Export and Import Formats


The Advance Design model can be exported to other programs by saving it in different file formats (e.g., .gtc, .ifc, .sdnf, .wrl, .stp, .dxf, .eff, etc.). Similarly, you can import files created in other applications and saved in a compatible format (e.g., .ifc, .sdnf, .pss, .cis2, .dxf). All the available commands can be found on the Ribbon, BIM tab or in the File menu, Export/Import commands.


How to access the command

To export/import all the elements of the model:

  1. Select File > Export/Import from the menu and choose the desired format.


For a faster access, access the desired option from the Ribbon >  BIM tab.

  1. When exporting, the Export dialog box appears. Select a path and a name for the export file. Click Save to create the export file.

  2. In the case of Import, the Open dialog box appears and you can select the files to import.


To export only a selection of elements:

  1. Select the desired elements.

  2. Launch the export command.

  3. Define the file name and path in the Export dialog box.

  4. Click Save.

  5. The following dialog box appears:

Export a selection of elements

Export confirmation message

  1. Click Yes to export only the selected elements.


By clicking No, all the elements of the model are exported.


Export and import formats





GTC (Graitec Exchange files)

The GTC format represents Graitec exchange files that store Graitec Model Objects data. This type of file is used by all Graitec applications and serves as a link between Graitec programs.

During the GTC file export, Advance Design fills the Graitec Model Object with the data of the current model.

When importing a GTC file, Advance Design reads the model data and recreates it in the specific Advance Design format.

SMLX (.smlx)

Advance Design uses Autodesk Advance Steel exchange format – SMLX for importing and exporting steel structures models with additional status data.

IFC (.ifc)

The IAI (International Alliance for Interoperability) defined IFC (Industry Foundation Classes), a common language used for exchange and information sharing between software. Main publishers have adopted these specifications and IFC products are available.

The objective is to facilitate software "interoperability" in the building industry by improving the communication capabilities between software packages for better quality and productivity.

This functionality is evolving with the goal of providing communication through only one model between many products.

SDNF (.sdnf)

SDNF (Steel Detail Neutral Files) is a standard format for data exchange of steel elements (sections, plates etc.). SDNF offers a system neutral method for the import and export of structural model data. This bidirectional process allows the import and export of SDNF files from structural models.

CSX (.csx)


To enable a more complete cooperation between Advance Design and CS-Statik modules, it is possible to export data from Advance Design from the descriptive and the analytical model. For both cases, a single CSX file is imported into the Project center of CS-Statik.

XML (.xml)

To simply the workflow, Advance Design can export system tree structures (partially or completely) and post-processing views in the shape of an XML file. They can be later imported and used in other Advance Design projects.

TXT (.txt)

In Advance Design, the actions on supports created in a model can be exported in the form of a .TXT file and later imported and used in another model, in the model phase.

Using the same format, geometrical points can be imported in Advance Design and used as snap entities.

Effel (.do4)

The Advance Design analysis model can be exported to Effel Expert modules as Archive files (*.do4). After the export, you can open the model with the corresponding Effel module.

Arcelor Castellated Beams (.acb)


Advance Design offers the possibility to define castellated beams. The parameters of the element can be exported to ACB (Arcelor Cellular Beam) where a validation report can be generated.

Library files (.abq)

Advance Design provides an option to export a selection of elements to a library; you can import this library of elements in another model. This functionality is useful when one or more users separately model different parts of a structure. The element libraries export / import tool makes it possible to assembly these parts into one single project.

IDEA StatiCa Connection (.IdeaCon)


IDEA StatiCa Connection is a powerful analysis solution for 3D Steel connection, fully integrated to Advance Design. When it comes to 3D complex steel connections, Advance Design can be completed with IDEA StatiCa Connection to handle such connections. All the beams, cross-sections, and internal forces are not just exported, but they are also synchronized if the Advance Design model changes.

CIS2 (.stp)

The CIS Interface (CIMsteel Integrated Standard) was developed to enable a model based data exchange between different domains (construction, detailing and fabrication) dedicated to steel construction. This exchange format is mainly driven by the AISC.

PSS (.stp)

The Product Interface Steel Construction (PPS) - recommended by DStV - facilitates the import of steelwork geometry data, such as nodes, bars, sections, materials etc., and allows data exchange with other programs. This interface is especially used for data exchange with structural analysis programs.

DXF (.dxf)

Advance Design models can be exported as 2D and 3D DXF files (AutoCad). The .dxf file must be saved in AutoCAD® as an AutoCAD® R12/LT2 DXF to be compatible with Advance Design.

One or several DXF files can be imported in a project at the same time.

Effel (.eff)

The Advance Design analysis model can be exported to Effel Expert modules. After the export, you can open the model with the corresponding Effel module.

To use this command, the model must be calculated with the corresponding engines of Advance Design (reinforced concrete / steel calculation).

VRML (.wrl)


The Advance Design 3D model can be exported to VRML format (.wrl). VRML files can be viewed with the Cortona VRML Viewer (freely distributed). The VRML file contains a 3D view of the model with the current display settings.



Export DXF dialog box in Advance Design

Axes / Cross sections – allows the selection of the elements export method.

Layers – defines the layers creation principle:

Create layers according to the systems - The DXF file layers are created in conformity with the systems defined in Advance Design.

Create layers according to elements - The DXF file layers are created in conformity with the elements type.

Choose source application of the file

Source application for SDNF import

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