Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Updated Free Dynamo Plug-in for Robot Structural Analysis / React Structures Available

From Scott Sheppard's It's Alive in the Lab blog...

Some things just come together, right now[, over me]:
  • Dynamo is an open source visual programming platform for designers.
  • Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional provides engineers with advanced Building Information Model (BIM)-integrated analysis and design tools to understand the behavior of any structure type and verify code compliance.
  • Autodesk React Structures is a new offering being developed for the structural engineer that is fully integrated into the BIM process and the rest of the Autodesk product portfolio. React Structures is being designed to be a powerful yet easy to use structural analysis offering for structural engineers. The application is available today free as a technical preview. A project has been created on Autodesk Labs to collect feedback about the technology.

We have a technology preview that is a combination of Dynamo and Robot Structural Analysis or React Structures on Autodesk Labs.
  • I can run an analysis on my generated design.
  • I can generate a design for my analysis software.

Dynamo Plug-in for Robot Structural Analysis is our free technology preview that allows designers and engineers to drive Robot Structural Analysis or React Structures from Dynamo. The plug-in helps designers to create parametric and complex structural frames models in Dynamo, submit it to Robot Structural Analysis or React Structures for simulation and review the results returned from the analysis. The technology preview includes an executable and a package.

I updated the Autodesk Labs project to link to a new build of the plug-in. The existing features now include:
  • Create nodes and bars in Autodesk React Structures and Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis
  • Assign cross section and material to bars
  • Define nodes as support
  • Define surfaces as shell elements
  • Define nodal, member, and surface loads
  • Run calculations on the Dynamo model
  • Get internal forces, displacement, and stress for bars
  • Get reaction for support nodes

Based on feedback from the technology preview to date, Software Architect, Emmanuel Weyermann, provided me with a list of improvements:
  • The package and Dynamo are directly usable from Autodesk React Structures Ribbon.
  • The package is compatible with React Structures and Robot Structural Analysis 2016. When running your favorite flavor of Dynamo, the package will leverage the Autodesk structural analysis software opened.
  • The package is compatible with Dynamo 0.9 for Revit. This means that you can pass data from Revit to your Autodesk structural analysis software using Dynamo in a reliable way.
  • Several improvements have been introduced to improve the stability, performance, and user experience when closing Dynamo workspaces and projects in React Structures or Robot Structural Analysis.

So what's not to like?

  • Dynamo is free. There are even some sample files in the technology preview download section to get you started.
  • The Structural Analysis for Dynamo package is free.
  • All you need to participate in the technology preview is Robot Structural Analysis 2016. If you don't have this, you have two options:
    • You can obtain a free trial of Robot Structural Analysis 2016.
    • You can participate in the free technology preview of React Structures.

As such, there's no excuse for not giving this a try. So please try with this technology preview and share your thoughts at or in the discussion forum associated with the technology preview.

Join the project »

Improvement of dynamic analysis is alive in the lab.

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