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VisualAnalysis Tutorials: Connection Design Reporting


The purpose of this tutorial is to introduce you to reporting features in VisualAnalysis for connection design.

Version Note: This tutorial may have been created using a prior version of VisualAnalysis. Minor changes to the software may have occurred including new features and graphics updates. Changes in numerical analysis methods may also lead to slightly different values for results. The appearance of dialog boxes and the Project Manager may be altered slightly. Consult available Web training Videos (

The Model

We will create a model similar to the one shown below to determine connection forces for the beams. The model is an unbraced moment frame with 10' story height, 10' bay spacing, and fixed-column bases.

Note: The Generate Standard menu item located under the Create Tab of the Project Manager works really well when creating such a structure.

If you need help creating the model please consult the tutorials in the Model folder or the VisualAnalysis User's Guide (Help | Contents).

Loading the Model

Vertical Loads:

Create two areas on each level spanning to members with two-way action. Place a 0.25 ksf uniform load on each area in the dead load service case (D). Under the live load service case (L), load the roof with a 0.025 ksf uniform load spanning to members, again with two-way action. Similarly, place a 0.04 ksf uniform load on the second floor in the same manner. If you need help with Areas & Area Loads, please consult the tutorial Areas & Areas Loads or the VisualAnalysis User's Guide (Help | Contents).

Lateral Loads:

Apply an area to the front face of the structure when viewing from an XY view. For this example we will apply a 0.05 ksf uniform wind load (W-Z) spanning to the members in two-way action behavior (solely for the purpose of inducing lateral loads).

Now we need to select a load combination for analysis. Go to Load | Load Case Manager and select the ASCE 7 LRFD Building Code Combinations.

Connection Reports

Analyze the structure (Ctrl+A).

Go to Report | Report Wizard (also found on Right Click Menu). Select "Design Connection Forces" and then select the "In" button.

Select "Next" and select "Finish" in the next dialog to report all Load cases.

The Report Filters menu of the Project Manager should default to "All" for Load Cases and "All" for Design Groups. These filter settings allow you to view design groups that you select (from the Design View) to reduce the size of reports.

Results are displayed according to maximum end connection forces and their corresponding load combinations. The reported members may differ from those seen depending on the sequence in which you created your model.

Note: Results are presented with extreme values for each force category by Design Group. All members may not be included in this report if they are not controlling for a Design Group.

To see specific member end forces that are not visible in the Design Connection Forces report, select the Member Connection Force Results item from the Report Wizard. This will provide you with connection design forces for all members. Each force limit state is listed with the controlling load case. The Design Connection Forces report will generally lead to conservative designs if there is a wide range of size and loading conditions in a Design Group. Several pages

of the report shown below are not shown. This report can become lengthy!