If your model requires multiple support elements in a regular pattern, then you may find it easier and faster to use the Add Support Pattern option, rather than Add Support.
To add a pattern of support elements:
Select Add Support Pattern from the toolbar, or the Support menu.
In the Support Pattern dialog, enter the support length, spacing and orientation (see below for details), and select OK.
As you move the mouse, you will notice a small red cross which follows the cursor, and "snaps" to the nearest point on the nearest boundary line segment.
NOTE: you can add a support pattern on the External Boundary or a Material Boundary. You cannot add a support pattern to water surface or tension crack boundaries.
Enter the first point of the support pattern on the desired boundary, graphically with the mouse, or by entering x-y coordinates in the prompt line.
Now as you move the mouse, you will see the support pattern, automatically drawn along the boundary, between the point entered in Step 4, and the current cursor location. The length, angle and spacing of the support will correspond to the parameters entered in the Support Pattern dialog.
Now enter the second point on the boundary, defining the end point of the pattern. The support pattern will be added to the model.
The support pattern orientation may be specified using one of five options:
Normal to Boundary – support is applied normal to boundaries
Vertical – support is applied vertically (default = downwards)
Horizontal – support is applied horizontally (default = against the direction of failure)
Angle from Horizontal – specify an angle from the horizontal. Note that a POSITIVE angle is measured counter-clockwise from the positive X-axis direction.
Angle to Boundary – specify an angle relative to the boundary on which the support is added.
NOTE: after adding a support pattern, the orientation may sometimes be opposite from the intended direction (i.e. 180 degrees off). If this occurs, you can use the Modify Support Pattern option, to simply "flip" the pattern orientation by 180 degrees. See the Modify Support Pattern topic for more information.
The length of each support element in the pattern.
The spacing of the support pattern, can be determined by entering a distance, or by entering the number of support elements in the pattern.
The spacing can be measured along the boundary, vertically or horizontally.
Remember that the PATTERN spacing is the IN-PLANE spacing of the support pattern. The OUT-OF-PLANE spacing of each ROW of support elements, is entered in the Define Support Properties dialog.
Entering a Single Support Element
You can enter a SINGLE support element, using the Support Pattern dialog, by entering Distance = 0 or Number of Support Elements = 1. This is useful if you would like to add a single support element, using the Orientation and Length options available in the Support Pattern dialog.