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Fullscreen Exit Fullscreen Splitting members into surfaces

Splitting members into surfaces

It is sometimes necessary to more thoroughly analyze particular zones of the framework model (e.g. evaluation on the supports or analysis of a frame joint as a surface model). It would be feasible but relatively time-consuming to manually enter a cross-section using surface elements. The Generate Surfaces from Members function facilitates the display of a 1D member element by means of 2D surface elements.


The function is only available if the model type is defined as 3D (see Figure 12.23).

To split the selected member, select the menu item

    • Tools → Generate Surfaces from Members → Generate.

This function is also available in the member shortcut menu, which is opened by right-clicking the member (see Figure 11.149).

Image 11.149 Member shortcut menu

The data of the member is not lost: A dummy member is additionally created in the centroidal axis. The dummy contains all the member data but is not considered in the calculation.

To access more options regarding the Generate Surfaces from Members function, use the menu option

  • Tools → Generate Surfaces from Members → Settings.
Image 11.150 Settings - Generate Surfaces from Member dialog box

The Divide Member Arcs dialog section allows you to control how many times a member that lies on a curved line is split. If a very rough polygonal chain is created with the Automatically presetting, you can reduce the division angle or division length.

The settings in the Divide Cross-section Arcs dialog section affect the splitting of curved surfaces, for example members of the cross-section type "Pipe". Again, the division can be refined by a user-defined division angle.

In the Created Surfaces dialog section, you can define an FE mesh refinement for the generated surfaces (see Chapter 4.23).

In the course of the conversion, Frontal Plates can additionally be created at the member ends. Characteristics of generated surfaces can be retroactively adjusted by editing the surfaces (see Chapter 4.12).