Table Input in SCIA Engineer 14

 

14.0

Introduction

The Table Input functionality simplifies both modelling and editing, and provides a versatile overview of the previously defined input in a model. The tool has been improved in version 14 of SCIA Engineer. Additional features such as filtering, clipboard support of the grid, use of parameters, new tabs, and improved management of properties speed-up the model definition while the user needs to do less graphical searching.

The Table Input functionality is part of the Productivity toolbox (module esa.06).

Highlights
A versatile table grid supports copy-pasting to and from other database-managing software, including MS Excel ©.
Filtering in tables retrieves lists of modelled entities based on multiple criteria.
New tabs in the Table Input allow for handling load combinations, material and cross-section libraries and many more.
In addition to conventional (number/string) input, combo-boxes with contextual items simplify the modelling process.
Load definition via Table Input is improved.
New enhancement ensure that new rows may be added to the lists based on a minimal amount of input data.

Detailed information

Purpose

Table Input revolutionised the modelling process by allowing the user to work with well-organised data in tabular form while defining new members, supports, loads, model layers, etc., as well as while editing and deleting these.

A dynamic window with multiple tabs, the Table Input panel may be docked anywhere on the screen or be used floating on the screen. Table Input is used for creating new items in the 3D model, in libraries, while defining loads and load combinations. Editing, deleting, replicating of entities and changes in batch are also supported.

Pictures: Legacy features in Table Input

Summary of improvements in version 14

Further development has made Table Input a fully functional tabular tool for modelling, selection and review of items such as structural elements, libraries, loads, load combinations, model layers and others. The following new features are provided:

  • The list of modelled items which may be accessed via Table Input is extended;
  • The now-available Filtering within each column is a new, more advanced type of search. When used together with the Activity in Table feature, it simplifies the localisation of various types of items in the 3D window of SCIA Engineer;
  • Combo-boxes and shortcuts to libraries and other menus make the functionality more flexible;
  • Assigning previously defined parameters as input is now supported;
  • Load definition and assigning to load cases has been made simpler and more versatile.

Filters

Filter fields may now be called in the Table Input window for each column that is currently visible. When the user sets a string in the filter of a column, all rows that do not contain the string in that specific column are filtered out and the rest is displayed. This also allows for lists of items to be obtained based on various criteria as multiple filters can be set simultaneously.

Pictures: Filtering - a single and multiple criteria search

The use of filters in combination with the Activity in Table feature enable an elaborated, more practical approach in the localisation of modelled items.

Improvements in the Tab Manager

The Tab Manager serves for the selection of displayed tabs in the Table Input window.It is accessible via the context menu linked to the Table Input tabs. The Table Input items are organised in three groups - Structure, Libraries and Load. New items in the Tab Manager provided in version 14 of SCIA Engineer are the following:

  • In the Structure group:
    • Openings;
    • Subregions;
    • Hinge in beam;
    • Cross-link;
    • Rigid arm;
    • Line rigid arm;
    • Post tensioned tendon;
    • Post tensioned free tendon;
  • In the Load group:
    • Load Combinations (linear, envelopes, non-linear);
  • In the Libraries group:
    • Cross-sections;
    • Materials;
    • Buckling library.

Picture: Tab manager (left); cross-section tab (middle); link to cross-section library (right)

All items in the Tab manager are designated by an icon to speed up navigation in this context menu. These icons are identical to the ones in the Main Tree of SCIA Engineer.

Layout of tabs and tables

The user may edit the default tab layout in Table Input - column widths, order, visibility. At all times, the current layout of the Table Input tabs is saved in the TableInputSettings.xml file in the USER folder of SCIA Engineer. The file may be stored in another location in case the user would like to retrieve a previous layout of the Table Input in the future.

Parameters

Defined parameters may be accessed through the Table Input grid. Parameters appear in combo-boxes and can be assigned to node coordinates, rotations of coordinate systems, eccentricities, forces, locations of items such as hinges or supports, and many others.

Other contextual combo-boxes are provided depending on the type of item that is listed.

Pictures: Use of parameters

Load definition

It is now possible to define loads within the Table Input interface and then assign these to the desired load case without restrictions on the current service of the Main Tree the user is located in.

Other improvements

As in previous versions, to define new rows (new nodes, elements, surface supports, etc.) the user only needs to fill in the necessary fields (coloured in orange). All other fields are filled in with default values. The user may change these later on, if required.

Small improvements on the new row definition now ensure that new entities are introduced with minimal effort. Error and warning messages also guide the user if the input of a new row cannot be accepted.

Future developments

New tabs will continue to be added in future versions of SCIA Engineer with the goal to enable full modelling capabilities solely from within Table Input.

Iveta Georgieva

15/03/2014