Optimizing SAF Translator Settings

When you import and export SAF files between ARCHICAD and external structural analysis softwares, the data exchange occurs based on SAF Translator settings.

At export, the SAF Translator settings of the current ARCHICAD project apply.

When opening in ARCHICAD, you use the SAF Translator settings of the chosen template file.

When using Model Compare to open a SAF file, you can also use the SAF Translator settings of the current project.

SAF Translators ensure that the ARCHICAD structural analytical model correctly recognized and interpreted by the external software, and vice versa.

Access SAF Translator settings at File > Interoperability > SAF > SAF Translators.

Translator settings include

Building Materials (in ARCHICAD) and corresponding SAF Materials

ARCHICAD Profiles (in ARCHICAD) and corresponding SAF Cross Sections

Local Coordinate System standards (how to interpret the orientation of 1D Members)

ARCHICAD element default settings to use for incoming SAF elements

How to interpret curved Walls exported from ARCHICAD if the receiving software cannot handle them

ARCHICAD uses a single pair of SAF Translators (Export and Import). Your default ARCHICAD template may include predefined mapping definitions as part of the SAF Translators.

Since different softwares may use different naming conventions, you should fine-tune the translator settings to ensure correct data exchange based on the specific software you are collaborating with.

Although the SAF Translators include some built-in defaults, accurate model exchange requires specific mapping of materials and cross sections. The key to correct mapping is create a SAF data file based on the external analysis software, which lets you easily access the exact Material/Profile names used in the external software.

Prepare and Export a SAF Data File to Ensure Standard Mapping

In the external software, create a file that contains all the SAF Materials and SAF Cross Sections used by the external software (e.g. SCIA Engineer or RISA-3D). Then export the file as SAF (*.xls).(This saved file does not need to contain any actual structural Members, just the SAF Cross Section and material lists.)


Sample SAF file, containing Materials and Cross Sections

Now you can merge these Cross Section and Material names from the SAF data file straight into ARCHICAD:

Add them to the lists of mappable SAF Materials and SAF Cross Sections in the SAF Translator dialogs

For certain SAF Materials and Cross Sections: Import them to ARCHICAD via Attribute Manager

Related Topics

Add More SAF Materials to Mapping List (Export to SAF)

Add More SAF Cross Sections to Mapping List (Export to SAF)

Add More SAF Materials and Profiles (Import SAF to ARCHICAD)

Import “General” Cross Section from SAF