entity and copy this particular entity. The selection remains untouched.

Making multiple copies via menu function
Scia Engineer allows the user to make a multiple copy of the original entity. For this operation, the user has to adjust a
set of copy parameters. The parameters are grouped in a dialogue that opens automatically once the Multicopy function
is activated.
Number of copies Specifies the number of copies that will be made.
Connect selected
nodes with new
beams
Defines whether the individual copies will be interconnected by means of newly
inserted 1D members. If so, the user must specify the nodes (i.e. insert them into
the selection for the copy operation) where the interconnection will be realised.
Distance vector By default the distance vector is defined by means of two reference points specified
by the user. (The vector along which the selected entities move in order to create
the copy is defined by two reference points. The first reference point is the Start
point and defines the origin of the copy vector. The second reference point is called
the End point and defines the end point of the copy vector. Please note that the first
reference point does not have to be located on the entity being copied, it can be
defined anywhere within the modelling space.)
However, it is possible to enter the vector numerically in the Multicopy table.
Rotation By default, the copied members are just shifted along the specified vector (see
above). It is however possible to rotate the copied members during their "move".
How to define the
distance
The distance input either in the table or by means of two reference points can
specify:
 either the distance between two adjacent copies,
 or the distance between the original and the last copy.
If only one copy is being made, the meaning of the two options becomes identical.
How to define the
rotation
The rotation angle input in the table can specify:
 either the angle between two adjacent copies,
 or the angle between the original and the last copy.
If only one copy is being made, the meaning of the two options becomes identical.
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Rotation around The rotation may be defined around UCS axes or around the distance vector. It is
obvious that the latter enables the user to input just one angle – around the
distance vector.

It is clear from the list of parameters that this variant of copy function provides for advanced definition of copying vector
(i.e. the vector that define the direction and distance for the copy operation).
The procedure to make a multiple copy of a 1D member
1. Start function Multicopy:
a. either: use button [Multicopy] ( ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations
b. or: open menu function Manipulations > Multicopy
2. Select 1D member(s) that should be copied.
3. Press key [Esc] to end the selection phase.
4. Set the parameters for the copy operation (see above for their meaning).
5. Define the direction and distance for the copy operation. That is, define first and second point of a vector that
defines both the direction and distance. (NOTE: This point is automatically skipped if the distance vector has been
input numerically in the table – point 4).
6. Once you define the second point, the action of copying is performed.
7. The function is closed.
The alternative procedure for the multicopy operation
As in the case of other manipulation functions, it is once again possible to swap the first two steps of the procedure.
1. First, you make the selection of entities that you want to copy.
2. Second, you call the Multicopy function.
Then you follow the procedure given above starting from the step 4.
At the end, the selection that has been made prior to calling the copy function remains unchanged.
The picture below shows a possible application of Multicopy function. A spiral staircase can be "generated" just in one
multicopy step.


Deleting the entities
Introduction to deleting of entities
Any entity that is no longer required and becomes redundant or even makes an obstacle to the achievement of the user’s
main goal – creation of an accurate model of the real structure, can be deleted.
It may happen that some entities have been somehow distorted during the modelling process that they become hidden to
the user’s eye. This may happen if two 1D members lie on each other (i.e. their middle axes become identical) of if the
1D member length changes to zero.
Scia Engineer provides a set of tools for all above-mentioned circumstances.

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Deleting the user-selected entities
The procedure for the deletion of entities
1. Select the entities that should be removed.
2. Start function Delete:
a. either: via menu Modify > Delete,
b. or: via the window pop-up menu.
3. The program informs you about what have been selected.
4. If the report corresponds to what you are expecting, confirm the action. If you are not sure about the reported
message, abort the action, clear the selection and start again.
5. If the action has been confirmed, it is performed and the selected entities are removed from the project.
It may happen that after the operation is completed some free nodes remain in the project. They may be removed by
means of function Check structure data.

Under certain conditions (depending on the entities present in the model) the program issues a question box to find out
what to do with a certain type of entities.

Delete free nodes If ON, the free nodes that form as a result of the Delete operation will be deleted.
Convert intersection into
internal edge
If ON then if a deleted slab intersects with another slab and if the intersection of the two slabs
has been generated, this intersection remains preserved as an internal slab of the slab that is
not deleted.
Convert plate ribs into 1D
member
If ON then if a ribbed slab is deleted, the beams are converted to standard 1D members and
are kept in the model.
Always display this warning If ON, this warning is shown with every Delete.
If OFF, the program takes into account the settings, but the dialogue itself is not shown. The
settings can be changed through menu function Setup > Delete.

The settings for the Delete function can also be adjusted through menu function Setup > Delete.


Deleting invalid entities
Invalid entities are such that do not have proper function in the model. They may be for example 1D members of zero
length, duplicate beams, free nodes, etc.
Procedure for automatic removal of invalid entities
1. Start function Check structure data.
a. either: use menu function Tree > Calculation, Mesh > Check structure data,
b. or: start tree menu function Calculation, Mesh > Check structure data.
2. Make sure that required options are ticked.
3. Press button [Check].
4. Check the upper right part of the dialogue and verify whether any free nodes have been discovered.
5. If so, make sure that option Delete is selected in required fields.
6. Press button [Continue] to delete the revealed free nodes.

Tip: For more information about function Check structure data see chapter Calculation > Check of data.

Editing the entity properties
Introduction to editing of entity properties
Once a new 1D member is inserted into the model, it does not mean that must be there AS IS forever and that no
property of the 1D member can be changed.
The user may at any time open the property dialogue of a particular 1D member and edit the properties in it.
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In addition, it is also possible to use a simpler procedure – editing in the property window of the application. This
approach is not only faster, but it also provides for simultaneous editing of multiple 1D members.

Editing the beam properties in its property dialogue
The procedure for the editing of beam properties in the beam property dialogue
1. Position the mouse cursor over the 1D member you want to edit.
2. Click the right mouse button.
3. The window pop-up menu appears on the screen.
4. Select function Edit properties.
5. The property dialogue of the 1D member opens on the screen.
6. Modify any parameters you need to.
7. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.

Editing the beam properties in the property window
Whenever an entity is selected in Scia Engineer, its properties are displayed in the property window.
Therefore, it is possible to simply edit any item in the property window and the change is immediately taken into account
and the entity is re-drawn with the new parameters.
The procedure for the editing of properties of a single 1D member
1. Make sure that no entities are in the current selection.
2. Position the mouse cursor over the required entity.
3. Click the left mouse button to select the entity.
4. The properties of the entity are displayed in the property window.
5. Edit any parameter you need to.
6. Clear the selection.
The procedure for the editing of properties of a multiple 1D members at a time
1. Make sure that no entities are in the current selection.
2. Select the entities you need to edit.
3. The properties for the selected entities are displayed in the property window (for details see chapter Selections
versus editing of properties).
4. Edit any parameters you need to.
5. Clear the selection.

Note: Please, be careful when editing the properties of multiple entities at the same time. Once you type and
confirm the value into a particular cell of the property window, the change is immediately made for all currently
selected entities. Even if the original value of the edited property was different for individual entities, it becomes
unique with the change being confirmed. The change is confirmed as soon as you either type the value and
press Enter, or as soon as you type the value and leave the cell. The cell may be left either using the left mouse
button click on another cell or pressing Tab key.

Adjusting the buckling parameters
The procedure for adjustment of buckling parameters for a particular member
1. In the graphical window, select the 1D member (or members) whose buckling settings should be modified.
2. The 1D member properties are displayed in the Property window.
3. In the table cell Buckling lengths use the combo box to select the required Buckling length definition and go to the
last step of the procedure.
4. If the required Buckling length definition has not been defined yet, use the button at the right hand side of the cell
to create a new Buckling length definition.
5. Press button [Edit buckling] to open the editing dialogue.
6. Adjust required parameters.
7. Confirm with [OK].
8. Clear the selection.

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Note: When the Buckling length manager is opened, it displays ONLY those buckling length definitions that
correspond to conditions of the selected 1D member(s). If e.g. a 1D member with one buckling segment is
selected, the manager hides any buckling length system for more then one segment.

Modifying the shape and dimensions
Types of geometric manipulations
When talking about the modification of a shape or dimensions of an entity, we can distinguish several types of
manipulations.
Manipulation with a whole entity
Functions belonging to this group work with the whole entity, regardless of its dimension. They can be applied to an
auxiliary line, 1D member (beam, column, etc.), 2D member (plate, wall, etc.).
Typical functions from this group are: Scale, Stretch.
Manipulation with a line
This group of functions manipulates with "lines". The line may be an auxiliary line, 1D member axis, edge of a 2D
member.
Typical functions are: Trim, Extend, Enlarge by defined length, Break in defined points, Join, Break in intersections,
Reverse orientation.
Manipulation with a polyline
Functions for the modification of a polyline work with an open or closed polyline.
Typical examples are: Insert node, Delete node, Join curves, Break into curves, Fillet.
Manipulation with a curve
These functions modify a curve, regardless of whether it is a circle or a more genral curve (e.g. spline, Bezier curve,
etc.). Also functions converting straight lines into curves and vice versa belong to this group.
Typical examples are: Edit arc (by angle, by bulge, by radius), Edit Bezier weight factor, Convert (curve to line, line to
circular arc, line to parabolic arc, line to Bezier, line to spline) and also Editing the shape using Drag&Drop feature.
Treatment of linked nodes in manipulation functions
As stated earlier in chapter Types of nodes, there are two types of nodes in ESA. This paragraph will emphasize
important rules taken into account in manipulation functions.
In Scia Engineer, a connection where the end point of one 1D members gets in contact with an intermediate point of
another 1D members of two 1D members is called a LINKED NODE. The said is true on condition that the two 1D
members were "told" to be connected to each other. What, however, remains an open issue is what should happen to
the linked node when one of the 1D members is repositioned. Should the linked node stay "rooted" in the original
location, or should it follow the manipulation formula?
As the problem is rather complex, Scia Engineer presents a logical compromise solution.
Manipulation functions are divided into two groups:
a global change of 1D member position and / or orientation is possible,
only an "in-axis" modification of 1D member geometry is available.
In-axis modification
Manipulation where only the "in-axis" modification can be carried out leads to the situation that the linked node remains
in its original position. This group of manipulation functions consists of a limited number of functions: trim, extend,
enlarge, break in defined points.
Out-of-axis modification
Manipulation where only a general modification of the 1D member orientation can be performed cause that the linked
node is manipulated as well and may change its position. This is the case of majority of manipulation functions, e.g.
move, rotate, mirror, stretch, scale, etc.
If the manipulation brings any ambiguity to what should be done with the linked node, the linked node is disconnected
and the connection of the two 1D members is broken. This may happen in function Join (two 1D members into one).
Examples
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The original structure

The cantilever end moved up
and right using function Move
node.

The cantilever end moved right
using function Move node.

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299
The cantilever end moved right
using function Extend (by
defined length).


Note: The distinction between "in-axis" and "out-of-axis" modification is not based on the actual result of the
manipulation that has been carried out. It is based on the principle, i.e. on the fact WHAT CAN BE DONE by
means of selected manipulation function. If the function provides for an "out-of-axis" manipulation, rules for "out-
of-axis" manipulation are applied even if the final position of the 1D member looks like after an "in-axis"
manipulation.

Editing the shape in the property window
Whenever an entity is selected, the property window of the application displays its properties including the endpoints and
even co-ordinates (for nodes). If any of the geometry attributes is changed in the property window, the shape of the
corresponding entity is modifies accordingly.
The procedure to change the endpoints of a 1D member
1. Select the entity that should be moved.
2. The property window displays (among others) names of the end-nodes.
3. Input the name of a new end-node or nodes.
4. The 1D member changes accordingly.
The procedure to move the endpoint of an entity
1. Select the end point of the entity that should be moved.
2. Type the new values for co-ordinates (you may define the co-ordinates either in the UCS or in the GCS, you may
even combine the definition, i.e. input e.g. X co-ordinate in one system and Z co-ordinate in the other system).
3. The endpoint moves accordingly.

Editing the shape using Drag&Drop feature
The shape of 1D members may be changed using the Drag&Drop feature. Any end point of 1D member can be
"grabbed" and "dragged" over the working plane. The trajectory of the dragging determines whether the operation is a
pure rotation or shape modification.
If a curved 1D member is modified in this way, it is possible to pick not only the end-point, but also the characteristic
point of the curve. Thus e.g. the shape of Bezier curve can be modified, etc.
The videos below show a few possible applications.
Editing circular arc

Editing Bezier curve

Editing spline

The pictures above are videos that demonstrate the Drag&Drop procedure. To start the video, just position the mouse
cursor over the picture. Or you may position the mouse cursor over the picture, click the right mouse button to invoke the
video pop-up menu and select function Play.

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Manipulations with whole entities
Scaling the entities
The Scale function changes the size of the selected entities by given factor.
The procedure for the scaling of entities
1. Start function Scale:
a. either call menu function Modify > Scale
b. or click button [Scale] ( ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
2. Select the entities to be modified.
3. Press [Esc] to end the selection.
4. Input the centre of affinity.
5. Input the first point defining the magnification scale.
6. Input the second point defining the magnification scale.
7. The operation is performed and function closed.
The alternative procedure for the scaling of entities
As with other geometry manipulation functions, it is possible to swap the first two steps.
1. First, you make the selection.
2. Second, you start the function.
Once the function ends, the original selection remains untouched.
There is one more feature related to this alternative procedure. The function can be opened via the window pop-up
menu. If the pop-up menu is used, one must be aware of where the mouse cursor is precisely positioned when the right
mouse button is clicked. If the cursor is on an empty are of the modelling space, the operation is carried out with
currently selected entities. However, if the cursor is positioned just over a particular 1D member, the function only deals
with this particular 1D member and the current selection is ignored.

Stretching the entities
The Stretch function changes the size of the selected entities by given factor.
The procedure for the stretching of entities
1. Start function Stretch:
a. either call menu function Modify > Stretch,
b. or click button [Stretch] ( ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
2. Select the entities to be modified.
3. Press [Esc] to end the selection.
4. Input the centre of affinity.
5. Input the first point defining the stretching.
6. Input the second point defining the stretching.
7. The operation is performed and function closed.
The alternative procedure for the stretching of entities
As with other geometry manipulation functions, it is possible to swap the first two steps.
1. First, you make the selection.
2. Second, you start the function.
Once the function ends, the original selection remains untouched.
There is one more feature related to this alternative procedure. The function can be opened via the window pop-up
menu. If the pop-up menu is used, one must be aware of where the mouse cursor is precisely positioned when the right
mouse button is clicked. If the cursor is on an empty are of the modelling space, the operation is carried out with
currently selected entities. However, if the cursor is positioned just over a particular 1D member, the function only deals
with this particular 1D member and the current selection is ignored.

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Manipulations with lines
Trimming the entities
The Trim function trims the selected entities according to the specified "trimming" entity.
The procedure for the trimming of entities
1. Start function Trim:
a. either call menu function Modify > Trim,
b. or click button [Trim] ( ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
2. Select entities to which the other ones should be trimmed.
3. Press [Esc] to end this particular selection.
4. Select entities that should be trimmed (i.e. shortened).
5. Press [Esc] to end the function.

Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the selection is stored by the computer and
cleared. All the selections necessary for the successful performance of the function must be made from within
the function according to the instructions given on the command line. Once the function is closed, the original
selection is restored.
Example:
before trimming after trimming



Extending the entities
The Extend function extends the selected entities according to the specified "boundary" entity. In order words, the
function extends the selected entities in a way so that they reach and touch the other specified entity.
The procedure for the extending of entities
1. Start function Extend:
a. either call menu function Modify > Extend,
b. or click button [Extend] ( ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
2. Select entities to which the other ones should be extended.
3. Press [Esc] to end this particular selection.
4. Select entities that should be extended.
5. Press [Esc] to end the function.

Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the selection is stored by the computer and
cleared. All the selections necessary for the successful performance of the function must be made from within
the function according to the instructions given on the command line. Once the function is closed, the original
selection is restored.
Example:
before extending after extending
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Enlarging the entities
The Enlarge function extends the selected entities by a given value.
The procedure for the enlarging of entities
1. Start function Enlarge by defined length:
a. either call menu function Modify > Enlarge by defined length,
b. or click button [Enlarge by defined length] ( ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
2. In the dialogue that appear on the screen, type the value by which the selected entities should be enlarged.
3. Select entities that should be enlarged.
4. Press [Esc] to end the function.

Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the selection is stored by the computer and
cleared. All the selections necessary for the successful performance of the function must be made from within
the function according to the instructions given on the command line. Once the function is closed, the original
selection is restored.

Breaking the entities in defined points
The procedure for the breaking of an entity in a specified point
1. Start function Break in defined points:
a. either call menu function Modify > Break in defined points,
b. or click button [Break in defined points] ( ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
2. Select the entity that should be broken.
3. Press [Esc] to end this particular selection.
4. Define the point of division.
5. Press [Esc] to end the function.

Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require making
of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

Breaking the entities in intersections
Any intersecting entity can be divided in the point of intersection, if required.
The procedure for the breaking of entities in the point of their intersection
1. Start function Break in intersections:
a. either call menu function Modify > Break in intersections,
b. or click button [Break in intersections] ( ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
2. Select the entity that should be broken.
3. Press [Esc] to end the function.
4. All the selected and intersecting entities are divided (broken) in the point of intersection.

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Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require making
of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

Coupling the entities
If required, any two entities that touch each other in their endpoints can be coupled (joined) to create a single entity.
The procedure for the coupling of entities into one
1. Start function Join:
a. either call menu function Modify > Join,
b. or click button [Join] ( ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
2. Select the entity that should be joined together.
3. Press [Esc] to end the function.
4. The individual entities are coupled.

Note 1: The entities that are being coupled together, must lie on one line. Otherwise, it is not possible to create
a single 1D member from them.
Note 2: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require
making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

Reversing the orientation of an entity
Each entity has got its starting point and end point. These points for example define the orientation of the local X-axis of
a 1D member. If necessary, the user may reverse the orientation by swapping the end-nodes.
The procedure to reverse the orientation of a 1D member
1. Start function Reverse orientation:
a. either call menu function Modify > Reverse orientation,
b. or click button [Reverse orientation] ( ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
2. Select the entities that should be reverted.
3. Press [Esc] to end the function.
The alternative procedure to reverse the orientation of a 1D member
As with some other geometry manipulation functions, it is possible to swap the first two steps.
1. First, you make the selection.
2. Second, you start the function.
The function is immediately performed and automatically closed.

Note: The change of 1D member orientation can be easily verified when local co-ordinate system of the edited
entity is displayed. The direction of the local X-axis inverts once the function is finished.
Example:
before reversing after reversing



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Manipulations with polylines
Inserting a node into a polygonal entity
Into any entity (polygonal or single-segment one) an inner vertex may be inserted. The inserted vertex may be used as a
node for further geometrical manipulations. For example, another entity may use it as its end-point, the node may be
moved to modify the shape of the original entity, etc.
The procedure for the definition of an inner vertex
1. Start function Insert node:
a. either call menu function Modify > Polyline edit > Edit polyline – Insert node,
b. or click button [Polyline edit ] > [Insert node into polyline] ( > ) on toolbar
Geometrical manipulations,
2. Select the polylines where the inner nodes (vertices) should be inserted.
3. Press [Esc] to end the selection.
4. Define the points where the inner nodes should be located.
5. Press [Esc] to end the function.
6. The nodes are inserted into the selected polylines in the defined points.

Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require making
of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand. Only the points for the inner
nodes must be then specified.

Deleting a node from a polygonal entity
This function is analogous to the insertion of a node into a polyline. However, it removes the selected inner nodes from
an existing polygonal entity. The result is that the selected vertex is removed and the two adjacent vertices are
connected with a straight line.
The procedure for the deletion of an inner vertex
1. Start function Delete node:
a. either call menu function Modify > Polyline edit > Edit polyline – Delete node,
b. or click button [Polyline edit ] > [Delete node on polyline] ( > ) on toolbar
Geometrical manipulations,
2. Select the polylines from which the inner nodes (vertices) should be removed.
3. Press [Esc] to end the selection.
4. Select the nodes that should be removed.
5. Press [Esc] to end the function.
6. The selected nodes are removed from the selected polylines.

Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require making
of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand. Only the inner nodes for the
deletion must be specified.

Coupling curves into a polyline
Any two entities may be joined together to create a polygonal entity. The only prerequisite is that the two entities must
have one common end-point.
The procedure for joining of entities into a polyline
1. Start function Join curves into polyline:
a. either call menu function Modify > Polyline edit > Join curves into polyline,
b. or click button [Polyline edit ] > [Join curves into polyline] ( > ) on toolbar
Geometrical manipulations,
2. Select the entities that should be joined together.
3. Press [Esc] to end the function.
4. The entities are joined together and from now on they represent a single polygonal entity.

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Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require making
of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

Breaking a polyline into curves
A polyline may be broken into separate lines or curves.
The procedure to break a polyline into lines/curves
1. Start function Edit polyline – break into single curves:
a. either call menu function Modify > Polyline edit > Edit polyline – break into single curves,
b. or click button [Polyline edit ] > [Edit polyline – break into single curves] ( > ) on
toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
2. Select the entities to be broken.
3. Press [Esc] to end the function.
4. The selected polylines are broken into separate single lines or curves.

Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require making
of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

Defining a fillet in a polyline vertex
A sharp corner in a polyline vertex can be modified through a fillet function.
The procedure to define a fillet
1. Start function Edit polyline – fillet:
a. either call menu function Modify > Polyline edit > Edit polyline – fillet,
b. or click button [Polyline edit ] > [Edit polyline – fillet] ( > ) on toolbar Geometrical
manipulations,
2. Select two adjacent polyline sides.
3. Specify the type and size of the fillet and confirm with [OK].
4. The sharp corner in the corresponding vertex is modified accordingly.

Fillet parameters
Fillet type line
The fillet is formed by a short line inserted into the corner. The parameter Size is measured
from the edited polyline vertex along the original polyline side (i.e. the fillet size is not the length
of the inserted short line, but the length of the leg of the imaginary little triangle that is created
in the vertex).
circle arc by length
The fillet is formed by a circular arc inserted into the corner. The parameter Size is measured
from the edited polyline vertex along the original polyline side (i.e. the fillet size is not the length
of the inserted arc, but the length of the leg of the imaginary little triangle in the vertex).
circle arc by radius
The fillet is formed by a circular arc inserted into the corner. The parameter Size represents the
radius of the inserted arc.
Size The meaning of this parameter depend on the fillet type. See above for the explanation.


Manipulations with curves
Editing the circular arc angle
A defined circular arc may be edited afterwards if such a need arises. It is possible to edit the arc’s angle, the arc's bulge,
and the arc's radius.
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The procedure for the modification of the angle of a circular arc
1. Open function Edit arc angle:
a. either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Edit arc angle] ( > )
on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
b. or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Edit curve – arc by angle.
2. Select the arcs that should be edited. It is possible to select and edit multiple arcs at time.
3. Press [Esc] key to end the selection.
4. The editing dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. Type the new value.
6. Confirm with [OK] button.
7. The modification of the shape is made accordingly.

Note: If any entities are selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require making of any
other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

Editing the circular arc bulge
A defined circular arc may be edited afterwards if such a need arises. It is possible to edit the arc's angle, the arc’s bulge,
or the arc's radius.
The procedure for the modification of the bulge of a circular arc
1. Open function Edit arc bulge:
a. either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Edit arc bulge] ( > )
on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
b. or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Edit curve – arc by bulge.
2. Select the arcs that should be edited. It is possible to select and edit multiple arcs at time.
3. Press [Esc] key to end the selection.
4. The editing dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. Type the new value.
6. Confirm with [OK] button.
7. The modification of the shape is made accordingly.

Note: If any entities are selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require making of any
other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

Editing the circular arc radius
A defined circular arc may be edited afterwards if such a need arises. It is possible to edit the arc's angle, the arc's bulge,
or the arc’s radius.
The procedure for the modification of the radius of a circular arc
1. Open function Edit arc radius:
a. either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Edit arc radius] ( > )
on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
b. or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Edit curve – arc by radius.
2. Select the arcs that should be edited. It is possible to select and edit multiple arcs at time.
3. Press [Esc] key to end the selection.
4. The editing dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. Type the new value.
6. Confirm with [OK] button.
7. The modification of the shape is made accordingly.

Note: If any entities are selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require making of any
other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

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307
Editing the Bezier curve weight factors
The procedure for the modification of a Bezier curve
1. Open function Edit Bezier weight factors:
a. either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Edit Bezier weight factors] (
> ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
b. or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Edit curve – Bezier weight factors.
2. Select the arcs that should be edited. It is possible to select and edit multiple arcs at time.
3. Press [Esc] key to end the selection.
4. The editing dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. Type the new value.
6. Confirm with [OK] button.
7. The modification of the shape is made accordingly.

Note: If any entities are selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require making of any
other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

It is also possible to edit the shape of a Bezier curve using the Drag&Drop feature.
The alternative procedure for editing of Bezier curve shape
1. Simple select the curve you want to edit.
2. The curve is then highlighted including the two control points located outside the curve.
3. Position the mouse cursor over the required point.
4. Press and hold the left mouse button.
5. Drag the mouse over the pad to place the point into its new location.
6. Release the button.

Converting a curve into a line
Any curve, i.e. circular arc, parabolic arc, Bezier curve and spline can be converted into a straight line, if necessary. Scia
Engineer offers a universal function that converts any curve into a line.
The procedure for the conversion of a curve into a line
1. Open function Convert curve to line:
a. either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Convert curve to line] ( >
) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
b. or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Convert curve to line.
2. Select the arcs that should be edited. It is possible to select multiple arcs at time.
3. Press [Esc] key to carry out the conversion.

Note: If any entities are selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require making of any
other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

Converting a line into a circular arc
If required, a line may be converted into a curve. In other words, 1D members defined as straight may be afterwards
transformed into curved (shaped) ones. This function can treat only one entity at a time.
The procedure for the conversion of a straight line into a circular arc
1. Open function Convert line to circle arc:
a. either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Convert line to circle arc] (
> ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
b. or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Convert line to circle arc.
2. Select the entity (just one) that should be converted.
3. Define an intermediate point of the arc.
4. The conversion is done.

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Note: If just one entity is selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require making of any
other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand. On the other hand, if several entities
are selected prior to calling this function, the function clears stores the selection, clears it, asks the user to
select a single entity for the manipulation, performs the action and restores back the original selection.

Converting a line into a parabolic arc
If required, a line may be converted into a curve. In other words, 1D members defined as straight may be afterwards
transformed into curved (shaped) ones. This function can treat only one entity at a time.
The procedure for the conversion of a straight line into a parabolic arc
1. Open function Convert line to parabolic arc:
a. either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Convert line to parabolic arc]
( > ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
b. or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Convert line to parabolic arc.
2. Select the entity (just one) that should be converted.
3. Define an intermediate point of the parabola.
4. The conversion is done.

Note: If just one entity is selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require making of any
other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand. On the other hand, if several entities
are selected prior to calling this function, the function clears stores the selection, clears it, asks the user to
select a single entity for the manipulation, performs the action and restores back the original selection.

Converting a line into a Bezier curve
If required, a line may be converted into a curve. In other words, 1D members defined as straight may be afterwards
transformed into curved (shaped) ones. This function can treat only one entity at a time.
The procedure for the conversion of a straight line into a Bezier curve
1. Open function Convert line to Bezier:
a. either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Convert line to Bezier] (
> ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
b. or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Convert line Bezier.
2. Select the entity (just one) that should be converted.
3. Define two control points of Bezier curve.
4. The conversion is done.

Note: If just one entity is selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require making of any
other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand. On the other hand, if several entities
are selected prior to calling this function, the function clears stores the selection, clears it, asks the user to
select a single entity for the manipulation, performs the action and restores back the original selection.

Converting a line into a spline curve
If required, a line may be converted into a curve. In other words, 1D members defined as straight may be afterwards
transformed into curved (shaped) ones. This function can treat only one entity at a time.
The procedure for the conversion of a straight line into a spline
1. Open function Convert line to spline:
a. either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Convert line to spline] ( >
) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,
b. or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Convert line to spline.
2. Select the entity (just one) that should be converted.
3. Define control points of the spline. You may input as many control points as required.
4. Press [Esc] to end the definition of control points.
5. The conversion is done.

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Note: If just one entity is selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require making of any
other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand. On the other hand, if several entities
are selected prior to calling this function, the function clears stores the selection, clears it, asks the user to
select a single entity for the manipulation, performs the action and restores back the original selection.

Connecting and disconnecting the entities
Introduction to connecting and disconnecting of entities
If a structure consists of more than one member, it is necessary to define the connection of the individual entities. The
connection may be rigid or free or anything in between.
In Scia Engineer the rigid connection is realised by means of linked nodes and cross-links. The "something in between"
connection may be realised by means of hinges (see chapter Hinges) or by means of hinged cross-links. And there is no
need to define a free connection, just let the 1D members unconnected.
The difference between individual types of connections can be summarised as follows.
 A linked node is a connection where an end-point of one entity is connected to any point of another entity.
 A cross-link is the connection of two intersecting entities. Both entities remain "undivided" in the connection, they
just pass through it.
 A hinge may be inserted into an end-point of a 1D member if other than rigid connection is required.

Defining a new connection of two entities
IN order to define a new connection of two entities if the end-point of one entity lies anywhere on the other one, the user
has to insert a linked node. Once the linked node is inserted, the two entities become fixed together. If other than fixed
connection is required, it is necessary to define a hinge in the linked node.
The procedure for the definition of a new linked node may vary according to initial conditions:
 The two entities have already been inserted into the model and now the need to connect them has arisen.
 One entity has been inserted into the model and the user wants to define the point where the other entity should
be connected. However, the other entity will be defined later. (see paragraph Inserting a linked node for future
connection of an entity)
The procedure for connection of two entities
1. Open function Connect nodes to beams:
a. either using menu function Modify > Connect members/nodes
b. or using button [Connect nodes to members] ( ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations
c. or using button tree menu function Connect members/nodes.
2. Select 1D members and / or nodes that should be connected.
3. Close the function.
It is possible to apply an alternative procedure and swap the first two steps of the stated procedure.
The alternative procedure for the connection of two entities
1. Select 1D members and / or nodes that should be connected.
2. Open function Connect nodes to beams:
a. either using menu function Modify > Connect members/nodes,
b. or using button [Connect nodes to members] ( ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations.
c. or using button tree menu function Connect members/nodes.
3. The function is carried out and closed.

Note: It is important to know what one wants to connect and make the selection accordingly. This note is
important especially for curved 1D members. If the two connected 1D members have two or more intersections
and both the 1D members are selected for the operation, the connection (linked nodes) are created in all the
intersection points. Therefore, if the connection of such 1D members is required in one specific point only, it is
necessary to select the required end-point of the first 1D member (i.e. its node) and the other 1D member. Then
the connection is generated in the selected node only.

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Inserting a linked node for future connection of an entity
It is possible to specify a point on a 1D member where another entity will be later attached.
The procedure for the definition of the connecting point (for later insertion of the other entity)
1. Open function Node on beam:
a. either using menu function menu Tree > Structure > Node on beam,
b. or using service Structure and function Node on beam.
2. Select the 1D member where the point (i.e. linked node) should be defined.
3. Specify the location of the linked node.

Defining a new connection of intersecting entities
Any two intersecting entities may be connected in a point called cross-link. The cross-link ensures that the two entities
remain undivided but act together and allow for transfer of internal forces from one entity to the other one.
The cross-link may be either fixed or hinged. The hinged variant does not transfer bending moments from one entity to
the other.
The procedure for the definition of a new cross-link
1. Open function Cross-link
a. either from menu Tree > Structure,
b. or from tree menu service Structure.
2. In the Property window specify the parameters of the cross-link, i.e. its name and property: fixed versus hinged.
3. Select the 1D members that should be connected.
4. Close the function.
5. The cross-link is generated and displayed in the form of a thick dot with thin short lines along the connected 1D
members.
It is possible to use an alternative procedure, which means that first, the selection of 1D members is made and only then
the function is called. If applied, this procedure does not require the user to close the function but does not allow for the
modification of cross-link parameters. They would have to be edited afterwards.

Modifying the connection of two entities
Any defined linked node can be edited if required. Any of its parameters can be reviewed or changed.
Name It is used for identification of the node.
Connection Says that the node is connected (linked) to an entity. States the "owner" of the
node.
Coordinate Specifies the co-ordinate type by means of which the position of the node on its
"owner" is defined.
Position x Defines the position.
LCS The node can have its local coordinate system. To define it, at least one UCS must
be defined by the user. If it is done, it is possible to coincide the LCS of the node
with the required UCS.
( Defining a local co-ordinate system of a node).

The procedure for the modification of linked node properties
1. Select the node you need to modify.
2. The node parameters are displayed in the Property window.
3. Modify any parameter you need to.
4. The modification is immediately taken into account.
5. Clear the selection.

Note 1: It is possible to edit the linked node even if it has not been attached to the second entity. Thus e.g. its
relative position on the 1D member can be modified.
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Note 2: It is possible to modify several nodes at a time. The user must be aware of that the change made in the
Property window will be applied to all selected nodes.
Note 3: The Property window shows among others the 1D members that are connected in the selected node.

Modifying the connection of intersecting entities
Any defined cross-link can be edited if required. Any of its parameters can be reviewed or changed.
Name It is used for identification of the node.
Connection Defines the type of the connection (fixed or hinged)

The procedure for the modification of cross-link properties
1. Select the cross-link you need to modify.
2. The cross-link parameters are displayed in the Property window.
3. Modify any parameter you need to.
4. The modification is immediately taken into account.
5. Clear the selection.

Note 1: It is possible to modify several nodes at a time. The user must be aware of that the change made in the
Property window will be applied to all selected nodes.
Note 2: The Property window shows among others the 1D members that are connected in the selected cross-
link.

Deleting the connection of two entities
Deleting the connection via the property table of the linked node
To delete the connection of two entities realised by means of a linked node, the connection itself must be removed, not
the node.
The procedure for deletion of connection realised by means of a linked node
1. Select the node where the connection should be removed.
2. The node parameters are displayed in the Property window.
3. In the Property window click the button next to cell Linked node (the button contains the name of the connected 1D
member).
4. A short pop-up menu appears on the screen.
5. Click item Disconnect.
6. Clear the selection.
Deleting the connection via the function for disconnection of entities
The procedure for disconnection of two entities
1. Open function Disconnect linked nodes:
a. either using menu function Modify > Disconnect linked nodes,
b. or using button [Disconnect linked nodes] ( ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations.
2. Select 1D members and / or nodes that should be connected.
3. Close the function.
It is possible to apply another altered procedure and swap the first two steps of the procedure.
The alternative procedure for the disconnection of two entities
1. Select 1D members and / or nodes that should be connected.
2. Open function Disconnect linked nodes:
a. either using menu function Modify > Disconnect linked nodes,
b. or using button [Disconnect linked nodes] ( ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations.
3. The function is carried out and closed.

Note: It does not matter whether a node or a 1D member is selected. Always either the linked node that is
selected directly or the linked node connecting the selected 1D member or members is removed.
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Deleting the connection of intersecting entities
To delete the connection of intersecting entities realised by means of a cross-link, the cross-link itself must be removed
The procedure for deletion of connection realised by means of a cross-link
1. Select the cross-link that should be removed.
2. Open function Delete:
a. either using menu function Modify > Delete,
b. or using the window pop-up menu function Delete.
3. Confirm the action.
4. The cross-link is deleted.

Truing of slabs and walls
Alignment of slabs
Background
CAD and CAE applications, even though they have a lot in common, differ significantly in the requirements on the
accuracy with which the shape of individual members is defined.
While the main requirement laid by CAD applications is that the final model must be “pleasing to the eye", in CAE
applications everything must be “perfectly aligned” so that a working analysis model can be generated.
For this reason, a model imported into a CAE program from a CAD application must often be tuned. This includes
namely (i) the alignment (“truing”) of planar members so that they are really planar (within the tolerances allowed by the
calculation module) and (ii) displacement of nodes so that members that are supposed to be in mutual contact really
share their border nodes.
Master plane
This alignment (“truing”) process is controlled by what is called “master planes”. A master plane is a plane into which the
program tries to project the real member (imported from a CAD application), which results in a perfectly planar 2D-
member suitable for the generation of an accuracy-sensitive analysis model.
Also displacement of nodes works with these master planes and moves nodes that are located within the defined
distance from a master plane to the master plane.
The user can control the number and type of master planes.
Types of master planes
Planes of parametric input
(This option is available ONLY if (i) project functionality Parameters is ON and (ii) at least one coordinate of at least one
node of the structure has been defined through a parameter.)
Master planes are defined in nodes where at least one coordinate is defined by means of a parameter.
For example, if the X-coordinate of a specific node is defined as a parameter, the YZ-plane is put into this node and it
forms a master plane. Similarly, if e.g. the Y-coordinate is defined through a parameter, the master plane is defined as
the XZ plane passing through the node.
GCS main planes
Master planes are defined in the three main planes (XY, XZ, YZ) of the global coordinate system.
This option creates three master planes regardless whether any member has been defined in the model.
GCS parallel planes
The program takes one defined 2D member of the model after another and looks if the member is parallel to one of the
three main planes (XY, XZ, YZ) of the global coordinate system. If so, a new master plane is defined in the plane of the
member.
This option creates master plane(s) only if at least one 2D-member has been defined in the model.
UCS XY planes
One master plane is defined in the XY plane of every user-defined coordinate system (UCS).
If at least one UCS has been defined, this option creates master plane(s) regardless whether any member has been
defined in the model.
UCS XY parallel planes
The program takes one defined 2D member of the model after another and looks if the member is parallel to the XY
plane of some of the defined user coordinate systems. If so, a new master plane is defined in the plane of the member.
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This option creates master plane(s) only if at least one 2D-member has been defined in the model.
Line grid planes
Master planes are defined in the main planes of defined line grids.
If at least one line grid has been defined, this option creates master plane(s) regardless whether any member has been
defined in the model.

Alignment procedure
Alignment procedure
The whole process can be divided into several principal steps:
A) generation of the list of master planes,
B) truing of slabs,
C) creation of "formulas" and constraints for move of vertices,
D) alignment of vertices,
E) generation of report.

Generation of the list of master planes
At the beginning of the whole procedure a list of master planes is generated.
Master planes are added to the list in the following order:.
1) planes created in nodes the coordinate(s) of which are defined by means of parameters (if option Planes of
parametric input in dialogue Setup for connection of structural entities is ON),
2) main planes (XY, XZ, YZ) of the global coordinate system (if option GCS main planes in dialogue Setup for
connection of structural entities is ON),
3) planes parallel with the main planes (XY, XZ, YZ) of the global coordinate system (if option GCS parallel planes in
dialogue Setup for connection of structural entities is ON) (in fact, not "full" planes are added here, just three vectors
defining normals to the three global main planes),
4) XY planes of the defined user coordinate systems (if option UCS XY planes in dialogue Setup for connection of
structural entities is ON),
5) planes parallel with the XY-planes of the defined user coordinate systems (if option UCS XY parallel planes in
dialogue Setup for connection of structural entities is ON) (similarly to GCS parallel planes, not "full" planes are
added here, just vectors defining normals to the UCS XY-planes),
6) planes of the defined line grids (if option Line grid planes in dialogue Setup for connection of structural entities is
ON),
7) planes of input flat slabs (these master planes are always generated, it is not possible to exclude them from the
algorithm),
8) planes formed by the curve of curved 1D members (these master planes are always generated, it is not possible to
exclude them from the algorithm),
9) XY and XZ planes of the local coordinate systems of the input 1D members (if option Beam LCS planes in dialogue
Setup for connection of structural entities is ON).

In the phase of the generation of the list of master planes, the algorithm holds two separate lists: (i) a list of "fixed"
master planes and (ii) a list of "parallel" master planes. The "parallel" master planes are those generated in step 3 or 5 of
the above-mentioned procedure. All other master planes are "fixed" master planes. When a new master plane (of any
type) is being generated, it is not mechanically added to the list of the defined master planes, but a set of checks is
performed.
a) It is checked whether the candidate master plane is identical (within specified tolerances) with any of the already
existing "fixed" master plane. If so, nothing is done.
b) If the candidate master plane is not present in the already existing list of "fixed" master planes, it is checked whether
the normal vector of the candidate master plane is identical (within the specified tolerances) with the normal vector of any
of the "parallel" master planes. If so, the candidate master plane is rotated so that its normal vector is identical to the
normal vector of the "parallel" master plane. And finally, the candidate is added to the list of "fixed" master planes.

After these preliminary operations the alignment itself can start. From now on, only the "fixed" master planes are
considered.
1) Each beam and slab knows which master plane it belongs to. All slabs (including openings, subregions and internal
edges) and all beams (middle lines of beams) are checked and if necessary the nodes are moved so that they are
located exactly in the corresponding master plane.
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2) The program searches for "singular" slabs (i.e. slabs that are smaller than the specified tolerance for displacement of
nodes). This step prevents possible shrinkage of such a small slab to one point during next alignment steps. These
"singular" slabs are skipped in the following steps of the procedure.
3) Now, a set of possible (allowed) moves is created for every node:
a) The program checks the distance of every node from all master planes. If the distance is greater than the allowed
maximum displacement of the node, the program further checks whether the slab which the tested node belongs to
has been "trued" in step (1) above. If so, the program checks (i) if the distance of the node was smaller than the
allowed maximum displacement of the node before the slab have been aligned and (ii) if the projection (along the
normal to the slab) of the node falls into that slab. If both conditions are met, the node is moved to the master plane
(the slab functions here as a kind of "magnet").
b) If a master plane has been created from a slab or a beam, such a master plane is not desired to have effect on
nodes located somewhere in the distant part of the model. Therefore, a bounding box (with sides parallel to the global
coordinate planes) is created around the slab or beam that generated the master plane and it is checked whether the
tested node lies inside this bounding box. If not, it is further checked whether any "line" (beam middle line, edge)
going from the tested node intersects the bounding box. If not, no manipulation is done with the node. The node can
be moved only if it lies inside the bounding box or if at least one "line" going from the node intersects the bounding
box.
c) If a node is going to be moved to a master plane generated from parametric planes, the node is moved in such a
way that its corresponding coordinate is assigned directly the value of the parameter.
4) At this moment, the program has a set of (allowed) moves for every node.
a) The program now checks whether the displacement of the node is unambiguous, i.e. whether there are not too
many "formulas" for the move of the node. If the algorithm has generated (in point (3) above) too many "formulas", the
program tries to remove some master planes - e.g. if two angle between two master planes is too small, one of the
master planes is removed. If this elimination is not enough, the vertex is not moved.
b) The program checks whether the displacement of the node is not greater than the user-specified maximum
displacement and whether the node does not want to "go" to two master planes with the same distance from the
node. If these checks fail, the node is not moved.
c) the nodes that passed all the checks are moved.
5) At the very end of the procedure a report is generated. What deserves a special explanation is the number of nodes
"moved" to planes. This number does not include the nodes that were displaced when a slab as a whole was aligned to a
master plane. It includes only nodes moved to other master planes (i.e. it does not cover the nodes moved to the master
plane generated from the middle plane of the slab that the node belongs to).

Parameters controlling the alignment of the structure
These parameters control the alignment, connection, and check of the structure.
Align structural entities to planes (moving nodes)
This group of parameters controls the process of alignment of entities into selected planes.
Align If ON, selected structural members will be checked and, if
necessary, aligned to appropriate planes.

Master planes
Planes of
parametric
input
(This option is available ONLY if (i) project functionality Parameters is ON and (ii) at least
one coordinate of at least one node of the structure is defined through a parameter.)
The selected entities will be aligned in order to fit into the planes created in nodes whose at
least one coordinate is defined by means of a parameter.
For example, if the X-coordinate of a node is defined as a parameter, the YZ-plane is put
into this node and it forms the master plane. Similarly, if e.g. the Y-coordinate is defined
through a parameter, the master plane is put into the XZ plane created in the node.
GCS main
plains
The selected entities will be aligned in order to fit into the three main planes of the global
coordinate system.
GCS parallel
planes
The selected entities will be aligned in order to fit into the planes parallel with three main
planes of the global coordinate system.
UCS XY
planes
The selected entities will be aligned in order to fit into all XY planes of all the defined user
coordinate systems.
UCS XY The selected entities will be aligned in order to fit into planes parallel with all the XY planes
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315
parallel planes of all the defined user coordinate systems.
Line grid
planes
The selected entities will be aligned in order to fit into the main planes of the line grid.
Max. distance
between
parallel master
planes
This parameter specifies the maximum distance between parallel master planes for which
the tested plane is considered a new master plane. If the tested plane is closer to an
existing plane, then no new master plane is created and the tested plane is coincided with
the existing plane.
Note: Max. distance between parallel master planes must be greater than Max. distance
between master plane and node to be aligned.
This parameter is used during the generation of the list of master planes - see chapter
Alignment procedure for more details.
Max. angle
between
master planes
Analogous to the condition above.
This parameter is used during the generation of the list of master planes and in the checks
for ambiguity of node moves - see chapter Alignment procedure for more details.
Parameterize
the structure
by master
planes
(This option is available ONLY if (i) project functionality Parameters is ON and (ii) at least
one coordinate of at least one node of the structure is defined through a parameter.)
If the program creates master planes in the nodes defined through a parameter (see
Planes of parametric input above) and if this option is ON, then the program parameterizes
all the nodes found in the appropriate master plane. Follow the example below.

Let us assume a simple structure with four columns. Just one column head (marked with
the arrow) is defined by means of a parameter for the Z-coordinate. The X- and Y-
coordinates of this column head and all the coordinates of other column heads are defined
directly by a number. Now, if options Parameterize the structure by master planes and
Planes of parametric input are ON, the program does the following (among other):
- it checks if there is a nodal coordinate defined through a parameter (in our picture: the Z-
coordinate of the node marked with the arrow is parameterised),
- if so, it creates a plane "perpendicular" to the parameter: which means that if the
parameter is defined for the Z-coordinate, the XY-plane is created and put into the
parameterised node (in the picture: shown as transparent),
- if other nodes lie in this plane, their appropriate coordinate is parameterised as well (in
our picture: the Z-coordinate of the remaining three column heads is parameterised).

Limits
Max. distance between master plane
and node to be aligned
If the distance between the master plane and tested node is
greater than the value specified here, the alignment is not
performed. Otherwise, the node is aligned into the plane.
This parameter is used during the alignment process (not during
the generation of the list of master planes) - see chapter
Alignment procedure for more details.
Max. total displacement of node If the alignment of the node would mean that the node would
move more than specified in this field, the alignment is not
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performed. This value prevents creation of long and sharp corners
if two planes meet at a very small angle.
Note: Max. distance between master plane and node to be aligned
must be lower or equal to Max. total displacement of node.
This parameter is used during the alignment process (not during
the generation of the list of master planes) - see chapter
Alignment procedure for more details.
Keep original shape of the model If ON, the alignment uses eccentricities to keep the original shape
of the structure. If OFF, the individual members are aligned into
the midplane.
The meaning of the parameter can be best explained using a
simple example of three walls put one onto another.
Let us assume a sample structure composed of three walls of
different thickness with one face aligned.

If the option is ON, the program generates exactly this shape. On
the other hand, if the option is OFF, the program considers the
shift of the walls as an inaccuracy and puts their mid-plane into
one plane - see below.


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317
Geometrical tolerance
The parameters in this group are identical with those in Setup > Geometry/Graphics. These values are used for all
geometrical operations and for your convenience, they are added into this dialogue as well.
Keep original shape of the model If ON, the alignment uses eccentricities to keep the original shape
of the structure. If OFF, the individual members are aligned into
the midplane.
The meaning of the parameter can be best explained using a
simple example of three walls put one onto another.
Let us assume a sample structure composed of three walls of
different thickness with one face aligned.

If the option is ON, the program generates exactly this shape. On
the other hand, if the option is OFF, the program considers the
shift of the walls as an inaccuracy and puts their mid-plane into
one plane - see below.

Min. distance of two nodes, node to
curve
Specifies the min. distance of two nodes for which the two nodes
are considered separate nodes. If the real distance of two nodes is
lower than this parameter, the two nodes are merged together.
Max. distance of node to 2D member Specifies the maximal allowable distance of a node from the plane
of a 2D member. If the actual distance is larger than this limit
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318
plane value, the geometry is considered invalid and a corresponding
warning is issued.
Recommendation: These two parameters should be lower at least by a factor of ten than parameters Max. distance
between parallel master planes, Max. distance between master plane and node to be aligned and Max. total
displacement of node.

Connect
This group of parameters control the process of connection of intersecting and "touching" entities.
Connect If ON, the program connects automatically the intersecting entities
and provides for the transfer of loads and internal forces between
them.
Link nodes of slabs as linked
nodes to beam
This option works only with vertex-nodes of slabs. It has no influence
on internal nodes.
If ON, the node where a slab and a 1D member are connected is
made as a linked node. If so, any future manipulation with the 1D
member affects also the node of the slab. The node follows the
movement of the 1D member and the shape of the slab is modified
accordingly.
Example: Let us assume the following simple structure.

If the option is ON and the linked node is generated and if we then
move the column by a certain distance, the slab "follows" the
movement.

On the other hand, if the option is OFF, the same operation (moving
the column) will split the structure into two parts.
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319

Link free nodes as internal nodes This option has meaning only for XML import from certain programs
that allow to define free nodes used e.g. for the definition of loads. In
Scia Engineer such nodes are linked as internal nodes of
appropriate slabs (it means that those free nodes must be located
inside of a slab).

Check structure data
This group controls the process in which the structure data are checked for compliance with restrictions implied by Scia
Engineer algorithms and Finite Element Method principles.
Check If ON, the data are check and, if necessary and possible,
corrected.
If OFF, no data check is performed.
Openings in beams
Opening in webs of beams
Normally, when a 1D member is defined in Scia Engineer, its cross-section is constant along the whole length. Haunches
and arbitrary beams are the only exceptions. But even for these two situations, we usually have a solid web of the 1D
member that may change its height or width or both over a specified interval.
Function Opening in beams (Member 1D opening) introduce a qualitatively new feature. This function enables you to
define an opening anywhere in the 1D member. Compare the two 1D members in the following picture to understand
what the opening means.

Parameters of the opening
General
Name Specifies the name of the opening
Shape Rectangular
The opening is rectangular in shape.
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Circular
The opening is circular in shape.


Cross-section
The shape of the opening is defined by a specific cross-section (e.g. Z-
section as in the figure below).


Rectangular shape
B Width of the rectangular opening.
H Height of the rectangular opening.
Alpha Inclination of the opening.


Circular shape
Diameter Diameter of the circular opening.
Number of edges The circle of the opening is idealised by a polygon with n-vertices. The
number here specifies the number of edges (vertices) of this idealised
shape of the opening.

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321
Cross-section-type shape
Cross-section Specifies the cross-section that defines the shape of the opening.
Alpha Inclination of the opening.
X-axis reverse The x-axis of the cross-section making the opening is reversed.

Position
Alignment Centre
Centre-line of the opening is aligned with the centre-line of the cross-
section.


Top
Top face of the opening is aligned with the centre-line of the cross-section.


Bottom
Top face of the opening is aligned with the centre-line of the cross-section.
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Perpendicular offset Specifies the offset in the position of the opening. The offset is measured
along the height of the opening. I.e. if the opening is oriented in Y direction
(see parameter below) the offset is made in another direction than for
orientation Z.

Orientation Y
The normal to the opening follows the direction of the local Y-axis of the
1D member. The picture below shows a Y-oriented opening with Top
alignment.


Z
The normal to the opening follows the direction of the local Z-axis of the 1D
member. The picture below shows a Z-oriented opening with Top
alignment.


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323
Beta Rotation of the opening around the X-axis of the 1D member.


Depth Full
The opening goes through the whole thickness of the web of the cross-
section. (For inclined and rotated openings it cuts the flanges as well).


Partial
The opening cuts out just a portion of the web.
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Depth value Specifies the depth of the partial opening.
The depth is measured from one side-face of the beam cross-section.
In order to cut a part of the web from the other side, define angle Beta
equal to 180 degrees, which turns the opening around and the depth is
measured from the other face.

Calculation
Use for analysis and design If ON, the opening is used for the calculation and design.
If OFF, the opening is used just for the drawings and the calculation is
performed with the original cross-section without any openings and cut-
outs.

Number of FE Specifies the number of finite elements generated along the length of the
opening.
Note: For rectangular opening parallel with the longitudinal axis of the 1D
member, a single finite element is sufficient. For other configurations,
larger number is necessary to model the opening properly.


Geometry
Position x Defines the position of the opening in the direction of the local X-axis of the
1D member.

Coordinate definition Selects if the position is defined in relative (<0, 1>) or absolute
coordinates.

Origin The position can be measured from the beginning or from the end of the
1D member.
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325

Repeat (n) Defines number of identical openings located one next to each other.

Regularly If ON, the specified number openings is distributed uniformly along the
length of the 1D member.
If OFF, the distance between adjacent openings can be defined – see
below.

Delta x Defines the distance between two adjacent openings.

Note: If you need to specify a specific opening that cuts just a specific part of your 1D member (i.e. it does not
make just a simple hole), it may be sometimes more efficient to use trial-and-error approach instead of detailed
studying of individual parameters.

The procedure to input a new opening in a beam
1. The beam into which the opening is to be inserted must be already present in the model.
2. Open service Structure.
3. Select and start function Member 1D opening.
4. The Member 1D opening dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. Fill in the parameters (see above).
6. Confirm with [OK].
7. Select the beam(s) where the specified opening(s) should be inserted.

Note: The openings in beams are accessible only if the project level is set to advanced.
Structural model
Introduction to structural model
structural model, as the name itself suggests, represents the shape of structure with reference to requirements of design
and detailing.
The calculation model is usually simplified to some extent because the numerical analysis does not require or is not able
to process all detailed information about the model. When however, a drawing should be prepared or some detail of the
structure properly designed (e.g. a connection of two steel 1D members) more information is needed.
Scia Engineer stores the two kinds of information separately. Basic geometry information is used for calculations,
structural model information is used for detailing, preparation of drawings, check of connections, etc.

Parameters of structural model
The parameters describing structural model are summarised in the table below.
priority definition This parameter specifies "how" the priority will be defined.
priority value The value defines the priority of the 1D member.
perpendicular alignment This option specifies the alignment of the 1D member to its middle axis.
eccentricity definition This parameter defines eccentricity that may be introduced.
eccentricity ey, ez Depending on the previous parameter, the eccentricity can be specified.
end cuts End-cuts can be defined automatically or manually. See below.
offset parameters Offset parameters differ for automatic and manual end-cuts. See below.

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In addition, there is one more parameter related to structural model. The basic beam parameter Type defines the
structural type of 1D member. This parameter defines the priority of the 1D member if the priority is specified according
to member.
Priority
The priority is taken into account when connection of intersecting or touching 1D members is solved. The meaning will
be best explained on a small example.
Let’s assume a column with a 1D member attached to its head. The calculation model looks like:

Now, let’s display the structural model. The priority of the column (B17) is set to 100. The priority of the inclined 1D
member (B18) is set to 80. The automatically created detail will look like:

Now, let’s decrease the priority of the column (B17) to 50. The result will be:
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327

Perpendicular alignment
If adjusted to default value, the alignment of the structural model is taken from the alignment of the calculation model.
Eccentricity
The eccentricity may be defined in several ways:
whole member The eccentricity is constant along the 1D member.
each end point The eccentricity is defined separately for the two end points. In between, it
varies linearly.
purlin on rafter The eccentricity is so adjusted so that one member is put (laid) on the
other. This option is useful mainly for "intersecting" 1D members that touch
with their surfaces.
See below.

Purlin on rafter
The effect of this option is shown on the following two pictures. The first one shows intersecting beam without defined
eccentricity.

In the second picture, option Purlin on rafter is assigned to transverse beams. As a result they are put atop the other
two beams.
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328


Note 1: The priority of "purlins", i.e. the beams with Purlin on rafter option must be lower than the priority of the
intersecting beams. Otherwise, the setting will have no effect.
Note 2: Purlins and rafters must be connected by means of linked nodes. Otherwise the automatic calculation of
vertical offset cannot be performed.

End cuts
Automatic end cuts
Automatic end cuts are calculated automatically. Individual 1D members are so adjusted to make a neat detail in joints.
In addition, it is possible to define a gap that must be made between the face of the given 1D member and the joined
member.
x-gap begin gap at the beginning of the 1D member
x-gap end gap at the end of the 1D member

Manual end cuts
The user may define the detail of the 1D member end manually. This may be useful for large models that do not change
any more. Once the manual end cut is adjusted, there is no need to calculate it again when the model is regenerated. It
also enables the user to design special details.
begin x-offset end cut in longitudinal direction at the beginning of the 1D member
begin Rz inclination Rz of the face of the 1D member at the beginning of the 1D
member
begin Ry inclination Ry of the face of the 1D member at the beginning of the 1D
member
end x-offset end cut in longitudinal direction at the end of the 1D member
end Rz inclination Rz of the face of the 1D member at the end of the 1D member
end Ry inclination Ry of the face of the 1D member at the end of the 1D member

Example
Geometry
329
beam:
automatic end cut

beam:
automatic end cut
gap = 50 mm

beam:
manual end cut
Offset filled in from previous automatic end cut.
The end offset is 50 mm bigger than the beginning offset.

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330
beam:
end offset = 500

beam:
end offset = 0
Ry = 135
column:
Ry = 45



Defining the structural model
In order to use the structural model the user has to select this feature in the functionality list in the Project settings
dialogue.
The structural shape may be then defined at the same time as new 1D members are inserted into the model. Or, if
preferred, new 1D members may be defined without thinking about the structural model and the structural parameters
may be specified later.
The procedure for adjusting the structural model for a new 1D member
1. Start the function for the definition of a new beam.
2. In the property table adjust the required beam parameters.
3. At the bottom part of the table fill in the parameters of structural model.
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331

4. Confirm the settings with [OK].
5. Finish the standard definition of a new 1D member.

Displaying the structural model
Whether the screen shows the calculation or structural model of the structure is controlled by view parameters.
In general, there are two ways to display the structural model:
 via manual adjustment in View parameters dialogue,
 using fast display swap function View > Set view parameters > structural model.

Note: If the structural model is being displayed for the first time, or if changes were made to the some of the
structural parameters of arbitrary beam or beams, it may be sometimes necessary to regenerate (or generate)
the structural model.

Modifying the structural model
The modification of structural model is subject to the same principles as editing of basic beam properties.
Once a 1D member is selected, it’s parameters including structural model parameters are displayed in the Property
window. Here, they may be easily edited.

Note: Due to time response optimisation, the changes made in the Property window may not be taken into
account immediately. In such a situation, the user has to use manual regeneration of the structural model.

Regenerating the structural model
As the background calculations forced by changes in the structural model may be rather time consuming, especially
when a long set of changes is being made. Therefore, the model itself is not automatically regenerated on the screen
after every particular change. The user must invoke the overall regeneration of structural model when he/she decides
that it’s time to do so.
The procedure for the regeneration of the structural model
1. Call function Generate structural shape:
a. either using menu function View > Set view parameters > Generate structural shape,
b. or using button Generate structural shape ( ) on toolbar View.
2. The view is regenerated.

Manual input of end cut
In some cases it may be required to input the end cut of structural model manually. In order to save the user from the
necessity to calculate the offset values by hand, it is possible to exploit several functions.
The functions will be explained on simple examples.
One by others
Let’s have a simple frame.
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332

We want to prolong the columns to the top edge of the horizontal beam and shorten the horizontal beam so that there is
a gap 100 mm between the face of the column and the end-face of the beam.
1. Call function Modify > Calculate member end-cut > Calculate member end-cut - method One by Others.
2. Select the horizontal beam as the member to be cut.
3. Select the two columns as the cutting members.
4. Press [Esc] to end the selection of cutting members.
5. Define the gap (the gap was chosen as big as 100 mm in order to make the result of this example clear on the
screen). You can also verify the to-be-cut and cutting members in the dialogue.

6. You get the result:

Others by one
Let’s have a simple frame.
Geometry
333

We want to shorten the columns to the bottom edge of the horizontal beam and prolong the horizontal beam to outer
surface of the columns.
1. Call function Modify > Calculate member end-cut > Calculate member end-cut - method Others by One.
2. Select the horizontal beam as the cutting member.
3. Select the two columns as the members-to-be-cut.
4. Press [Esc] to end the selection of members-to-be-cut.
5. Define the gap (we type zero in our example). You can also verify the to-be-cut and cutting members in the
dialogue.
6. You get the result:

Splice
Let’s have the same frame as in the two examples above.
Let’s focus on one corner only.
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334

We want to join the two members under the 45° angle.
1. Call function Modify > Calculate member end-cut > Calculate member end-cut - method Splice.
2. Select the horizontal beam as the first member.
3. Select the column as the second members.
4. Define the gap of 25 mm.
5. You get the result:


Structural shape of 2D members
Even though Scia Engineer is primarily a state-of-the-art and sophisticated tool for static, dynamic, etc. calculations, it
can serve also as a powerful modeller, as it can remember two types of model: structural model (called CAD model in
previous versions of Scia Engineer) and analysis model (called calculation model in Scia Engineer). The former
represents the real shape of the structure and is also used for imports from other CAD programs, the latter contains
certain simplifications and idealisations enforced by the applied numerical method of solution.
So far, the structural model in Scia Engineer was restricted to 1D members only. Now, this feature extends to plates,
walls, and shells as well. The user can take the full advantage of this fact and (and it is important) within one project
define both the tuned analysis model that provides accurate results and fine-looking structural model reflecting the real
configuration of the structure.
But this is not all! Scia Engineer enables the user to import the model of the structure from a third-party software. Most
often, what is imported is the structural shape (fig. 1). The user then faces the problem of transforming this structural
Geometry
335
model into a working analysis model – usually, there will be problems with contacts of adjacent members (fig. 2). Scia
Engineer comes with a handy solution. After a single click and a little-play with a few parameters that control the whole
process, Scia Engineer can automatically convert the structural model into the analysis one (fig. 3). Should it happen that
a conflict have arisen during this conversion, the user is immediately and graphically informed about it in the screen (fig.
4). Once such places are corrected manually, nothing prevents the user from defining the required boundary conditions,
load cases, loads and other data needed for a successful calculation of the project.
Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

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336
Fig. 4



337
Model data
Introduction to model data
A model of a structure created in Scia Engineer consists not only of structural members (such as 1D members, columns,
slabs, etc.) but also of a whole set of additional entities. These additional entities are as important for successful
calculation and design as the geometry itself.
The additional entities are called additional data. The term additional data covers loads, supports, hinges, masses (in
case of dynamic analysis), etc. The load represents a complex and rather coherent group and therefore it is dealt with in
a separate chapter.
Entities such as supports, foundations, and hinges are called Model data. They are described in separate chapters. In
Scia Engineer menus and dialogues they are usually treated separately as well, but occasionally the term Model data is
used when the action or setting is related to all model data (e.g. view parameters).

Supports
Types of supports
Point supports
There are three basic types of point supports in Scia Engineer. Each of them, however, can be of many different
configurations.
Standard support

This support is defined by six
separate parameters. Each
parameter defines the constraint in
one direction: translation in X, Y, Z
axis and rotation around the same
axes.
Foundation block

This support is modelled by means
of a foundation block. In addition,
some parameters related to the
surrounding soil are defined as well.
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338
Column

This support is used to model the
case where the supporting is realised
by a column.

Standard support
A standard support defines an idealised supporting restricted to a single point. The user may define the way the support
acts in individual directions, i.e. in translation along and rotation around axes of selected co-ordinate system.
Free The support is free in the specified direction. That is it imposes no
constraint in the direction.
Rigid The support in fully rigid in the specified direction.
Flexible The support is flexible (elastic) in the specified direction. The user has to
define the required stiffness of the support.
Rigid press only Same as pure Rigid but the support acts ONLY under compression. If the
support gets under tension it stops acting.
Flexible press only Same as pure Flexible but the support acts ONLY under compression. If
the support gets under tension it stops acting.
Nonlinear The stiffness of the support is defined by means of a non-linear function
(force-displacement diagram).
For more information read chapter Parameters of a non-linear support.
Friction The "stiffness" of the support is calculated from defined friction. See
chapter Friction support.

Note: If supports of Press only type (both rigid and flexible) appear in the model, a NONLINEAR calculation
MUST be executed. Linear calculation can be run as well, but it does NOT take account of the press only
behaviour. The nonlinear calculation requires a definition of a nonlinear load case combination. Unless a
nonlinear combination is defined, the nonlinear calculation is not accessible in the calculation dialogue.
Other parameters of a standard support
Angle This parameter specifies the inclination of the support. The format of this
parameter is:
Rx12, Ry12, Rz12
where Rx defines the inclination from X axis, and Ry and Rz define the
inclination from Y and Z axis respectively. The angle is input in adjusted
angle units.
Size x;
Size y
These two parameters define the size of the support. The size parameter
is taken into account only if the support is at a slab. The size is used to
calculate the appropriate reduction of slab bending moment in the
surroundings of the support.

Note: Parameter Angle mentioned above and the adjustment of orientation described below are available for all
support types, not only for the standard support.

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339
Orientation of a support
Support in a node A nodal support may be oriented in:
 global co-ordinate system,
 local co-ordinate system of the node.
Support on a beam A point support on a 1D member may be oriented in:
 global co-ordinate system,
 local co-ordinate system of the node,
 selected user co-ordinate system.

Foundation block
A support may be defined in the form of a foundation block. The supporting is then specified by the material and
dimensions of the block together with the properties of the soil below and above the footing surface.
The support of Foundation block type requires the definition of the following parameters.
Foundation block Selects the type of foundation block.
Foundation Defines the properties of the soil below the footing surface.
Upper soil Defines the properties of the soil above the footing surface.

Note: A foundation block can be used only if the Subsoil functionality has been selected in the Project settings
and if material Concrete has been specified for the project.

Column
If only a part of the final structure is modelled (e.g. just one or a few floors instead of the whole building), it may happen
that a support in the model is in fact a column in the real structure. Scia Engineer enables the user to model even such
situation.
The support is defined through the following parameters. The program automatically calculates the stiffness of the
support.
Length Defines the length of the supporting column.
Hinged Says whether the column is pinned at the end or rigidly fixed.
Connection The column may either end in the support or may continue (e.g. to another
floor).
Cross-section Specifies the cross-section of the supporting column.


Line supports
There are three basic types of linear supports in Scia Engineer. They are similar to point support types.
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340
Standard
support

This support is defined by six independent
parameters. Each parameter defines the
constraint in one direction: translation in X,
Y, Z axis and rotation around the same
axes. The parameters are the same as for
point support except that it is not possible
to define non-linear and friction line
support.
Foundation
strip

This support is modelled by means of a
foundation strip. In addition, some
parameters related to the surrounding soil
are defined as well.
Wall

This support is used to model the case
where the supporting is realised by a wall.

Foundation strip
A linear support may be defined in the form of a foundation strip. The supporting is then specified by the properties and
dimensions of the strip together with the properties of the soil below and above the footing surface.
This type of support is described in chapter Foundation strip and requires the following parameters to be input.
Foundation Defines the properties of the soil below the footing surface.
Width Defines the width of the foundation strip.
Upper soil Defines the properties of the soil above the footing surface.

Note: A foundation block can be used only if the Subsoil functionality has been selected in the Project settings.

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Wall
A structure member may be in real life very often supported by a wall. If this is the case and only a part of the real
structure is being modelled (e.g. one floor), Scia Engineer allows definition of such supporting condition with minimal
effort.
The program automatically calculates the stiffness of the support from the following parameters:
Material Specifies the material of the supporting wall.
Width Defines the width of the supporting wall.
Height Defines the height of the supporting wall.
Hinged Tells whether the wall is rigidly fixed into the supported member or is
pinned into it.
Connection Determines if the wall is only under the supported member or also above it.

Note: A supporting wall can be used only if material Concrete has been specified for the project in the Project
settings.

Orientation of a linear support on a 1D member
A linear support on a 1D member can be acting:
 in the direction of global co-ordinate axes,
 in the direction of axes of the local co-ordinate system of the particular 1D member.
The setting can be made in the property dialogue of each new support.


Line support on a slab
Parameters
Name Specifies the name of the support.
Constraint conditions See table below.

Constraint conditions
Free The support is free in the specified direction. That is it imposes no
constraint in the direction.
Rigid The support in fully rigid in the specified direction.
Flexible The support is flexible (elastic) in the specified direction. The user has to
define the required stiffness of the support.
Rigid press only Same as pure Rigid but the support acts ONLY under compression. If the
support gets under tension it stops acting.
Flexible press only Same as pure Flexible but the support acts ONLY under compression. If
the support gets under tension it stops acting.

Geometry
System The support may be defined in local or global coordinate system.
Edge Specifies the edge where the support is located.
Position x1 Defines the starting point of the support.
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Position x2 Defines the end point of the support.
Coordination definition The position of starting and end point may be defined in absolute or
relative coordinates.
Origin Defines the origin for the coordinate system (above).

Note: A line support on the edge of a 2D member that was input as a shell member can only be defined in
global coordinate system. If the user requires the definition of the constraint conditions in the local coordinate
system of the slab, the 2D member must be input as a plane 2D member.

Surface support on slab
Parameters
Name Specifies the name of the support.
Type Defines the type of support – see below.
Subsoil If necessary for the selected type, this item specifies the subsoil
parameters.

Type
Individual A particular subsoil type is assigned to the slab.
The subsoil is defined by means of C parameters. These user-defined C
parameters are used for the calculation (of e.g contact stress in the footing
surface)
Soilin For such a support, the interaction of the structure with the foundation
subsoil is carried out by means of SOILIN module.
Parameters C1z, C2x, C2y are calculated by SOILIN module.
Note: Parameters C1x and C1y are defined in Setup >
Solver dialogue.
Both Both of the above mentioned types are combined on the same slab.
The user defines which C parameters will be user-defined and which ones
will be calculated by SOILIN module.
Parameters can be defined in Setup > Solver dialogue. Those C
parameters that are input in this dialogue as zero, will be calculated by the
SOILIN module. Nonzero parameters will be taken as they are input.
Note: Parameters C1x and C1y must ALWAYS be user-
defined. SOILIN module is not able to calculate them.

SOILIN
Module Soilin can calculate parameters C1z, C2x, C2y. The other parameters must be defined by the user.
It is also possible to eliminate the automatic calculation of some C parameters and define them manually. This can be
achieved by special adjustment of the subsoil parameters and set the type to Both (!).
If a certain C parameter in subsoil dialogue is set to zero, this C parameters will be calculated by the program.
If a certain C parameter in subsoil dialogue is set to non-zero value, such C parameter will be taken as input.
The type Both is not too common and it was introduced mainly for two reasons:
1. I use type Soilin but I want to have different friction in different parts of the structure. Therefore, the solver setup
dialogue is not enough for me, because is just one value can be adjusted there for the friction. Therefore, I can use type
Both and thus I am able to define several subsoils with non-zero constants C1x and C1y with all other parameters
adjusted to zero. When the Soilin module runs, the non-zero constants C1x and C1y are of higher priority than those
determined by the solver and are applied. Other "zero" values indicate that the values determined by the solver are
applied.
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2. Sometimes it may be necessary to "suppress" higher values of shear (C2x, C2y) calculated by Soilin module. This
may happen e.g. when a new plate is modelled on an old one and the old plate is defined as the first layer of the subsoil.
It is a correct and proper solution, but as E modules of soil and concrete are dramatically different, the Soilin module
calculates high C2parameters. Consequently, the stiffness of the foundation slab in the model is bigger than if the two
slabs were "joined" together and input as a homogenous monolith. Therefore, C2 parameters may be reduced artificially.
This can be achieved in type Both. I define the subsoil with zero C1z (it will be determined by the Soilin module) and
other non-zero parameters (C2 and friction). Thus the Soilin module will provide only for C1z parameter.

Friction support
Parameters
From reaction The user may select the reaction that defines the force pushing against the
support.
C flex Stiffness of the support.
mju Coefficient of friction.
If friction of X / Y / Z or XY / XZ / YZ type is selected, one mju value must
be input.
If friction of X+Y / X+Z / Y+Z type is selected, two mju values must be
input.
Independent If simple friction (X, Y, Z) is defined in two directions, this option is
available. It specifies that friction in one direction is independent on the
friction in the other direction.

From reaction
X, Y, Z The final limit force can be calculated from the reaction in a specified
direction. If a support in X-direction is being defined, it can be said that the
friction force should be determined from the reaction calculated in either Y
or Z direction.
XY, XZ, YZ The final limit force can be calculated as a compound friction. Only one of
the stated options is offered for each direction. E.g. if a support in X-
direction is being defined, it can be said that the friction force should be
determined from the reactions calculated in Y and Z direction. The friction
force is calculated from the following formula:

X+Y, X+Z, Y+Z The same as above can be said here. Different procedure is however used
to calculate the limit force. E.g. for friction support in X-direction the
following formula is employed:


Note: Friction can be input in one or two directions. It is not possible to define friction in all three direction
otherwise the "thrust" could not determined.
Note: Composed friction (e.g. YZ or Y+Z) can be input in one direction only.
Note: Option Independent friction is available ONLY if simple friction (X, Y, Z) is defined in two directions.

When inserted into the model, a friction support (friction defined in Y and Z direction) is marked with the following symbol
(remember that in order to see the symbol, view parameters must be adjusted to show model data).
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Examples:
Let’s assume a plane XY and a support that can slide on it in any direction with a friction.
X friction
C flex x 1E5
mju x 0.20
from reaction Z
Y friction
C flex y 1E5
mju y 0.55
from reaction Z
Z rigid (or press only)
Independent friction YES

Let’s assume a pipe in a borehole in X-direction.
X friction
C flex x 1E5
mju x 0.20
from reaction YZ
Y flexible
stiff y 5E5
Z flexible
stiff z 3.5E6


Nonlinear soil spring
The non-linear soil spring is a line support for 1D members. It is intended to model soil reaction using real soil
parameters.
The model consist of six springs, four of then are acting perpendicular to the member axis and are used to model the soil
loading and stiffness at the top, bottom, left and right side of the beam.
The two remaining springs are used to model friction in translation along the local x-axis and rotation around the local x-
axis.
The nonlinear soil spring can be used in a nonlinear or nonlinear staged analysis.
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The values for the springs can be pre-installed using the PIPFAS wizard

Description of spring types which can be connected at the line support
 In each position 6 spring are connected, 4 translation springs acting perpendicular to the local x axis (i.e. springs
z+, z-, y + and y -), one translation spring acting in local x and one spring Rx acting in rotation around the local x
axis.
 At Z+ and Z- side, three different functions types are allowed:
o Type A, i.e. linear soil function with plastic braches at its begin end at its end , for modelling of
non-consolidated soil,
o Type B, i.e. bi-linear soil function with plastic braches at its begin end at its end, for modelling
of consolidated soil,
o Type C, i.e. water function, hyper elastic type, for Archimedes law.
 At Y+ and Y- side, two different functions types are allowed:
o Type A, i.e. linear soil function with plastic braches at its begin end at its end , for modelling of
non-consolidated soil,
o Type B, i.e. bi-linear soil function with plastic braches at its begin end at its end, for modelling
of consolidated soil.
 At X, a function with a linear part and a horizontal branch connected at its end. The height of the plastic yielding is
equal to the total reaction of spring A or B multiplied by the friction coefficient. Spring type C (water spring) does
not effect the friction.
 At Rx, a function with a linear part and a horizontal branch connected at its end. The height of the plastic yielding
is equal to the total reaction multiplied with his friction coefficient

The non-linear soil spring can be used in a non-linear staged analysis. Unloading is supported.
 Hyper elastic unloading, i.e. the same path as during the loading is followed during unloading, even if the plastic
yielding occurred.
 Plastic unloading, i.e. in unloading, the linear, bi-linear branch (for type A or type B) is taken immediately.
 Type A and B can have hyper elastic or plastic unloading.
 Type C, i.e. water function, area is always of hyper elastic type, for Archimedes law.

Function type A

U0 Gap [mm]
Qa Active pressure [kN/m]
Qn Neutral pressure [kN/m]
Qp Passive pressure [kN/m]
C1 Soil stiffness [kN/m˛]
C2 Soil stiffness [kN/m˛]


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Elastic

Plastic



Function type B

U0 Gap [mm]
Qa Active pressure [kN/m]
Qn Neutral pressure [kN/m]
Qc Consollidation pressure [kN/m]
Qp Passive pressure [kN/m]
C1 Soil stiffness [kN/m˛]
C2 Soil stiffness [kN/m˛]

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Elastic


Plastic



Function type C
The function is used to model water reaction on a diving or sinking member. Bellow picture and description of the
parameters.
Elastic unloading is always applied.
U0 Gap [mm]
Qp Maximal water pressure [kN/m]
C1 Stiffness [kN/m]

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This function based on the law of Archimedes. When the member starts at water level 0m and submerges, the acting
force is proportional to the volume below the water surface.

The water spring is of type "Hyper elastic". It means that no losses occur due to unloading. The path of loading is the
same as the path of unloading.

This function can be connected at Z+ and at Z- side of the pipeline support.

Friction
The function is connected at X and Rx parameters and is used to model friction.

Bi-linear springs with the maximum (plastic behaviour) depending on the pressure force.



Cfriction represents the elasticity of the spring and is together with the plastic friction force the only property of the spring.

The program computes interaction between the friction spring caused by torsion and by a normal force. The type of
friction interaction is circular. The interaction implies that the maximum value of 'normal' axial friction spring is reduced by
the interaction between axial forces and torsion.

Torsion squared + Axial force squared = 1

The procedure to input a new nonlinear soil spring
1. Open service Structure.
2. Start function Model data > Support > nonlinear soil spring.
3. Type and adjust the parameters of the support (see below).
4. Confirm with [OK].
5. Input the support into the model.
6. Close the function.
7. Close the service.

Required project functionality
In the Project setup dialogue, the following functionality must be switched ON if the nonlinear soil spring is to defined:
 Nonlinearity > Support nonlinearity / Soil spring,
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 Nonlinearity > Friction support / Soil spring.
Defining a new support
Defining a new support
In order to define a new support, the supported member must have been already inserted into the model.
The procedure differs little bit according to the shape and placement of the support. In general, however, it is simple and
straightforward and the difference for individual variants is only in the specification of the support precise position.
The procedure for the definition of a new support
1. Open tree menu service Structure.
2. Open branch Support.
3. Start function for the support type that should be inserted:
a. In node for a point support located in a node.
b. On beam for a point support located "somewhere" on a 1D member.
c. Line on beam for a linear support of a 1D member.
4. Choose the required support type:
a. Standard support
b. Foundation block or foundation strip
c. Column or wall
5. Input necessary parameters for the selected support type (point or linear).
6. Specify the orientation of the support.
7. Specify the location of the support:
a. No action is needed for a point support in node.
b. Specify the position of the support on a 1D member (in the case of point support on a 1D
member).
c. Specify the position of the start-point and end-point of support on a 1D member (in the case of
linear support on a 1D member).
8. Confirm the settings with button [OK].
9. Select nodes (for point support in node) or 1D members (for point and line support on a 1D member) where the
adjusted supporting conditions should be defined.
10. Close the function.
11. Repeat steps 3 to 10 as many times as required.
12. Close the service Structure.

Defining a new support on a slab
The procedure for the definition of a new support
1. Open tree menu service Structure.
2. Open branch Support.
3. Start function for the support type that should be inserted:
a. line support on slab edge,
b. surface support.
4. Input necessary parameters for the selected support type (point or linear).
5. Confirm the settings with button [OK].
6. Select slabs where the adjusted supporting conditions should be defined.
7. Close the function.
8. Repeat steps 3 to 7 as many times as required.
9. Close the service Structure.

Defining a new friction support
Procedure for the definition of a friction support
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1. Open service Structure.
2. Start function Support > in node or Support > point on beam.
3. Select the direction for the "friction-controlled-behaviour" (see chapter Friction support for more information).
4. Type and adjust other parameters of the support (see the second note below).
5. Confirm with [OK].
6. Input the support / support into the model.
7. Close the function.
8. Close the service.

Note: In order to use friction supports the Project Setup dialogue options must be assigned appropriately.
Options Nonlinearity and Friction supports must be selected.
Note: chapters under Model data > Supports, chapters Point supports and Defining a new support in
particular.

Fast definition of specific support types
Selected types of nodal supports can be inserted into the model in a very straightforward way.
Once the user opens service Structure, a new toolbar is displayed at the top of the command line. This toolbar offers the
most common support types:
 sliding support in a node ( ),
 hinged support in a node ( ),
 fixed support in a node ( ).
The procedure for the fast definition of a support
1. Open service Structure.
2. A new toolbar appears at the top of the command line.

3. Click the required button.
4. The property table for the selected support type is displayed in the Property window.
5. If required, change any parameters.
6. Select nodes to position the support.
7. Close the function.
8. Close the service.

Parameters of a non-linear support
Parameters of a nonlinear support can be divided into two groups:
Stiffness This basic stiffness is used for the initial linear calculation.
Function The function defines non-linear behaviour of the support. This function is
taken into account during the non-linear calculation.

Non-linear function manager
Non-linear function that specifies the behaviour of a non-linear support can be defined in a standard Scia Engineer
database manager.
The function itself consists of a positive and negative branch. The function must always pass the zero point, i.e. the zero
displacement must correspond to zero force. Any "switchbacks" in the diagram are not allowed. This means that e.g. the
positive branch may rise or keep a constant force value but it is not possible to let the force go down with increasing
displacement.
In addition to the function itself, there is a special parameter for the positive and negative axis. Possible values of this
parameter are
Rigid If ON, the support is considered infinitely rigid once the limit displacement
(the last input displacement value defined in the diagram) is reached.
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Free If ON, the support is considered free once the limit displacement (the last
input displacement value defined in the diagram) is reached.
Flexible If ON, the stiffness of the support is considered constant once the limit
displacement (the last input displacement value defined in the diagram) is
reached. The force value specified for the last input displacement is used.

Hinges (pins)
Beams
Introduction to hinges
If a structure consists of more than one member, it is necessary to define the connection of the individual entities. The
connection may be rigid or free or anything in between.
In Scia Engineer the rigid connection is realised by means of linked nodes or cross-links and described in chapter
Connecting and disconnecting the entities. The "something in between" connection may be realised by means of hinges
(described in this chapter) or by means of hinged cross-links (see chapter Connecting and disconnecting the entities).
And there is no need to define a free connection, just let the 1D members unconnected.
The difference between individual types of connections can be summarised as follows.
 A linked node is a connection where an end-point of one entity is connected to any point of another entity.
 A cross-link is the connection of two intersecting entities. The both entities remain "undivided" in the connection,
they just pass through it.
 A hinge may be inserted into an end-point of a 1D member if other than rigid connection is required.

Specifying hinge parameters
Hinge parameters can be input in the property dialogue for a new hinge.
Parameters of a hinge
Name Is used for the identification of a hinge.
Position on a beam The hinge can be inserted into the starting point of a 1D member, into the
end point of a 1D member, or to both ends.
Constraint conditions in
individual directions
Degrees of freedom may be defined independently for individual directions:
translations along X, Y, and Z axes, rotation around X, Y, and Z axes.
The degrees of freedom are defined in the local co-ordinate system of the
1D member.

Constraint conditions
In each direction (translations along X, Y, and Z local 1D member axes, rotation around X, Y, and Z local 1D member
axes) the condition may be:
rigid There is no release of degree of freedom defined for the specific direction.
The entities are fully connected in this direction.
free The degree of freedom in the specified direction is released. The two
entities are not connected in the given direction.
flexible There is defined a certain degree of flexibility in the specified direction. The
user then has to specify the stiffness of the connection in the given
direction.
nonlinear The behaviour of the hinge must be specified by means of a non-linear
function. A particular function may be selected in the Hinge property
dialogue. Unless the function has been defined earlier, it must be defined
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when the hinge is being inserted into the model. It is possible to call the
Nonlinear function manager directly from the Hinge property dialogue.


Defining a new hinge
A hinge may be defined in any connection of two entities.
The procedure fort the definition of a new hinge
1. Open service Structure and call menu Hinge on beam:
a. either using menu function Tree > Structure > Hinge on beam,
b. or using tree menu function Structure > Hinge on beam.
2. The property dialogue for a new hinge is opened.
3. Fill in the parameters.
4. Confirm with [OK] button.
5. Select 1D member where the new hinge or hinges should be applied.
6. Close the function.
7. Close the service.

Fast definition of specific hinges
Once the user opens service Structure, a new toolbar is displayed at the top of the command line. This toolbar offers the
most common types of hinges:
 two-direction pin in the first end-node of a 1D member ( ),
 two-direction pin in the second end-node of a 1D member ( ),
 two-direction pin in both end-nodes of a 1D member ( ).
The procedure for the fast definition of a two-direction pin
1. Open service Structure.
2. A new toolbar appears at the top of the command line.

1. Click the required button.
2. The property table for the selected hinge type is displayed in the Property window.
3. If required, change any parameters.
4. Select nodes where the hinge should be inserted.
5. Close the function.
6. Close the service.

Slabs
Hinges in slabs
A connection of two slabs may be modelled as a fixed one or a hinge may be inserted to create a pinned connection.
Two configurations of slab hinge are allowed:
free connection There is no rotation restraint in the hinge and the two slabs may freely rotate around the hinge.
flexible connection The stiffness of the hinge in rotation is specified. As a result, the bending moment is partially
transferred through the hinge.

Under any configuration, all translations are fully transferred from one slab into the other.
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353
Parameters
Name Specifies the name of the hinge.
fix Specifies the hinge configuration:
free
A standard pinned connection is use. There is no rotation restraint.
rigid
The members connected in the hinge are fully fixed. There is no hinge.
flexible
The connection is partially fixed – the user must define the stiffness in rotation.
Stiffness For a flexible hinge the stiffness must be input.
Position x1 Defines the starting point of the hinge. By default, the hinge extends along the whole edge of
the slab. However, if required, it may be restricted to only a part of the edge.
Position x2 Defines the end point of the hinge. See above.
Coordinate definition Selects the coordinate system that is used to define the length of the hinge.
Origin Specifies the origin of the coordinate system used for the definition of the length of the hinge.

Example
Let’s input two identical rectangular slabs. In fact, each slab consists of two square slabs attached closely to each other.
This configuration has been chosen with a view to inserting the hinge. Both ends of both slabs are fixed.
And now, let’s insert a hinge into one of the two slabs – into the middle of the span. The model can be clearly seen on
the figure below.

Let’s subject the slabs to uniform distributed load acting in the direction perpendicular to the slab. The result bending
moment clearly demonstrates the effect of the hinge.
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The top slab (in the figure above) is with the hinge in the middle of the span. The bending moment is zero there. The
bottom slab (in the figure above) is without a hinge and therefore, the middle of the span there is the place where the
bending moment reaches its maximum.
The results can be seen also in the following figure showing diagrams of bending moment displayed on a longitudinal
section across the slab.



Rigid arms
Rigid arms
A rigid link is a displacement or rotation dependence between a master node and slave nodes. The dependence
depends on the position of both nodes and on the selected type of rigid link.
The result of a rigid link will be that :
1. the deformation of both nodes in the direction of the line connecting both nodes will be identical
2. the orientation of the line connecting both nodes after the calculation depends on the selected type of rigid link

The different types of rigid links :
Rigid – rigid
The rotation of both nodes is identical. This rotation determines the direction of the connection line between both nodes
after the calculation.
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Rigid – hinge
The rotation of the connection line between the nodes is identical to the rotation of the master node.

Scia Engineer allows you to insert two types of rigid arms:
1. standard rigid arm, i.e. node-to-node rigid arm.
2. line rigid arm, i.e. node-to-edge(line) rigid arm.
The latter can be used to link a node to an edge of a nearby slab.
Node-to-edge (line) rigid arm
The master must be always a node.
The slave is always a line (edge of a slab).
All finite element nodes generated on the connected line are connected to the master node.
One master node can connect more several lines.
Defining a new rigid arm
Procedure to define a new (node-to-node) rigid arm
1. The parts of the structure that are to be linked by the rigid arm must be already defined.
2. Open service Structure.
3. Start function Rigid arms.
4. Select the master node.
5. Select at least one slave node.
6. End the function.
Inserting a hinge to the slave node
By default the rigid arm is always "rigid". Alternatively, you may modify the inserted rigid arm, so that the slave node is
pinned to the arm.
Procedure to insert a hinge into the rigid arm
1. Select the rigid arm into which the hinge is to be inserted.
2. The properties of the selected rigid arm are displayed in the Property window.
3. Select option Hinge on slave.
4. Clear the selection.
Defining a new line rigid arm
Procedure to define a new (node-to-edge) rigid arm
1. The parts of the structure that are to be linked by the rigid arm must be already defined.
2. Open service Structure.
3. Start function Line rigid arms.
4. Select the master node.
5. Select the slave edge(s).
6. End the function.
Inserting a hinge to the slave edge
By default the rigid arm is always "rigid". Alternatively, you may modify the inserted rigid arm, so that the slave edge is
pinned to the arm.
Procedure to insert a hinge into the line rigid arm
1. Select the line rigid arm into which the hinge is to be inserted.
2. The properties of the selected rigid arm are displayed in the Property window.
3. Select option Hinge on slave.
4. Clear the selection.
Note: Line rigid arm uses an extra view parameter. This means that the display on standard and line rigid arms
can be controlled separately.

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Modifying the existing model data
Changing the parameters of model data
Scia Engineer offers a unique and unified system of editing for all types of entities that appear in the project. The task of
changing model data is no more complex than editing of properties of any geometrical entity.
The procedure for the modification of parameters of model data entities
1. Simply select the model data entity (or entities) that should be modified.
2. The intersection of properties for the selected entities is displayed in the Property window.
3. Change the parameters as required.
4. The change is automatically applied.
5. Clear the selection.
This procedure may be applied to any model data entity. The procedure given above may be thus used for editing of
standard supports, foundation blocks, foundation strips, supporting columns, and all other support types. It is applicable
as well for the modification of hinge properties.
The procedure can also be used to change types of some model data entities. For example, a standard support may be
changed to supporting column, a foundation strip changed to a standard linear support, etc.
The property dialogue also provides for a direct access to individual database managers that are relevant for the
selected entity or entities.
If only a single entity should be modified and the user would prefer to see the regular property table of the entity including
the drawing explaining the parameters, an alternative approach may be used.
The alternative procedure for editing of model data entities
1. Position the mouse cursor over the entity that should be modified.
2. Click the right mouse button.
3. The graphical window pop-up menu appear on the screen.
4. Select function Edit properties.
5. The property dialogue for the selected entity is opened.
6. Change any parameters you need to modify.
7. Confirm the settings with button [OK].
8. The operation is completed.

Moving the model data
Scia Engineer distinguishes between basic geometric entities such as nodes and 1D members and other entities called
Additional data. Model data are a subset of the Additional data group. Any manipulation with Model data is carried out by
means of manipulation functions for the Additional data.
The procedure for moving of the model data
1. Select the modal data that are to be moved.
2. Icon Move add data ( ) becomes accessible on toolbar Geometrical manipulations.
3. Click the icon.
4. Define the target position for the moved entities.
5. All the selected entities are moved into the new location (i.e. into one particular point or onto a one particular 1D
member).
6. Press [Esc] to and the function.
The function for the move of additional data is also accessible via the window pop-up menu.
The alternative procedure for the same task
1. Select the modal data that are to be moved.
2. Position the mouse cursor outside any entity on the screen.
3. Click the right mouse button to invoke the pop-up menu.
4. Select function Move Add data.
5. Follow the final steps of the procedure described above.
There is also an alternative to the above mentioned procedure. The alternative is useful if only one particular entity
should be moved.
The alternative procedure for moving of a single model data entity
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1. Position the mouse cursor on the entity you want to move.
2. Click the right mouse button.
3. The pop-up menu appears on the screen.
4. Select function Move Add data.
5. The function will treat the single entity – the one over which the mouse cursor was positioned when the mouse
button was clicked.
6. Define the target position for the moved entities.
7. The selected entity is moved into the new location.
8. Press [Esc] to and the function.

Copying the model data
The program distinguishes between basic geometric entities such as nodes and 1D members and other entities called
Additional data. Model data are a subset of the Additional data group. Any manipulation with Model data is carried out by
means of manipulation functions for the Additional data.

Note: Starting from version 2008, the additional data can be copied also through standard Copy function that
was in previous versions reserved to structural entities (1D members and 2D members).

The procedure for copying of the model data
1. Select the modal data that are to be copied.
2. Icon Copy add data ( ) becomes accessible on toolbar Geometrical manipulations.
3. Click the icon.
4. Define the target position for the copied entities.
5. All the selected entities are copied into the new location (i.e. into one particular point or onto a one particular 1D
member).
6. If required, select another target positions.
7. Press [Esc] to and the function.
The function for copying of additional data is also accessible via the window pop-up menu.
The alternative procedure for the same task
1. Select the modal data that are to be copied.
2. Position the mouse cursor outside any entity on the screen.
3. Click the right mouse button to invoke the pop-up menu.
4. Select function Copy add data.
5. Follow the final steps of the procedure described above.
There is also an alternative to the above mentioned procedure. The alternative is useful if only one particular entity
should be copied.
The alternative procedure for copying of a single model data entity
1. Position the mouse cursor on the entity you want to copy.
2. Click the right mouse button.
3. The pop-up menu appears on the screen.
4. Select function Copy add data.
5. The function will treat the single entity – the one over which the mouse cursor was positioned when the mouse
button was clicked.
6. Define the target position for the copied entities.
7. The selected entity is copied into the new location.
8. If required, select another target positions.
9. Press [Esc] to and the function.

Deleting the model data
Any model data entities can be deleted the same way as geometrical entity.
The procedure for deletion of model data
1. Select entities that will be removed.
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2. Start function Delete:
a. either use menu function Modify > Delete,
b. or invoke the window pop-up menu and here select function Delete.
3. A dialogue asking for your confirmation appears on the screen.
4. Confirm it.
5. The data are deleted from the project.

Absences
Introduction to absences
In practice, it may happen that selected parts of a structure are not always acting. It may happen, for example, that fresh
concrete members are not capable of transferring any load. Or it is possible that some bracing steel diagonals are
missing at an early stage of construction. And the list of similar examples may be even longer.
The question raised here is: how could the engineer take account of this?
Scia Engineer brings solution in the form of Absences. Absence means that a certain part of a model is missing (or
absenting) in a certain load case.

The principle of Absences
It is possible to define that either a member or a support is absenting. The principle applied in Scia Engineer can be
expressed in three points:
1. The user defines which members or supports are missing, i.e. absenting (regardless of any other circumstances).
2. The user defines which members or supports are missing at the same time. That means that the absenting
members are sorted into groups. The members or absences from the same group are always absenting together.
3. The user defines which group of absenting members is absenting in which load case.

Note: The first and second points are in fact joined in a single step of the absence-definition procedure.

Creating a project allowing for absences
In order to allow the calculation to take account of any absences (i.e. members or supports missing from a selected load
cases), the appropriate project parameter must be adjusted accordingly.
The procedure to activate Absences in the project
1. Open the Project data dialogue:
a. using tree menu item Project.
b. using menu item Tree > Project.
2. On tab Basic data, set item Model to Absence.
3. Confirm the setting with [OK].

Note: Only linear calculation can be performed if absences are defined in the model.

Absence groups
Absenting members are grouped together in groups called Absence groups.
The management of these groups can be performed in the Absence group manager. This manager is one of many
Scia Engineer database managers.
The manager provides for all standard operations with database data: (i) creation of a new group, (ii) editing of a group,
(iii) activation of a selected group (i.e. displaying of the group), (iv) removal if a group, etc.
The procedure for opening of the Absence group manager
1. Open tree menu branch Absences.
2. Select function Absences manager and start it.
3. The Absences manager is opened on the screen.

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Defining a new absence
The procedure for definition of a new absence on a member
1. Open tree menu branch Absences.
2. Select service Absences and open it.
3. At the top of the service, select Absences group which you want to define the new absences into. If required, a
new group may be created.
4. Select function Beam and start it.
5. Type the name of the new absence.
6. Confirm it with [OK].
7. Select member or members where the absences should be defined.
8. Close the function.
9. If required, repeat steps 4 to 8.
10. Close the service.
The procedure for definition of a new absence in a support
1. Open tree menu branch Absences.
2. Select service Absences and open it.
3. At the top of the service, select required Absences group for your absences. If required, a new group may be
created.
4. Select function Support and start it.
5. Type the name of the new absence.
6. Confirm it with [OK].
7. Select supports where the absences should be defined.
8. Close the function.
9. If required, repeat steps 4 to 8.
10. Close the service.

Note 1: If no absence group has been defined prior to the definition of a new absence, step 4 of the above
stated procedure is preceded by opening of the Absences group manager. There, the user may define required
Absences group or groups.
Note 2: Be aware of that the display of absences in controlled by means of special absences-related view
parameters.
Note 3: Absences groups are an analogy to load cases. Also the principle of dealing with these two "concepts"
in Scia Engineer environment is similar. For example, only ONE absences group can be displayed at a time.

Absence on a 1D member
An absence on a 1D member has the following parameters:
Name Specifies the name of the absence.
Group Specifies the group into which the absence is included.
Each absence can be inserted into one group only.
See the Note below.

Note: Parameter Group can be adjusted either (i) in combo box placed at the top of Absences service, or (ii)
afterwards during editing of an existing absence in the Property window.
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Absences in a support
An absence in a support has the following parameters:
Name Specifies the name of the absence.
Group Specifies the group into which the absence is included.
Each absence can be inserted into one group only.
See the Note below.

Note: Parameter Group can be adjusted either (i) in combo box placed at the top of Absences service, or (ii)
afterwards during editing of an existing absence in the Property window.

Associating the absence group with a load case
The association of a defined Absence group with a certain Load case can be made in Load case manager. The Absence
group is one of the parameters of a load case.
The procedure for association of a defined Absence group with a certain Load case
1. Open Load case manager.
2. Select the load case where the absences should be taken into account.
3. Set parameter Absences to required value, i.e. select from the given list of existing Absence groups the group that
should be associated with the given load case.
4. Close the Load case manager.

Displaying the required Absence group
Only one absences group can be displayed at a time. The user may select the required group in two ways:
 in service Absences,
 via View parameters dialogue.
The procedure to select absence group for display in service Absences
1. Open tree menu branch Absences.
2. Select service Absences and open it.
3. At the top of the service, select Absences group that you want to be displayed.
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4. Close the service.
The procedure to select absence group for display in View parameters dialogue
1. With the mouse cursor positioned inside the graphical window, click the right mouse button to invoke the window’s
pop-up menu.
2. Select function Set view parameters.
3. The View parameters dialogue is opened on the screen.
4. In group Absences select the required Absences group.
5. Close the dialogue.

Note: Absences are normally displayed ONLY if service Absences is open. Otherwise, absences are hidden by
default. It can be however changed on user’s request in dialogue View parameter settings where permanent
display of absences may be adjusted by ticking the appropriate option.

Editing the existing absence
If required, it is possible to change parameters of an already defined absence.
The procedure for editing of an existing absence
1. Select the absence to be edited.
2. The Property window shows the parameters of the absence.
3. Edit the required parameter.
4. Clear the selection.

Note: If the Absence group parameter is changed (i.e. the edited group is put into a different group), the edited
Absence disappears from the screen, as only one group is displayed at a time.

Deleting the existing absence
If required, it is possible to delete an already defined absence or absences.
The procedure for removal of an existing absence
1. Select the absence to be deleted.
2. Press key [Delete].
3. Invoke the pop-up menu and select function Delete.
4. The selected Absence is deleted.

Beam nonlinearity
Defining a new beam nonlinearity
Procedure to define a new 1D member subject to local nonlinearity
1. Input the 1D member in a standard way.
2. Open service Structure.
3. Start function Beam nonlinearity.
4. Select the required type of non-linearity.
5. If required, input additional parameters.
6. Confirm with [OK].
7. Select the 1D member(s) that should be subject to this kind of nonlinearity.
8. Close the function.
9. Close the service.

Editing the existing beam nonlinearity
1D member non-linearity may be edited in the exactly the same way as any other model data. See chapter Model data >
Modifying the existing model data > Changing the parameters of model data.
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Types of nonlinearity
Tension only
Tension-only 1D members (i.e. 1D members not able to bear any compression) show behaviour to the following stress-
strain diagram:

When inserted into the model, such a 1D member is marked with the following symbol (remember that in order to see the
symbol, view parameters must be adjusted to show model data).


Note: The accuracy of the calculation may be affected by parameter Maximum iterations from dialogue Solver
Setup.

Press only
Press-only 1D members (i.e. 1D members not able to bear any tension) show behaviour to the following stress-strain
diagram:

When inserted into the model, such a 1D member is marked with the following symbol (remember that in order to see the
symbol, view parameters must be adjusted to show model data).


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Limit force
This feature may be useful if a 1D member is capable of bearing tension (or compression) stress up to a certain limit.
The limit is specified by the limit value of axial force input in its absolute value. When the limit value is reached, two types
of behaviour may occur: (i) the 1D member loses its stability and its bearing capacity drops to zero, or (ii) plastic
behaviour get into action.
The following stress-strain diagrams demonstrate available options:
Limit compression force
combined with loss of
stability

Limit compression force
combined with plastic
behaviour

Limit tension force combined
with loss of stability

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Limit tension force combined
with plastic behaviour


When inserted into the model, a 1D member with this type of nonlinearity is marked by the following symbol (remember
that in order to see the symbol, view parameters must be adjusted to show model data).

Parameters
Direction Either Limit tension or Limit compression may be selected.
Type Buckling: If the limit force is reached, the 1D member loses its stability
and bears no load at all.
Plastic yielding: If the limit force is reached, the 1D member follows the
plastic stress-strain diagram.
Marginal force Specifies the value of the limit force.


Gap
There are various connection and support conditions used in a real structure. It may happen that a 1D member is not
attached rigidly to the structure but "starts its action" only after some initial change of its length. The behaviour of such a
beam is defined by the absolute value of the initial "slip". The beam then member starts to bear the load only after its
elongation or shortening reaches the input value. There are three options available:
no tension
Modelling e.g. the instant when
a 1D member bears against a
support.

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no compression
Modelling e.g. a free rope.

free in both directions
E.g. a scaffold pipe.


The algorithm applied has been designed for large structures. All 1D members are tested and processed simultaneously
in every iteration step. The procedure is iterative and converges to the accurate solution. 1D members inserted into the
model may be again eliminated in a next step if their deformation gets under the input value if initial displacement ("slip").
The convergence speed is high and does not depend on the number of 1D members. Eight to ten iteration steps should
be sufficient for an arbitrary structure.
When inserted into the model, a 1D member with this type of nonlinearity is marked by the following symbol (remember
that in order to see the symbol, view parameters must be adjusted to show model data).

Parameters
Type One of three types can be selected: (i) press only, (ii) tension only, (iii) both
directions. See the diagrams above.
Displacement Specifies the value of the initial "slip" before the 1D member becomes
active.
Position Specifies whether the "slipping" is allowed at the beginning or end of the
1D member.


Initial stress
In slender structures the axial force in a 1D member may have a big effect on the stiffness of the overall structure and
the stiffness of its parts. In general, tensile force increases the stiffness and compression force reduces the stiffness of
the structure.
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It is possible to define initial pre-stressing forces in individual 1D members. These forces are considered constant along
the whole 1D member.
The effect of initial pre-stressing can be taken into account in ALL or NONE nonlinear combination. In addition, also
buckling calculation and dynamic free vibration analysis may take account of initial pre-stressing.
When inserted into the model, a 1D member with this type of nonlinearity is marked by the following symbol (remember
that in order to see the symbol, view parameters must be adjusted to show model data).

Parameters
Normal force Specifies the initial axial force applied in the 1D member.

A bit of theory
Initial stress can be defined in two forms: either (i) as a load case, or nonlinear combination, result, or (ii) as a given initial
axial force in certain elements. For the second approach, the forces are transformed into shrinkage or elongation of 1D
members. That situation is analysed in order to obtain a balanced solution. The result of this calculation is then treated
the same way as in the first approach.
In principle, the initial stress is viewed as a result of loading that was applied before the given load case or nonlinear
combination. The geometry defined by the user is, however, assumed to be the same as before this initial loading. The
solution that is used as the initial one is thus obtained on the defined (unchanged) geometry. The procedure that follows
depends on (i) whether a linear or nonlinear calculation is used and (ii) whether we deal with the first, second or third
order (the first order is a geometrically linear calculation, the second order can be found in the dialogue under the option
Timoshenko and the third order under the name Newton-Raphson).
1. Linear calculation
The initial stress is used only to determine the impact of the stress-state on the stiffness of the structure (termed
geometrical stiffness matrix). It is advantageous to use e.g. the stress-state resulting from the permanent load for the
analysis of all load cases defined on the structure or for the dynamic analysis. With regard to the fact that the right-hand
side of the equation remains unchanged, the principle of superposition can be applied (together with the possibility to
calculate the critical combinations) and the significant effect of the geometrical nonlinearity can be taken into account.
Neither the initial stress nor the initial deformations are added to the results (otherwise the combinations could not be
created).
2. Nonlinear calculation
As a rule valid for all kinds of nonlinear calculations, the results of a nonlinear solution include also the deformations and
stresses resulting from the initial loading (i.e. not just the effect of the stress-state on the stiffness of the structure).
a) The first and second order
The initial stress is used to modify the stiffness of the structure. The calculation is carried out with the load of a given
nonlinear combination and the results of the initial load case are then added to the obtained results, including
deformations and reactions.
b) The third order
It is necessary to take into account the way by which the initial loading was calculated. The procedure that is used to
process the initial state depends on whether the initial state was calculated by the third order or not.
What is important is whether the equilibrium was calculated on the original or deformed geometry.
The initial shape must correspond to the one for which the equilibrium was calculated.
aa) The initial state was calculated by the 1st or 2nd order
The initial stress is used for the geometrical stiffness in the calculation. The initial shape is not changed. After finishing
the calculation, the initial deformation is added to the results of the nonlinear combination. It must be emphasised that
this approach is not suitable especially for cable and membrane structures. In any case, it is always better to apply the
third order to the determination of the initial state if the third order calculation is to be performed.
bb) The initial state was calculated by the 3rd order
The deformations from the initial state are added to the geometry, which means that the analysis is performed on a
deformed structure. The initial loading is applied into the calculation as an old load (similarly to the analysis of
construction stages). Once the calculation has been performed, it is necessary to add the initial deformations to the
deformations of the analysed nonlinear combination, so that the user obtains, after adding these total deformations to the
initial geometry of the structure, the final shape of the structure (he is not in fact aware that the calculation has been
performed on a modified structure). The analysis of stresses in the third order calculation is similar to the analysis of
construction stages.

Consequently, in all nonlinear calculations, unlike in the linear calculation, the result of the initial state is fully included
into the results (including the initial deformations). In order to determine the detailed forces in 1D members, both (i) the
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367
final end-forces including the results of the initial load case and the (ii) the final load on 1D members (including the initial
loading) are used.


Cable
Two cable elements can be modelled: (i) straight cable (pre-stressed element) and (ii) slack cable.
Straight cables
Only the pre-stressing force must be input for a straight cable.

Note: Proper settings must be made in Project Setup dialogue, Functionality tab. Options Initial stress,
Nonlinearity, Beam local nonlinearity and 2
nd
order calculation must be selected.
Slack cables
In addition to pre-stressing force, additional parameter must be defined for slack cable. The cable is subject to additional
load: either (i) self-weight load, or (ii) a general load acting under the given angle and having identical orientation as the
local rotation axis fix of the 1D member. These parameters are used to determine the slack of the cable in a particular
direction. All calculations are carried out on the "deformed" structure. That means that the final deformation of a cable is
calculated from this "slack" shape and not from the ideal straight shape of 1D member.

Note: Proper settings must be made in Project Setup dialogue, Functionality tab. Options Initial stress,
Nonlinearity, and 2
nd
order calculation must be selected. Option Beam local nonlinearity does not have be
ON; it would lead to unnecessary lengthening of calculation.
Note: ONLY Newton-Raphson method can be used for this type of analysis. Timoshenko method MUST NOT
be applied for analysis of slack cables.

When inserted into the model, a 1D member with this type of nonlinearity is marked by the following symbol (remember
that in order to see the symbol, view parameters must be adjusted to show model data).

Parameters
Straight If ON, the 1D member is without any slack. Only the initial pre-stressing is
then considered.
Self-weight If ON, the slack cable is subject to self-weight.
Normal force Specifies the value of the pre-stressing axial force.
In order to take the normal force into account, the solver parameters must
be adjusted accordingly - see below the table.
Pn Specifies the value of the additional force.
This parameter is ignored if Self-weight is ON.
Alpha x Specifies the direction of the additional force.
This parameter is ignored if Self-weight is ON.

Normal force in the calculation
If the specified normal force is to be taken into account in the nonlinear calculation, the following parameters must be set
in the Solver Setup dialogue (menu function Setup > Solver setup):
- Initial stress > Initial stress must be set ON,
- Initial stress > Initial stress as input must be set ON.

Note: If the parameter Initial stress as input is set to OFF, parameter Initial stress > Stress from load case
must be specified as well. It selects the load case whose linear-calculation results are taken as the input stress.

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Technical background
No special finite element is used for this type of analysis. Regular 1D member element is used, but its flexural stiffness is
very very small. Small shear forces that appear during the iterative calculation appear are deleted.


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Loads
Introduction to loads
Load represents probably the most important part of the model. The user has always to pay a great attention to proper
definition of load the structure is subject to.
Scia Engineer comes with a set of tools that facilitate this very important task. The program not only provides for
numerous load types (concentrated force, linear moment load, thermal load, etc.) but also enables the user to manage
the loads in a very clear and effective way through load cases, load groups, load case combinations and result classes.
Each of these topics is described in detail in a separate chapter.

Note 1: If the current load case is of Self weight type, it is not possible to define any load in it. Therefore, if
service Loads is called with a Self weight load case active, the menu remains empty.
Note 2: The service Loads contains a long list of various load types. However, the actual offer in the list
depends on several factors. First, the Standard user level of the user interface may hide some of the
sophisticated loads. Second, the type of the load case that is set as active controls the individual load types in
the list.

Load types
Introduction to load types
Load types available in a particular project may depend on the type of project (2D, 3D, etc.) and on the functionality
adjusted for the project. In general, it can be said that loads applicable in Scia Engineer can be divided into the following
groups:
self weight represents the weight of the structure
force and moment load introduces action of external forces
thermal load takes account of different temperature in different places
climatic load models effects of climatic phenomena (wind, snow)
displacement of specified
points
introduces the effect of prescribed displacements for specific points of the
structure

The number of available load types is really large. In order to simplify the operation of the program, a lot of the types may
be "switched off" by the user. This results in a simplified and more lucid menu of the program. By default, only the basic
load types are offered by the program. If the user wants to use some advanced load types, he/she must select
appropriate options in the functionality settings.

Note: The display style of loads is controlled by appropriate view parameters. By default, service Loads set the
view parameters related to loads ON. Therefore, whenever you are in the service (Loads), the loads are
automatically displayed. However, as soon as you close service Loads, the program returns to the standard
setting of view parameters. It may happen that the view parameters for loads are OFF, which means that the
defined loads disappear from the screen. They DO NOT disappear from the project. They are just not displayed.
In order to see the loads even from outside the Loads service, set the appropriate view parameters ON.

Point force in node
Parameters of point load applied into a node are:
Name Is used for identification of the load.
Direction Specifies the base direction of the load. The direction may further specified
by the Angle item.
Type The point load may be a force load, wind load, snow load, or predefined
load.
Angle Specifies the angle by which the load is rotated from its basic direction.
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Value Specifies the size of the load.
System Defines the co-ordinate system in which the load is applied.
For information about setting a local co-ordinate system of a node see
chapter Geometry > Nodes > Defining a local co-ordinate system of a
n