Shape codes

Last modified by Adam Carlson on 2023/08/23 15:44

Shape codes work a bit like a recipe that one can use to define a particular shape on a bar. Shape codes are partly dynamic, which means that with the help of different parameters, the length of the stretches- (1) and angles (2) between breakpoints can vary depending on how it is constructed. These parameters are assigned a default value but can be edited by the user who draws a bar based on a shape code.


Figure 1: Shape Code Definition example (CX)

The shape code definitions dialog can be accessed from:

  • The bars section in the Reinforcement ribbon tab.
  • The command line by typing IMPRC_RESHCODE.

This dialog, shown in figure 2 below, lists existing shape codes in the drawing. From here, it's possible to edit properties of a shape code, create new definitions, export/import and purge unused shapes. 

Figure 2: Shape Code Definition dialog in IMPACT Reinforcement


This step by step guide will show how to create a new shape code from scratch. Please follow the steps and principles carefully.


  • Draw in scale 1:1.
  • Draw in the WCS coordinate system.
  • The XY plane becomes your "Front View".
  • Measure all parts with the variable dimaso turned on.
  • All breakpoints must have ordinate dimensions denoted by numbers in a continuous sequence beginning with one (1).
  • All breakpoints must be linked to linear dimensions (Aligned or Rotated).
  • The linear dimension should only be drawn in X, Y or Z directions. Additional breakpoints must be specified if the distance between two breakpoints does not go into any of these directions, see shape code examples with math expressions for more info.
  • The start and end point of the distance between breakpoints must coincide with any of the ordinate points.
  • The Linear Measurement Texts may contain letters or mathematical expressions.

Draw the shape

Draw the shape in an empty drawing. This will be the basis that later will be used to define the properties of the new shape code definition that you're about to create.

Figure 3: Draw shape

Create a new definition

Before deciding to make a brand new shape code, consider whether there is a similar shape code that you can reuse and adjust to fit your needs. If you can find such a shape you should use the copy... command instead of the new... command to reuse its properties and save time. Both commands will show you the same type of dialog where you can enter the new name for your copied or new shape code. An example of this dialog is shown in figure 4

Figure 4: New shape code

Edit definition properties

After a new shape code has been created, edit its properties using the edit... command. In the dialog and the tab General that opens up, it's possible to change the name (1) of the shape code, set a description (2) and add a preview image (3) of the shape (will be covered later on), as shown in figure 5.

Figure 5: Edit general information about the shape code

Once the general information is entered switch over to the tab Shape Code, shown below in figure 6. The list will be empty if the shape code was created from scratch. If it was copied it will have the same entries as the original. The list shows breakpoints that together define the shape.

Figure 6: Shape definition

Column, Number
Breakpoints have a rising numbering and it is in the order that the shape expands (figure 6, 1).

Column, Class
Breakpoints are categorized into classes (figure 6, 2) based on how they will affect the shape, like the start or end of an arc. The complete list of available classes is presented below in table 1.

Table 1: Classes

ClassDescriptionMeasure type    
Angle backwardThe calculated angle between the following segment and the previousAngle
Angle forwardThe calculated angle between the previous segment and the following    Angle
Angle forward from zeroAngle forward measured from 0 °.Angle
Arc 180Beginning on a 180-degree arch.Distance
Arc 180 endEnd on a 180-degree arch.Distance
Arc 90Beginning on a 90-degree arch.Distance
Arc centerBreakpoint for the center of the arch.-
Arc length-Distance
Arc radius-Distance
BreakpointA point where the stirrup changes direction.Distance
EndpointThe last break point of the shape code.-
Height and breakpoint--
Height backwardHeight in local Y-direction. Calculated from the previous breakpoint to this.Distance
Height forwardHeight in local Y-direction. Calculated from this breakpoint to the next.Distance
Heli diameterSpiral diameter. Separate only for spiral reinforcement.Distance
Heli numberNumber of turns. Separate only for spiral reinforcement.-
Heli riseRise in height per turn. distance
Start pointFirst breakpoint of the shape code definition.distance

Column, Shape Measure
The shape measure is a reference to a measure and used to connect one breakpoint to that measurement (figure 6, 3).

Column, Default
The default value for the breakpoint/shape measure (figure 6, 4).

Column, Measure type
Set the measure type. Either to be a distance or an angle (figure 6, 5).

Select Shape

Select the shape drawn in one of the previous chapters to automatically populate the list with the right amount of breakpoints, as shown in the animation below.                                                                                                                                                             

Figure 7: Select shape

Configure class, shape measure, default measure, and measure type. the shape drawn in this example should have the following configuration:

Table 2: Shape code data table configuration

NumberClassShape MeasureDefaultMeasure type
3Angle forwardV45Angle
4Endpoint 0


Preview bar

Opens a sub-dialog where you can preview the shape. The bar is drawn with the configured
default measurements.

Figure 8: Preview shape code


This section will include some short examples of different shapes. There will be a preview image followed by a video showing how to make the shape in the preview. 

Shape codes with arcs

In order to specify an arc, the break points for the "corners" and the center point must be given (see figure 9 below). The video in this chapter will showcase the creation if this shape code from start to finish.

Figure 9: Showcase shape code ARC

Video 1: shape code ARC