Design Element#

../../_images/design_element.png Create Design Element




Creates generic design elements as a line between two points or along an axis.


Structural Elements

../../_images/design_element_m.png Modify Design Element




Modifies design elements.


Structural Elements

In SOFiPLUS(-X) design elements are linear elements with a cross section and some additional properties.

Design elements allow system values and results to be issued at user-defined points. These sections are independent from the finite element mesh, which is available at these positions.

In a first expansion step, SOFiPLUS(-X) does not support all the properties a design element can have in the DECREATOR program:

  • The geometry is limited to a drawn line or assigned to an axis.

  • The design element must have a cross section.

A detailed description of the design elements properties can be found in the chapter ‘DSLN – Design Element along SLN’ and the following chapters of the manual DECREATOR.

During the Export design elements are written into the structural database (.CDB). The generated result file can be opened with command Results of Design Elements.

Available options:#

The following options are available for creating design elements:

Start and End Point

Creates a polygon from a selection of lines. With this input, it is possible to switch between options. The chosen points can be selected from the drawing or input using coordinates. As you type, a preview is displayed in the drawing. The entry is terminated with the Enter key.

Segment on geometric axis

Creates elements with reference to an axis. For this option the following input possibilities are available:

Between all placements: The elements are created from the first placement of the axis up to the last.

Use the segment closest to the picked point: One element is created between the two placements nearest to the picked point on the axis.

The grip points of elements bound to an axis change their type. Instead of the square a small arrowhead can be seen. This arrowhead can be dragged to another placement. This changes the assignment of the element.

Single Element Mode - Polygonal Input

Switches between the polygonal input type and entry of a single element. Single element mode always asks for the start and end point of a new element.

Set Working Plane

Because certain selection options only are available in the current working plane, it is possible to rest the working plane to a user defined position. For this the following options are available:

3Points: The coordinate system is aligned by defining 3 points (origin, X-axis and Y-axis).

Element: The orientation of the coordinate system is set with the selection of an object.

The working plane remains in place until the command to create the element is closed.

General Tab#

Each element is given a name and a number that is shown in the drawing.

A design element must have a cross section. This can be choosen (or defined) in the part Cross Sections. If a haunched section is to be generated, two different cross sections can be specified or created for the two ends. Please note that only similar shaped sections can be used in this case, although they may have different dimensions.


A standard cross-section with the Wall type must not be used to design a shear wall! We recommend to use cross sections from the cross section editor or standard sections with type beam or column.

The Reference of integrated forces input selects the reference axis for transferred forces, essentially for the bending moments.

With the Element Division options the kind and distance of the sections, the design elements are divided, is set.


There are two types of sections:

  • Design Sections: When calculating the design element, properties and results from the analysis will be stored at these sections.

  • Intermediate Sections: No design will be carried out later by other programs at these sections. They are rather intended to obtain smoother plots in the Graphic.

Available input options:

Automatic Generated Design Sections: Divides the design element in eight parts and creates seven design sections additional to the start- and endpoint.

Maximum Element Length (HDIV): Sets the distance of the intervals at which intermediate sections are created. The design element ist divided in parts with the given length. If the total length of the design element is not divisible by the value, shorter elements are created that come as close as possible to the desired length.

The Type of Application specifies the type of the design element based on the structural member intended for design.

A detailed description of these input possibilities can be found in the chapter ‘DSLN – Design Element along SLN’ of the manual DECREATOR.

Sections Tab#

This tab is only available when modifying an existing design element.

The sections tab allows to define explicit design sections along the design element. When calculating the design element, properties and results from the analysis will be interpolated at these explicit sections.

In the case of frequently used values, it can be helpful to adopt the values ​​from a table program.

A detailed description of these input possibilities can be found in the chapter ‘DSLC – Design sections along the design element’ of the manual DECREATOR.


Importing design elements bound on an axis requires that a placement exists at the station where the design element ends.


Definition of some design elements in program SOFiPLUS(-X)#