1D member modeller (esa.00)



esa.00 is a basic module for each SCIA Engineer installation; it allows the modelling of geometry.

Easy to use graphical user interface and high-quality visualization, including rendering.
Straight and curved 1D members.
Integrated analysis and structural models.
Profile libraries (standard steel sections, variable and compound sections, concrete, wood, numerical and bridge sections, etc.).
Material libraries (steel, concrete, wood and user-defined materials); including e.g. insulation for fire resistance.
Extensive library with parametric structural entities (catalogue blocks).
Saving of user-defined geometry as user blocks (reusable in other projects).
2D and 3D dot and line grids for quick and smooth input of the structure.
Multiple settings for snap modes.
Clipping box for clear inspection of details.
Different viewports and sections for viewing.
Full control of the display style including perspective, rendering, active entities, colour management.
Property Window for quick editing of characteristics of entities.
Picture or Drawing gallery (editing and elaborating drawings with text, dimensions, comments, etc.).
BIM environment; import/export of geometry to IFC 2x3, VRML, SDNF formats, etc..
IFC 2x3 certified.
Import/export of the model in different formats (reading and writing in PSS, DStV, DXF, DWG, XML, IFC, BMP, WMF, etc.).
Calculation reports document the input, results, drawings; can be exported to RTF, HTML, PDF and TXT-formats using the esa.06 module.

Graphical user interface


  • Zoom scale, viewpoints to be adjusted at will;
  • Axonometric and perspective projection of the modelled structure;
  • Wire-frame, surface line, or rendered display of members with several rendering modes;
  • Several graphical windows can be opened at the same time - this allows for the simultaneous viewing of different components in the model or viewing from multiple viewpoints;
  • The visibility of each defined member is switched to active or inactive; entities can be added to different layers; various options exist for setting visibility - activity by selection, activity by working plane, activity by layer;
  • Animation of results;
  • The Clipping Box is a rectangular prism that can be placed anywhere in the modelling space. Only modelled entities that are located within the boundaries of the prism will be displayed to the user.

Graphical and numerical

  • A CAD-style interface ensures that the user can "draw" his structure on the screen, using simple definition of geometrical shapes; drag-and-drop, grids, rendering and other graphical tools;
  • Table input is available for those who prefer such a style of work or for those who want to copy externally prepared data from a third-party spreadsheet;
  • Input through the command line is also possible.;

Property window

The Property window shows contextual parameters depending on the current selection;

  • Any time an entity is selected, all its input parameters and derived properties are displayed in the Property window, where these can be reviewed or edited. In the case of 1D member, for example, a new cross-section is reassigned directly in the Properties window;
  • Changes are immediately displayed in the graphical window.

Modelling tools for 1D members

SCIA Engineer offers an integrated Cross-section library with a vast selection of shapes and dimensions:

  • Standard steel profiles according to a number of national standards are available - European, American, Russian, Chinese, Brazilian, Japanese, Indian, etc. hot-rolled profiles as well as common cold-formed steel sections from various producers;
  • The available cross-sections can be edited or new ones can be added, using the Profile Editor (esa.07) tool. Section characteristics, including torsional/warping properties, are calculated automatically;
  • Built-up sections can compound from the available shapes in the profile library;
  • Templates for concrete, composite and precast sections with reinforcement, as wells as timber sections are also provided;
  • Common bridge cross-sections, or sections consisting of multiple materials are easily introduced by means of a limited number of parameters; section parts may be linked to different construction stages;
  • General and numerical sections can be used;
  • Sections imported in DXF or DWG formats.


  • Material data can be found in the (editable) Material Library of SCIA Engineer. Extensive lists of steel, concrete and timber materials are available according to a number of national standards.

Catalogue blocks:

  • Common structural configurations are available as Catalogue blocks - 2D/3D frames from 1D elements, 2D/3D truss girders, towers, typical curves. The user is able to add new blocks, or edit existing ones.


  • The user selects to work in metric or imperial units;
  • The units of individual properties are independent from each other - it is possible to define the geometry in metres, display calculated displacements in inches, and have dimension lines of connection drawings in millimetres.

Coordinate systems, grids:

  • User coordinate systems and 2D/3D grids are adaptable - these can be moved and rotated at will;
  • Both dot grids and line grids allow for a more organised input by snapping and clear visualisation;
  • Line grids are defined as Cartesian, oblique, spherical, cylindrical;
  • Several grids can be defined in one project; grids to be switched on and off.


  • 1D members can include openings, haunches, transverse stiffeners, variable sections along their length;
  • Member data, as other data in SCIA Engineer is accessible to imported/exported in XML format;

Analysis and Structural models

The analysis model contains just enough information to perform the analysis - beam geometry and section, material and load data, boundary conditions. SCIA Engineer allows the engineer to quickly define the relation between the analysis model and the real shape of the structure (contained in the Structural model).

The advantages:

  • Ensures consistent communication with CAD-software and guaranties the integrity of the Building Information Modelling process;
  • The structural model may contain entities that are not going to be taken into account during the analysis (banister, window panes, etc.). A structural model can be created from the analysis model and vice versa (see topic Structure2Analysis);
  • Full control of changes made by different teams working on the same project - architects, engineers, contractor, etc;
  • Automatically generated general arrangement drawings.