Construction today is undergoing rapid digital transformation within all sectors of the industry. Digital has the potential to streamline some of the most difficult bottlenecks in construction, making us time and resource efficient, while answering the pressing needs of current times. The push for digitisation is coming from stakeholders across the board – architects, engineers, contractors, fabricators, and asset managers. The needs of the various stakeholders are quite diverse and often unique. Thus, specialist software needs to be designed to cater to the needs of a stakeholder, while enabling smooth interoperability with other specialist software. Such well-designed software should integrate into seamlessly interconnected digital solutions for the built environment.
The role of a structural engineer is to design and detail a project for stability, strength, and serviceability. The longstanding core-competency of the engineer has been to exercise engineering judgement with clear and concise calculations to evaluate against these criteria. Over the years, engineers have embraced digital tools like Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Finite Element Analysis (FEA), and parametric modelling. Modern developments in these domains have culminated in two distinct but overlapping opportunities – computational design and automation. Modern software should hence enable the engineer to leverage the most out of these two opportunities, without losing sight of the engineering-first principles. The ethos of software development at Oasys
is to develop tools which rest on the triad of computational design, automation, and engineering-first principles.
Computational design is about designing something which one cannot see – it is not about designing physical objects but designing processes which generate these objects. These processes allow for multi-disciplinary collaboration in ways never possible before. The constraints and requirements from across disciplines become the performance metrics for these generative processes. This enables the generation of thousands of schemes for designers to choose from in the early design stages. Engineering checks which clearly evaluate the structural systems and the critical components need to be integrated in these processes for generating sensible schemes.
Automation enables effective and efficient repetition of tasks in a design project. These tasks can be varied – creating clean 3D models, automating member design checks, sharing large data sets, working simultaneously on multiple 3D models etc. Typically, as part of later engineering design stages, the key requirement of automation is to cleanly stream data across different steps, while exposing the necessary intermediate and end results of structural analysis for maintaining oversight. This enables the efficient generation and revision of deliverables with the right engineering judgement, while reducing chances of human error.
The Oasys Grasshopper (GH) plugin
has been carefully crafted to cater to these needs. A first of its kind, the plugin brings the professional solver of GSA
inside GH. This allows you to run fast and reliable FEA analyses within GH. Existing GSA models can be opened with a single click inside GH for further manipulations. Models created in GH can be saved and opened in GSA with another click. The powerful Finite Element (FE) meshing of GSA together with custom GSA-GH parameters enable engineers to deal with structural typologies of all complexities. Each component of the plugin exposes the necessary engineering units for an engineer to maintain fine-grained control. The plugin provides a range of global and local analysis results to enable first principles-based engineering checks. With all these features, the plugin enables engineers to set up computational design processes to generate and evaluate hundreds of different schemes, automate data streaming for detailed design and coordination, all the while being in full control of the processes.
Oasys has delivered innovative and reliable structural analysis software
for over four decades. The GSA-GH plugin is the latest offering which showcases continuing innovation at Oasys. Being carefully designed for the needs of structural engineers while seamlessly integrating with the wider multi-disciplinary workflows in GH, the plugin is Oasys’ contribution towards leveraging seamlessly interconnected digital solutions for a better built environment.