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


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

If, in addition to these element-related form finding information, further force influences such as the dead load of the elements or the weight of the cable node connections occur, these loads are to be defined in an additional load case with the action category "Form-Finding".

The form-finding process recognizes these special load cases by their action category and additionally includes - in addition to the element - related form finding information - all loads from all load cases with the action category “Form-Finding” in the analysis during the search for form.

Since the loads are applied to the model in the load cases with the action category “Form-Finding” in the form-finding process, a separate analysis of these load cases is unimportant. These load cases are only used for entering 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