SAP2000 Specifics

Items Specific to the GSA plug-in

SAP Versions

Typical plugin works for SAP2000 v21 or newer. If you need to use v20 or earlier, look for a package here. Please request to if you can't find a package for your version of SAP2000 and Rhino.

Setting Executable Path

We have enabled the means to nominate the SAP2000 executable path. This may come in handy if you are not running SAP on a local computer such as if SAP2000 is installed on server.

To do this:

1.0 Type rhino command "Options".

2.0 Navigate to the Advanced under Rhino Options

3.0 Browse to ggRhinoSAP.CSiApplicationPath

4.0 Set the value to the folder where SAP2000 is installed, such as C:\Program Files\Computers and Structures\SAP2000 22


  • unit selection


Standard Materials

The SAP plug-in allows you to select a range of predefined materials from within SAP using a set of standard material components. These include standard materials for the following:

  • Concrete

  • Steel

  • Rebar

  • Tendon

  • Cold Formed

  • Aluminum

By right-clicking on the input parameter you can view a list of available options for definition.

These components rely on the SAP2000 API link.

Not here? See general attributes page


Standard Frame Properties

SAP2000 has an inbuilt library of standard Frame properties that can be chosen when creating generating a Frame element in SAP. Instead of using the Geometry Gym In-built catalogue you can provide an appropriate file in-which will be searched for the provided section. On bake of the structure the file-path will be provided to SAP. SAP will search the provided file for a section profile which matches the name provided and then apply it to the structure.

SAP Section Designer

The SAP section designer can be used to generate built up sections to be used in SAP. To create a section design section in Grasshopper. The ggSAPCreateFramePropSectionDesigner component works similar to a standard section property component although it can take any multiple of shapes to build-up a composite section. Section shapes need to be defined using the ggSAPFrameSectionDesignerShape component. This component allows you to specify a particular profile from the profile catalogue or a user defined profile.

You can specify each individual Shape with a prescribed translation in the X and Y directions as well as a rotation (all relative to the x/y axis plane 0,0). An optional Shape material can be provided for Shapes, which allows composite material shapes to be defined. If no material is provided a the base material provided to the Section Designer Property component will be used.

A design type can also be selected for the Section Design section (Steel_Design, Concrete_Column, etc), by default the No_Design is selected.

You will not currently get a preview of these sections in Rhino/Grasshopper.

Non Prismatic Frame Section Property

SAP allows for the definition of non prismatic sections, or section which are varying along the length of the member. With the **ggSAPCreateNonPrismSectionProp**component you can set a non-prismatic section (such as a tapered beam) or a more complex varying section along the length of a frame element. The image below shows a script for a simple tapered beam.

Frame Auto Selection Set



Frame Elements

Auto Mesh


SAP allows for automatic auto meshing of frame elements to brake members at intersecting nodes or elements or a predefined number of points along a beam. The image below shows how to set up frame element auto meshing.

Set Points or Lines to true to force auto meshing at intersections for particular frame elements.

Cable Elements

The ggSAPCreateCable and ggSAPCreateCableProp components allow the definition of circular cable elements with specific properties associated with cable elements. The image below shows the typical workflow. You can assign different attributes to the cable by using the ggSAPCableAtts component.

If you are defining cable elements in SAP then you should not require to use a profile as input.

You can create a GAP Type Link in SAP by using the ggSAPCreateLinkPropGAP component. Each translation and rotational direction input is overloaded to take either a Boolean input or a Link direction parameter input (ggSAPLinkPropParamsGAP). In the direction parameters you can choose to set the direction as non-linear and choose associated values.

By default each direction input is set to false resulting in no link in that direction, if set to true a rigid link is set.

Not here? See general 1d elements section


Not here? see general loads section


Not here? See general analysis and solver page


Not here? See general results page


You can automate the design of structures by applying code design requirements and setting the SAP2000 design feature to run using the ggSAPDesign. The component can be found under the ggSAPSolver tab.

The design component works similar to the ggSAPSolver component with an extra step, which is to run the design module in SAP and extract any additional associated design queries. When the component is enabled, it will bake the model and run the analysis for the provided load cases. It will then trigger the prescribed SAP Design module to run.

Currently only steel design is enabled within SAP2000

You can specify queries in which you want to extract from the analysis such as node displacements or beam forces as you would with the Solver component - These should go into the Analysis result queries input. Once analysis is complete it will run the steel design module for the provided groups of elements.

Design Codes

We currently allow for a number of different design codes for setting code specific design parameters. Set a design code by selecting one of the SAP steel design components from the ggSAPSolver tab (for example ggSAPSteelDesignEurocode) . This will set the basic values for the code to be applied to the design.

You also have the ability to set any number of design overwrites specific to an element in the model. To set a specific design overwrite for specific element/s, select a design overwrite component (for example ggSteelDesignEurocodeOverwrite) from the ggSAPsolver tab.

By hovering over the component you can see which overwrites are available for that particular code and by right-clicking on the Overwrite parameter you can select the desired overwrite. You can add more than one overwrite by providing a list of integer values corresponding to the overwrite enum.

Design Overwrites Values

When providing design overwrites you need to ensure that the overwrite values are as per the requirements of SAP, else it will not be set correctly. Below are the anticipated overwrite values for each provided code taken from the SAP API documentation. Please check to ensure these are the most relevant.

Click the Tab you are designing with for specific overwrite values.

Not here? See general design page

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