Author: Advance Steel

Recently, here at Ideate, Inc., a technical inquiry came through asking about Autodesk Advance Steel and the ability to create a custom connection.

Custom or User Defined Connections were introduced to into the list of available Advance Steel features with later releases. This feature allows users to save Manually Created Connections, which have characteristics not available in the Connection Vault, to a library where they can be reused at similar connection points on any model.

To add a User Defined Connection the Custom Connections Library, the connection will first to be modeled in Advance Steel.  To assist with understanding this process I created a short video going through the process of creating a custom connection.

This “Manual” Connection type was built up of manually created and added objects such as Bolts, Plates, Columns and Beams. The Connection type can simultaneously be built up with objects from Intelligent Connections available in the Connection Vault.  Refer to Figures 1 through 3 below.


Figure 1 – Advance properties of manually created plate
Figure 2 – Advance properties of bolts
Figure 3 – Advance properties of Intelligent Custom Connection – Bolts on beam gauge line


To assist in modeling the template connection, Advance Steel contains a number of intelligent “Building Blocks” allowing the user to insert objects with simple intelligence. This intelligence, will also be saved to the Custom Connection library. Some of these intelligent fields will update the relevant object when this connection is used on sections of a different size, and allow users to quickly modify the connection once it has been reused.

To see a demonstration, view this video: Advanced Steel 2016.

Get more tips and tricks here.

For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate, Inc. homepage.

        Bill Johnson
Bill Johnson
Senior Application Specialist MEP/AEC Solutions

Bill has over 25 years experience in applying MEP & AEC design solutions for large commercial companies, this has led to actively developed Autodesk® Revit® implementation strategies, techniques, and procedures for architectural and MEP companies. He has worked for TEECOM Design Group, GTE/GTEL, Greg LeDoux and Associates, and Scottish Power in England. Bill is an Autodesk MEP Implementation Certified Expert, and has been the Lead Designer for several multi-million dollar communication sites which have included structural, electrical, HVAC, conduit, cable plans and equipment layouts. He graduated from the Pasadena Institute of Technology and has a Sustainable Design Certification from the University of California at Berkeley.