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VisualAnalysis Tutorials: Extreme Member Reports

Introduction

VisualAnalysis provides a number of ways to obtain "extreme" results for member elements. You do not need to use the "Envelope" feature (only in the Advanced Level of the product anyway). Instead you can obtain the information you need from reports.

Creating Reports

There are four different ways to create result reports in VisualAnalysis; each serves a slightly different purpose:

1.       Double-click a member in a Result View: This is great for a quick & dirty report. If you want a report for a single member and a single load case (result case).

2.       Right-click and choose Report Selected Members: After selecting a bunch of members, this report can show results for the current result case. This report is generated automatically and changes made cannot be retained, although you could save it as a style and then access it later using method 3.

3.       Use the Report | Report Wizard: This method allows you to get at your saved report styles or to create a custom report. The Report Wizard dialog is shown to the right.

4.       Drag report items from the Create tab: The newest approach to creating reports is to drag items from the Project Manager list which is a way of building a custom report on the fly. Items can be dragged over a Result View to create a new report.


Reporting Members

VisualAnalysis reports can contain many different items related to members. You can experiment with the items to decide which ones best meet your needs. For member results, there are three primary tables (types) that you will use over & over. The "Forces" tables have equivalent "Stress" or "Deflection" versions as well. If you click on a report table, options to filter the results listed in the table (such as Extremes) will become available in the Project Manager. This will help in reducing the amount of data you need to sort through.

Report Item

Primary Purpose

Member Extreme Results

Shows worst-case forces or stresses or displacements in all (or selected) members from all the results. You can learn which load case produced the result, but not where on the member it happens or see "related" forces or stresses. Best when you need key results for EACH member.

Member Local Displacements

Shows member local displacements. The table lists the result case where the result came from and the location along the length of the member. Displacements are FACTORED according to load factors. Use Deflection Checks or Simple Deflection Checks in the Load Case Manager to obtain unfactored displacements.

Member Internal Forces

Shows details of member forces along the entire length of each member included in the report. This table can get very long and defaults to showing 11 places along each member. This table works well interactively for one or a few "selected" members, toggling between a graphic view and the report.

Sample Report

The following screen image shows a sample report with all three table types listed. Note the "Load Cases" table at the top provides a "key" to the Member Extreme Results table where load case numbers are in parenthesis. Once you find a report you like, save it as a style giving it a descriptive name. Then the next time you need this report use the Report Wizard to create it.

Conclusions

VisualAnalysis reports are very powerful, which also makes them a bit "unruly". It is worth your while to read up on them in the Help file and to experiment with a "small" project to become the master rather than the victim!