FEA Software RFEM 6 | New Features

Structural Analysis & Engineering Software

The FEA program RFEM allows for quick and easy modeling, structural and dynamic calculation, as well as design of models with member, plate, wall, folded plate, shell, and solid elements.

Due to the modular software concept, you can connect the main program RFEM with the corresponding add‑ons in order to meet your individual requirements.

  • FEA Software RFEM 6

New Features and Tools for Effective Work

Really Great Software

"I take this opportunity to thank you and your team for a really great software. After so many years of utilizing your software, we still see every day what your product is able to do and we really enjoy the application!

We look forward to more years together!"

In RFEM 6, numerous new features have been implemented, which make the daily work with the FEA program easier and more effective. On this page, we present a selection of new features..


New Model Types

The following new model types have been added to RFEM 6:

  • 2D | XZ | 3D
  • 2D | XY | 3D
  • 1D | X | 3D

These model types allow modeling in a 1D or 2D environment (with optional cross-section rotation in all directions), but allow a three-dimensional load application and resulting 3D internal forces.


Import of Construction Site for Load Determination

The construction site can be specified on a digital map. In addition to the address data (incl. altitude), the snow load zone, wind zone, and seismic zone are automatically imported. This data is in turn used by the load wizards.


Integration of All Add-ons

All add-ons are automatically integrated in the programs RFEM 6 or RSTAB 9. This allows the individual program parts to interact (e.g. determination of the ideal overturning moment of timber beams using the "Torsional Warping (7 DOF)" add-on or consideration of staggered form-finding processes by means of the "Construction Stages Analysis (CSA)" add-on, and so on).


Output of Design Check Formulas

For designs in reinforced concrete, steel, timber, aluminum structures, and so on, the used design check formulas are displayed in detail (including a reference to the used equation from the standard). These design check formulas can also be included in the printout report.

Member and Member Set Representatives

For members and sets of members with identical properties, you can define representatives for model organization, design, and documentation.


Unit Stresses of Sections

For member sections, the unit stresses (related to N = 1 kiP, My = 1 kiP/ft, and so on) can be displayed in order to be able to estimate their resistance.


Load Transfer Surface

A surface with the stiffness type "Load Transfer" has no structural effect. It can be used to consider the loads from surfaces that have not been modeled (for example, facade structures, glass surfaces, trapezoidal roof sections, and so on).


Surface Contact

A surface contact serves to describe a contact definition between two or more surfaces that are at a distance away from each other. It is no longer necessary to create a contact solid between surfaces.


Rigid Link

You can easily define rigid links between two lines or surface edges.


Imperfection Cases

Imperfection cases are used to organize imperfections. The cases allow an imperfection description from local imperfections, notional loads, initial sway via table (new), a static deformation, a buckling mode, a dynamic eigenmode, or a combination of all these types (new).


Design Situations

Design situations serve to collect the relevant load situations for the design. For example, you can define a design situation for the design of different materials.


Extension of Snow and Wind Load Wizards

The following functions have been added to the snow and wind load wizards:

  • Loading of hybrid models made of members and surfaces (RFEM only)
  • Connection to the Geo-Zone Tool (depending on the global construction site definition)
  • Switching off surface sides

Modern Online Licensing System

The modern online licensing system allows licenses of RFEM, RSTAB, etc. to be distributed all over the world and assigned to the respective users via the Dlubal Account.


Script Manager

The script manager can be used to control all input elements using JavaScript via the console or saved scripts.


Improved Printout Report

The printout report has been fundamentally revised. Among other things, the following has been optimized:

  • Quick creation due to non-modal printout report environment (parallel work in program and report possible)
  • Interactive modification of chapters as well as creation of new user-defined chapters
  • Import of PDFs, formulas, 3D graphics, etc.
  • Output of the design check formulas used in the design (including a reference to the used equation from the standard)
  • Modern printout report design

Faster Calculation

For models where many load combinations have to be calculated, several solvers (one per core) are started in parallel. Each solver then calculates a load combination. This leads to a better utilization of the cores and thus faster calculations.


Improved Result Diagram Window

These features have been added to the result diagram window:

  • Parallel work in the result diagram window and model
  • Optional overlapping display of results (e.g. several similar structural components in one image)

Web Service and API

The new API technology Web Services allows you to create your own desktop or web-based applications by controlling all objects included in RFEM/RSTAB. By providing libraries and functions, you can develop your own design checks, effective modeling of parametric structures, as well as optimization and automation processes using the programming languages Python and C#.


Extension of IFC Interface for Improved Open BIM Process

In addition to the import of IFC 2x3 (Coordination View & Structural Analysis View), the import and export of IFC 4 (Reference View & Structural Analysis View) is now supported.


Wind Simulation (RFEM or RSTAB Environment)

The following features have been added to RFEM and RSTAB for determining wind loads using RWIND:

  • Load wizards for generating wind load cases with different flow fields in the different wind directions
  • Wind load cases with freely assignable analysis settings including a user-defined specification of the wind tunnel size and wind profile
  • Display of the wind tunnel with input wind profile and turbulence intensity profile
  • Visualization and use of the RWIND simulation results
  • Global definition of a terrain (horizontal planes, inclined plane, table)


Definition of Hotkeys

It is possible to assign hotkeys to a variety of commands. In this way, the frequently used commands can be executed quickly and easily with the previously assigned key combination.

By the way, this also works for your computer mouse. If this has other keys in addition to the left, right, and middle key, you can assign an abbreviation to them.


Assigning Loads to New Load Case

For member loads, surface loads, and so on, you can retroactively move loads into another load case.

Mass Loads

The Mass Loads type has been added to the load catalog.

Opening Loads

It is now possible to define opening loads (for example, wind loads) for flat loads on openings.

Clipping Box

In addition to the clipping plane, you can define a clipping box to hide irrelevant objects around a focal point.

Newton-Raphson for Calculations According to Second-Order Analysis

Two additional solution algorithms have been added for calculations according to the second-order analysis:
  • Newton-Raphson
  • Newton-Raphson with postcritical analysis

Extended Specification of Nodal Mesh Refinements

Options for FE length arrangement have been added to the definition of nodal mesh refinements:
  • Radial
  • Gradually
  • Combined

Specification of Element Types

Input is simplified by specifying the element types for members, surfaces, solids, etc. (e.g. member nonlinearities, member stiffnesses, design supports, and many others).


Dlubal Center

Among other things, the Dlubal Center manages the projects and model files in a central location. Detailed information and graphics facilitate the assignment of all models for quick order processing. In addition, customer data including licensed programs and add-ons, etc. is organized in the Dlubal Center.


Global Management of All Add-ons

All add-ons are directly integrated in the program and, like the design standards for the respective materials, are managed centrally.


Global Model Parameters

You can define any global model parameters. They can also be used in the documentation.


Structured Data Navigator

The Data Navigator is clearly structured and contains assignable types for objects including a hyperlink function for quickly jumping to the assigned elements of an object.

New Options for Variable Surface Thicknesses

There are three new options available for defining variable surface thicknesses:

  • 2 Nodes and Direction
  • 4 Surface Corners
  • Circle

Statistics for Sections

For all cross-sections used, statistical information such as total length, total volume, total weight, and so on is displayed.


New Section Distribution Types for Members

Seven new cross-section distribution types are available for members (including arrangement function for aligning to a straight edge):

  • Tapered at both sides
  • Tapered at start of member
  • Tapered at end of member
  • Saddle
  • Offset at both sides
  • Offset at start of member
  • Offset at end of member

Cross-Section Library with Short Text Search

A short text search has been added to the cross-section library in order to find a desired cross-section or cross-section series even more quickly.


Set of Lines, Surfaces, and Solids

In addition to sets of members, you can also combine lines, surfaces, and solids into sets, for example, to consider them as uniform elements in the design.


New Thickness Object

A thickness object has been added to describe the surface thicknesses. It can be used for several surfaces. If the thickness of this object is modified, all assigned surface thicknesses are adjusted accordingly in one step.

Member Rotation in Direction of Local Surface Axis

The member rotation of a member can now be defined in the direction of the local surface axes of the member, for example, surface inclined in space.

Structure Modification Object

With the new structure modification object, it is possible to modify or deactivate stiffnesses, nonlinearities, and objects in a clearly arranged manner and depending on a load case.

Surface Eccentricity with Relative Orientation to Another Element

It is now possible to define the surface eccentricity depending on the edge of another element (a member or a surface).

Additional Types for Surface Stiffness Modification

For modifying surface stiffnesses, two new types are now available:
  • Multiplication factor of total stiffness
  • Multiplication factors of partial stiffnesses, weights and masses

Result Combinations Using Parenthesis Terms

When creating result combinations, it is now also possible to use parenthesized terms.

Individual Global Calculation Parameters for Load Cases and Load Combinations

Load cases and load combinations can now be provided with individual global calculation parameters using the new structural analysis setting.

Combination Wizard Based on Automatic or Semi-Automatic Generation Conforming to Standards

The new combination wizards fill the design situations with load or result combinations on the basis of an automatic or semi-automatic generation conforming to the standards.

Improved Load Wizard

There are new functions for locking new members, smoothing occurring concentrated loads, and considering eccentricities and cross-section distribution that have been added to the load wizard.

Determination of Member Loads from Surface Loads by Specifying Cells and Surfaces

In the load wizard, it is now possible to determine member loads from surface loads by specifying surfaces (using corner nodes) and cells in a definition.

Eccentricity of Nodal and Member Loads

It is now possible to consider the eccentricities for nodal and member loads.

Load Options for Member Sets, Line Sets, Surface Sets, and Solid Sets

With the introduction of line sets, surface sets, and solid sets, new load options have also been added for loading these sets.

Global Organization of User-Defined Coordinate Systems

The user-defined coordinate systems for input and analysis purposes are now organized globally under the guide objects.

Organization of Different Object Snaps

Now, you can define several object snaps for different operating tasks.

Object Selection as New Guide Object

The new guide object "Object Selection" allows for generic filtering of:
  • Basic objects
  • Types for nodes
  • Types for Lines
  • Types for surfaces
  • Load wizards
  • Loads
  • Guide objects
The object selection provides many interactive application possibilities at various program locations.

Tabular Reference Description for Dimension Lines

The reference descriptions of incremental dimension lines are now given in tabular form for a better overview.

Implementation of SAF Format

A new file format for structural design, Structural Analysis Format (SAF), is now also supported. Both import and export is possible in RFEM 6 and RSTAB 9. SAF is a file format based on MS Excel, which is intended to facilitate the exchange of structural analysis models between different software applications.

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Online Training | English

RFEM 6 | Basics

Online Training 12/14/2021 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM CET

FEA Troubleshooting and Optimization in RFEM

FEA Troubleshooting and Optimization in RFEM

Webinar 11/11/2020 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST

How to be More Productive Using RFEM

How to Be More Productive Using RFEM

Webinar 07/07/2020 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Introduction to Solid Modeling \n in RFEM

Introduction to Solid Modeling in RFEM

Webinar 06/30/2020 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST

Modeling with Solids in RFEM

Modeling with Solids in RFEM

Webinar 06/09/2020 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

Plate and Shell Modeling \n in RFEM - Part 2

Plate and Shell Modeling in RFEM - Part 2

Webinar 02/26/2020 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Plate and Shell Modeling in RFEM - Part 1

Plate and Shell Modeling in RFEM - Part 1

Webinar 01/29/2020 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

CSA O86:14 CLT Design in RFEM

CSA O86:14 CLT Design in RFEM

Webinar 11/06/2019 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

ADM 2015 Aluminum Structure Design in RFEM

ADM 2015 Aluminum Structure Design in RFEM

Webinar 09/24/2019 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Advanced Modeling Features in RFEM

Webinar 2: Advanced Modeling Features in RFEM

Webinar 07/31/2019 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Webinar 1: Introduction to the FEA Program RFEM

Webinar 1: Introduction to the FEA Program RFEM

Webinar 06/18/2019 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Tensile Membrane Structure Design in RFEM

Tensile Membrane Structure Design in RFEM

Webinar 02/20/2019 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Point Supported Glass Design in RFEM

Point Supported Glass Design in RFEM

Webinar 01/22/2019 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Tank, Silo, and Shell Modeling in RFEM

Tank, Silo, and Shell Modeling in RFEM

Webinar 08/23/2017 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Design of Craneway Girders According to Eurocode 3

Webinar 06/20/2017 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

AISC 360-10 Steel Member Design in RFEM

AISC 360-10 Steel Member Design in RFEM

Webinar 12/14/2016 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

ACI 318-14 Concrete Slab Design in RFEM

ACI 318-14 Concrete Slab Design in RFEM

Webinar 10/27/2016 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

ACI 318-14 Concrete Column and Beam Design in RFEM

ACI 318-14 Concrete Column and Beam Design in RFEM

Webinar 09/29/2016 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM