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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 71
Edited by: G. De Roeck and B.H.V. Topping
Paper II.2

Generation of FEM Models from Structural Geometry Created in CAD Software

M. Novak

SMARTsoft, Prague, Czech Republic

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
M. Novak, "Generation of FEM Models from Structural Geometry Created in CAD Software", in G. De Roeck, B.H.V. Topping, (Editors), "Computational Civil and Structural Engineering", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 23-26, 2000. doi:10.4203/ccp.71.2.2
Problems of different topology of CAD (Computer Aided Design) and FEM (Finite Element Method) data with emphasis laid on reinforced concrete structures (Allplan-Nemetschek, Cadkon, Recoc, Spirit) are considered. Several types of CAD software for civil engineering have been investigated from the point of view of general philosophy and entities definition. A new approach of the description of a computational model by means of structural members with special advantages for usage of CAD data has been proposed. A special user-interface has been developed for handling more complex 3D computational models in finite element program FEAT. The 3D model of a civil engineering structure is imported from CAD and its geometry is transferred into the computational model in an automatic, half-automatic or manual way depending on the quality of the CAD model (precision of the model, tolerances, unconnected parts etc.). Tools for checking the quality of a CAD model definition are present. Relationship between the entity type in CAD and the entity type in the computational model has been formulated. This is the main problem of development in complex civil engineering software based on storing "all structural data" in one database. Two ways of solution of joints of concrete structural parts also with respect to the reinforcement definition have been compared. Because of different entities in various kinds of CAD software, the problem of a "general" interface between CAD and FEM software is discussed. Two interfaces with different structural descriptions have been developed in program FEAT- for AllPlan and for Cadkon. Both interfaces have been compared and put into engineering practice in program FEAT.

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