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Distributed Loads (DL's)

Distributed loads are forces that act over a span and are measured in force per unit of length (e.g. kN/m). They can be either uniform or non-uniform.

DL's are applied to a member and by default will span the entire length of the member. Users however have the option to specify the start and end of the DL somewhere along the span.

DL's which are applied at an angle to the member can be specified by providing the X,Y,Z components.

To apply a DL, simply specify values for:


Here's an example where the distributed load has a -10kN/m Start Y magnitude and a -30kN/m end Y magnitude. It also has a 20% start position and an 80% end position - showing that it does not extend the entire span of the member, but rather it starts 20% from the start and end node (1 and 2 respectively).

Local/Global Axes

Global Axis

Here is an example of where member 3 has a 100kN/m distibuted load applied to its Global axis. We can see the force here is applied directly in the global Y (down).

Local Axis

If we change the axes option to Local we can see that the distributed load has now been applied to the member's local axis, where local Y is directly perpendicular to the member.