How to generate a solid mesh using a plate mesh ?
The solid meshing options in STAAD.Pro are quite limited. However if the solid is one which can be extruded, meaning, one can draw one face in a global plane and extrude it in the third direction to generate the third dimension, then the following process can be used to generate the solid mesh.
Create a plate element mesh of the face. Copy the node coordinates and paste them at a distance along the third direction, equal to the third dimension. Renumber the new nodes so that each new node is equal to the parent node plus a constant value, like say, 1000. So, node 1 will have a counterpart called, 1001, 2 will have 1002 and so on.
Copy the plate incidence data into an Excel spreadsheet. You will get three or four columns depending on if the elements are triangular or quadrilateral. Create the solid’s nodes by adding more columns and adding the constant. So, the cells for those columns will have contents like “E5+1000”, “F5+1000”, “G5+1000”, “H5+1000”, etc.
Once they are generated, copy and paste them into STAAD’s spreadsheet within Geometry > Solid Layout.
If the third dimension is thick enough, one may generate one segment of the solid mesh using the procedure outlined above and then select all the generated solids for that one section and carry out a Translational Repeat to generate the full geometry. For example if the third dimension of the solid structure is 10 ft, one may first need to generate a solid mesh of 1 ft dimension along the third dimension. Subsequently that segment may be used to generate the remaining 9 segments using Translational Repeat.