Rhino Beam Tools - User Manual

Introduction

Rhino Beam Tools is a plugin for Rhino 3D, designed to draw mechanical Beams and Nodes in context, then export them in a Beam calculation software. Currenttly, RhinoBeamTools is only compatible with ©Steel (Editor: ®Bureau Veritas).

Plugin installation

The plugin installer can be downloaded at: https://www.tomkod.com/product/rhino-beam-tools/
A free trial is included, and yearly licenses can be purchased on the aforementioned page.
Rhino Beam Tools works for Rhino 5 1) and Rhino 6 2).

Our Rhino Beam Tools plugin is also compatible with Yak, Rhino's new package manager 3). You can install it from the repository with the following command line:

License activation

The free evaluation can be used once per computer, and requires a network access to the following adress: 51.254.220.203
The license activation requires network access to www.tomkod.com
Please check your firewall in case of failure.

Toolbar

The toolbars for Rhino are always included in your plugins installation directory, or can be downloaded here.
To install them, you just have to drag/drop the file “Tomkod.rui” to a rhino window.

Generalities

Definitions

Nodes

Nodes are custom points with translations and rotation constraints defined on x, y & z axis. Every node in the model is identified by a unique number.

Beams

Beams are oriented lines located between two nodes 4). They are represented as an arrow, and have an optionnal angle option. Every beam in the model is identified by a unique number.

Sets

A set is a group of beams. It is mainly used to easily select beams together.

Interface

Panel

Rhino Beam Tools comes with a user panel to interact with your Beams, Nodes and Sets. The panel display is refreshed in real time. If you select a beam or a node in the model, the panel is automatically displayed.

Annotations

Rhino Beam Tools offer the possibility to display annotations in the model with the every node's settings: The size, offset and color of these annotations can be edited. The annotations give the following information:

 #{Node number} ({Constraints})

Constraints can be “Free”, “TranslationFixed”, “RotationFixed”, or Custom.

Custom constraints are defined like this: x , y & z values for translation (t), then x , y & z values for rotation (r).
The values can be 0=fixed , 1=free, 2=spring, 3=forced.

In the example above, the node #87 is rotation-Free, with translation-fixed on x, translation-spring on y, and translation-free on z

Toolbar

A toolbar is included in Tomkod's toolbar group, with buttons available for most commands:


Commands

RBT_About

This command can be used only from the command line prompt. It displays the plugin's current revision and license status.


RBT_AddNode

This command adds a node to the model.

Walkthrough

  1. Pick a location
  2. The node is created without constraints (Free)
  3. === Options ===

No option available.


RBT_AddBeam

This command adds a beam to the model.

Walkthrough

  1. Pick two nodes
  2. The beam is created from the first node to the second node.

Preselection

Preselection is allowed, but the nodes order will be random. If more than two nodes where preselected, the beam will randomly be created between two nodes.

Options

No option available.


RBT_DissociateNode

This command allows to separate two beams with a common node by duplicating the node.

Walkthrough

  1. Select the beam that should be dissociated (The one that will be linked to a new node)
  2. Select which node should be dissociated: StartNode or EndNode
  3. Choose if the node constraints should be duplicated 5). If No is selected, the new node will be unconstrained (Free).
  4. Pick the new node location

Preselection

Preselection is allowed if only one beam is preselected

Options

  • StartNode or EndNode
  • Duplicate the node constraints

RBT_ImportLines

This command can convert lines and curves into beams and nodes.

Walkthrough

  1. Select the line and curves that should be imported
  2. Choose if the original lines should be removed
  3. For each non linear curve, a segment count option is shown to split the curve in several lines. The current view is zoomed in and the current curve is highlighted.
  4. Every beams and nodes are created, duplicated nodes are removed and intersecting beams are splitted.

Preselection

Preselection is allowed.

Options

  • Delete original lines : Select wether or not the original curves should be removed from the model upon completion.

RBT_IntersectBeams

This commands check the whole model and adds node at beams intersections.

Walkthrough

Launch the command and that's it!

Options

No option available.


RBT_MergeDuplicateNodes

This command merge node with the same location.

Walkthrough

  1. Set the tolerance (Default 0.001)
  2. Every duplicated nodes are merged in the model

Options

  • Tolerance : in model unit, maximum distance to consider two nodes duplicated.

RBT_SteelExport

Exports your beams, nodes and sets to ©Steel, ®Bureau Veritas' beam calculation software.

Walkthrough

  1. Ordered List ItemSelect a save path to create the ©Steel file (*.stw)
  2. The file is created, then RBT attemps to open it with windows default program for this extension.

Scripted mode

In scripted mode, the program attempts to save the file as “C:\BVData\Steel\UnsavedDoc.stw” 6)

Options

No option available.


RBT_SetManager

This command opens the Rhino Beam Tools panel on the Sets tab.

Options

No option available.


RBT_ReverseBeam

This command reverses the beam's first and second node.

Walkthrough

  1. Select the beams
  2. The beams nodes are swapped. The arrow orientation are refreshed as well as the node infos.

Preselection

Preselection is allowed, every selected beams will be reversed.

Options

No option available.

Alternative

A “Reverse beam” button is available on the panel's Beams tab. It does the same thing but does not allow to reverse several beams at the same time.


RBT_DuplicateNodeData

This command copies a node's constraints to another.

Walkthrough

  1. Pick the original node to duplicate its constraints
  2. Pick one or several nodes that need to be changed
  3. The selected nodes are updated with the original node's constraints

Preselection

Preselection is enabled if one and anly one node is preselected.

Options

No option available.


RBT_ShowAnnotations

Walkthrough

  1. Launch the command.
  2. If annotations were visible, they are hidden, if they were hidden they will be shown

Options

No option available.


RBT_AnnotationsSettings

This command gives the possibility to change the annotations' display settings.

Walkthrough

  1. Enter the annotation text height (Press enter to keep current value)
  2. Enter the annotation offset 7) (Press enter to keep current value. - A value “> Text height” is recommended)
  3. Pick a color for free nodes (Press enter to keep current value)
  4. Pick a color for translation-constrained nodes (Press enter to keep current value)
  5. Pick a color for rotation-constrained nodes (Press enter to keep current value)
  6. Pick a color for other nodes (Press enter to keep current value)
  7. The model's annotations are redrawn with the new settings.

RBT_Refresh

This command forces a display update:

  • Overlapped nodes are merged
  • Beam errors are detected
  • Beam positions are fixed
  • Rhino views are redrawn

Normally you don't need to use this command.

Options

No option available.

1)
Rhino 5.12 or later
2)
Rhino 6.15 or later
3)
Rhino 6 or later only
4)
More specifically, two node definition numbers
5)
default value = true
6)
This is ©Steel's default directory
7)
The annotations can be offsetted not to hide the nodes.