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VisualAnalysis 12.0 Help

Clipboard Exchange

The clipboard exchange is designed as a way to generate or modify models and loads in ways that may not be possible, or would be very tedious inside VisualAnalysis. It allows you to get data from other kinds of software. For example, you could use the mathematical capabilities of a spreadsheet to manipulate your nodal coordinates for defining very complex, curving geometry. The following are a few highlights of the clipboard exchange tool:

Limitations

VisualAnalysis uses text placed on the clipboard by a spreadsheet or almost any other windows program. Any text editor (like Notepad) should also work.

There is no clipboard support for areas, area loads, rigid diaphragms, rigid links, tapered members, cable elements, and other advanced load types or model features. There is no support for thermal loads, nodal settlements, or other 'specialty' loads. Member wind & ice loads are exported simply as 'uniform' loads, so importing them back in will change their definitions.

Imported loads must be attached to imported nodes, members, or plates, or items that already exist in your model. You may only import loads into one service load case (for each import operation). The active load case is the default, but you may select another.

If imported nodes fall on members, or member cross one another, they will not be automatically split and connected. It is up to you to make sure your model is adequately constructed for consistency.

Introduction Page

This page gives you the option of importing or exporting. Note that if there are no model objects in your current model, the export option will be disabled.

If you choose to import, the program will begin reading the clipboard immediately when you click the Next button. You may select a default service load case for the import of any loads on the clipboard. This case is used only if the load line does not specify a load case. A progress bar will appear displaying the amount of reading that remains. Note that you may need to be patient here; this can take some time if you have a large number of model objects.

When you press Next you may see an error message here "Error reading the clipboard." This usually indicates that you have forgotten to copy the data from the spreadsheet to the clipboard or perhaps that the spreadsheet you have copied the data from puts the information on the clipboard in an unusual format.

Export Page

This is the second page that appears if you chose to export on the Introduction page.

This page allows you to export specific types of model objects. The Load Case drop down allows you to specify which non-empty service load case you want to export. Only one load case may be exported at a time. The tool is capable of exporting nodal concentrated forces, member concentrated forces, and uniformly and linearly varying member loads. It is also capable of exporting uniform plate loads.

When you press Next the export process begins.

Import Page

Hint: The easiest way to create data for import is to first create a small test-project with these same kinds of items, and export them! You can then use this data on the clipboard as a template for your new import data.

The page shows lists of the items that were found on the clipboard. If some items seem to be missing, there may be a problem with the way the information was copied to the clipboard.

The information on this page is here to give you a chance to review the data found on the clipboard and confirm that it is what you expected. No model objects have been added to your VisualAnalysis project at this point and you can end the operation by pressing Cancel.

It should be noted that if your model contains objects with the same names as those the Clipboard Exchange tool is attempting to import, the ones already existing in your model will be changed accordiing to the data on the clipboard. If you import loads and specify a non-existing service load case, the case will be created (defaulting to a load source of 'Live Loads').

If you press Next, the program will attempt to import the objects displayed in the list into your VisualAnalysis model.

Message Page

This page is brought up after importing and exporting. It indicates that the process is finished, and displays some information about how the process went. If you have just exported, the display shows how many model objects of each type were exported. If you have just imported, the display will show how many objects of each type were added, modified, and ignored.

Clipboard Exchange Trouble-Shooting

Most problems with the Clipboard Exchange tool during importing occur as a result of formatting. If you want to create projects in a text editor and then import them using the Clipboard tool, it is a good idea to try exporting a few model objects using the tool and pasting the information from the clipboard into the text editor you will be using first. This will provide you with a starting point and help ensure that you are using the proper format for importing.

Export Conventions

Following is a description of the format used when placing model object information on the clipboard:

 

Nodes:

Column 1: Name: The name of the node in VisualAnalysis

Column 2: X: X-coordinate of the node.

Column 3: Y: Y-coordinate of the node.

Column 4: Z: Z-coordinate of the node.

Column 5: DX: 1 if the node is fixed against translation in the X-direction, otherwise 0.

Column 6: DY: 1 if the node is fixed against translation in the Y-direction, otherwise 0.

Column 7: DZ: 1 if the node is fixed against translation in the Z-direction, otherwise 0.

Column 8: RX: 1 if the node is fixed against rotation about the X-axis, otherwise 0.

Column 9: RY: 1 if the node is fixed against rotation about the Y-axis, otherwise 0.

Column 10: RZ: 1 if the node is fixed against rotation about the Z-axis, otherwise 0.

Members:

Column 1: Name: The name of the member in VisualAnalysis

Column 2: Material: The database material assigned to the member.

Column 3: Shape: The database shape assigned to the member.

Column 4: Node1: The name of the node that is connected to end 1 of the member.

Column 5: Node2: The name of the node that is connected to end 2 of the member.

Columns 6 - 18 are OPTIONAL on import

Column 6: Beta: Rotation of member shape about its own axis

Column 7-12: Node1 End Releases {Fx1, Fy1, Fz1, Mx1, My1, Mz1}: (1 = released, 0 = not released)

Column 13-18: Node2 End Releases {Fx2, Fy2, Fz2, Mx2, My2, Mz2}: (1 = released, 0 = not released)

Plates:

Column 1: Name: The name of the plate in VisualAnalysis

Column 2: Material: The database material assigned to the plate element.

Column 3: Thickness: The thickness assigned to the plate element.

Column 4: Node1: The name of the first node that is connected to the plate.

Column 5: Node2: The name of the second node that is connected to the plate.

Column 6: Node3: The name of the third node that is connected to the plate.

Column 7: Node4: The name of the fourth node that is connected to the plate.

Springs:

Column 1: Name: The name of the spring in VisualAnalysis.

Column 2: Node: The name of the node to which this spring is attached.

Column 3: Type: T if it's a translational spring, R if it's a rotational spring

Column 4: X Comp: Direction cosine in the X-direction

Column 5: Y Comp: Direction cosine in the Y-direction

Column 6: Z Comp: Direction cosine in the Z-direction

Column 7: Stiffness: force/length, or moment/angle, or "Infinite"

Nodal Loads:

Column 1: Node Name: The name of the node this load should be applied to.

Column 2: Type: The type of nodal load to be applied. (Displacement or Force).

Column 3: Direction: The direction the load acts in. (DX, DY, DZ, RX, RY, RZ).

Column 4: Magnitude: The magnitude of the load. (Set to ZERO to remove a load)

Column 5; (OPTIONAL) Service Case Name

Member Loads:

Column 1: Member Name: The name of the member this load should be applied to.

Column 2: Type: The type of nodal load to be applied. (Uniform, Linear, or Concentrated).

Column 3: Direction: The direction the load acts in. (DX, DY, DZ, RX, RY, RZ).

Column 4: Mag1: The starting value of the load. (Set all magnitudes to ZERO to remove a load)

Column 5: Mag2: The ending value of the load. (This parameter is ignored for concentrated and uniform loads.)

Column 6: Start at: The offset along the member to the start of the load.

Column 7: End at: The offset along the member to the end of the load. (This parameter is ignored for concentrated loads.)

Column 8; (OPTIONAL) Service Case Name

Plate Loads:

Column 1: Plate Name: The name of the plate this load should be applied to.

Column 2: PR1: Pressure (normal to the plate) applied to node 1.

Column 3: PR2: Pressure applied to node 2.

Column 4: PR3: Pressure applied to node 3.

Column 5: PR4: Pressure applied to node 4.

Column 6; (OPTIONAL) Service Case Name

Import Conventions

Model objects are read in from the clipboard when you press Next on the Introduction page. The objects that are read in from the clipboard are then displayed in lists on the Import page. If some objects in the clipboard do not show up in these lists, possible reasons are: