Structural Tools 2020

Hiearchical Panel Assemblies

Panel assemblies

You can easily create assemblies of beam elements. For example, you can create portal frames. There is no limit to the depth of the assembly hierarchy.

For example, an assembly created from beam elements:

Assembly drawings

You can create drawings of assemblies. Select the assembly in the model tree or in the drawing or model, and create a drawing by using the same tools as with panels.

Move smoothly between assembly levels

It is easy to move up and down in an assembly structure by using +/- buttons in the mini toolbar. When you select a member of an assembly, the buttons for jumping between assembly levels or selecting the entire assembly appear in the mini toolbar:

Move or edit the panel's origin

You can now move the position of a panel origin. The origin of a panel affects how the panel is drawn in a view, for example. The origin editing allows you to determine the position of the origin and the direction of the main axes.

Select the origin and move it to where you want it.


You can rotate the origin 90 degrees by using the rotation arrow.

You can also select the direction according to the surface and reset the default origin from the context-sensitive pop-up menu.

Panels / Cassettes

Edit panel prefixes

You can now easily modify panel prefixes. There may be a number of reasons why you need to modify prefixes. For example, you have used a wrong prefix at the beginning, you have copied structures and panels from one floor to another or from another project, or you have added them as a part of a building group from a library. The tool for editing prefixes can be found in the Element Drawings dialog box. To open the dialog box, right-click Structural drawings in the project document browser and select Panel Drawings.

Modify multiple prefixes at the same time

You can select all panels or a group of panels and modify their prefixes. The dialog box for modifying prefixes shows the existing panel prefixes of the selected panels in the Old Value column. You can enter new prefixes in the New Value column. If the new prefix field is empty, the old prefix remains in use.

Note! If the prefix already exists on another panel and causes overlapping panel numbers, the panel numbers may change.

You can specify a default detail for wall-to-roof connection

You can now save wall and roof connections to wall panel corner/joint library and use them in panelizing dialog. Default panelizing settings can be saved. That way it's possible to set up predefined settings and now also define wall-to-roof connections there as well.

Define the frame origin for the entire building or the desired structure types

You can now define a default origin for frames on different floors of the building by using a single tool. The tool is now similar for different structures. The tool speeds up setup, and is clear and easy to use. You define settings of the tool in a dialog box. You can use the Set Visibility tool to select the drawing-model pairs in which the tool is in use. The area of influence in the floor plan is determined by a line chain.

Select the drawing-model pairs that use the origin point

A tool for controlling part visibility, introduced a few years ago, has been found useful and easy to use. The same tool can now be used to determine the effect of a frame origin point in drawing-model pairs on different floors.

Define an origin before generating members of structures

When you configure an origin before generating parts or designing a truss layout, you can effortlessly align parts at once.

Floor and Roof panels now use the framing tools directly

In previous versions when you created a floor or roof panel you had the option to set the joist and secondary joist spacing in the panel generation parameters. This option has now been removed to simplify the panel creation process. Select the panel(s) and right click→ framing tools change these values. 

Select a joist or rafter style for floors and roofs

On the floor, ceiling and roof framing tools you can now select a joist style eg double joist or boxed joist for the steel environment

Staircase Tool

The component staircase tools found in the modeling tab and accessory component allow you to create framed staircases with your own custom walls and floor framing rules, to do this navigate to the Accessory Component library.

Choose the Staircase shape you desire and draw the direction.

Select your walls and floors you wish to use the staircase to be framed by.

Frame the components as you would with a regular Vertex wall and floor.

Part Numbering

There has been a major improvement of part numbering. Why has part numbering been revised? The old part numbering did not control the part change status. Therefore, for example, the change mode could not be utilized in the creation of part drawings, but the part drawings of all the parts of the group had to be regenerated during the changes. The new system recognizes the changed parts and only the part drawings of the changed parts are regenerated. Part numbering reform is like laying the foundation for a building. There is now a solid foundation for part numbering, on which you can build functionality that will benefit you, our customer. There are some nice new features in the new version. We will probably see more of them in the future.

The old part numbering continues to be switched on default for all users in the new version. The new numbering can be used if desired in the project settings. The only limitation so far is that with the truss engineering option, the new part numbering is not possible for the time being.

How to switch on the new rule based part numbering

You can switch on the new part numbering method from the project's settings. Just right-click Settings in the project document browser and select Part Numbering Settings.

Part drawings dialog

You can manage part drawings by using the tool in the project document browser:

When new part numering method is used, all part numbering groups are shown (also loose parts) in Part Drawing dialog. When selecting panel or loose part group, part list and status of part drawings are shown in lower list view of the dialog.

You can update or create sub-images for an element or group in the dialog using context menu functions (right mouse click).

The lower part of the dialog shows the part drawings and their status. Please note that not all parts may have part drawings due to the filtering selected when generating them, such as "Filter perpendicular cut pieces". It's possible open, update, create and delete part drawings using context menu functions.

You can manage part labels and drawings also by part

When using new part numbering method, tools to manage labels and part drawings as well as tool to open part drawing are available in context menu. There tools are available for profiles and sheathing in version 2020.

Part numbering rules are now in the library

The part numbering rules have been moved from the system settings to the numbering library. The rules are defined in XML format in the library. In the future, rule-setting is likely to include a user interface that allows you to edit and save rules in your own library. The library makes it easier for users to customize and configure their own settings. It is now possible to create and apply different sets of rules.

How new part numbering works

When you start a new project and enable the rule based numbering, or when you have enabled it already in a template project, the new part numbering is used whenever you update panel drawings or create schedules for framing parts or for loose parts.

If you make changes to parts after creating part drawings, the part numbers and panels are not up-to-date. When you create the part drawings again, only the changed part drawings will be regenerated. This is a big difference between the new and old part numbering. When using the old system, all part drawings need to be regenerated after the change, because the parts and drawings have no change control. If only the label or the quantity of the part changes, only the title of the part drawing is updated without changing the drawing itself.

If you enable the new part numbering system in an old project, all the part drawings will be deleted and you need to update the panel drawings and schedules. Also the part drawings need to be regenerated. In practice, new part numbers are set with the new rule based part numbering method. It is not possible to use old part numbers after changing the numbering system.

Part schedules

New updateable part lists are used with the new part numbering method. They are in same place than with old method, Output tab → profile and sheet schedules.

Part lists:

When part lists exists, they can be updated manually by selecting list and using function Update Schedule from context menu:

If part list is not up-to-date, there is text in header: "List is out of date". When part label is updated, list is updated automatically.

Administration of structural tools

New two-part database screen for editing floor and roof framing details

The details of the floor and roof framing tools are now defined on a dual screen. Previously, the details were edited by opening the detail from the detail set to a separate window. Now the displays are connected. This change speeds up the editing of the details.

New cut mode for framing details when clipping part by inclined surface

Cutting of the parts at an inclined plane can be defined in the framing detail. The new mode is CUT_MODE = 2 as shown below:

Cutting mode is defined in framing detail:

Other Improvements

Utilize building groups to speed up designing of panels

Panels are often supplemented with repetitive accessories or sub-assemblies. Here you can now take advantage of building groups to save modeling time. When saving a building group, you can specify the input style to be Connecting component. With this style you can create a building group that is connected automatically to the panel you are adding it to. The program tries to recreate all relations and connections that the group had when it was saved to the building group library.

Changing the size of the joist hanger

You can now change the joist hanger size afterwards. Previously, the joist hanged had to be re-added if it needed to be resized. Now you can quickly change your joist hanger by editing properties.