Dynam(o)ite Your Design for Bridges – Part 1

A few weeks ago I have been invited to give a lecture on Dynamo at the Civil Infra Academy 2015 in Dordrecht (The Netherlands). Of course, Dynamo applied on a structural engineering model of a train station building is not really the most interesting one to show to people who are involved daily with civil structures like for example bridges.

So I decided to find out how Dynamo Studio could be used in Bridge Design & Analysis.

Therefore I picked up the model that Zachary Kron published on his blog last year (see here for his original post) and amended the script so it worked with Revit and Robot Structural Analysis.

How it looks like in Dynamo Studio.

Bridge Dynamo Model

How it looks like in Revit. Mind the curvature of the beams and especially the roadway. In the Dynamo script you will find specific nodes that detect the angle of the curve to the Z-vector. So that way you can easily change the cross section rotation of the beams and introduce a twisted section.

Bridge Structural Model 2

Bridge Structural Model 1







How it looks like in Robot Structural Analysis. At the left side the model, at the right side the results for the My moments due to traffic loads. Important in this script is the discretization of the nurbs curves. RSA can not handle these types of curves, and you need to approach this with separate “beams”. Some custom nodes are delivered in the content below, to achieve this modeling technique.
Important note: run the script on the “Bridge Conceptual Analysis_start.rtd” file, in order to have the right custom sections in your design.

Bridge Analysis Bridge Analysis Results






And finally getting results back in to Dynamo. If you want to perform some specific operations in Dynamo based on the results (for example reaction forces), you can extract them from the RSA model, after calculation. This smells like a job for Structural Optimization :-)…

Bridge Results in Dynamo


You can download the whole dataset by clicking this link. Now try it out yourself and play with the sliders to see the effect in Revit and RSA. Don’t forget to install the Structural Analysis for Dynamo package !

To be continued …


2 thoughts on “Dynam(o)ite Your Design for Bridges – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Weekly Roundup – 2015.22 | The BIMsider

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