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IDEA Connection

Structural engineers typically design steel connections that follow prescribed building code requirements based on lab empirical testing, computational model verification, and engineering judgment. However, many projects have situations where the connection design must be validated using engineering judgment or even perform a more comprehensive connection analysis.

These practices have several challenges:

  • First, when designing non-typical connection designs not explicitly covered by the building codes, the engineer may not have the experience to just use engineering judgment unless they use time-intensive, computational modeling and simulation methods.
  • Second, creating such computational models to study and validate connection behavior can consume a lot of time on projects, impacting profitability.
  • Third, the reliability of steel connection designs can vary from project to project. In fact, when deviations happen in fabrication and erection, the actual connection behavior may perform quite differently than anticipated. Therefore, engineers are looking for a more accurate, project-specific way of studying connection behavior to better understand their connection designs, while doing so productively.


so that it is usable for most of joints, anchors, and details used in building practice

Simple & Fast

so that it provides results in time comparable with currently existing methods and tools


so that structural engineer gets clear information about joint behavior, stress, strain and reserves of individual components and about overall safety and reliability

Key features of IDEA Connection

Automatic generation of joint’s FE model, user does not handle with FEA

Joints with various numbers of beams in multiple directions and loads

Analysis model created according to manufacturing operations used – cuts, plates, stiffeners, ribs, openings, cleats, welds, bolts etc.

Efficient FEA solver delivers result faster than current methods

Calculation of internal stress/forces in joints based on elastic/plastic FE analysis

Local buckling analysis of steel joint, critical load factor

Stiffness analysis of any kind of connection

More than 90% of calculations is national-code independent

Clear information about behavior of the joint/connection