Design groups




A design group is a collection of 1D members with some identical basic properties, like member type, length and cross-section.The generation of design groups is done automatically. Its main purpose is to help the user manage the design and checking of similar members in (big) structures. It simplifies the design process by shifting the focus from the single member to the design group as a whole.

The design groups functionality is part of the Productivity toolbox (module esa.06) and the Concept, Professional and Expert edition. It is available in SCIA Engineer since version 14.0.


Automatic generation of design groups, containing similar 1D members

Filtering based on identical member type, length and cross-section (fixed); layer (choice by user)

Use as 'selection' property for the display of results

Detailed information

The design group functionality is located in SCIA Engineer's Main tree.

Generation of design groups

Design group setup

The activation of the automatic generation of design groups is set in the Design group setup. All 1D members in the project are then automatically assigned to a design group, based on filtering of identical values for the following properties:

  • member type
  • member length
  • cross-section
  • layer

The first items are fixed; only the 'layer' property can currently be excluded by the user.

After any modification to the model geometry or the member properties, the design groups are regenerated. This happens instantly, and assures that the groups are always up-to-date.

Manual collection of members into design groups will be available in a next version of SCIA Engineer, next to the automatical generation.

Design group manager

The list of all generated design groups can be consulted in the Design group manager.

The first item in the 'member list' is appointed as master member of the group.

An overview of the common properties of the 1D members in the group is given as reference.

Graphical presentation

The View parameter settings contain two options for easy recognition of the generated design groups.

(1) A label can be displayed on each 1D member, containing the name of the design group to which it belongs.

(2) The rendering colour of the model can be switched to 'Colour by design group'. All members of a design group are then attributed the colour that is defined in the Design group manager.

There's no direct option for Selection by design group yet. However, the filter icon in the 1D member Properties menu can be used to select all members with the same design group attribute.

Aid in design & checking

The design groups are available as new 'selection' property for the display of results of 1D members. This is the case in the Results service as well as the Material services.

Sonja Asselbergh