'Gantry Crane - Custom Machines' simulation project by BenLewis


I created a new simulation project called 'Gantry Crane - Custom Machines':

Double girder gantry crane. Created for webinar on preparing geometry for simulation.

More of my public projects can be found here.



A large-scale gantry crane (also known as overhead crane) is constructed to be capable of lifting the heaviest loads in the world. The name gantry comes from the fact that it straddles (like sitting on a horse) the object to be lifted or the area in which the object is located. To be able to lift loads of the order of several tonnes, gantry cranes have to be exhibit great structural strength and integrity, especially on dynamic loading.
Performing a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) can have a significantly positive influence on the design process of the crane. An analysis would involve several iterations of modifying the structural design as well as test different materials for each component. Moreover, high-stress regions can easily be identified and supplemented with load-bearing structures, thereby, preventing the risk of bucking or fracture.

Project Goals

This project is created to demonstrate various techniques used to simplify geometry for simulation. It is also useful to demonstrate the use of elastic elements to stabilize members where “physical contacts” are used.
For this case, we have considered a Double Girder Single Crane for the simulation.


The original crane geometry was created by GrabCAD member coadong and can be found here.
The man standing in the image below (for scale reference) was created by GrabCAD member minhkhoi and can be found here.



The image below shows the original geometry on the left and the simplified geometry on the right. The original geometry has 2656 solid bodies. The simplified geometry has 60 solid bodies (12 structural members, 16 pins, 32 elastic stabilizing elements).

The meshing is performed on the simplified geometry to save computational time and space. The mesh details are as follows:
Mesh nodes: 1,385,884
Mesh elements: 7,304,361
Contact slave nodes: 19,091


The structural analysis simulation is run on 32 machine cores and takes a total of 152 minutes. Being a heavy geometry and mesh, it uses up 81 core hours and occupies 42.8 GB.

Results and Conclusions

The simulation results may be obtained from the post-processing tab as required.

Von Mises Stress (Signed)

Pin Joints


Girder Stress

One may observe that the stress falls within the elastic region of the material and the maximum displacement is of the order of 1 cm, which is almost negligible for such a large geometry.


Really amazing work on that project!



Great Project !

Could you please give the simulation Setup ?




Hi @mel_orche!

Simply open Ben’s project and have a look at it or copy it into your Dashboard and make some adjustments if you like - it’s simple as that! :slight_smile:

All the best and happy SimScaling!