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Chempute Software (Pty) Ltd

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How to Create and Use Custom or User Defined Connections FAQ


Question:

How are Custom or User Defined Connections created and reused in Advance Steel?
Answer :
Custom or User Defined Connections were introduced to into the list of available Advance
Steel features with later releases. This feature allows Users to save Manually Created
Connections, that have characteristics not available in the Connection Vault, to a library
where they can be reused at similar connection points on any model.
To add a User Defined Connection the Custom Connections Library, the connection will first
to be modeled in Advance Steel. Create a new drawing and model the connection similar to
the one seen below.

This Manual Connection type can be built up of Manually Added Objects such as Bolts,
Welds, Plates and Beams. The Connection type can simultaneously be built up with objects
from Intelligent Connections available in the Connection Vault.
To assist in modeling the template connection, Advance Steel contains a number of
intelligent Building Bricks allowing the User to insert objects with simple intelligence. This
intelligence, for example, the distance between the stiffener and the edge of the beam
seen below, will also be saved to the Custom Connection library. Some of these intelligent
fields will update the relevant object when this connection is used on sections of a different
size, and also allow for Users to quickly modify the connection once it has been reused.

Before adding the User Defined Connection to the Custom Connection library, ensure that
all objects have been given the correct attributes such as Bolt Sizes and Types, Plate
Thicknesses and Weld Types are correctly set, placed, sized, etc. More importantly, ensure
that all Model Roles of the connection objects, are set as all this information is saved to the
Custom Connections library.

Also ensure that all Joint Boxes and Feature Boxes are visible before adding the User
Defined Connection to the Custom Connection library as seen below.

Click on the Create Connection Template command on the Advance Steel Tool Palette
as seen below.

The next option will depend entirely on the preferences of the Custom Connection that the
User is trying to create. In this case we are adding a connection between two beams as
seen below

The User will now be prompted to select the Input Beams on the Command Line. The
selection needs to be done exactly the way a User would normally use an intelligent
connection. In this case the Main Beam needs to be selected first and then press Enter.
Then the connecting beam and press Enter as seen below.

Next specify a name for the Custom Connection and click on the Reselect Driven/Output
Objects button as seen below.

Select all the objects relating to the connection including the Beams, Plates, Features,
Welds, Bolts and Joint Boxes as seen below.

A blue box will now surround the Connection Objects. The Driver Selection Prompts can
now be customized as seen below. These are the names produced on the command line
when prompted to select a particular Beam. For example, the first prompt will read, Please
select the Welded Channel.

Once renamed, close the User Template dialogue box using the usual X button in the top
right hand corner of the Window. The Connection Template now needs to be saved to the
following file location so that Advance Steel can reference the objects from the DWG.
C:\ProgramData\Graitec\Advance Steel\2013\Shared\ConnectionTemplates

Once saved close the Connection Template drawing. To reuse this Custom Connection in
another model, click on the Insert Connection Template command on the Advance Steel
Tool Palette as seen below.

Select the relevant Custom Connection from the Connection Template Explorer menu and
click OK.

The Template Connection can now be inserted into the model by first selecting the Main
Beam (Welded Beam) followed by the Secondary Beam (Bolted Beam) as seen below. Note
that Enter does not need to be pressed after selecting each beam.

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