IDEA StatiCa Tutorial – SAP2000 link

This tutorial will show how to activate and use the link between SAP2000 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 SAP2000 – updates are published in the BIM section

IDEA StatiCa automatically integrates the BIM link into your CAD/CAE software during its installation. You can check the status and activate more BIM links for later installed software in the BIM link installer.

Open IDEA StatiCa and navigate to the panel BIM and open the BIM link installer. A notification "Run as administrator" may appear, please confirm with the Yes button.


Select the software to integrate the IDEA StatiCa BIM link, click the Install button and check the Installed status.


Start SAP2000. In menu Tools and Add/Show PlugIns fill the Plugin Name field as follows:

SAP2000v20PlugIn_IDEA_Connection (in Version 20)

SAP2000v21PlugIn_IDEA_Connection (in Version 21)

Then type in the Menu Text (command name displayed in the menu) and click Add.


2 How to use the link

Open the attached project in SAP2000 and run the CBFEM analysis.

Go to menu item Tools and choose SAP2000v20PlugIn_IDEA_Connection .or SAP2000v21PlugIn_IDEA_Connection


A wizard window is opened, select the join you want to transfer to IDEA StatiCa Connection and click on ECEN.


Finally, we click Connection design to directly start IDEA StatiCa Connection.


3 Design

We right-click on Operation in the tree menu to add a New operation and select Stiffening plate.



In the same way we add the manufacturing operation Cut and fill in the values below.


In the next step, right-click on Operation CUT1 and select Copy. Then change the value for Member to 372.


Let’s continue with input of manufacturing operation Bolt grid or contact. Values set according picture.


In the next step, right-click on Operation GRD1 and select Copy. Then change the value for Item 1 type and Item 2 type to 372.


4 Check

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

Activate Strain 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/Anchors 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 a joint from SAP2000 and designed and code-checked it according to Eurocode.


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.

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 SAP2000 project to IDEA StatiCa are kept on the list inside SAP2000.


If we modify the project in SAP2000 (e.g. change cross section of any member or add another loads) we can simply update the project in IDEA StatiCa without modeling it all again. Let’s change the cross section of one of the members.

First, we unlock the project in SAP2000.



Right-click on the member 371 and following window appears. Go to Assignments and change the cross-section from 2UPN140/10/ to 2UPN160/10/ and click OK.


We repeat the same for the Member 372 as well. Run the analysis, select SAP2000v20PlugIn_IDEA_Connection 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 Members 371 and 372 has changed, but all previous operations remained.


7 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, Eurocode, bevel, cut, stub, SAP2000, BIM, BIM link, code-check manager, CBFEM


Related articles and tutorials:

IDEA StatiCa tutorial – How to combine Tekla Structures and SAP2000