Importing DWG’s into SUMO – A Great Idea

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Modelling in SUMO is generally faster than in Frame, as most would agree. However, there are times when it becomes challenging to model intricate sections of a design. This complexity can be simplified by incorporating a Reference Axis (more details can be found in my blog post on how to add and utilize a Reference Axis – https://mgfx.co.za/?p=66103).

Alternatively, you can leverage AutoCAD to create a set of 2D “faces” that can be rotated and assembled within SUMO. Another option is to generate a single 3D wireframe in AutoCAD and then import it into SUMO. These lines can later be converted into beams.

To initiate the process in AutoCAD, consider setting up dedicated layers for specific elements; although this step is not mandatory. In the example below, I’ll demonstrate the creation of three 2D faces representing the structure I intend to model in SUMO. While working in AutoCAD, be mindful of the units you are employing.

After launching SUMO, import the DWG file. A small window named “DWG Import Options” will appear, prompting you to confirm a few settings. Unless you’re aiming to introduce a plan view on a specific level, you can leave the Level as “None.”

Now, you can manipulate these faces by rotating and assembling them to establish a 3D wireframe that mirrors the intended structure.

These lines are also subject to standard SUMO line object modifications such as trimming, extending, and more.

Once you are content with your wireframe model, it’s time to assign Materials and Sections before converting them into Beams.

For improved ease of selection and element editing, it’s advisable to deactivate the Line Graphics. With this done, proceed to incorporate additional elements and finalize your model. Upon completion, you can load your structure into the simulation.

Leveraging DWGs can significantly alleviate the challenges of building a model in SUMO, especially when integrating elements that are angled and connected to various parts of members aside from their ends or middles.

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