RFEM 6 | Tutorial

Structural Analysis


RFEM is a finite element analysis software that enables you to create various kinds of structural models and to design them. With the release of version 6.xx, the concept has been revised for an improved handling of the data and an integrated conception of the design. You can now make use of the enhanced functionalities and benefit from the reworked arrangement of the model and load objects as well as of the result and design data.

In this tutorial, we would like to familiarise you with the essential features of the RFEM program. You will create a model from scratch by defining the structural and load data step by step. Like in any other software, there are several ways to achieve your goal. Depending on the situation and your personal preferences, tasks can be approached in different ways. This tutorial presents a variety of options so that you will have a choice for your daily work.

This tutorial deals with a model featuring concrete and steel components. The concrete part consists of two floor slabs that are supported by walls and a circular column. The slabs are vertically offset by a deep beam. A steel platform is attached to one of the slabs. As for loads, the self-weight and live loads are to be applied. The analysis is carried out according to the linear-static and second-order (P-Δ) theories.

For standards, the Eurocodes with the CEN settings are used. Furthermore, metric units are used in this tutorial. You can find a similar tutorial covering the U.S. conventions at our American website.

The tutorial consists of three parts: Structural Analysis, Concrete Design, and Steel Design. The first part shows you how to create the structural objects and loads, combine the loads, perform a structural analysis, check the results, and prepare the data for printing. The second and third parts (in preparation) deal with the concrete and steel design of the model. This approach to the program does not fully correspond to the philosophy of the software which suggests defining the structural analysis and design data as associated entities. To provide a clear and stepwise introduction, however, those interwoven parts of the modelling process have been split up. You will get an overview of the integral parts so that you can define all input data of your projects at once.

In the text, terms used in the dialog boxes or tables are set in 'quotes'. Required input is emphasized in bold.

With the trial version of the software, you can use all functions to work on the model. When the trial period has expired, the demo mode with limited settings will be applied: You can still enter the model and calculate it, but not save the data.

You can also download the model from our website. Yet we recommend entering the model step by step so that you will profit from the various ways of using the features of the program.

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Updated 21 March 2022

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