Staad - Steel Design - Physical Members

What is the latest on designing steel members in staad pro using AISC and physical members? It seems like you can design steel based on physical member properties for some codes, but not AISC, is that correct?

Is this video current with the work flow for designing steel members LINK? This video discusses some short cuts as far as being able to select physical members, but says that it is still not automated. However, they do present a macro for deflection. Is this available? 


  • Also the workflow for AISC described in the video doesn't work. I tried to use the Physical Member section cursor then tried to assign an "Lx" parameter but it does not assign the value to the selected member. Or the "assign to selected beams" is grayed out:

  • Yes, it is true - it is not possible to design a physical member as per AISC code in STAAD. You can generate a 3D structure with physical member using physical modeler, but those physical members will not be designed as a physical object, rather during member design, each analytical member will be designed separately. Physical member design is only implemented for Australian code.

    You can use the physical member information for design parameter assignment, as shown in the video. You can use custom macro which can assign the parameters directly to physical members (check for the macro). If you want to assign the design parameter to a physical member manually, then from the Geometry ribbon, switch on the "Toggle Physical Member Mode".

    The workflow discussed in the video is one approach, there are multiple other methods which you can follow. Before generating the model, you need to decide whether to use the physical member or physical modeler depending on the structure type.

    Answer Verified By: RFreund 

  • Thanks for the response. I'm posting this for my reference because the procedure seems to be very sensitive to order of operations....

    1. Geometry tab - Physical Member area -  "Toggle Physical member mode" and click it. It is now "highlighted" in gray. I assume that means it is on. 
    2. Now Add parameters that you want and they will show up in the Steel design dialogue with (physical) after the parameter. 
    3. You cannot use "Cursor to Assign". 
    4. Go to Select Tab - Cursors - "Members"
    5. Now you can select members and use "Assign to Selected Beams"
    6. Still no good way to add DJ1 and DJ2, but the macro helps. 

    Somehow, the program gets stuck in a "mode" where it says "structure is locked by another program". I can't run analysis and you can't edit the command file. I think this happens when you try to assign properties to a physical member by using the physical member cursor but you selected a non-physical parameter. I'm not sure, though. The only way that I've been able to get out of this "locked" state is to go back to the physical modeler then go back to the analytical model. Luckily all of the assigned parameters have remained but it is an odd behavior. 

    I assume there must be some development goals to allow adding more design parameters using the physical member? Is the ultimate goal to have a separate module for steel design like there is for concrete? or will the design parameters be added to the physical modeler? Or just improved assignment in the analytical modeler?