Advance Design Connection

A new way to design and check all steel connections according to the code, in minutes


Advance Design Connection is a powerful analysis solution for 3D Steel connection, fully integrated to Advance Design. It’s part of Graitec BIM workflow providing softwares to our customers to help them CREATE, SIMULATE, FABRICATE and MANAGE all the data of their projects. One BIM solution for one project.



For Steel structures, Advance Design is an integrated software allowing to perform global FEM analysis, design and optimization of steel members, local analysis with check and optimization of standards 2D connections. When it comes to 3D complex steel connections, Advance Design can be completed with the module Advance Design Connection to handle such connections.


Advance Design Connection is a unique version of IDEA StatiCa Connection, rebranded and tailor-made for GRAITEC users.

Advance Design Connection can design all types of 3D connections which cannot be designed with the connection module integrated in Advance Design. It provides precise checks, results of strength, stiffness and buckling analysis of a steel joint. Joints are checked according to Eurocodes and North American codes (EC & AISC). Templates for most-used connections are available as well as wide range of predefined hot rolled and sheet welded members.

Advance Design Connection Workflows

2D frames & trusses

GRAITEC Advance Design | Connection | 2D frames & trusses

Footings, anchoring

GRAITEC Advance Design | Connection | Footings, anchoring

3D frames & trusses

GRAITEC Advance Design | Connection | 3D frames & trusses


No limits in how many connections there are in the joint and how they are put together. Shape is defined by project requirements, not by software capabilities.


All forces are analyzed. The overall check of the joint takes into account interactions between all the beams and connections. Engineers stay on the safe side all the time.


The whole design and check process is kept short enough to be a part of everyday work of structural engineers and fabricators all around the world.

Work with data from other programs

Advance Design Connection


Design your joint from scratch or build on geometry and loading imported from GRAITEC Advance Design, Robot, Revit. More BIM Links will be added in the future.


Take advantage of integration into Advance Steel to provide workshops drawings and support manufacturing process

Advance Design Connection provides

click on the images below for more information

Overall check

According to various national design codes

CBFEM method combines advantages of general Finite Element Method (FEM) and standard Component Method (CM).

The stresses and internal forces calculated on the accurate CBFEM model are used in checks of all components.

Individual components are checked according to North American codes (AISC/CISC) and Eurocodes. The design ratios for different components are displayed using the color codes on the geometry.

The following components are checked:

- Plates
- Fillet welds
- Butt welds
- Bolts
- Preloaded bolts
- Anchors
- Concrete block

Stress/ strain analysis

FE model of steel joint is composed automatically

The analysis of joint is materially non-linear. The load increments are applied gradually and the state of stress is searched. There are two optional analysis modes in Advance Design Connection:

- The response of structure (joint) to the overall load. All defined load (100 %) is applied in this mode and the corresponding state of stress and deformation is calculated.

- Analysis termination at reaching the ultimate limit state. The checkbox in Code setup “Stop at limit strain” should be ticked. The state is found when the plastic strain reaches the defined limit.

In the case when the defined load is higher than the calculated capacity, the analysis is marked as non-satisfying and the percentage of used load is printed. Note that the analytical resistance of components, for example of bolts, can be exceeded.

The second mode is more suitable for a practical design. The first one is preferable for detailed analysis of 3D complex joints.

Stiffness analysis

Rotational or transversal stiffness of any connection

Advance Design Connection uses component based finite element method (CBFEM). The CBFEM method enables to analyze the stiffness of connection of individual joint members. For the proper stiffness analysis, the separate analysis model must be created for each analyzed member.

Then, the stiffness analysis is not influenced by the stiffness of other members of joint but only by the node itself and the construction of connection of the analyzed member. Whereas the bearing member is supported for the strength analysis, all members except the analyzed one are supported by the stiffness analysis.

Loads can be applied only on the analyzed member. If bending moment My is defined, the rotational stiffness about the y-axis is analyzed. If bending moment Mz is defined, the rotational stiffness about the z-axis is analyzed. If axial force N is defined, the axial stiffness of connection is analyzed.

The program generates complete diagram automatically, it is directly displayed in GUI and can be added into the output report. Rotational or axial stiffness can be studied for specific design load. Advance Design Connection can also deal with the interaction of the other internal forces.

Member Capacity Design

Seismic check of non-dissipative connections

Advance Design Connection checks the connection on applied design load (that can be imported from Advance Design). In many regions with the risk of seismicity, it is required to check the connection on the maximal moment which can be transferred by the connected member. We calculate this moment in the software and apply it to the specific member. All other members in the joint are supported. Joints designed to transfer moment equal to the member resistance (full-strength joints) usually need to be much more stiffened than the partial-strength joints.

Note: Connected member is not checked, it has to be properly designed in the global analysis of the structure.

Buckling analysis

Local buckling effects and critical load factors

Advance Design Connction can perform linear buckling analysis and provide the user with the buckling factor. It is important to recognize the global buckling (buckling of whole members) and the local buckling (buckling of individual plates). In the case of global buckling (the plate is an elongation of a member), it is recommended to check the buckling resistance for buckling factor.

Critical buckling factor for a gusset plate as an elongation of a truss in the case of most plates in connections, local buckling can occur and the maximum value of the critical buckling factor that requires thorough the analysis is usually smaller; it has been verified that for stiffeners and column panel in shear, it is not necessary to take into account buckling if the critical buckling factor is higher than 3.

It is possible to follow the results of Advance Design Connection with calculations or with geometrically nonlinear analysis with initial imperfections in advanced FEM software if the buckling factor is smaller than the critical value. Nevertheless, it is often more economical to use stiffeners or thicker plates in design.

Design Joint Resistance

Maximal possible loads, reserve in joint capacity

The designer usually solves the task to design the connection/joint to transfer the known design load. But it is also useful to know how far the design from the limit state is, i.e., how big the reserve in the design is and how safe it is. This can be done simply by the type of analysis – Design joint resistance.

The user inputs design load like in a standard design. The software automatically proportionally increases all load components until one of the checks does not satisfy. The checks of steel plates, shear and tension resistance of bolts, and approximate weld checks are included. The user gets the ratio of maximal load to the design load. Also, a simple diagram is provided.

Note : It is necessary to perform Stress/Strain analysis for accurate joint assessment.

Improving daily work of engineers

Advance Design Connection can design steel joints and connections of any topology and loaded in all directions. It keeps the whole analysis-design-check process in minutes. This opens a possibility for structural engineers and fabricators around the world to increase productivity of designing steel joints and connections.


Stay on the safe-side with all checks according to selected national codes at hand at any time.


Engineers spend 70% of the connection design time on 30% non-standard cases. Do them in minutes as well.


Know exactly how much material is needed in the joint and take advantage of it.

Output report

You can choose from three types of output reports – one line, 1 page and detailed. All checks according to Eurocode or AISC are displayed and referenced.

GRAITEC Advance Design | Connection | Output report