Structural Analysis Format - SAF
A new open format for structural analysis has come to my attention, thanks to Jan @brewsky, initiated from the Nemetschek Group - Structural Analysis Format - SAF.
It is based on the Excel format and it is supported by various vendors at the moment (SCIA, Graphisoft, Allplan, RISA, FRILO, Strusoft, Axis VM, Dlubal, Sofistik, SCAD and LIRA land).
Also, it looks like buildingSmart is approving its development; see the post by Léon van Berlo in LinkedIn and the comments below where he states:
I think everyone will agree that the structural analysis part of IFC is not properly worked out. Improving it would be a collaborative effort between all the Structural Analysis vendors. Logically the result will be the same as SAF, since that is the result of consensus and collaboration between the important stakeholders. The most pragmatic standpoint is to use and adopt SAF and figure out later how it can be used by vendors that prefer to exchange IFC.
Looking at the site, I can definitely see that the documentation is more clear and concise, without room for interpretation, the schema is based on the ifc structural schema with modifications and enriched or new entities and it does look from a quick view to handle better various issues related to structural analysis. For example I saw a dedicated "rigid" element that does not explicitly exist in IFC (only implicitly for line elements with eccentricity); a few fundamental and specific types of geometry for each type of structural element, division between connections and supports.
Tomorrow there is the monthly IFC development meeting on the topic of structural analysis and a presentation on IFC and SAF workflows from Herman Oogink from SCIA who is coordinating the development of SAF. I will be participating so as to get more info on the potential of this new format. Meanwhile, I continue working on porting IFC structural to Code_Aster.