From SAP2000 to Diamonds

This article explains how to send a SAP2000 model to Diamonds, using BIM Expert.

1. Preparation in SAP2000

The more information is present in the SAP2000 model, the more complete the transfer will be. For example, you can already set the design standards and the combinations by group (ULS, SLS) in SAP2000.

2. Send model from SAP2000 to Diamonds

2.1 From SAP2000 to BIM Expert

In the Model tab, select ‘Import’. Next, choose the source software manufacturer, namely ‘Computer and Structures, Inc’ (CSI) . Click  to continue. Choose ‘SAP2000’ Alternatively, models can be sent to BIM Expert directly within SAP2000 (Tools > BIM Expert), but you first need to add BIM Expert as a plug-in to SAP2000.
How to add BIM Expert as plugin in SAP2000
  1. Tools > Add/Show plugins
  2. Click ‘Browse’ to locate the BIM Expert SAP2000 dll
    • Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\BuildSoft\BIM Expert\Plugins\CSI\
    • Select the dll SAP2000{version}PlugInBuildSoftBIMExpert.dll, with {version} according to your current SAP2000 version open (e.g. SAP2000v24PlugInBuildSoftBIMExpert.dll)
    • Click ‘Open’
  3. Change the Menu Text name to ‘BIM Expert’
  4. Click ‘Add’ to add the plugin’ & ‘Ok’
  5. BIM Expert is now in the Tools menu

2.2.1 Settings

Select your SAP2000 version, and were the model is coming from:
  • A running instance – that means, the model is currently open in SAP2000
  • An existing model – click ‘Browse… ‘ to open your file browser, go to the model location and select the model
License required

A valid SAP2000 license is required in both cases, that is importing from the running instance as well as opening an existing model.

On top of the geometry conversion, you can also consider loads and results in points, bars & plates.  Bar results are the most used and relevant ones, so only considering the bar results is enough. Plate results can be huge amount of data, that is currently not used any further. Next, the SAP2000 material and sections must be mapped with BIM Expert ‘s materials and section. BIM Expert will try to find as many automatic mapping matches as possible. In case all sections and materials find a match, you will not see any dialogs for mapping.

2.2.2 Material mapping

Database materials such as steel (e.g. S235, ASTM-Grades), concrete (e.g. C25/30, M50) and timber (e.g. C24, D50, GL28c) are mapped automatically. In some cases, the match is not automatically found, because the name differs (S355-link instead of S355). In that case, you can select the correct material from the database. Tip: When searching an item in the database, type the first letters of the name to find it more quickly.

2.1.3 Section mapping

Database sections (such as I, H, UB, UC, W, C, U, O, ☐ and L sections) are mapped automatically. In some cases, the match is not automatically found, because the name differs  (e.g. name is HEB300 – S235 instead of HEB300). In that case, you can select the correct cross-section from the database. Tip: When searching an item in the database, type the first letters of the name to find it more quickly. Parametric sections (e.g. rectangles, circle, trapezium, …) are not in the database. They should always be added as new.

2.1.4 Loads mapping

If you opted to consider the loads during export, the SAP2000 load combinations need to be categorized. Each valid SAP2000 combination must be categorized into Eurocode or American combinations. Use the checkbox ‘Use categories according to Limit States’ to switch between European and American combination categories.
Depending on the design code, you must map each combination with either
  • Eurocode Limit States
    • ULS – Ultimate Limit State Combinations: Fundamental (FC), Seismic (SC), Fire (FI) or Accidental (AC)
    • SLS – Serviceability Limit State Combinations: Rare (RC), Frequent (FC) or Quasi-Permanent (QP)
    • Custom
  • Armerican
    • Strength
    • Service
    • Custom
On hoovering with the mouse over the combination’s name, you can see the build up of the combination (e.g. 1.35 DL + 1.50 LL). Use SHIFT and CTRL commands as in Windows to select one or multiple items. For example, to select all, use ‘CTRL+A’ and then, select the “+” button in the corresponding column. Envelope combinations and dynamic seismic combinations are cannot be matched, as this is not supported by BIM Expert. These types of combinations are considered non-valid and will be greyed out. Static seismic combinations can be mapped. Remark: If you cancel that load mapping dialog, combinations are neglected and the conversion proceeds.

2.1.5 Reporting

In case of severe incidences, you get a report of the incidences. It usually concerns load cases or element behavior that are not supported by BIM Expert. Click ‘Continue’ to proceed anyway. The model is now in BIM Expert.

2.2 From BIM Expert to Diamonds

In the Model tab, select ‘Export’. Next, choose the destination software, namely Diamonds. Click  to continue.

2.2.1 Settings

You can choose to either

  • save the model as *.bsf-file
  • send the model to the current open Diamonds instance – you see all open instances of Diamonds

Select your choice and click  to continue.

If you choose to open the model directly in Diamonds, you will get a notification in Diamonds on the right side. You can now choose to load the model or to delete it (by using the ‘x’).

2.2.2 Mapping

In rare cases you might see a material and section mapping dialog.

3. Final steps in Diamonds

The model is now in Diamonds, ready for the next steps in the structural analysis.


4. Get started with BIM Expert

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Need Support?
Can't find the answer you're looking for? Don't worry we're here to help!