Many structural engineers already use a finite element analysis tool to create a 3D bridge model. What is the difference between the BrIM model and FEA model? Also, How it can be used for structural design? There are two distinct differences between FEA and BrIM. First, BrIM is a 3D CAD model usually created in big elements whereas the FEA model is divided into more nodes and elements for finite element analysis purposes. Secondly, Many BrIM software implemented parametric alignment-based modeling. This enables users to change the structure by updating alignment it is based off.
Preliminary Design When designing a new structure, the first step is to come up with several preliminary designs. In this process, structural engineers face several design changes and alignment changes. It is often cumbersome to go through these changes in the finite element model. However, the parametric alignment base model can save work time. You can adjust the overall alignment of the structure, skewed angle, longitudinal slope, transverse slope for easy modeling of the structure. The elements will dynamically update based on the alignment changes so that engineers do not need to start from scratch. Also, cost estimation is more accurate and easier than ever with the properties and information registered to the element.
Some brim platform supports FEA conversion from the BrIM model. An engineer can set up an analysis element type, division length, and mesh size. The BrIM model will be transformed with the correct section and property into the FEA model based on the customized condition. A structural engineer can perform analysis, design check, and load rating with a converted model. It helps to modify the structure easier with a model that is not divided into multiple nodes and elements.
The possibility of BrIM in terms of structural design is endless. It opens a door to a new possibility that was limited by the node and element system. As BrIM platform matures and more plug-in are developed, It will help engineers to save time and react to changes easier.