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Structural Analytical Model Exchange

Izabella Fulop
Newcomer

Archicad can share the structural analytical model with any external finite element analysis software that supports open-source file formats optimised for this purpose, such as:

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After the structural analysis is done and the structural model is revised, the up-to-date structural analytical model can be re-imported to Archicad, where the original Physical Model can be adjusted accordingly. This bi-directional model exchange workflow is ensured by Archicad's import/export functions and the Model Compare tool.

Structural Analysis Format (SAF)


SAF is an Excel-based schema optimized for bi-directional collaboration between structural modelers, such as Archicad, and structural analysis applications that use the finite element method. It is a global, open-source file format, developed by Nemetschek Group for this purpose. For further information, please see our Structural Analysis Format section in Archicad 24 Reference Guide.

The following sections introduce the capabilities of the structural analytical model exchange workflow.

SAF File Export/Import in Archicad.


Use this to exchange project information with other design disciplines based on the structural analytical model parameters. You can use the Open / Save as options, even Model Compare tool to import model change information into Archicad. For further information, please see:

When you import and export SAF files between Archicad and external structural analysis software, the data exchange occurs based on SAF Translator settings.

We recommend optimising the SAF Translator settings before Export/Import. For further information, please see our Optimising SAF Translator Settings section in Archicad 24 Reference Guide.

SAF Translator settings for Export


SAF Translator settings for Export ensure that the Archicad structural analytical model is correctly recognized and interpreted by the external structural analytical software. Access SAF Translator settings at File > Interoperability > SAF > SAF Translators.

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Translator settings for SAF Export option include the following mapping parameters:

  • Building Materials (in Archicad) and corresponding SAF Materials
  • Archicad Profiles and corresponding SAF Cross Sections
  • Local Coordinate System standards (how to interpret the orientation of columns and beams)
  • Segmentation of curved walls if the receiving software cannot handle them

Use these translator settings to fine-tune and define a smooth model exchange workflow between Archicad and the structural analysis software. For further information, please check out all the following sections from the Reference Guide:

SAF Translator settings for Import


SAF Translator settings for Import ensure that the structural analytical model from an external structural analytical software is correctly recognized and interpreted by Archicad. Access SAF Translator settings at File > Interoperability > SAF > SAF Translators.

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Translator settings for SAF Import option include the following mapping parameters:

  • SAF Materials mapping to corresponding Archicad Building Materials
  • SAF Cross Sections mapping to corresponding Archicad Profiles
  • Miscellaneous settings for mapping incoming SAF elements to corresponding Archicad elements

Use these translator settings to fine-tune and define a smooth model exchange workflow between the structural analysis software and Archicad. For further information, please check out all the following sections from the Reference Guide:


IFC Structural Analysis View (IFC SAV)


The import and export of the structural analysis model in IFC format, namely IFC Structural Analysis View developed by buildingSMART, is available in Archicad 24 as an Experimental Feature.

For further information, please see our IFC Structural Analysis Model Import/Export - Experimental Feature section in Archicad 24 Reference ....


Structural analytical model exchange workflow


This bi-directional model exchange workflow is ensured by Archicad’s import/export functions and the new Model Compare tool.

The structural analytical model generated within Archicad can be shared with any external finite element analysis software and vice versa. Use Model Compare tool and Issue Handling feature to update Archicad's physical model with modifications.

For further information, please see:

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