Advance Steel Gridlines – Part 01

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Autodesk’s Advance Steel package is an incredible tool for use in the Structural Steel industry. Specifically catered to easing the process of generating 3D steel structures with all of its’ connections. The package consists of a massive library consisting of steel profiles from right across the world and a large Connection Vault containing a very large number of industry-standard connections. The package also allows for the creating of custom profiles and connections.

The package also has a great selection of modelling tools. It then is topped of by automatic drawing generating. This function generates all the relevant drawings necessary (shop drawings, etc.) to have individual components/members manufactured and then finally installation. The setting up of templates is where it gets tricky and this will be covered in a YouTube clip somewhere in the near future.

All of this has to start somewhere, and in the case of Advance Steel I would say that it starts with defining gridlines. These form the footprint on which you build your model. To create a basic gridline is simple:

  • With your View Cube visible, change the view from whatever it currently is to the TOP view.
  • Rotate the view (if necessary) so that the Y-Axis is pointing “upwards” (towards the Ribbon).
  • Select the Building Grid button/function located in the Home Ribbon.
  • Type “0”+TAB+”0″ so that the origin points snaps to the 0;0 coordinate.
  • Type the length of the “front” of the Grid – This will be in the direction of the X-Axis (20 000mm for example), enter a comma and type the length of the Grid in the Y-Axis (50 000mm for example). Input will be “20000,50000”.
  • Your Grid will now be generated.

You are now able to change the number of gridlines in each direction by clicking on the relevant gridline, right-clicking and then selecting Advanced Properties. Here Labels can be “ballooned” and the Label type changed from numbers to small letters or capital letters. The overall dimensions of the Grid can also be adjusted.

In the Sequence section, the number of gridlines can be changed. The Distance (D) is updated depending on the number of gridlines. Let’s change the value to three (3) for the “vertical” gridlines. The Distance (D) value should now update to 10000,00.

Do the same for the gridlines perpendicular to the currently selected gridlines (in red) and change the number to eleven (11).

You know have the positions for the Portal Frame columns, apex and number of bays. You can now get maximum use out of the Portal/Gable Frame function.

Part 02 will delve into a more customized workflow, looking at editing the spacing between specific gridlines and overall customization of the grid.

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