IDEA StatiCa tutorial – ETABS link (AISC)

Welcome to IDEA StatiCa tutorial. By following it step-by-step, you will learn how to design and code-check a structural steel joint using IDEA StatiCa Connection.

In this tutorial we will demonstrate how to use the link between ETABS and IDEA StatiCa Connection.

Activate the link Use the link Update the project Known limitations

1 How to activate the link

  • Install the latest version of IDEA StatiCa, get it in the Downloads.
  • Make sure you are using a supported version of ETABS – updates are published in the BIM section

After installation of both programs, start ETABS and Click Tools > Add/Show Plugins to open the Plugin Manager dialog. This option lets you install and add add-ins (programs) to the appropriate places in the ETABS menu.

Browse for

C:\Program Files\IDEAStatiCa\StatiCa10\ETABSv17ConnectionProjectManager.dll

and click Add


2 How to use the link

Open attached project in ETABS and run analysis.

Go to menu item Tools and run the export command we have just defined.


The Code-check manager opens, we select the joint in ETABS model and by choosing a code we export it for the CBFEM analysis in IDEA StatiCa.


And we can go directly to Connection design.


3 Design

Automatic data transfer is started and IDEA StatiCa Steel Connection with generated project is launched. All members and load effects were added automatically.


Before we start with designing the joint, we check the setting of units and set them to Imperial if necessary.

We go to Project, select Units, click Imperial and approve by Apply.


Now we will define a set of manufacturing operations to model connections between members. In the items tree we right-click on Operations and select the option New operation.


And we add operation Cut.



And set properties of CUT1 as follows:


In the next step we use again right-click on Operation and add the manufacturing operation End plate and fill in the values below.


In the next step, right-click on Operation EP1 and select Copy. Then change the values according next picture


Next, we input a Stiffener and fill in the values below.


Copy the Operation STIFF1 and change the Location to Front.


Finally, we can check the design of the joint.


4 Check

The analysis based on CBFEM is started by icon Calculate from the top ribbon. Analysis model is automatically generated, calculation is performed and we can check results.


Activate Overall check, Equivalent stress, Mesh and Deformed from the ribbon to get a full picture of what is happening in the joint. Everything is displayed in the 3D window.


All values can be reviewed in detailed in the tables and 2D window. For example, to display check of bolts select tab Bolts tab.


5 Report

At last we go to the tab Report. IDEA StatiCa offers fully customizable report to print out or save in editable format.

We have imported, designed and code-checked a steel joint according to AISC.


6 Synchronize models

Code-check manager is a BIM tool to export and synchronize connections from other programs. It is launched directly in the 3rd party applications via a command/icon.

Synchronize - IDEA StatiCa detects changes in already imported entities (changes in thickness, changes in cross-section, modification of properties of welds, bolts, etc.) and updates the project in IDEA StatiCa Connection.

Modify - IDEA StatiCa imports the whole joint again with modified topology (different number of members, new entities, etc.).

Calculate - Synchronize and calculate current item and provide a new set of results.

Calculate all - Synchronize and calculate all items and provide new set of results.


Kindly be aware that IDEA StatiCa syncs with a model of the 3rd party application, not the other way around. If we add operations in IDEA StatiCa and then use the options described above (Synchronize; Modify; Calculate; Calculate all), the additionally added operations will be deleted.


We save the project in IDEA StatiCa and close the application Connection. All joints exported from ETABS project to IDEA StatiCa are kept on the list inside ETABS.

Unlock the model and change the cross-section of member 121 from W18x655 to W18x60.


We run the analysis, select the export command in the upper ribbon and in the Code-check manager click on Synchronize.


In the next window just select Connection design.


As you can see, the cross-section of the Member 121 has been changed, but all previous operations remained.

We have imported, designed and code-checked a steel joint according to AISC.


7 ETABS known limitations

Link now works for a wide variety of connections / joints. However, please take into account yet unsupported functionality:

Eccentricity - Centroid is not set as Cardinal point


Workaround: Import the whole joint and manually move the beams with eccentricity to the proper position.



connection, joint, AISC, analysis, end plate, cut, ETABS, BIM, BIM link, code-check manager, CBFEM