Performing Analysis Using Beams or Trusses

To analyze a model with structural members:

  1. Define a static, buckling, frequency or nonlinear study with structural members or extruded bodies that mesh with beams
  2. Right-click the beam icons in the Simulation study tree and select Edit definition to set the boundary conditions at the beams ends.
  3. (Optional) You can change any of the beam elements to truss elements.
    1. Right-click their icon in the Simulation study tree and select Edit definition.
    2. In the Apply/Edit Beam Property manager, select Truss then click .
  4. Assign materials to the beams. Note that only the linear elastic isotropic material model is supported for beams.
  5. Create joints:
    1. In the Simulation study tree, right-click the Beam Joints folder and select Edit.
    2. In the PropertyManager, select either All to define joints for all structural members, or Select to define joints for selected structural members.
    3. Click Calculate.
      The software adds joints at the free ends of structural members and at the intersection of two or more structural members. Use the option Treat as joint for clearance less than to set the proper joint definition. Adjacent joints with distance less than the clearance value are merged.
    4. Click .
  6. Apply loads to joints, reference points, or structural members. For trusses, you can apply loads to joints only.
  7. Apply restraints to joints only. There are six degrees of freedom at each joint for beam elements and three degrees of freedom for truss elements. You can apply zero or non-zero prescribed translations and rotations (for beams only).
  8. Mesh the model and run the study.
  9. View the results. Result plots include:
    • Axial stresses, bending stresses in two orthogonal directions, and worst case stresses that combine the axial and bending stresses for beam elements
    • Axial stresses for truss elements
    • Displacement and deformation plots
    • Axial force diagrams for trusses and beams
    • Shear and bending moment diagrams for beams.
    • Reaction forces for beams and trusses.
    • Reaction moments for beams.
    To generate a plot of reaction forces or moments, define a displacement plot and set the Component appropriately.