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VisualFoundation Design

Requires: IES VisualFoundation


There are two independent ways that VisualAnalysis and VisualFoundation can work together to help you solve problems. The tools are not completely integrated or interactive.  VisualFoundation is sold separately by IES.  To learn more about IES VisualFoundation, click on this link to go to the VisualFoundation page on the IES website.

  1. You can Export from VisualAnalysis using the Foundation Design feature.
  2. VisualFoundation can automatically create a VisualAnalysis project file (.vap) during analysis.

Foundation Design (Export from VisualAnalysis in to VisualFoundation)

Foundation Design allows you to export geometry and reactions from VisualAnalysis to set up a mat footing in VisualFoundation. You may quickly generate a footing geometry for one or more columns from the VisualAnalysis project. The column locations are automatically imported and the reaction-forces from VisualAnalysis service load cases are brought into VisualFoundation as loads. Foundations created in VisualAnalysis (using the Create Foundation (for VisualFoundation) feature are kept “simple", omitting detailed FEA modeling of the mat foundation (just supported nodes). VisualFoundation provides foundation-specific checks and targeted design support from VisualFoundation.

How does “Foundation Design" (for VisualFoundation) work?

1. Select one or more supported nodes in your VisualAnalysis project (after an analysis is performed).
2. Choose Model | Create Foundation
3. Run an analysis, analyzing all the Service Load Case to obtain reaction forces at nodes. 

4. With the foundation selected, use Design | Foundation Design to launch VisualFoundation, which will create a new footing project.
5. This VisualFoundation project can then be modified, and design checks can then be performed. You must SAVE this project to create a .vfp file that can be opened for future use.
6. When you exit VisualFoundation, the “Foundation" in VisualAnalysis is updated with a new boundary and thickness.
7. You can report a “Foundation Table" which lists all the footings by name, their thicknesses, area, and which columns are supported. You might use this to help you coordinate with any saved VisualFoundation project files.

Go to Load Case Manager to enable analysis for all your service load cases (they may not be enabled by default).  On the Service Case tab, select each service case that contains loads, and check the box titled "Include in analysis".

What are the Limitations of “Foundation Design" from VisualAnalysis?

Using the .VAP Files Created by VisualFoundation

You can use the VisualAnalysis project file created by VisualFoundation to start a more sophisticated finite element analysis of your foundation using VisualAnalysis. You might use this project file look at horizontal forces on piles or to perform a dynamic analysis—neither of which is supported in VisualFoundation. VisualAnalysis also provides more advanced capabilities for designing grade beams, and foundation elements. The VisualFoundation project will also help you understand what VisualFoundation does for you behind the scenes in building the model to analyze. IES uses this project file to help validate VisualFoundation.

Detailed Operation

VisualFoundation can create a .vap when you run an analysis in VisualFoundation. The file is created with the same name and in the same folder as your VisualFoundation project file. Any existing .vap project file is replaced with a new one after each analysis—it represents the last state of your project at the time of analysis. If you modify your VisualFoundation project after an analysis, those changes will not be reflected in the .vap file. Changes made to the .vap file cannot be exported back into VisualFoundation.

To learn more about IES VisualFoundation, visit the VisualFoundation page on the IES website.