IDEA StatiCa tutorial – ETABS link (AISC)

Welcome to IDEA StatiCa tutorial. This tutorial will show how to activate and use the link between ETABS and IDEA StatiCa Steel 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\StatiCa9\ETABS2016ConnectionProjectManager.dll

and click Add


2 How to use the link

Open attached project in ETABS and run analysis.

Select a joint to export, go to menu item Tools and choose myETABS2016ConnectionProjectManager


A wizard window opens and by clicking on the appropriate code button we start the transfer of a joint into IDEA StatiCa Connection.


We continue with the button Next.


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 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.


6 Update the model

Sometimes it is necessary to change the cross-section of a member in the joint.

In this case, start ETABS, Unlock the model and the member 121 from W18x655 to W18x60


We run the analysis and start myETABS16ConnectionProjectManager again. IDEA StatiCa Joint manager is opened, we can select existing project and click Update.


We just accept all wizard settings by clicking Next


And finish the update by button 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