VisualAnalysis icon
Upgrade to VisualAnalysis 17.0 today. Here's why.

VisualAnalysis 12.0 Help

Working with Loads

Select the Active Load Case

Use the Command Bar to select which load case is displayed and active in a Model View, or which Result Case for a Design View. A Model View shows one Service Load Case at a time. Result Views, Member Graphs and Plate Graphs will show any result case, which may be results from a Service Load Case, an Equation Load Combination, Factored Load Combination, Mode Shape, or Response Load Case. A single load case or combination may create multiple result cases (1st-Order, 2nd-Order, Envelope, Time Step, etc.)

Design Views do not show any one load case but rather results for all Strength and Serviceability load cases as defined on the Load Combinations tab of Load Case Manager.

Apply Loads

The easiest way to apply loads is to select the appropriate load case first, then select the items to be loaded (e.g., some members), then Right-Click in the Model View to find the Apply Member Loads command. Static, physical loads (forces, moments, etc) may be applied to Areas, Members, Plates and Nodes and Rigid Diaphragms. Other types of "loads" available include settlements (applied as nodal loads), seismic loads (applied as a design spectrum in a Dynamic Response load case or as a forcing function in a Dynamic Time History load case), or "inertial mass" (associated with a node directly).

Find Loads

Loads may be filtered in a Model View and selected individually or in groups just like other model objects. Sometimes it is difficult to locate loads visually. Use the Find Tool to view loads.

When using the Find tool with loads, you will need to use the load case selector that is in the Find tool rather than the one in the Status Bar.

The Find tool lists may be sorted on any column (Click the column title) and the columns may be resized (Drag the divider between column titles). See the Essentials chapter for more information about the Find tool.

Select Loads

Select loads just like other model objects. Use the Filter tab in Project Manager to make them visible in the Model View. Use the mouse to Click on the load to select it. Loads may be in different directions, so you may need to hunt for where to click in order to select it. If you turn off the nodes, members, and plates, it makes it easier sometimes.

See the Essentials chapter for more information about selecting.

Edit Loads

Loads are edited just like other model objects. Select a load, or multiple loads of the same type and use the Modify tab in Project Manager. To quickly edit a load individually simply double click it.

Delete Loads

Select loads in a Model View or Find tool and then delete them with Edit | Delete or by pressing the Del key on your keyboard.

Copy Loads to Another Load Case

Select the loads and choose Model | Generate Copies to open the Generate Copies Wizard. Choose Copy to Other Load Cases and enter a scale factor if necessary, then press Next. Select the destination load case(s) in the list and press Finish.

You can also use this faster procedure to copy loads to another load case. Select the loads, then use Edit | Copy. Now switch the active load case in the Status Bar and choose Edit | Paste Load from Other Case.

During the copy operation you will have an opportunity to scale the load magnitudes in a linear (Ax + B) fashion.

Copy Loads to Other Objects

Select the loads and choose Edit | Copy. Now select the destination objects in the Model View. Be careful to not change the active load case. Finally, choose Edit | Paste Special to open the Generate Copies Wizard. Choose Copy to Other Nodes or Elements and enter a scale factor if necessary. Press Next and check the list of objects to make sure the correct nodes or elements are selected and then press Finish.

In some cases, VisualAnalysis will recognize what you are doing after you have done the copy and selected other objects. In this case, a special menu item will appear similar to this: Edit | Paste Load on Selected Members. When this command appears, you will not see the Generate Copies Wizard, the loads will simply be copied.

After the copy operation you can scale the load magnitudes in a linear (Ax + B) fashion, by selecting them and choosing the Load | Adjust Selected Loads command.

Factor the Loads

Building codes often require that you factor your loads. Normally these factors are applied through building code combinations that are automatically generated by VisualAnalysis .

You may manually factor loads as you create them in a Service Load Case, but this is not very flexible. VisualAnalysis also provides custom Equation and Factored Load Combinations to combine and factor loads. The Load menu provides commands to generate factored combinations.

Finally, after loads are created you can apply manual factors to them by selecting them and using the Load | Adjust Selected Loads command.

Make Patterned Loads

VisualAnalysis provides limited support for creating patterned load combinations with live loads. Each service load case based on live loads may include an optional pattern number 1, 2, 3, etc. When load combinations are generated with the building-code load combination system, only cases with matching pattern numbers are combined together.

For any other kind of patterned loading situations you can create service cases manually to contain loads that are excluded from the automatically generated building code combinations and then manually create custom load combinations to combine the loads in any way you choose.

See Factored Loads?

There is no graphical way to show the factored loads in an Equation or Factored Load Combination. Loads are only shown in a Model View for Service Load Cases. The primary reason for this is that the graphics would get very cluttered and most likely unreadable where many loads exist in the same locations in different load cases.

Find the Total Load in a Load Case

To find the sum total of loads in a load case you will need to analyze to get results. Look on the Result tab of Project Manager, available when a Result View is active, to see the Static Check. The Static Check balances the total load in each direction with the total reaction force in each direction.