Engineering report

 

2013.0

Reporting is an indispensable part of structural design and analysis. The reports that you create must be easy to use by colleagues, third parties, technical control bureaus and of course, by yourself. The Engineering Report contains everything that is needed to explain the project details, ranging from project definition data to static analysis results, design checks and overview drawings. It is the entire project put on paper .

Drafting report documents is usually time-consuming, and requires your full attention if all details are to be represented correctly and comprehensively. Sometimes after completing a tentative version of the analysis documentation, changes in the structural model are still needed. Changing the then outdated results and drawings can require considerable amount of time and effort, which may be rather frustrating.

No need to worry. Our brand new Engineering Report in SCIA Engineer 2013 will handle all of the above automatically, with no additional effort on your side.

The new tool for easy and efficient report generation in SCIA Engineer 2013. Allows for all data, results tables and drawings to be represented in an organised and clear manner. Does your company tend to use customised templates and very strict format of reported documentation? No problem, we have developed the ideal solution for you: the very handy clipboard function (and the commonly used shortcut CTRL+V) allows you to insert any external data into your report. Also, there is no need to keep track of separate documents: all input and output data related to the project can be bundled into one global report by means of this new tool.

The user is in control of all printed data in a report: on demand, all tables and pictures are regenerated to correspond to the latest status of the project. If the status of the report has not yet been updated, an exclamation mark will notify you about possible discrepancies between report and the current configuration of the structure. Nonetheless, the user can choose to regenerate only selected items of the project which are outdated, in order to save time.

A newly introduced improvement is the possibility to type text in between the report items, also formatted to the general layout of the report. The supported formatting includes adding the text in bold, italic, in different colours, fonts, etc.. In this way, comments and explanations of the project can be managed within one single platform, the Engineering Report.

In the following example, we show a well-explained comprehensive report of seismic design:

Once generated, the report can be printed or exported in different file formats, ranging from MS Word document or Excel spreadsheet, to the astonishing 3D *.pdf, which allow for the model to be viewed using the zoom, pan and rotate options.

The new Engineering Report is like a business card; it features all important,relevant and auxiliary project data in a clear and professional layout

Highlights of the Engineering report
Easy-to-use application, integrated in SCIA Engineer
Separate processes ensure parallel handling of SCIA Engineer and the report itself
Possibility to have multiple documents active at the same time
On-demand regeneration of report items for up-to-date project data, results, pictures and tables
Clear indication of outdated pictures and tables by means of a red exclamation mark
Extensive list of report items is available; internal SCIA Engineer data as well as special items (e.g.external pictures)
Easy creation of header and footer with user defined content and the company logo
Option to apply different styles for the layout of tables and other parts of the Engineering report
Integrated text editor for additional content: formatting: bold, italic, font selection, bulletting and much more are included
The predictive text mode in the Insert items List help you find the right item
Clipboard support for fast and easy inserting of copied items into the report
Customizable keyboard shortcuts
Option to add pictures and tables into the selected report or an Inbox
Dynamic pictures are updated after changes in the SCIA Engineer model
ChapterMaker functionality ensures indenting of pictures and tables
Easy editing of tables: add or remove columns from the selected table
Results tables have the option to show the status of the results values: coloured cells depending on the value of the result
Insert detailed checks into the Engineering report
Clear legend of used symbols for each table
Import of gallery (overview) drawings into the Engineering report
The Engineering report manager gives an overview of all created available reports and shows a preview for each report that is available
Publish in several kinds of formats, ranging from MS Excel/Word to 3D pdf
Professional, clean and modern look and feel

Detailed explanation of the Engineering report features:

Engineering report application

The Engineering Report is available in SCIA Engineer as of the 2013 release. In contrast to our SCIA Document that was fully integrated in SCIA Engineer, we developed the Engineering Report as an independent application. It is still linked to SCIA Engineer by continuous update of the printed data, yet it runs as a stand-alone process separately from SCIA Engineer

Why use a separate process for the SCIA Engineering report?

First of all, you may continue working on the FE model in the 3D window, save the project, run the calculation, display results, .. while the report is open. Separate processes make it also possible to keep both SCIA Engineer and the Report open, on a single screen, on a split screen or in dual screen mode. Changes in the model cause an immediate effect in the report. It is possible to open several Engineering Reports simultaneously

Engineering report manager

Upon starting the Engineer report, the Engineering Report Manager pops up. The manager provides a resume of all available previously created reports. A preview option can help you identify the report that you need.

Within this dialogue window, you can open or activate a selected report or filter presentation data, in order to reduce the report size and the file size.

Inserting of items

95% of the data available in SCIA Engineer is also available as an item to be inserted to the Engineering Report.

Due to the very long list of available model and result items, a practical and very useful feature is the predictive text mode. This mode allows for relevant items to be displayed as the user is typing. In the following example the word 'member' filters all items containing this string:

Navigator

The navigator has two main objectives:

  • provide an overview of all items in the report,
  • to compile and manage the contents of a report.

The navigator contains all items which are included in the report. To change the order of items, just drag and drop them in another place. You can also use the Move Up and Move Down buttons.

The Home tab (ribbon) includes also other options like Indent/Outdent (subchapters) and the way to remove items from the navigator. 

Header and footer

There are various special items in the list. One of them is Header/Footer.

By means of the Page layout editor the user can create his/her own header and footer template, featuring page number, date, author, company's logo, etc. These can be positioned on the page to fit the user’s vision of the final report. Once the header and footer, and general layout are defined, they can be saved and reused in other projects.

Regeneration of tables and pictures

All input and output data, results pictures/tables generated by SCIA Engineer are dynamic. When updating the model, changes also occur in the drawings or results in the report.

A dynamic link between SCIA Engineer analysis and the generated report means that the user does not need to start from scratch or do tedious corrections, when the model is adapted. Just one click and all data in the Engineering Report are regenerated and updated.

You also have the full control on what would be updated: for example, it is possible to update only selected pictures and tables. This can be useful in larger projects, if the update of the full model data would require a long waiting period. When making consecutive changes, in this case, it may be wise to update only relevant parts.

Editing of tables

Changing the contents of a table is very easy. Once a table is selected, the Edit button in the Navigator and the Items list can be used to display only properties related to the table . There's also a contextual ribbon with options for editing the table.

The items in the Navigator can be moved to change the order of columns or remove them from the table. Table templates can be stored or loaded.

Editing of pictures

Editing of pictures is done in the Picture Gallery.

The Picture Gallery holds all the tools for editing of pictures: changing the view point, changing the picture size, result properties, and much more.

Clipboard functionality

The clipboard functionality is also included in the Engineering Report. By using the clipboard you can integrate almost any external content into the Report.

External files, such as Excel worksheets or pdf's with theoretical background or technical requirements, can be easily integrated into the Engineering Report by means of the keyboard shortcut CTRL+V.

Text editor

The text editor is a powerful tool in the Engineering Report. It allows users to create and format their own text between existing items in the report. No need for external text formatting tools: bold, italic, a different font, colours, etc are included in the editor by default.

In the following report an example of seismic design is presented. Here, a combination of the text editor and the clipboard function is used:

Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts speed up the execution of different types of commands. Many keyboard shortcuts have been predefined, but additions and customizations are possible.

ChapterMaker

The ChapterMaker name is self-explanatory: this function is used to create subchapters by means of indent and outdent buttons under the Home tab. Depending on the level of indentation, the chapter number is created automatically.

ChapterMaker automatically creates chapters and sub-chapters showing tables and images for each element of a specified set, always up-to-date with the corresponding numbers in the current project. The output may be nested, to show for example a bending moment diagram for each load case, etc …

Results status

An interesting feature in the Engineering Report is the conditional formatting of result values. This type of formatting can be very useful when results are being reviewed by people who are not familiar with the history of the project and the decisions made by the designers. The feature facilitates the quick and effective result review, and allows for the project parameters to be followed up comprehensively by the designers and by others.

A colour scheme corresponds to the size of a result value. Higher values are highlighted in brighter shades of red, whereas lower negative values are printed on darker blue highlight.

Report publication

After the report has been generated, reviewed and completed with user-added comments, images, tables and references to literature and technical guidelines, it can be published in a desired file format.

Printing is the most basic manner to publish a document. Also supported are digital publishing means like export to MS Excel/Word, to a text file or to pdf.

The '3D pdf' option allows for all SCIA generated pictures to be viewed in 3D afterwards, by using the zoom, pan and rotate functions in Adobe Reader.

Samples of Engineering reports from user projects:

User contest project:

User project: house of a SCIA employee's friend

Astrid Bastiaens

15/05/2013