Tutorial: Linear static analysis of a crane

In the following you find a step-by-step instruction for the linear static analysis of a crane structure.

Import tutorial case into workbench


Import tutorial project

  • To start this tutorial, you have to import the tutorial project into your ‘Dashboard’ via the link above.
  • Once the ‘Work bench’ is open you will be in the ‘Geometries’ tab.
  • The CAD model named “crane” would be displayed in the viewer, as shown below
  • You can interact with the CAD model as in a normal desktop application
CAD model of the Crane

Create a Static Analysis

  • To create a new simulation click on the ‘+’ option next to the ‘Simulations’ tab
  • In our case we are interested in running a static stress analysis, so select the Static Analysis option and press ‘Ok’
  • After clicking ‘Ok’, a new tree will be automatically generated in the left panel with all the parameters and settings that are necessary to completely specify such an analysis.
  • All parts that are completed are highlighted with a green check. Parts that need to be specified have a red circle. While, the blue circle indicates an optional settings that does not need to be filled out
Creating a new simulation

Creating the mesh

  • 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 First Order elements are used
  • As for the fineness of the mesh, Coarse is sufficient.
  • For actually starting the mesh operation hit the ‘Generate’ button, highlighted in the figure below
Generating the mesh
  • The resulting mesh is shown in figure below, it contains about 85000 elements
  • There is also a Meshing log (highlighted below) available which provides quantitative information about the mesh in terms of its node and element count and other relevant data
  • This completes the mesh generation.
Resulting Mesh


  •  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).
Applying a gravitational load

Material selection and assignment

  • 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.
  • This pops-up a ‘Material Library’ from which we select “Steel” and click on ‘Ok’. This will then load the standard properties for steel.
  • Then, assign the material to the volume ‘solid_0’ and save.
Adding a new material
Assigning the material to the domain

Boundary Conditions

Now, we come to define the 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 in figure.
Creating a new Boundary condition
  • As the crane should be fixed on the one end, we start with a constraint boundary condition.
  • For this select the ‘Fixed Value’ boundary condition from the drop down menu
  • Set the displacement to zero in all directions, as shown on figure.
  • 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
Boundary condition I
  • 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 10000N. 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)
Boundary Condition II


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

Simulation Control

  • The next important tree item is Simulation Control which allows to steer the overall simulation settings
  • We choose a 8 core machine for the computation to have enough computing power for the considerably large mesh
Simulation Control

Start a simulation run

  • 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 run


  • 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 “All Displacement” to visualize the Displacement Profile.
Displacement Profile