FAQ 002389 | I would like to create a cross‑section consisting of several elements in SHAPE‑THIN. However, I do not succeed to connect the elements in such a way that they act as a single entity.

Easily learn how to work with the Dlubal Software programs

  • Dlubal Software | Videos


First Steps with RFEM

First steps

We provide hints and tips to help you get started with the basic program RFEM.



Markus Baumgärtel


Please accept Marketing Cookies to watch this video.


I would like to create a cross‑section consisting of several elements in SHAPE‑THIN. However, I do not succeed to connect the elements in such a way that they act as a single entity.


Elements are connected together if you have a common node. Thus, Elements 1 and 2 shown in Figure 01 are connected by Node 2.

If there is no common node available, you can create a shear-rigid connection by using a null element. In the case of the null element, the normal thickness t is equal to zero. However, the shear thickness t* must be greater than zero. Determination of the shear thickness t* is required for the null elements that are not affected by "normal" elements (t > 0) along their entire length. It is recommended to specify the thickness of the thinnest element adjacent to the null element.

A null element can be defined manually or created by using the "Connect node and element" function. Please make sure that the connection is always created by using nodes of the elements and not help points (see Figure 02).

If connecting the elements with cross-sections, the cross-sections have to be previously reduced into the individual elements by using the "Reduce Cross-Section into Elements" feature (Figure 03). This is also demonstrated in the video.


Dlubal FAQ Connect elements Null element Non-connected Shear rigidity Frequently Asked Question FAQ about Dlubal Question and Answer about Dlubal


Write Comment...

Write Comment...

  • Views 246x
  • Updated 02/01/2021

Contact us

Do you have any questions about our products or need advice on selecting the products needed for your projects?
Contact us via our free e-mail, chat, or forum support or find various suggested solutions and useful tips on our FAQ page.

(267) 702-2815