Determining Variable Cross-Section Depth of Tapered Member Using 'Connect Lines or Members'

Tips & Tricks

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In RFEM, if you want to insert a tapered member with intermediate nodes into an existing model, the question often arises how to quickly determine the individual cross-section depths of the tapered members. The “Connect Lines or Members” command comes in handy for this purpose.

As an example, a tapered member is defined, from Point A to Point B. Cross‑section 1 and 2 define the member start and member end, respectively. The member start is in Point A at Node 1. The member end is in Point B at Node 2. The nodes 3 through 7 lie on the previously defined tapered member, but are not connected to it. To these nodes, a transverse beam is to be connected, for example.

If the “Connect Lines or Members” function is used (draw selection window across the mentioned structural part), the tapered member is divided at the nodes 3 through 7. The program determines the correct ‑section depth automatically, so that you don’t need to specify it beforehand. If you added different member eccentricities to the member start and member end of the tapered member, this is also correctly interpolated at the intermediate nodes.

In RSTAB, this function can be found under “Connect Members”.


Taper Tapered member Cross-section Cross-sectional height


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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

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