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May 25, 2021
6 min read
József Szalai

Consteel 15: executive summary of the new developments

Introduction

The collection and release of our new developments usually span around a year. These novelties traditionally connected to a subsequent new version of Consteel, our flagship product. However, by now the novelties cover a much wider range of services than just new functions in Consteel. Last year we have published a new website, which is intended to be the centre of several customer services including licensing, learning, support, community building. Also, we have launched Steelspace, our cloud-based platform. All of these developments are created to help the whole range of your workflow and maintain a deeper and more fruitful relationship between you and us. We want to be a real part of your work presenting wider efficiency-increasing possibilities by modern technologies. We strongly think that you should be aware of (and hopefully share) our visions, strategies, and planned development directions so we want you to understand our goals with the novelties. In the following, we would like to share a couple of specific goals and directions and summarize the efforts we made to move forward with our new developments.

Serving your efficiency

Goal: To share all supplementary services for your work in one place

We believe that sharing our core values with you can help substantially your work. So we will provide a place where you can easily access our structured knowledge and experience in structural analysis, standard design methods, and the recent modern technologies of the construction industry: this is our new Service Center. It will include our extended User Manual in a new online form with easy navigation between the topics. In the Knowledge Base, we collect all learning materials and models of different types and levels to help your understanding of how to develop an effective design workflow in Consteel. In the Script Library, we share several prepared script examples which are ready to go in your Consteel and show the best practices in the use of scripting interfaces.

Stay up-to-date with us

Goal: To develop and maintain better communication with you

We want to level up the connection and communication between you and us. We want to make sure that all the personally relevant information reaches you in time, be it new content in our brand new Knowledge Base, software update info, or an upcoming event. From now on we can inform you not only by newsletters or website but directly through Consteel on a new Open dialogue. In this window, we will share all updates and you can quickly access our webpage, Knowledge base, or blog for more information. This information channel will even be personalized so as not to bother you with uninteresting topics but to provide the most relevant and fresh ones to you.

Control your license

Goal: To provide a transparent and flexible licensing system in your hand

We see that there are varying demands of the different types of companies when it comes to licensing; from single to group, from hardkey to online, from lifelong to temporary. So we are working on a flexible licensing system covering all your needs which will give the control into your hands. You can always check your actual status and change your settings easily either in Consteel or in your personal account on our website. With this new tool, we also prepared for further licensing options dominated by periodic subscriptions. In the end, you can always choose your most convenient type of licensing from a great variety of options and settings.

Go online

Goal: To get you to utilize our supplementary cloud services

Cloud solutions can open a new dimension in several services. So we want you to move outside from your computer. As a first step, we make it easy to save and store your models and results in the cloud in your personal Steelspace account. With the new cloud-save and cloud-open possibilities you do not even have to open your web browser, you just use these functions as if your personal cloud storage was on your desktop. Your cloud-saved models will accumulate in this store and you can quickly view, access, and open them directly from Consteel. Steelspace, your cloud service platform, will provide your models the storing, sharing, and commenting options. Additionally, all the forthcoming services implemented in Steelspace will be conveniently accessible for you.

Easy scripting

Goal: To promote and support the scripting possibilities as the most progressive ways of efficient modelling and execution manipulation

Scripting is a powerful tool in your hand to create, access, and manipulate flexibly model objects and operations or calculations on them. We know it is not always easy or familiar to the structural engineers, so want to bring the power of scripting closer to you. The Consteel Programming Interfaces cover multilevel scripting options: visual scripting in Grasshopper with the Pangolin plugin, internal scripting with our own Descript environment, and external scripting by our new .NET API. These choices conform with different levels of programming skills and you can easily find the one that suits you. Moreover, the new Service Center will provide you a Script Library with a couple of useful script examples at all levels with various purposes. The easy access and execution of your scripts – either on your desktop or in the cloud – are supported by the new MyScripts environment.

Informative visualization

Goal: to provide a graphical environment with a high level of information transfer

Model and result visualization is essential for a good engineer. It is well known that good visualization helps and speeds up the better understanding and correct interpretation of any data model compared to texts or tables. The quick and correct understanding definitely leads to more efficient work. So we want to support your efficiency with some really useful new visualization options for the structural model and analysis results. In the modelling phase, you will able to switch to a new model view where the members get colours from their cross-section type. We also introduce several immersive result visualization in the global model view as well as in the cross-section level.

Superbeam

Goal: A revolutionary representation of structural members with detailed modelling and dual analysis options

We have taken a big step forward again in steel structural member modelling and analysis. Steel beams and columns are the most frequently used model objects in the design workflow although these can be very different in terms of shapes, details, behaviour and connected analysis and design needs. In our new superbeam concept, you can keep the easy and quick modelling of these elements extended by several new adaptive detailing features (holes, stiffeners etc.) while the analysis can be performed on two consistently generated calculation models. The beam FE model has well-known analysis and design capabilities now including some of the detailing options in the structural behaviour. The second option is a shell FE model for the member consistently connected into the global beam FE model and including the additional holes and stiffeners in the mesh. You can easily switch between the analysis options since the whole process is fully adaptive. You model and modify simple bar members and calculate the consistent beam or shell FE model.

The author

József Szalai

Responsible for strategic leadership, management of research, development and marketing works. An active researcher in the field of modern structural steel design. Has been working on the development of Consteel for more than 20 years.

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