Connection Basics

Structural Connection Settings

There are currently 22 different connections that are part of the new structural connection tool inside Autodesk® Revit® Structure 2017. Figure 1 shows the top portion of the list. Depending on the connections you need, you can use the Structural Connection Settings dialog box to load them into your project so they are available when executing the command. Simply select the connection type on the left and pick Add to load the connection into your model.

Figure 1: Structural connection settings

Specifying Your Connection

Structural connections are designed to be displayed in fine level of detail. In medium level of detail, you will have graphics indicating there is a connection assigned. See Figure 2 for the graphical differences.

Figure 2: Structural connection level of detail

Assigning a Connection

To assign a connection you first select the connection command and your connection type from the type selector. Once you have your connection type selected you can select all the structural members that are part of the connection and hit Enter. In the example shown in Figure 3, I selected the column and the footing to place a baseplate connection.

Figure 3: Baseplate added

Once the connection is placed you can select the connection and modify the parameters.

Figure 4: Modify parameters

Not only can you modify all the parameters needed, but you can also do some code checking. Under the properties rollout of the parameters there is a place for code checking. Currently you can select AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction) or EC3 (European Codes).

Figure 5: Code checking

Placing Beam to Column Connection

Figure 6 shows a clip angle added as a Column-Beam connection. Once the clip angle was placed, I went into the parameters to do a code check. I applied a 10 Kip load and the connection passed.

Figure 6: Structural connection test passed

The connection failed once I reached a load of 40 Kips.

The code checking also allows you to use load cases that you may have imported into your model from Autodesk Robot Structure. There is also a report tool to view the results of your code check.

Figure 7: Additional functionality

Workflow − Summary

Autodesk plans to open up this part of the API soon so that third-party developers can have access to enhance this capability further. Although many of us may work for an Engineering Design firm and do not specialize in connection design, it is worth the effort of placing these connections in your model for coordination reasons. I cannot tell you how many times I hear about clash issues in the field because large gusset plates were not taken into consideration when the structural model was created.  This results in issues running cable trays, pipes, and so on because there is no longer enough room. These connections do not have to be perfect, but they can save a lot of issues in coordinating with other trades.

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