What is the reason for not applying a free load completely?


In contrast to the normal surface or nodal load, a free load is defined by an influence range and influenced elements. By definition, free loading is applied only to the areas of the selected elements lying within this influence range.

A free load is defined via absolute coordinates, independent of the elements of the model. For entering data, you can define them comfortably by selecting model nodes, but they will not be linked to the selected nodes. If the model is then e.g. moved, the free load remains in its assigned position.

If an imperfection generated by RF-IMP is used as a pre-deformed FE mesh, the free loads are applied to this deformed structure. This may then exist beyond the influence range and receives no load.

If the load is expected to be linked to the structure and also be moved for displacements and generated imperfections, standard loads must be used. Alternatively, it is also possible to increase the influence range of the free load as required to still stress the entire structure.

A simple check of the applied loading is possible by displaying the load distribution in the Project Navigator - Results dialog box.


Free load Imperfection Load application Load distribution


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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