SAF Import#

saf_interface_large SAF is an initiative from the Nemetschek Group to improve the collaboration between structural engineers by developing an open exchange format for exchanging data between structural analysis software. The format is based on Excel. The documentation of the saf_interface_small SAF format can be found here:

SOFiSTiK joined that initiative by providing an import of data in the saf_interface_small SAF format through a dedicated task ‘IFC/SAF Connector’ in SSD.

Supported SAF Types#

Following types of the saf_interface_small SAF definition are supported by the SOFiSTiK import. For a detailed description of the types please consult the SAF documentation.

  • Project and Model settings

  • StructuralMaterial:

    • Concrete, Steel, Aluminium, Timber, Masonry

  • StructuralCrossSection:

    • Parametric CrossSections

    • Manufactured CrossSections

  • Structural Analysis Elements:

    • StructuralPointConnection

    • StructuralCurveEdge

    • StructuralCurveMember

    • StructuralSurfaceMember

    • StructuralSurfaceMemberOpening

    • StructuralSurfaceMemberRegion

  • Supports and Hinges:

    • StructuralPointSupport

    • StructuralSurfaceConnection

    • StructuralCurveConnection

    • StructuralEdgeConnection

    • RelConnectsStructuralMember

Import Procedure#

SAF files given in the Excel format can be imported into SOFiSTiK via the SSD “IFC/SAF Connector” Task as follows:

  1. Create a new Project in SSD (Preferably using the preprocessing option “Import of a structural model…”). If necessary, adjust the global coordinate system here.

  2. Create a new IFC/SAF Connector Task inside the project, if it is not already included in the System section.

  3. Open the IFC/SAF Connector, and in the corresponding Dialog window:

    1. Open the SAF file from the General tab. Messages such as Warnings encountered when reading the file will be listed here.

    2. Check and revise the Materials and Cross-Sections in their corresponding tabs. Automatic mapping of the SAF Materials and Cross-Sections occurs at this stage. It is described in detail below.

    3. Optionally, check the “checkbox_checked_small Calculate Immediately” checkbox to create the Structural Model after leaving the Dialog window.

    4. Press OK on the Dialog window to import the complete structural model.

    5. Warnings or errors encountered when importing can be reviewed in the General tab.

  4. Calculating the imported data can be also done any time after importing by calculating the IFC/SAF Connector as any other SSD Task.

Materials and Cross Section Mapping:

  • After the reading the SAF file, while inside the “IFC/SAF Connector” Dialog, it is possible to review which Materials and Cross-Sections have been read and recognized.

Items which are recognized, for example a standard “IPE” I-Profile (i_small), are automatically assigned to a matching type inside SOFiSTiK. This SAF-to-SOFiSTiK mapping is then accordingly tabulated in the Dialog.

Items which could not be recognized will be mapped to a default SOFiSTiK Material or Cross-Section. It is possible to easily see these default assignments in the Material/Cross-Section Tab, under the “SOFiSTiK Material/Cross-Section” column of the mapping table. These can also be modified before importing using the Modify button for the corresponding item in the mapping table. The Reset button reverts these modifications and use the original item from the SAF or the default.

Unrecognizable SAF-Items: In the case of any unidentified item, a warning will be issued in the General Tab mentioning details of each case. Any Material/Cross-section with mapping problems can accordingly be traced by a corresponding warning message in the General tab. If ignored and imported, these could later affect when calculating the whole structural model.