With the ETABS® Interface module both SCIA Engineer and ETABS® users are able to exchange the most often used items like1D/2D elements, loads and supports in both the import and export.
The exchange of data between ETABS and SCIA Engineer is done through the e2k file.
This type of file can be created and also read-back in a standard version of ETABS.
SCIA Engineer offers the possibility to import and export this type of file in its standard File > Import and File > Export menu.
Import of an e2k-file
When importing as ETABS model a number of items are extracted from the file and stored in the SCIA Engineer project.
For the best results a cross section mapping table is put in place; A default mapping set is available and can be extended by the user
- Units are calculated in accordance with SCIA Engineer units and the entire structure is imported in basic units (kN/m)
- Names of nodes are generated during the import
Beams and columns
- Beams are imported as 1D members with the type set to beam
- Columns are imported as 1D members with the type set to column
- Braces are imported as 1D members with the type set to beam
- Line members with “none” profile are imported as 1D members with very a small cross-section.
They are also inserted to a special layer named NullBeam which is marked as CAD only (not taken into account during calculations)
- Properties: member system, type, cross-section
- A default cross-section conversion table is distributed with SCIA Engineer and users can create their own as well.
- Geometric profiles (rectangular and circular shapes)
- If a profile is defined as auto-select section in ETABS, the first one from the auto-select section list is taken in account as the profile of the member during the import
Walls and slabs
- Walls are imported as 2D members with the type set to wall
- Slabs, decks and planks are imported as 2D members with the type set to slab
- Ramps are imported as 2D members with the type set to slab
- Area members with a “none” profile are imported as very thin 2D members that are inserted to a special layer named NullSlab and marked as CAD only
- They are not taken in account during calculations
- Properties: thickness, material, type
- User defines a conversion table during the import. A dialog for the defining of material conversion appears on the screen during the import:
- On the left side there is a list of all materials defined in the imported e2k file.
On the right side there will be a list of SCIA Engineer materials which user assigns to each one from the ETABS file.
- Click button [Define equivalent materials]. A new dialog with a list of SCIA Engineer materials for selected code is displayed.
- At the top part of the dialog there is a combo box where you can choose a type of material, such as steel or concrete, or all materials.
- Select which one you want to work with and confirm with [OK].
- If all materials are defined a button [OK] is available in the equivalent material dialog and the user can continue with the import.
- ETABS has got only point supports and these can be imported to SCIA Engineer
- Each restraint (Fx, Fy, Fx, Mx, My, Mz) is imported correctly as rigid or free. Springs or flexible supports are not supported
- Beam releases in ETABS are imported as hinges to SCIA Engineer.
In many cases it will be necessary to edit these hinges in SCIA Engineer because their philosophy in SCIA Engineer is different from the definition of releases in ETABS.
- Hinges on 2D member edges are not supported.
Point load in point
- Forces Fx, Fy, Fz, and moments Mx, My, Mz in global and local coordination systems are supported.
- They are imported as native SCIA Engineer forces in node.
Point (repeating) loads on beam
- Both forces and moments in global or local coordination systems are supported.
- Repeated loads are imported as several separate point forces on beam. It is not possible to import them as native SCIA Engineer repeated forces.
Line loads on beam
Both forces and moments with a uniform or a trapezoid distribution in global or local coordination systems are supported.
- Load with the trapezoidal distribution is imported as several line loads. Each part of trapezoidal load is an independent load in SCIA Engineer.
- Surface load on slab
ETABS has got only a constant surface load which is supported for import to SCIA Engineer.
- Point temperature load is not imported because SCIA Engineer has no point temperature implemented
- Line temperature load is imported only on 1D members
- Surface temperature load is imported only on 2D members
Loads (except temperature) on line beam with a none profile
- imported as free point or line loads with selection – select
- In the selection there is only the closest member
Loads (except temperature) on area with none profile
- imported as free surface loads with selection – select
- Only the closest member is in the selection
- All static linear load cases are imported with their name, action type and load type to SCIA Engineer
- All linear combinations are imported with their lists of load cases
Storeys and line grid
If storeys are defined in SCIA Engineer project then they are exported to e2k files.
A basic line grid is generated during an export. No line grid from SCIA Engineer is exported to e2k file.
- A structure is always exported in basic units (kN/m)
- For export of cross-sections the default (or user) conversion table is used. It is the same table which is used for import
For export only straight members without haunches, arbitrary shapes, openings, etc are supported.
Polyline members are exported as several members.
Member properties as angle, profile, material, member system and member type are taken in account.
Columns and beams are exported as column and beams, others types are exported as brace to e2k file.
- No curved members are supported for export. All curved members are exported as straight.
- Only flat members with straight edges and openings and constant thickness and without subregions are supported.
- Member properties as material and member type are taken in account.
- Member types for export are only wall and slab.
- If a flat member has got a curved edge, the edge is exported by means of straight lines.
- Shells are not supported for export. They can be exported only as flat members to e2k file.
Point in node
- For export there are supported only point supports in nodes with rigid or free restrains.
If a support with a flexible stiffness is defined it is exported as free.
- Point supports on a beam or an internal node, line supports on beam or 2D member edge and surface supports are not supported for export and nothing will be exported to e2k file.
- Hinges on beams are exported as beam releases to e2k file.
- Hinges on 2D member edge are not supported.
Point in node
- Point forces Fx, Fy, Fz, and moments Mx, My, Mz in a node in global and local coordination system are supported for export to e2k file.
- Point force in an internal node is not supported.
Point on beam
- Both forces and moments in global or local coordination system are supported.
- Repeated ones are exported as several point forces on beam.
- Free point forces or moments are not supported.
Line on beam
- Both forces and moments with uniform or trapezoidal distributions in global or local coordination system are supported for export.
Line on edge
- Line forces on 2D member edge are not supported.
- Free line forces are not supported.
- Only uniformly distributed surface load is supported for export to SCIA Engineer.
- Free surface load is not supported.
- Only constant thermal loads on 2D members and 1D members are supported.
- If the thermal load is defined as variable it is exported to e2k file as constant load with top delta z+.
- All load cases are exported to e2k file with their action type and load type.
- All linear load combinations are exported to e2k file with a list of load case.