BIM-based structural interoperability in the early design stages

I have started my research studying different Structural Analysis software packages and trying to understand how I can import the necessary information into these.

 

By now I've compiled a table with only two packages: Autodesk Robot and CSI SAP2000. I am currently waiting for a copy of Nemetschek Scia Engineer that they've said the would send me.

 

 

 

 

Autodesk Robot 2010

SAP 2000 v.10

Nemetschek Scia Eng.

DSTV or CIS/2

.stp

X

X

?

DXF

.dxf

X

X

?

DWG

.dwg

X

X

?

Effel

.do4

X

 

?

Femap neutral

.neu

X

 

?

Framework Plus

.sfc

 

X

?

IFC

.ifc

X

X

?

IGES 4.0

.igs

X

X

?

MS Access

.mdb

 

X

?

MS Excel

.xls

 

X

?

NASTRAN

.dat

 

X

?

ProSteel Database

.mds

 

X

?

ROBOT

.rtd

X

 

?

ROBOT solid

.rdx

X

 

?

ROBOT text

.std

X

 

?

SSDNF

.sdf

X

 

?

Sap 2000

.s2k

X

X

?

SAT

.sat

X

 

?

Staad

.std

X

X

?

Steel Detailing Neutral

.sdn

 

X

?

Strucad

.anf

X

 

?

 

What I am trying to do is to export structural data from Revit Architecture 2010 by creating Schedules/Quantities tables in which the data of columns and beams is defined by the internal coordinate system, but it seems impossible because the maximum definition I can give to a column is its location on the grid system (Location Mark) and the level it is placed on, which are not explicit coordinates (x,y,z).

 

 

I believe it is possible to extrinsecate the coordinates in order to create a line model that works something like this:

 

LINE
0,0,0
0,0,4

 

 

(that would be a column in 0,0 that is 4 meters high)

 

I still haven't found a solution for this problem, and it looks like there isn't any. The internal coordinates system appears only when I add a Spot Coordinate to an object and it's impossible to show in a Schedules/Quantities table and therefore to export.

 

By the way, this system is very complex and would require a double degree of translation from Revit to a Structural Analysis Software (we will call it SAS from now on) because:

 

Revit --export Schedule/Quantity--> .xls/.txt --import Script--> Autocad 3D model --.dwg/.dxf--> SAS

 

“Currently there is no link between SAP and Revit. What we have done in the past is export the joint and frame data out of SAP to an excel file. Then we dump that data into a Import Excel Extension spreadsheet and use the extension to create the Revit model. It's not the best solution but it does work.”

http://forums.augi.com/showthread.php?p=1010250

 

I don't know if it does work the other way round.

 

I went looking for this Import Excel Extension and found out that it exists only for Revit 2008 or 2009. But there are other Extensions ( http://www.extensions4revit.com/n/e4r/ ) for Revit Structure 2010 – which I've installed and tried to work on – but they are available only for registered subscribers, and my Autodesk subscription doesn't work for downloading them.

 

By the way, it is very strange that Revit Structure isn't directly connected to Robot 2010 - and you can't open .rvt files in Robot - but you must download the extension to make them work together. I've tried to export a very simple model from Revit Structure in .ifc and Robot opened it as a blank model, it had all disappeared!

I believe Robot Add-Ins for Revit Structure - like Load Take Down Simulation - can actually solve many problems and help me a lot in my research ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6BbeqhdTp0 ).

 

I add this link that shows the main differences between Revit Architecture, Structure and MEP, because we're not talking only about Revit Architecture but we'll surely have to use also the tools of Revit Structure to achieve our goal:

http://www.masterg.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/racvsrstvsrme-tool_differences.pdf

 

update/1

I'm currently discussing about Spot Coordinates and Coordinates system in Revit at this address:

 

http://designreform.net/2009/09/revit-2010-%e2%80%93-publishing-shared-coordinates-named-views-across-linked-files/