Is it possible to perform a new form-finding of membrane surfaces automatically with each structural change?


By activating the RF-/FORM-FINDING add-on module, a high-quality form-finding process is defined according to the URS method before the actual structural analysis for each element with form-finding properties. After the calculation, this process results in an optimal equilibrium shape that approximately corresponds to the specified shape-finding parameters (prestress, sag, etc.).

Since this URS method requires an iterative calculation to display results, the program provides an interactive graphic mode based on the force density method for pure modeling. This mode displays the resulting element shape on the basis of the stored form-finding properties stored when the elements are entered.

To avoid possible initial complications due to incompletely defined models, it is possible to switch the mode on and off at any time in the shortcut menu by using the "Show Shape" option.

During the determination, the graphic mode considers all force-related form-finding entries on member and surface elements. A stable boundary condition in the respective direction is assumed for all relevant nodes with a connected element or support definition. In addition, integrated openings in surfaces are considered for the optimized display of tent points as well.

This interactive form-finding is generally only intended for the graphical display of elements with imposed loading and works independently of the URS form-finding, which is always done before the pure structural analysis. However, the mesh generating for surfaces is based on the currently displayed shape and can thus be influenced by the activation of the interactive form-finding.


URS Updated Reference Strategy FD Force density Form-finding Membranes Ropes Update Automatic


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RFEM Tensile Membrane Structures

Add-on Module

Form-finding of tensile membrane and cable structures

Price of First License
1,750.00 USD