Are you ready to learn more about FEM-Design API: result reader and other new features?
The FEM-Design API is under development and is updated continuously to further simplify the work for our users. The goal is to be able to quickly automate the boring work so that the engineers’ focus is on creating real value and great design.
This article is about our API for Grasshopper, but please note that the same functionality also exists for C# and Dynamo.
One of the most important features in the new release is the result reader. The API will now facilitate the post-processing of design and analysis results without limiting yourself to FEM-Design‘s built-in features and interface. This can make a huge difference in the daily work of a structural engineer.
Many types of results can be read directly, and the picture below shows the most important output available. Please contact us if you are missing some type of result, and we will be quick to implement this type also.
When you have read the results from FEM-Design to Grasshopper, you can use many different tools to process them. For example, you can visualize the internal forces using a simple script:
Another user may be more interested in looking at the reactions for the different load combinations:
For example, it is possible to automatically generate a calculation report or export and combine different results in any way. The possibilities are endless. Please contact us if you have any questions, and we will gladly help you out!
Construction stages is a feature that has been requested by a user for a specific project.
Many structures can be calculated in a correct way without using construction stages but in some situations, it is necessary to have a more detailed calculation without simplifications. Then you may need to define a construction stage for the structure to get a realistic result.
It is now possible to access this feature through the API and the construction stages are created using only a few components.
The elements and the load cases are sorted into different stages and a FE calculation is executed for each step. You can read more about the construction stages feature on the FEM-Design wiki.
FEM-Designs API now gives you access to all features found in the software, including the design modules. We have developed a Grasshopper component to be able to run the command “Run design”. Run Design is a key feature because it will facilitate automatic design and checks of the members in the model.
When the Auto-design is run, the program will loop through all selected sections to find one that fulfils the defined criteria.
New technology can sometimes be overwhelming, and it can be challenging to get a fast overview of all existing components. We always try to keep user-friendliness in our focus and we have made multiple adjustments to the API to simplify it as much as possible. A big part of this is to obtain feedback from our users, so please contact us if you have any suggestions or ideas!
The material definition has been simplified in the API by combining everything into one component. This is a simplification compared to the old way, where you had to use multiple components. The library for sections will shortly also be changed to one component in a similar way to the material definition.
Point supports are very common, and to simplify the definition, we have created a component named PointSupport.Simple. This assumes a linear behaviour for the support and is quick and easy to use. You can now also rotate the point support axes in the direction you require.
We have received some feedback from our users that the grouping of the components could be improved. Because of this, we have now structured the groups to follow the order found in FEM-Design to have a familiar workflow.
We continue the work of updating and expanding the API. The planned work in the near future includes:
- More user-friendly methods and constructors in C#
- More available results
- More types of analysis
All examples found in this article can be downloaded here:
Some other useful links:
Please feel free to contact us with questions, feedback and ideas!