CloudCalc is pleased to announce the release of Version 1.02.15, the application’s 35th update since its initial launch on June 2, 2014. You can verify that you automatically have this latest version by clicking on the Help Menu – the bottom of which shows the active version number. (If, for some reason it does not show this version, you may need to force a hard-refresh of your browser, via Ctrl-F5 on a PC, or Cmd-Shift-R on a Mac.)
This release adds the ability to model Applied Displacements as a loading type. Often structures are loaded not only by forces (concentrated or uniform) but also by externally imposed displacements, such as settlement, seismic displacements, or thermal expansion of supports or other attached elements. These Applied Displacements may now be modeled as acting on any node in the CloudCalc model, and assigned to any individual load, or as part of any Load Type.
Displacements may be defined in any one of three ways: 1) using the Menu Command Input->Applied Displacements, which permits entry of Applied Displacements at any individual node in the model, 2) using the Applied Displacements button on the element that is currently shown in the Modeling Screen (which allows displacements to be applied to the From and/or To nodes of the current element), or 3) through the Graphic Editing Command Displacements (accessible from the Graphic Editing Dropdown Menu or from the Graphic Editing Context Menu), where Applied Displacements may be added or edited on all selected nodes simultaneously.
There are two things that should be kept in mind when using Applied Displacements in CloudCalc. The first is that whenever a displacement is imposed at a degree-of-freedom of any node in the CloudCalc model, that degree-of-freedom is no longer free to move under load – it is restricted to the imposed displacement, or otherwise restrained. Therefore it will generate a reaction at that node, which will be shown in the Restraint Report. Note that these degrees-of-freedom will be restrained even in the load cases in which the displacements are not active (in that case the displacements will be 0.0, just as with a normal restraint).
The second thing to keep in mind is that Applied Displacements are one of the few areas where a zero-entry is not the same as a blank entry. In the former, a displacement of 0.0 is imposed (the node will not move at that degree-of-freedom, and will develop a reaction). In the second case (blank entry), the nodal degree-of-freedom is not restricted at all and is free to move unimpeded under load, and therefore develops no reaction load.
To better learn how to use this new feature, we invite you to watch the short video Using Applied Displacements in CloudCalc.
Remember, because CloudCalc is delivered via the cloud, we are always able to provide more updates faster than you can expect from our PC-based competitors. We continue to average one update every 5 weeks over the past 3+ years. Let us know, at firstname.lastname@example.org, which update you would like to see next.
To learn more about CloudCalc, the scalable, collaborative, and mobile cloud-based engineering software, please visit: www.cloudcalc.com – Structural Analysis in the Cloud.
By Tom Van Laan
Copyright © CloudCalc, Inc. 2017