What’s New in Robot Structural Analysis Professional 2021

Tomasz Fudala Tomasz Fudala April 14, 2020

3 min read

Autodesk is committed to investing in Robot Structural Analysis Professional to improve your experience with this software and help you maximize the value from your investment in the Architecture, Engineering & Construction Collection.

I am pleased to share that we have just released Robot Structural Analysis Professional 2021. The 2021 version contains several new features and improvements for structural analysis and code-checking design.

The version 2021 also contains still very recent all mid-year release (2020.1) updates.

Here is a quick overview of what you can find in Robot Structural Analysis Professional 2021.

Detailed Pressure for Panels from Wind Load Simulations

Robot Structural Analysis Professional 2021 offers enhancements to wind load simulations.

The Wind Loads Simulation feature enables you to simulate airflow around your structure and to generate wind loads automatically.  This feature is especially useful with structures that are geometrically complex, and for which it is usually difficult to define accurate wind loads.  The Wind Loads Simulation feature acts as a virtual wind tunnel, displaying colored pressure maps on the model in order to facilitate visualization and understanding of wind effects.

In the 2021 release, you can now specify whether to apply pressure as an average load for a panel or as a detailed pressure along a finite element mesh.  If you opt not to apply the average load, you will obtain a detailed picture on how the pressure will be distributed. This is particularly useful for wind loads generated on complex objects.

With more detailed pressure results, structural engineers can better predict and design for wind load effects, thus avoiding potentially costly design changes.

Sequential Self-weight Load for Stories

In order to simulate construction stages properly, sequential loading for stories has been introduced in Robot Structural Analysis Professional 2021.

Sequential self-weight now builds construction stages for each story and collects those results into a single load case.  In successive iterations, the deformations for a given story are calculated without considering the stiffness of the stories above.

This new functionality enables simulation of the construction process without the need to create phases, which can be tedious and time-consuming. This approach gives very accurate results that reflect the reality of construction.

Core Walls Results Improvements

Shear walls are used to resist the horizontal loads produced by wind or seismic action in tall buildings.  Alternatively, a lift shaft or service duct is used as the main horizontal load carrying member; this is known as a core wall.  A shear wall or core wall may be analyzed as a very large, vertical, cantilevered beam.

In Robot Structural Analysis Professional, you can define a core wall by grouping walls.  With the 2021 release, you can now also define the primary local X-axis direction for a core wall.  The vector definition is a projection to the XY plane.  You can then visualize local coordinate axes for the defined core walls.

Once the structural analysis has been performed, additional results can be obtained for the core walls as reduced forces and moments along the vertical axis of the gravity center of the core wall section.

The results of the reduced forces for the core walls are available in the form of easy-to-read diagrams and tables.

Thanks to these improvements, you can explore results in local axes, as well as display core wall results for individual walls.

Steel Design and Code Checking Updates

Robot Structural Analysis provides a Steel Design workspace with all necessary tools to support structural steel design.

Robot Structural Analysis 2021 includes updates to steel design codes for  South Africa and New Zealand to the recently released updates for Australia. Structural engineers in these regions can now quickly verify and optimize designs of their steel structures using the latest building codes.

This feature enables structural engineers to produce snow and wind loads for structural frames in accordance with the latest codes.

BIM interoperability with Revit

A subject to continuous enhancements is Robot’s bidirectional interoperability in Revit. The results storage and exploration tools are now integrated with Revit and can accommodate results from Robot and other Revit-connected analysis tools. The Autodesk® Robot™ Structural Analysis Extension for Revit 2021 link will be readily available through the Autodesk Desktop Application for download and deployment. Results availability in Revit is a segue that connects analysis outcomes with BIM-centric, Revit-based code design and detailing tools and workflows.

To see a full list of updates and additions, please read the help document and the release notes.

Interested to know more about the future plans for Robot Structural Analysis? Keep an eye out for our Public Roadmap for Robot, coming soon.

We look forward to hearing your feedback.

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