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Tutorial: Linear Static Analysis of a Crane


This tutorial provides a step-by-step guide on how to set up a linear static analysis simulation for a crane.

Displacement of a Crane done with Simscale
Displacement of a Crane

Create Simulation

As a first step, import the tutorial project into the SimScale workbench.

Import tutorial case into workbench

By importing the tutorial project, a new project will be created for you, and the ‘Workbench’ will open with the prepared tutorial geometry already loaded into the viewer.

  • To create a new simulation, click on the “+” button next to ‘Simulations’ in the tree or the “Create Simulation” button on the geometry panel.
Creating a new simulation in SimScale
Create a New Simulation
  • Select the “Static” analysis type and click “Create Simulation“.
 Simulation Dialog Box
Simulation Dialog Box
  • A new simulation tree containing all parameters and settings needed to define the conditions of the analysis will be created.
Simulation Tree in SimScale for static analysis
Simulation Tree
  • All setup steps that are completed are highlighted with a green check. Steps that require some user input are shown with a red circle. Steps that have a blue circle indicate optional settings.

Simulation Setup


A gravitational load can be applied on the whole domain in the Model section. In order to specify a gravitational load you have to determine the magnitude and the direction of the gravity field. We apply a gravitational load of 9.81 m/s² in the -y direction (direction vector: 0 -1 0).

Model Definition
Model Definition


Now it’s time to define the part materials.

  • Next, add the materials from the ‘Material Library’ for fluid and the solid phases. First, we start with clicking on sub-tree “Materials”, click on ‘+’ from the options panel as shown.
Material Selection
  • This pops-up a ‘Material Library’ from which we select “Steel” and click on ‘Ok’. This will then load the standard properties for steel.
 Material Dialog Box
Material Dialog Box
  • Then, assign the material to the volume ‘solid1’ and save.

Boundary Conditions

  • To create a boundary condition, click on the ‘+’ option next to the Boundary conditions and select the required boundary condition from drop down menu, as shown.
Selection of Boundary Conditions
Selection of Boundary Conditions
  • As the crane should be fixed on the one end, we start with a constraint boundary condition.
  • For this select the ‘Fixed Support’ boundary condition from the drop down menu
  • Next, assign this boundary condition to the the three faces at the end of the crane structure (faces highlighted in figure)
  • Clicking on Save (the blue tick button) completes the definition of this boundary condition
Fixed Value Boundary Conditions in simscale
Fixed Value Boundary Conditions
  • Next add a Pressure boundary condition. We simplify the load caused by a lifted body by a negative pressure (force F boundary condition: Pressure) on the lower face of the box at the end of the crane opposite to the fixed boundary condition.
  • The load is assumed to take the value 10000 N. As pressure is a distributed loading type it is necessary to apply the load using N/m² as unit. So we divide the load by the area of the face (0.25 m²) and get a value of 40000 N/m².
  • This is assigned to the lower face of the box (highlighted in figure below)
Pressure Boundary Condition
Pressure Boundary Condition


  • The tree item Numerics allows us the control the solving mechanism in detail
  • In this tutorial, we use the default Numerics

Simulation Control

  • The next important tree item is Simulation Control which allows to steer the overall simulation settings
  • We choose let the machine calculate the number of cores required
Simulation Control Options
Simulation Control Options

Mesh Setup

  • Select the mesh option and set the parameters as shown in figure below
  • The default mesh parameters are used in this tutorial
  • The Tet-dominant mesh algorithm is the only option available as this is an FEA application
  • Automatic mesh sizing with Second Order elements are used. Second order elements will give more accurate results, so use when possible
  • As for the fineness of the mesh, Coarse is sufficient.
  • For actually starting the mesh operation hit the ‘Generate’ button
Mesh Settings in simscale
Mesh Settings

Start Simulation

Now the simulation setup is complete and you’re ready to start your simulation. To begin the simulation, a simulation Run needs to be created. A simulation Run creates a snapshot of the current setup and tries to compute the results based on the snapshot settings.

  • The last thing to do for running this simulation is to create a run.
  • The new run is created by clicking on the ‘+’ symbol next to ‘Simulation Runs’
  • Give a name to the run and start the run
Creating a New Simulation Run
Creating a New Simulation Run
Starting a New Simulation Run
Starting a New Simulation Run


Computation of the results can take up to a few hours. You’ll be informed via email once your simulation run is finished. Once finished, you’re ready to analyze the results.

  • Once the simulation is finished, select the ‘Solution fields’ under the Run to post process the results on the platform. Or they can be downloaded and post-processed locally (e.g. with ParaView)
  • Some post processing images from the SimScale platform post processor are shown below.
  • Select the results and click “von Mises” to visualize the Stress Profile and enable displacement. The displacement below is scaled to 500x.
Displacement Visualization in simscale
Displacement Visualization

Congratulations! This concludes the linear static analysis of a crane tutorial.

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