STAAD.Pro CONNECT Edition Update 3 was released on Oct 1st 2018 with lots of new enhancements and features. One important enhancement added in this release is that one can add load cases, combinations directly from within the Physical Modeling interface as opposed to just adding the load groups which was available before. However not all the loads can be generated at this point of time in the physical modeler.
Some of the loading options that are currently NOT handled by the Physical Modeler are
Depending on what type of loading is essential for modeling, user should choose the most appropriate option from the ones listed below
Option 1: User has an existing model with loads (may include dynamic loads), load generations, REPEAT LOADs etc. created using the analytical modeler
Users who used the analytical modeling in STAAD.Pro CE Update 2 or older versions of the product, would be able to open their models in the analytical modeler of STAAD.Pro CE Update 3 and continue working in the new version without any problem. All existing load cases, combinations, load generations, REPEAT LOADs, dynamic load cases will be migrated to the CE Update 3 just fine.
Option 2: User has used the physical modeler to build the model and has load cases and combinations (no REPEAT LOADs) in it. There are no load generations (wind/ equivalent seismic/moving load etc.) and there are no dynamic loads in the model (like response spectrum/time history)
On opening the model in CE Update 3 physical modeler, user will be presented with the dialog box as shown below to update the model to the new physical modeler file format.
If the update option is chosen, the file format for the physical model would be updated. If the Drop Physical Model option is chosen, then the connection between the analytical and physical model is removed and one can then add and edit the structure and loads in the analytical modeling environment using the GUI or the STAAD Editor. The Cancel option would not update the model and would not open the file in STAAD.Pro CE Update 3.
When the update option is chosen, the loads and combinations would be read into the physical modeler. Any further addition of loads or combinations or modifications to those would have to be handled through the physical modeler only as these options are not going to be available anymore in the analytical modeler. The loading commands would be locked in the input editor inside the analytical modeler and cannot be edited (as seen below)
One should also be aware that once the physical model with loads/combinations are read into the CE Update 3, load generation options, REPEAT LOADs and/or dynamic loads cannot be added to the model henceforth using the analytical modeler. So, if there is a need to add these to the model at a later stage, it would be advisable to either
1. drop the physical model and then proceed with the analytical modeler which supports load generation/dynamic load inputs
2. continue to use the STAAD.Pro CE Update 2 or earlier as in these versions load generations and dynamic loads can be handled through the analytical mode.
NOTE: When a physical model, created in an older version of the STAAD.Pro CE, is opened in STAAD.Pro CE update 3 after updating the file format, the updated file cannot be opened in older versions of STAAD.Pro unless the physical model is dropped. Hence before updating or dropping the physical model, it is recommended that one makes a backup of the existing physical model files. One can manually do this using Windows Explorer or use the Archive feature in STAAD.Pro to create a STAAD archive (.stz) for the related files.
Option3: User has used physical modeler to build the existing model and the model has REPEAT LOADs and/or load generation (wind/ equivalent seismic/moving load etc.) and/or dynamic loads (response spectrum/time history) in it.
As in option 2, the user would be presented with the option to update or drop. Drop works the same way as mentioned under option 2 above.
If the update option is chosen, the file format will be updated. Any REPEAT LOADs would be removed. Any existing load definitions will be retained in the analytical modeling interface (the .std file), but they will be non-editable and any assignments of those loads from within the Load Case Details will be removed. Any dynamic load cases like Time History or Response Spectrum will also be removed from the file
So, if the existing model has REPEAT LOADs, load generation commands or dynamic loads, it would be advisable to either
1. drop the physical model and then proceed with the analytical modeler which would support all the loading options
2. continue to use the STAAD.Pro CE Update 2 or earlier as in these versions, REPEAT LOADs, load generations and dynamic loads can be handled through the analytical mode.
Option4: User is creating a new model and considering using the physical modeler
New models created using the physical modeler can have load cases and combinations consisting of any manually created load items available in the physical modeler. The features like REPEAT LOADs, load definition, load generation, automatic load combination generation, dynamic loads, that are available in the analytical modeler, are currently NOT available in the physical modeler.
So, if these options are required to be included, one may consider using one of the following options
It is important to note that all of the loading options are going to available inside the STAAD.Pro physical modeler in the subsequent releases of the STAAD.Pro CE and so all of the workflows suggested above are temporary and aimed at providing the user with guidelines on how to proceed for now, depending on their requirement.