The plugin for parametric analysis represents the last frontier of structural optimization of civil structures. It allows the user to easily set up parametric analyses on current opened model.
The engine works on results obtained by the modified model, in which the parameter change has been applied. In order:
- model is modified accordingly to the parameter variation (see below for available drivers);
- the loadcase specified in the mask is run. If you need to run a combination, transform it into a loadcase with the corresponding command in Assign/Analysis settings
- selected elements are checked upon built-in checks (for steeel, aluminium, concrete, etc., according to available licenses) or using custom scripts containing user’s criteria placed in “verification” folder (see Chapter 4.3 of Users’ manual)
- check results are enveloped, resulting in a scalar representing the outcome.This value is plotted against the iteration number in the graph at the bottom.
There are several pre-defined criteria for running the parametric analysis, such as:
- Change Section criterion: it allows to change the section of the selected elements. Transversal sections are taken from library (fully customizable, as described in Chapter 4.2 of Users’ manual). Specify the search pattern in the Filter column by using wildcards such as * (sequence of any character) or ? (replacement for a single character).
E.g. the filter HE*B will select all the sections named as the pattern specifies: HE 100 B, HE 120 B, etc.
- Change Material criterion: it allows to change the material of the selected elements. Materials are selected amongst the ones in library, which is fully customizable (see Chapter 4.1 of Users’ manual). Specify the search pattern in the Filter column by using wildcards such as * (sequence of any character) or ? (replacement for a single character).
E.g. the filter S??? will select all the materials named as the pattern specifies: S235, S275, etc.
- Move Node criterion: this permits to move the specified node by the distances defined in global coordinates for the desired times. To move more than one node, use a group name, previously defined in View/Select group command. The input line should be: node,numIters,incrX,incrY,incrZ. First increment is always performed with a null vector.
E.g. for a single node increasing 1m along X for 10 times: 2,10,1,0,0 .
To move a node group use: grp: GroupName,10,1,0,0 .
- Change load criterion: it allows to change the load in a single node or element. Only uniform loads are supported. The input line should be: n/e,node/element ID,numIncr,loadIncr,loadcase.
E.g. for a point load on node 2 increasing 10 times for 2.5kN in loadcase perm, use: n,2,10,2.5,perm .
- Change factor criterion: it allows to change the factor of the function associated to the selected loadcase. The input line should be: numIncr,factIncrementPerc,loadcase
E.g. 10,0.1,perm .
Finally, each row in the table specifies a parameter. Each parameter can be run as independent (the single parameter is varied in a single analysis) or as dependent (the single parameter in combined with any other dependent parameter specified). In the latter case, the number of iterations generated can be high.