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«User’s Guide 26632 Towne Centre Drive, Suite 210 Foothill Ranch, CA 92610 (949) 951-5815 (949) 951-5848 (FAX) Copyright ©2012, ...»

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Rapid Interactive Structural Analysis – 3-Dimensional

User’s Guide

26632 Towne Centre Drive, Suite 210

Foothill Ranch, CA 92610

(949) 951-5815

(949) 951-5848 (FAX)


Copyright ©2012, RISA TECHNOLOGIES, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,

or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of


RISA-3D is a trademark of RISA TECHNOLOGIES, LLC. RISA, as applied to structural engineering software, is a trademark of RISA TECHNOLOGIES, LLC.

All other trademarks mentioned in this publication are the property of their respective owners.

Every effort has been made to make this publication as complete and accurate as possible, but no warranty of fitness is implied. The concepts, methods, and examples presented in this publication are for illustrative and educational purposes only, and are not intended to be exhaustive or to apply to any particular engineering problem or design. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. You should consult with a professional where appropriate. RISA TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, assumes no liability or responsibility to any person or company for direct or indirect damages resulting from the use of any information contained herein.

Table of Contents Table of Contents Introduction

How to Use this Book

Using the Online Help

Technical Support Information

RISA Technologies Online

Before You Begin

RISA-3D Overview

Hardware Requirements

Program Limits

License Agreement


First Look at RISA-3D

Starting RISA-3D



Tutorial 1 – Modeling

Create a New Model


Material Properties

Design Rules – Size / UC

Boundary Conditions

Tutorial 2 – Modify

Modify Members

Drawing Wall Panels and Additional Framing

Drawing Plates

Sub-meshing Plates

Tutorial 3 – Loading

Area Loads

Surface Loads

Distributed Loads

iTable of Contents

Basic Load Case Spreadsheet


Load Categories

Load Combinations

Tutorial 4 – Solving & Results

Solving the Model

Graphic Results

Batch Solution

Envelope Solution

Optimizing Member Sizes

Tutorial 5 – Dynamic Analysis

Dynamic Solution

Frequencies and Mode Shapes

Response Spectra Analysis

Tutorial 6 – Interoperability

RISA-Revit Structure Link

CIS/2 Translator



Appendix A – RISA-3D Toolbar Buttons

RISA Toolbar

Window Toolbar

Drawing Toolbar

Selection Toolbar

ii Introduction Introduction How to Use this Book Welcome to the RISA-3D User’s Guide. If you are a first-time user of RISA-3D, we recommend that you start with this book. This book contains step-by-step tutorials that guide you through the entire modeling process using most RISA-3D features. You will create a real-world example of building and solving a model, making changes, and optimizing the model. Several tips and shortcuts will also be demonstrated along the way.

Begin by reviewing First Look at RISA-3D on page 9 to familiarize yourself with the toolbars and shortcuts, then proceed to the step-by-step tutorials.

To complete all the tutorials will take only a few hours. However, you can speed up the process even further if you skip the supporting text and concentrate only on the action steps, which are indicated

with diamond-shaped bullets, as shown below:

In order for you to achieve accurate results, it is important that you do not miss any of these action steps while performing the tutorials.

The tutorials build upon themselves from start to finish. You have the option of performing them all at one time, or performing each one separately. To make this possible, RISA provides model files for you to load at the beginning of each tutorial. These starter files are located in the RISA program folder under Tutorials, and are named Tutorial 2 Starter.r3d, Tutorial 3 Starter.r3d, etc.

After you have gone through the tutorials in the this User’s Guide, you can use Help menu and the RISAD General Reference Manual for complete, detailed information on every topic relating to RISA-3D. The topics are arranged in alphabetical order and are thoroughly indexed.

If you are a more experienced user and are not sure which book will be most helpful your situation, consider that the tutorials in this User’s Guide are intended to teach the basics of defining and solving models in RISA-3D, how and when to apply RISA-3D features to help you be most productive, and how to review the results. However, the more in-depth analytical aspects of RISA-3D will be covered in RISAD General Reference Manual and the Help menu. For example, various material (hot rolled steel, wood, concrete) code checks will be performed in this Guide, but the specifics of how those code checks are calculated is covered in detail in the Help menu and the RISA-3D General Reference Manual (specifically the sections titled Hot Rolled Steel Design, Wood Design, and Concrete Design).

Where to Download RISA-3D Book Updates Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this book at the time of publication. The latest edition of all books and documents relating to this product are available in Adobe PDF format at http://www.risa.com. Click Downloads, Product Documentation, then RISA-3D.


–  –  –

Using the Online Help Whether you need help on general topics, specific features, or toolbars, it is all built in to the extensive RISA-3D online Help system. The RISA-3D Help menu was designed to enable you to pinpoint the Help information you need quickly, by offering different ways for you to access and locate that Help, as

described below:

–  –  –

Help on a specific As you work, notice the Help buttons at the bottom of many of the dialog feature (context- boxes. These provide direct access to the Help information related to the sensitive help) task you are performing.

This context-sensitive help may be accessed by pressing the Help button on the dialog box or by pressing the F1 key.

–  –  –

Introduction Technical Support Information Technical support is an integral part of the software packages offered by RISA Technologies, and is available to all registered licensees at no additional charge. Our knowledgeable support team is ready to answer your most challenging questions.

Before contacting technical support, you may want to take a few minutes to do the following:

Search the Help and all user documentation available for the product.

Search our FAQ database by visiting our website at http://www.risa.com. Click Support, then Frequently Asked Questions, then choose the product.

When you are ready to make a support request, please be prepared to send us your model, and include

the following information:

Your name, company name, and phone number;

Product name and serial number or Key ID;

A detailed problem description; and Your model (filename.r3d) as an e-mail attachment. If your model contains multiple members, plates, or load combinations, please specify which ones we should look at.

You can contact Technical Support by e-mail, phone, or mail, as follows:

E-mail: support@risatech.com E-mail is usually the best way to communicate with us when sending a model. Please include all the information listed above.

Phone: (949) 951-5815 or (800) 332-RISA (7472) Technical support personnel are available from 6:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, Monday through Friday.


If you prefer support via mail, please enclose all information listed above, and mail to:

RISA Technologies, Technical Support 26632 Towne Centre Drive, Suite 210 Foothill Ranch, CA 92610 RISA Technologies Online

Visit RISA Technologies online at http://www.risa.com for:

Answers to frequently asked questions.

Downloads of user documentation and tutorials.

Software updates – Any known problems are posted on the website, along with possible work-around procedures and/or service releases to update your software.

Software verification problems.

Before You Begin

Before You Begin RISA-3D Overview RISA-3D was designed to accelerate the time it takes to perform structural design. Computer-aided structural design is typically a three step process: (1) define your model, (2) solve the model to obtain solution results, then (3) review those solution results to see how the model performed and determine if changes are needed. Usually, this cycle must be repeated several times before arriving at a final, optimized design.

One main reason RISA-3D is able to speed up the design process so successfully is because of its unique ability to define the model and make revisions both graphically (using the drawing tools) and numerically (using the customized spreadsheets).

In RISA-3D, these two methods of entering and editing data work seamlessly together. Everything designed or drawn graphically is automatically recorded in the spreadsheets (which may be viewed and edited at any time)—and everything entered in the spreadsheets may be viewed and edited graphically at any time. As you perform the step-by-step tutorials in this guide, you will be exploring both methods using the drawing tools and the spreadsheets.

Modeling Tips Keep in mind that almost all the model data can be edited either graphically (using the drawing tools) or numerically (using the spreadsheets). In most cases, it is simply a matter of preference as to which

method you decide to use. Here are a few tips to consider when making your decision:

Some data such as cross-section properties, load combinations, oddball joint coordinates, etc., are most easily entered numerically using a spreadsheet. Other data such as regularly spaced joints, member connectivity, regular loadings, and wholesale changes are better handled using graphic editing tools.

Typically you may want to use the spreadsheets to define some preliminary information such as material and section properties, then proceed to the drawing grid and graphically draw the bulk of your model and apply loads.

Other graphic editing features are built around RISA-3D’s graphic selection tools. These features let you graphically edit the model or parts of it. For example, to modify boundary conditions, you would choose the condition you want to apply and select the joints to modify.

Solving the Model and Tips for Reviewing Results Once you have the model defined, continue by solving the model. RISA-3D features fast 32-bit solution speed, so your model solutions should not take long. Once the model is solved you will be presented with the results.

Once again, you can review your results graphically or with the spreadsheets. Spreadsheet solution results (displacements, forces, stresses, etc.) are listed on the Results menu. You can sort and filter these results to find exactly what you want. In the graphic views, click Plot Options and choose the results that you want to display (force diagrams, plate contours, deflected shapes, etc.).

Before You Begin Hardware Requirements

–  –  –

Note: The amount of space needed by RISA-3D to solve a structural model is dependent on the size of the model. In general, 500 MB of RAM is adequate to solve most problems, but the more the better, especially if you will be solving large problems. RISA-3D has been designed to use as much available RAM as possible. If there is not enough RAM, RISA-3D will use hard drive space until enough memory is obtained to solve the problem (causing the solution to run much slower).

–  –  –

License Agreement


The RISA-3D software product (SOFTWARE PRODUCT) includes computer software, the associated media, any printed materials, and any electronic documentation. By installing, copying or otherwise using the SOFTWARE PRODUCT, you agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. If you do not agree with the terms of this agreement RISA Technologies, LLC is unwilling to license the SOFTWARE PRODUCT to you. In such event you must delete any installations and destroy any copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT and return the SOFTWARE PRODUCT to RISA Technologies, LLC within 60 days of purchase for a full refund.

Copyright 2012 by RISA Technologies, LLC. All rights reserved. The SOFTWARE PRODUCT is protected by United States copyright laws and various international treaties. All rights not specifically granted under this agreement are reserved by RISA TECHNOLOGIES, LLC.

1. SOFTWARE LICENSE. The SOFTWARE PRODUCT is licensed, not sold. All right, title and interest is and remains vested in RISA TECHNOLOGIES, LLC. You may not rent, lease, or lend the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.

You are specifically granted a license to the use of this program on no more than one CPU at any given time. The Network Version of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT is licensed for simultaneous use on a certain maximum number of network stations that varies on a per license basis. As part of the license to use the SOFTWARE PRODUCT, the program user acknowledges the reading, understanding and acceptance of all terms of this agreement. The SOFTWARE PRODUCT may not be reviewed, compared or evaluated in any manner in any publication without expressed written consent of RISA Technologies, LLC. You may not disassemble, decompile, reverse engineer or modify in any way the SOFTWARE PRODUCT. If the SOFTWARE PRODUCT was purchased at a discounted price for educational purposes it may in no event be used for professional design purposes. The terms of this license agreement are binding in perpetuity.

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