Connector - Spring

A Spring connects parallel planar faces or concentric cylindrical faces with springs that can resist tension only (cables), compression only, or tension and compression.

Spring connectors for surfaces and sheet metal bodies are available for static, frequency, dynamic, and buckling studies. The feature is not available for composite shells. For nonlinear studies, define connectors between two vertices or reference points only.


Compression Extension Resists tension and compression. Available for static, frequency, buckling, and nonlinear studies.
Compression only Resists compression only. Available for static and nonlinear studies.
Extension only Resists tension only. Available for static and nonlinear studies.
  Flat parallel faces

Planar Face or Edge of Component 1

Planar faces or edges of shells from a body.

Edges of shells refer to edges of surface bodies and the face containing the smallest dimension for sheet metal bodies. The program meshes the sheet metal bodies with shell elements and converts the face of the sheet metal containing the sheet metal thickness into an edge.

Parallel Face or Edge of Component 2

Planar faces from another body or edges of shell. These faces should be parallel to the faces selected above. If you selected linear edges for both selections, they should be straight and parallel to the edges selected above.

  Concentric cylindrical faces

Cylindrical Faces of Component 1

Cylindrical faces or circular edges of solids or shells.

Cylindrical Faces of Component 2

Cylindrical faces or circular edges of shells from another body. These faces or edges should be concentric to the faces or edges selected above.

  Between vertices

Vertex or point for first location

Vertex or point for second location

Select a vertex or a reference point from the same or different component or a body.


Not all options are available for all types of springs.
  Distributed The value of the stiffness per unit area (or unit length if you selected an edge of shell). The equivalent total stiffness equals the common area (or common length if you selected an edge of shell) of projection multiplied by the distributed stiffness.
  Total The value of the total stiffness. The total stiffness is distributed uniformly on all selected faces or edges of shells.
Normal Stiffness or Radial Stiffness Stiffness normal to the faces or the edges of shells.
Tangential Stiffness or Shear Stiffness Stiffness in the plane of the faces or tangential to edges of shells.
Rotational Stiffness Torsional stiffness between two points.
  Compression preload force Not available for Extension-only spring.
  Tension preload force Not available for Compression-only spring.

Symbol Settings

  Edit Color Select a color for the symbols.
Symbol size Set the size of the symbols.
  Show preview Toggles the display of the connector symbols in the graphics area.


  • Springs are introduced in the common area of projection of the faces from one body on the faces from the other body. If there is no common area, the software cannot create the spring.
    If you selected an edge of a shell from a body and face of a solid or edge of a shell from another body, springs are introduced along the common length of projection of the edges from one body to edges or faces of another body.
  • You can split one or both faces by projecting one face onto the other. Define a spring between the new, aligned faces.
  • When viewing results, plot the deformed shape with 1.0 scale factor to ensure that there is no interference between components. When interference occurs, the results are not valid. Define contact conditions between the interfering faces before re-running the study.
  • When listing spring connector forces, the axial and shear forces are computed based on the relations:

Where Fx, Fy, and Fz are the spring forces with respect to the global coordinate system, and u = {ux, uy, uz} is the unit vector positioned along the spring. A negative axial force indicates a spring in compression, whereas a positive axial force indicates a spring in tension.

When a spring connector is applied between flat or cylindrical faces, the software lists the spring forces as the sum of the individual spring elements connecting the two faces.