How can be the dead load and other additional loads considered in the form-finding process?


The form-finding process in RFEM searches for a shape that is in equilibrium with the boundary reactions for the members depending on the defined force or geometry parameters and for the surfaces depending on the defined force parameters.

If further force effects occur in addition to these element-related form finding properties, such as the dead load of the elements or the weight of the cable node connections, it is necessary to define these loads in an additional load case with the "Form-Finding" action category.

The form-finding process recognizes these special load cases by their action category and in addition to the element-related form-finding information, it applies all loads from all load cases with the "Form-Finding" action category in the analysis when the searching for the shape.

Since the loads are applied to the model in the load cases with the "Form-Finding" action category in the form-finding process, a separate analysis of these load cases is of no importance. These load cases are only used for the initial entry for the form-finding process.


Dead load Form-finding Prestress Sag Catenary Cable nodes


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RFEM Main Program
RFEM 5.xx

Main Program

Structural engineering software for finite element analysis (FEA) of planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells, members (beams), solids and contact elements

Price of First License
3,540.00 USD
RFEM Tensile Membrane Structures

Add-on Module

Form-finding of tensile membrane and cable structures

Price of First License
1,750.00 USD