Supports need to be added in order to restrain the structure. If no supports were present then the stucture would not be static and be unsolveable. It is important to remember that a structure must be restrained in every direction at some point by any of the supports. i.e. every degree of freedom must be accounted for by at least one 'F' in the structure.
Similar to the connections between members, the supports are given a 6-digit code to specify which of the node's degrees of freedom are restrained. Each of the degree of freedom's must be defined as either Fixed ('F'), Released ('R') or Spring('S'). The degrees of freedom are in the following order:
There are 3 types of letters (or dof releases) you can use:
A pin support (which only allows rotation about the z axis) would be denoted by the code 'FFFFFR' whereas a roller (which allows rotation about the z axis and movement in the x direction) would be given the code 'RFFFFR'.
Supports can be selected from the pre-configured support buttons. Along with their fixity codes, these include:
For more information on these fixity codes, please visit our blog piece on Fixity codes