Truss Solver

File Menu


The File Menu is shown below:

Each of the entries will be discussed in below:


New

This item discards the current model (after an "are you sure" prompt), this gets you back to the same state as when you first ran the program.


Open

This item has three sub-items which each allow you to open a different type of file:

The Model File

The model file contains all the information about your truss model: nodes, MP sets, elements and boundary conditions. If you saved a complete model, then immediately after re-opening it, you can solve it. The only thing a model file does not contain is the solution results.

Model files have a default extension of .mdl

The Loads File

This file just contains the Load boundary conditions. This file is useful because many times you want to solve a truss problem for the same truss with different loads applied.

Load files have a default extension of .lds

The Restraints File

This file just contains the Restraint (displacement) boundary conditions. This file is useful if you want to solve a truss problem for the same truss with different restraints.

Restraint files have a default extension of .rts

WARNING:

Loads and Restraints are applied by node number. The only check on reading Load or Restraint files is that they are applied at nodes that exist in the model. If you have deleted nodes, you may have renumbered the nodes and the boundary conditions may get applied to the wrong nodes.

Hint:

Enter the nodes that will have applied loads and restraints first. This makes them the lowest numbered nodes and hence their numbers are less likely to change when you later delete nodes.


Example

This item loads a simple example, a 3 bar truss. Once loaded you can immediately solve this problem. You are prompted if you have an existing model before it is discarded.


Save

This item has four sub-items which each allow you to save a different type of file:

The first three types of files are discussed above.

Results File

The results file contains all the information that is in the Model File and it also includes the calculation results. If you forget to save your design in a model file, you can use the Open...Model menu choice to read in a results file.

The Results file has a default extension of .txt

See the page on Import the Results file into Excel, etc. for how to view and print the Results file. And the page on Results file format for how to interperate the file contents.

NOTE: While the Results file is the only file with a Text file extension (.txt), all of the files written by truss are ASCII files and as such can be viewed, printed (and edited at your own risk!) in any editor.


Print

This item produces a grapical print out of the truss design as it currently appears in the Main Window.

Under Unix, the output file is Postscript and if saved to a file can be imported into Microsoft Word and other programs. Note that if you do this, the truss figure will only be printed if you then print from this other program to a Postscript printer.

Under Windows 95/NT the output file type depends on the printer driver you have installed on your system.

If you print to a color printer, you will get colored output that looks the same as in the Main Window, that is blue boundary condition nodes, etc.

To print the Results of the calculation as text, print the Results File, as discussed above.


Exit

Exit does what you expect, but if your model is not empty, you are first asked if you really want to quit.