Partner logo

IDEA StatiCa Connection

A new way to design and check all steel connections according to the code, in minutes


IDEA StatiCa Connection is a powerful analysis solution for 3D Steel connection, fully integrated to Advance Design. It’s part of Graitec BIM workflow providing softwares to our customers to help them CREATE, SIMULATE, FABRICATE and MANAGE all the data of their projects. One BIM solution for one project.



For Steel structures, Advance Design is an integrated software allowing to perform global FEM analysis, design and optimization of steel members, local analysis with check and optimization of standards 2D connections. When it comes to 3D complex steel connections, Advance Design can be completed with the module IDEA StatiCa Connection to handle such connections.


IDEA StatiCa Connection can design all types of 3D connections which cannot be designed with the connection module integrated in Advance Design. It provides precise checks, results of strength, stiffness and buckling analysis of a steel joint. Joints are checked according to Eurocodes and North American codes (EC & AISC). Templates for most-used connections are available as well as wide range of predefined hot rolled and sheet welded members.

IDEA StatiCa Connection Workflows

2D frames & trusses

GRAITEC IDEA StatiCa | Connection | 2D frames & trusses

Footings, anchoring

GRAITEC IDEA StatiCa | Connection | Footings, anchoring

3D frames & trusses

GRAITEC IDEA StatiCa | Connection | 3D frames & trusses


No limits in how many connections there are in the joint and how they are put together. Shape is defined by project requirements, not by software capabilities.


All forces are analyzed. The overall check of the joint takes into account interactions between all the beams and connections. Engineers stay on the safe side all the time.


The whole design and check process is kept short enough to be a part of everyday work of structural engineers and fabricators all around the world.

Work with data from other programs

IDEA StatiCa Connection


Design your joint from scratch or build on geometry and loading imported from GRAITEC Advance Design, Robot, Revit. More BIM Links will be added in the future.


Take advantage of integration into Advance Steel to provide workshops drawings and support manufacturing process

IDEA StatiCa Connection provides

Overall check

According to various national design codes

CBFEM method combines advantages of general Finite Element Method (FEM) and standard Component Method (CM).

The stresses and internal forces calculated on the accurate CBFEM model are used in checks of all components.

Individual components are checked according to North American codes (AISC/CISC) and Eurocodes. The design ratios for different components are displayed using the color codes on the geometry.

The following components are checked:

- Plates
- Fillet welds
- Butt welds
- Bolts
- Preloaded bolts
- Anchors
- Concrete block

Stress/ strain analysis

FE model of steel joint is composed automatically

The analysis of joint is materially non-linear. The load increments are applied gradually and the state of stress is searched. There are two optional analysis modes in IDEA StatiCa Connection:

- The response of structure (joint) to the overall load. All defined load (100 %) is applied in this mode and the corresponding state of stress and deformation is calculated.

- Analysis termination at reaching the ultimate limit state. The checkbox in Code setup “Stop at limit strain” should be ticked. The state is found when the plastic strain reaches the defined limit.

In the case when the defined load is higher than the calculated capacity, the analysis is marked as non-satisfying and the percentage of used load is printed. Note that the analytical resistance of components, for example of bolts, can be exceeded.

The second mode is more suitable for a practical design. The first one is preferable for detailed analysis of 3D complex joints.

Stiffness analysis

Rotational or transversal stiffness of any connection

IDEA StatiCa Connection uses component based finite element method (CBFEM). The CBFEM method enables to analyze the stiffness of connection of individual joint members. For the proper stiffness analysis, the separate analysis model must be created for each analyzed member.

Then, the stiffness analysis is not influenced by the stiffness of other members of joint but only by the node itself and the construction of connection of the analyzed member. Whereas the bearing member is supported for the strength analysis, all members except the analyzed one are supported by the stiffness analysis.

Loads can be applied only on the analyzed member. If bending moment My is defined, the rotational stiffness about the y-axis is analyzed. If bending moment Mz is defined, the rotational stiffness about the z-axis is analyzed. If axial force N is defined, the axial stiffness of connection is analyzed.

The program generates complete diagram automatically, it is directly displayed in GUI and can be added into the output report. Rotational or axial stiffness can be studied for specific design load. IDEA StatiCa Connection can also deal with the interaction of the other internal forces.

Member Capacity Design

Seismic check of non-dissipative connections

IDEA StatiCa Connection checks the connection on applied design load (that can be imported from Advance Design). In many regions with the risk of seismicity, it is required to check the connection on the maximal moment which can be transferred by the connected member. We calculate this moment in the software and apply it to the specific member. All other members in the joint are supported. Joints designed to transfer moment equal to the member resistance (full-strength joints) usually need to be much more stiffened than the partial-strength joints.

Note: Connected member is not checked, it has to be properly designed in the global analysis of the structure.

Buckling analysis

Local buckling effects and critical load factors

IDEA StatiCa Connction can perform linear buckling analysis and provide the user with the buckling factor. It is important to recognize the global buckling (buckling of whole members) and the local buckling (buckling of individual plates). In the case of global buckling (the plate is an elongation of a member), it is recommended to check the buckling resistance for buckling factor.

Critical buckling factor for a gusset plate as an elongation of a truss in the case of most plates in connections, local buckling can occur and the maximum value of the critical buckling factor that requires thorough the analysis is usually smaller; it has been verified that for stiffeners and column panel in shear, it is not necessary to take into account buckling if the critical buckling factor is higher than 3.

It is possible to follow the results of IDEA StatiCa Connection with calculations or with geometrically nonlinear analysis with initial imperfections in advanced FEM software if the buckling factor is smaller than the critical value. Nevertheless, it is often more economical to use stiffeners or thicker plates in design.

Design Joint Resistance

Maximal possible loads, reserve in joint capacity

The designer usually solves the task to design the connection/joint to transfer the known design load. But it is also useful to know how far the design from the limit state is, i.e., how big the reserve in the design is and how safe it is. This can be done simply by the type of analysis – Design joint resistance.

The user inputs design load like in a standard design. The software automatically proportionally increases all load components until one of the checks does not satisfy. The checks of steel plates, shear and tension resistance of bolts, and approximate weld checks are included. The user gets the ratio of maximal load to the design load. Also, a simple diagram is provided.

Note : It is necessary to perform Stress/Strain analysis for accurate joint assessment.

Improving daily work of engineers

IDEA StatiCa Connection can design steel joints and connections of any topology and loaded in all directions. It keeps the whole analysis-design-check process in minutes. This opens a possibility for structural engineers and fabricators around the world to increase productivity of designing steel joints and connections.


Stay on the safe-side with all checks according to selected national codes at hand at any time.


Engineers spend 70% of the connection design time on 30% non-standard cases. Do them in minutes as well.


Know exactly how much material is needed in the joint and take advantage of it.

Output report

You can choose from three types of output reports – one line, 1 page and detailed. All checks according to Eurocode or AISC are displayed and referenced.

GRAITEC IDEA StatiCa | Connection | Output report
GRAITEC IDEA StatiCa | Connection | Output report
IDEA StatiCa Connection | A new way to design and check all steel connections according to the code, in minutes

Any topology – manufacturing operations

Any loading – all internal forces from 3D global analysis

GRAITEC IDEA StatiCa | Connection | Base plate – N, My, Mz

Base plate – N, My, Mz

GRAITEC IDEA StatiCa | Connection | 3D loaded joint

3D loaded joint

GRAITEC IDEA StatiCa | Connection | End plate – My, Mz, Vy, Vz

End plate – My, Mz, Vy, Vz

3D simulation of a steel joint

Steel joint is composed from plates, welds, bolts, contacts and can be anchored into concrete block. FEA model is generated automatically.

Model is composed from steel plates – both parts of steel members and stiffening plates. Real shape of plates is kept.
Each plate is meshed independently. Equivalent strain is checked.

Contacts appear in places where two plates are in touch. They take 100% of the pressure but do not act in tension at all.

Steel structure can be anchored into concrete block. Base plate is in contact with concrete. Tension is taken by anchors, shear by bolts, friction or shear iron.

Welds are modeled as constrains between plates. Forces in each weld are evaluated. Stress in weld is checked according EN/AISC.

Bolts are nonlinear springs taking tension and shear.

IDEA StatiCa Connection examples

New CBFEM method inside changes the game of structural joint design

Together with two top technical universities, we created a new method for analysis and check of steel joints of general shapes and loading. It is called Component-Based Finite element model (CBFEM). After 5 years of primary research and theoretical preparations, the first version of the application was coded in 24 months and released in May 2014.

How CBFEM works

We combine two well-known and trusted methods used by engineers all around the world – finite element method and component method:
Joint is divided into components
All steel plates are modeled by finite element method assuming ideal elastic-plastic material
Bolts, welds and concrete blocks are modeled as nonlinear springs
Finite element model is used for analyzing internal forces in each of the components
Plates are checked for limit plastic strain – 5% acc. to EC3
Each component is checked according to specific formulas defined by the national code, similarly as when using component method

Validation and verification

Results of all tests performed to confirm safety and reliability of CBFEM method and IDEA StatiCa Connection are published and available. Visit our website to examine them. Professor Wald and his team are also publishing a book devoted to structural steel connections design using CBFEM method:

Benchmark cases for advanced design of structural steel connections

Other products you may be interested in

Advance Design

Advance Design

BIM software for FEM structural analysis

PowerPack for Autodesk® Revit®

PowerPack for Autodesk® Revit®

Productivity add-on for Revit® bursting with tools for Architectural, Structural and MEP Designers

PowerPack for Autodesk® Advance Steel

PowerPack for Autodesk® Advance Steel

Productivity add-on for Advance Steel - practical tools for everyday needs

Autodesk® Advance Steel

Autodesk® Advance Steel

BIM software for structural steel engineering, detailing and fabrication

     Visit the Advance Design YouTube playlist


Advance Design - Share your ideas!


Contact us

GRAITEC GROUP 2022 | WE'VE UPDATED OUR PRIVACY NOTICE - Click here to find out more about how we collect, store and handle your personal data and your rights.