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pre & post processing for structural analysis

pre & post processing for structural analysis

pre & post processing for structural analysis

I have developed several spreadsheets to calculate loads and geometry for application to a structural model (say a bridge pier).  I then take these results and input them (manually) into a structural analysis software (say STAAD), run the analysis and obtain an output file.  Many times, I have imported the output file (or portions thereof) into excel and used the spreadsheet to pull out desired information for design or process the results further.  Then, for repetitive design calculations, I use yet more spreadsheets using the output from analysis as input for design.

I would like to make this process more automated to reduce the manual input required in using multiple spreadsheets along with a separate analysis program.

Has anyone created a structural model and input file directly in excel for use in a structural analysis program?  If so, did it require some manual tweaking prior to running the analysis?

What about post-analysis processing of output?

Does anyone have success (or even ideas on) linking spreadsheets or creating one massive spreadsheet to do all of these tasks?

I realize that such a development would most likely be highly specialized for a single application (say a three column pier with five girders), but it may be worthwhile if such an application is common in one's work.  Ideas for this type of spreadsheet have been rolling around in my head for a while now, but before I attempted it, I would like to get an idea of what experience others might have to guide me in this endeavor.


RE: pre & post processing for structural analysis

I used to do all of my input files for SAP80 and SAP90 in Lotus; save the Lotus file as a prn file and then use that file as my input file for the SAP analysis.  I found that it works also in Excel.

Use to take my output file from SAP and parse it into Lotus or Excel and then do a stress check.  I've never set this up to be seamless, but liked to be able to tweak my model as required.

SAP2000 is suppose to be able to use a spreadsheet input, but I never have seen a good example.

RE: pre & post processing for structural analysis

I've created bridge model builder and general post-processor for GTSTRUDL. If STAAD provides you with accessible database or formatted files you can easily modify my spreadsheets. For more info see: http://yakpol.net/

RE: pre & post processing for structural analysis

I always prepare my STAAD input files on a text editor.   For coordinates, member properties and loads I normally use Excel, save them in Text and copy into the input file.
That is easy enough.
To post-process the  STAAD output it takes much more time and effort as you said.  I have been using brute force to do it, first reading the output on a word processor, deleting the portions not needed and the page headings, saving the result in text, and then reading it in Excel.
Once in Excel I rework the reactions to facilitate the foundation design, prepare summary of displacements, and get forces for connections  and splices.
But unluckily, I do not know enough programming to automate those tasks.
It would be great if STAAD would give us the option to get the output file in a form that could be read directly by a spreadsheet.


RE: pre & post processing for structural analysis

For programs like STAAD, STRUCAD, SACS, and others that rely mostly on ASCII input/output, it is not difficult to automate model creation and/or post-processing if you have a clear idea of wha tyou need/want.  All it takes is some MINOR programming.

If you give me a specific (small) example of what you would like to postprocess, I'd be happy to write simple VBA code to accomplish what you need (jvazquez@bbengr.com)

RE: pre & post processing for structural analysis

If you use STAAD.pro 2002, they now have a new thing called OpenSTAAD (don't know if it is new, but I didn't see it in STAAD/2000). With OpenSTAAD, you can automatcially link STAD results into any 3rd party app like Excel or AutoCAD using languages like VBA to write macros. Go to http://www.reiworld.com/Product/Pro/OpenSTAAD.asp for more info. I haven't tried it, but it seems promising.

RE: pre & post processing for structural analysis

For foundation design I always copy suport reaction from STAAD post-processing mode and paste to my excel worksheet.
I also create worksheet to transfer design load from
floor to plane frame ...

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