Automated General Arrangement Drawings (esadt.01)



SCIA Engineer is equipped with tools for the fast preparation of general arrangement drawings. SCIA Engineer automatically generates planviews, vertical or arbitrary section views through a struc- ture by a certain set of planes. The drawings are then generated from these planviews and sections. The drawings are made according to rules defined by the user, which makes it easy to maintain e.g. a unified company style, etc. The generated drawings can be further processed and e.g. basic dimensions lines or adjustable labels can be automatically added.

The generated drawings can be edited in the integrated editor. Other elements such as dimension lines, labels, leads and other graphical entities (solids, surfaces, lines, curves, texts) can be added manually. The final drawing containing frames, title blocks, etc. is composed of several partial drawings and is stored in the Paperspace Gallery.

Integrated regeneration tools update the generated drawings so that they reflect the state of the structure after any changes made to the model while keeping the manually added entities (dimension lines, labels etc.) untouched.

Fast and simple generation of drawings in user-defined section.
Automatic generation of detailed connection drawings.
User-friendly management of generated drawings and pictures.
Export of drawings to CAD programmes.

Shape of the structure

SCIA Engineer keeps two shapes (models) of each member: analysis model and structural model. The former is necessary for accurate calculations, the latter for quality drawings.

This is rather easy thanks to, among others, the member parameters called ‘CAD type’ that defines the member priority in the joint connecting the member to the rest of the structure. Other CAD properties of each member (eccentricities, longitudinal offsets, end-cutting toggle etc.) enable the user to generate the shape to be displayed in the drawings.

The General Arrangement Drawings functionality offers even more. Member-offsets can be applied to the drawing only. There is no need to manipulate the analysis model in order to get the drawing right.

2D and 3D-Linegrids - general tools for the definition of sections

The 2D and 3D linegrids are not only tools for graphic input of the structure. They also facilitate the orientation of the user in the considerable amount of visual information in the graphical window, as individual lines of the grid have its name (letter or number) which is displayed with the grid.

Storeys - general tool for the definition of planviews

Similar to the creation of sections by means of linegrids, storeys can be used to generate plan- views. In combination with the 2D linegrid functionality they provide powerful tool for production of drawings. The storeys are also useful for the modelling of the structure.


A section is a basic entity used for automatic generation of drawings. The section is defined by its geometry and rules that control the generation of the drawing (see section Drawing styles below). The planview or section is created simply by clicking a number of points in the graphical window. And when using linegrids and storeys life becomes even easier. The selection of individual planes, defined by linegrids or storeys, directly generates planviews and sections. The applied drawing style then define the layout of the drawing.

Planviews and Sections can be selected in 3D-model view and their parameters can be modified in the traditional property dialogue. The user can control the way in which they are displayed.

Each section has a section plane, front plane and back plane. Elements which are in between the front-plane and back-plane are drawn in the 2D drawing. The drawing rules define the style in which the parts of the entities located between the front- and back-plane are displayed.

Drawing styles

The heart of the GA drawings lies in the drawing styles and rules. The drawing rules determine how the model is transformed to a 2D representation. They consist of filters (object type, materials, …), format properties (line style, pen width, colour) and what-to-represent (centre-line, contours, section).

Autolabeling and autodimensioning of openings, anchor bolts and purlins can be configured in the drawing styles as well.

The key-part of GA drawings is controlled by four style managers:

  • Drawing-style Manager
  • Label-style Manager
  • Dimension-style Manager for dimension lines
  • Hatch-style Manager

The Drawing styles are arranged by a standard database manager, which means that they can be easily transferred to other projects and shared by several users.

Drawing manager

The Drawing manager manages all available sections and planviews. This utility has a dual purpose:

  • Basic properties (scale, prefix of picture name, hidden lines options etc.) can be changed. Display variables (eg. view direction, depth of section, horizontal and section plane offset, etc.) can be set
  • Drawings can be opened in the 2D editor for customization: extra dimensions can be added, labels can be moved, etc.

Picture Gallery - efficient handling of pictures

Pictures generated by program wizards or saved from the graphical window are sent to the library of pictures and images which is called Picture Gallery. The user has an immediate preview of all pictures and can edit their properties. Any picture can be modified in the internal graphical editor. The user can add dimension lines, texts or standard graphical shapes, as well as edit line thickness, style and colour. The layer manager makes it possible to set selected parts of the picture as hidden or frozen. 3D clipping and picture border settings are available for adjusting a part of the structure to be displayed. The Gallery editor can also be used as an efficient drawing tool for preparation of 2D pictures or charts.

Paperspace – tool for final General Arrangement drawings

In the paperspace editor the user can compose the final drawing layout. The paperspace environment can be used to:

  • Insert pictures from the gallery;
  • Insert pictures from a saved file stored in internal SCIA Engineer format (ep3, ep2, epd),
  • Insert bitmap image (bmp),
  • Insert basic graphical entities, (lines, curves, texts),
  • Insert plane section entities, i.e. section (linegrid) or planviews (storey),
  • Insert document items: i.e. all tables which are available in the document can also be inserted to the paper

The graphical environment of paperspace editor allows for fast preparation of stamps including inserted logos, automatic texts, frames etc. Any drawing can be saved as a template, which produces its automatic loading at the moment of creating a new paper. Together with the use of “automatic texts” (e.g. project name, author, date, time etc.,) this is a very efficient way of producing quality automatic drawings.

All pictures inserted to the drawing keep their 3D information, which enables additional changes to their properties (e.g. scale, rendering or hidden line mode, view direction).