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User-Defined Support

It is important to realize that all of the pre-defined support types in Slide3, i.e.

are simply used to generate a Force Diagram for the support (i.e. a plot of FORCE versus DISTANCE along the support). The way in which this graph is generated differs for each type of support and depends on the support parameters which are entered. However, as far as the Slide3 COMPUTE engine is concerned, the properties of an anchor are entirely determined by the Force Diagram (as well as the method of Force Application, and the Force Orientation, which are independently specified).

If the properties of the pre-defined support types in Slide3 are not sufficient to generate a desired Force Diagram, then the user can simply define their own support type, by creating an explicit Force Diagram. To do this:

  1. Select Support Type = User Defined in the Define Support Properties dialog.
  2. Select the Edit Support Edit Support Button button, and you will see the User Defined Support dialog.
  3. Enter values for Distance and Capacity (force) which define the Force Diagram for your support. As you enter the values, the graph at the right of the dialog will be updated to display the data you are entering.
    • The Capacity is the Capacity which can be mobilized by the support, for an individual support element. It is up to the user to account for all support properties (e.g. tensile strength, bond strength, plate strength), when they define the Capacity of User-Defined Support.
    • The first value entered for Distance should equal zero, and the final value should equal the length of your support.
  4. Enter a Name for the User Defined Support.
  5. Additional functions can be defined by selecting the Add Add Button button and repeating steps 3 and 4. Select OK.
  6. In the Define Support Properties dialog, the Selected Function combo box will show the Name(s) of all User Defined support functions.
  7. The User-Defined Support may now be selected, like any other Support Type, by selecting User-Defined from the Support Type combo box, and selecting the Name of the support function from the Selected Function combo box.
Make sure that you have read the Overview of Support Implementation topic, for important information which applies to all support models in Slide3.


To edit a User-Defined Support function, select the Name from the Selected Function list in the Define Support Properties dialog, and select the Edit Edit Support button. You will see the User Defined Support dialog, in which you can edit the values defining the Force Diagram, or the Name, or create new functions by selecting the Add button.

Force Application

Like all other Support Types in Slide3, the method of Force Application for User-Defined Support can be either Active or Passive. See the Force Application topic for details.

Force Orientation

The Force Orientation for User-Defined Support can be selected by the user:

  • Bisector of Parallel and Tangent
  • Parallel to Reinforcement
  • Tangent to Slip Surface

See the GeoTextile support topic for details, as the implementation is the same.


The data defining a User Defined Support type, can be saved in its own file, if necessary, and imported into other Slide3 files.

  • To save a User Defined Support file, select the Export button in the User Defined Support dialog. The files are saved as *.txt files.
  • To import a User Defined Support file, into the current Slide3 file, select the Import button in the User-Defined Support dialog.
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