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Bars defined as beam-type structural elements

CYPE 3D is an agile and efficient program brought about to carry out structural calculations in three dimensions of bars made of concrete, steel, composite steel and concrete, aluminium, timber or any other material; shells (two-dimensional elements with a constant thickness whose perimeter is defined by a polygon). It includes the design of joints (welded and bolted rolled and welded steel I -sections and hollow sections) and of foundations (pad footings, pile caps and baseplates).

This webpage explains bars defined as beam-type structural elements.

For information on other properties of CYPE 3D, visit the CYPE 3D webpage.

Bar structure types in CYPE 3D

CYPE 3D allows users to introduce bars made of concrete, steel, composite steel and concrete, aluminium, timber or any other material.

The program designs the section and provides its optimum size for bars composed of steel, aluminium, timber or concrete (if they have been defined as column or beam-type structural elements).

Composite steel and concrete bars can be defined if they have been introduced as column-type structural elements and, even though they are not designed automatically, they are checked by the program with the properties that have been indicated by users.

Bar structure types in CYPE 3D

As of the 2016.a version, users are required to define the structural function an element carries out in CYPE 3D. There are 4 different structural types available: Generic-type structural elements, Tie-type structural elements, Column-type structural elements and Beam-type structural elements.

This webpage describes bars defined as beam-type structural elements. To consult the properties of bars defined as other types of structural elements, please consult the following links: Generic-type structural elements, Tie-type structural elements and Column-type structural elements.

Beam-type structural elements

Beam-type structural elements

Levels and grids must be defined in CYPE 3D when bars defined as Beam-type structural elements are introduced. A Beam-type structural element can be assigned the following materials: Reinforced concrete (rectangular, L-section, T-section..., lattice or prestressed beams) or steel (rolled, welded or cold-formed).

  • Rectangular, L-section, T-section..., lattice or prestressed concrete beams
    To be able to define reinforced concrete beams as Beam-type structural elements, users must have the “Concrete beams” module included in their user license. More information on this module, available for use with CYPE 3D and CYPECAD, can be found on the Concrete beams webpage.
  • Steel sections
    Can be rolled steel, cold-formed steel or welded steel sections and are designed the same way as generic-type steel bars; although when they are defined as “Beam-type structural elements” they are edited and modified using the “Advanced beam editor”. Users do not require any special permits to be able to design beams with steel sections; users only require the license to use “CYPE 3D”.

Beam-type structural elements are designed, edited and checked using the Advanced beam editor for the design codes implemented in the editor. Usually derogated codes or codes no longer in use are not available for use with the editor.

Properties of beam-type structural elements

A beam is an element which has been assigned as being a beam-type structural element. A beam cannot be vertical, and the angle between its XZ plane and the vertical plane containing it must be zero (i.e. it must not rotate about the longitudinal axis of the beam). Beams can be grouped and so form continuous beams (beam alignments), with the following conditions:

Properties of beam-type structural elements

  1. The end node of one is the starting node of the next.
  2. All are of the same type of material (concrete, rolled steel or cold-formed steel).
  3. If all are made of concrete, they must be of the same type of concrete.

Beams (and continuous beams) can be created in 3 ways:

  1. By introducing a bar using the “New bar” option then applying a beam-type structural element.
  2. By assigning beam-type structural element to a previously introduced element.
  3. Using the “New beam” option in the Bar menu.

In all these cases, the program will manage the composition/decomposition of beams that were introduced previously. The recommended option is option 3. The “New beam” option allows users to easily create a continuous beam by introducing the bars it consists of. To finish off the introduction, click on the right mouse button and at that moment, CYPE 3D will create a continuous beam with all the elements that have been introduced, if possible.

The element cannot be vertical, it does not have to belong to a level, however when they have been defined, they will be assigned to the closest level below the beam. The element can be divided into bars, but if it is a concrete beam, the reinforcement will be continuous along its complete length.

If the continuous beam is composed of more than one element, the deflection groups of the elements must be completely contained within the continuous beam. CYPE 3D will carry out the deflection analysis indicated by the design code for the beams of the continuous beam. No additional deflection limits have to be defined using the “Limiting deflection” option, even though in this case, the program will additionally carry out the check.

The remaining specific options for editing beams are found in the “Edit beams” option of the “Bar” menu. This option displays a toolbar containing options to edit beams. These are:

Properties of beam-type structural elements

  • Create continuous beam
    Creates a new continuous beam by selecting the beams which wil become part of the new continuous beam.
  • Edit nodes
    Edits the geometry of a continuous beam node if it is to be different to that which was established automatically. The geometry of the node affects the free span of the beams which is represented in the beam reinforcement editor, and therefore, the length of the reinforcement that is provided.
  • Edit adjacent floor slabs
    Allows users to describe the floor slabs next to the bars making up the beams. With this option, the depth of flat beams can be defined and whether or not floor slabs are to be shown in the beam details drawing. Floor slabs are taken into account when checking the fire resistance of steel beams.
  • Edit reinforcement
    Edits the beam reinforcement and opens the Advanced beam editor.
  • Assign reinforcement
    Allows users to copy reinforcement from one beam to another.
  • Block reinforcement
    Blocks the reinforcement of a beam to avoid if from being modified during the design process.
  • Unblock
    Unblocks blocked reinforcement.
  • Edit beam or continuous beam references
    Allows users to edit the beam references.

The beam reinforcement editing process implies that a solid model of the beam has been generated bearing in mind the size of the nodes of the elements making it up. CYPE 3D automatically obtains the geometry of these nodes based on the geometry and position of the elements not belonging to the beam. In any case if the analysis were not to be satisfactory, users can define their own node geometry.

Levels, grids and views

Included in the “Planes” menu are the Levels and Grids options. These options are essential when introducing, revising and viewing jobs with Column and Beam-type structural elements:

Levels, grids and views

Levels, grids and views
  • Levels
    Levels are horizontal planes parallel to the XY global plane, situated at a given global elevation where users can introduce a spatial sub-division as is the case in structural buildings. Assignment of the elements to the different levels is automatic. Elements situated between two levels are assigned to the closest lower level.

    Levels are defined to support the introduction of structural elements as well as to define views of a level (which help when working on the elements of the structure). If columns are introduced, levels must be defined. Columns must begin and end at two different levels (although they may do so with there being an elevation change with respect to the two levels).

    With this option, users can introduce, edit or delete levels. If the elevation of a level is modified, any elements contained in that level will be automatically displaced to the new position.
  • Grids
    A grid is a mesh composed of lines parallel to the global x and y axes. These lines define a spatial division of the structure in its elevation. Users can assign a name to each gridline and control the position of the name. Gridlines are defined as support for the introduction of structural elements as well as for when defining elevation views (which help when working on the elements of the structure).

    This option allows users to introduce, delete or edit Gridlines. A rectangular grid generator has been implemented. If the position of a gridline is modified, all the elements contained on the line will be automatically displaced to the new position.

    By default, the grid will always be visible on-screen, unless it is deactivated using the option: “Planes > References”. The grid can also be displayed on drawings.
  • Levels, grids and views

    Levels, grids and views

  • Views
    If levels and grids have been defined, the program will allow users to create views for levels and elevations. Once the views have been defined, it is possible to move from one level to the next, or from one elevation to the next, using the buttons (up, down, and select levels or elevations) of the scroll bar on the left of the main screen.

    Both level views and elevation views are 2D views. Therefore, any element introduced in a view will be contained in that plane. In the case of level views, the program displays elements belonging to the level and those reaching or beginning from it. The program allows for the views to be rotated, so users can better adjust their view of the elements.

CYPE 3D versions

CYPE 3D (without modules)

The basic version of CYPE 3D (without modules) designs three-dimensional node and bar structures with steel, concrete and generic material sections, and flat shells. Ties working only in tensions can be introduced. The program designs and checks steel sections. Users can upgrade this basic CYPE 3D version by adding any of the CYPE 3D modules to their user license.


CYPE 3D version limited to the analysis of structures in two dimensions. The same modules as CYPE 3D are optionally available.

CYPE 3D student version

CYPE 3D version limited to 50 nodes and 50 bars. No other modules can be added and the design and optimisation of sections is limited to structures containing no more than 10 nodes and 10 bars.

CYPE 3D Modules

CYPE 3D has a series of modules available which can be acquired separately:

There are two reduced versions of CYPE 3D:

CYPE 3D limited to 2 dimensions: CYPE 3D version limited to a two dimensional analysis. The same optional modules are available as those for CYPE 3D.

CYPE 3D student version: CYPE 3D version limited to 50 nodes and 50 bars. It does not include section design or any of the CYPE 3D modules.

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