How to Use GRASP: A Free Software for 2D Structural Analysis
If you are looking for a free software that can help you perform 2D structural analysis of frames, trusses and rigid structures, you might want to check out GRASP. GRASP stands for Graphical Rapid Analysis of Structures Program, and it is a user-friendly software that has a graphical user interface. You can easily draw your structural model, apply loads and boundary conditions, and run the analysis. GRASP can also display the analysis results on the model and generate diagrams and tables.
In this article, we will show you how to use GRASP to model and analyze a simple truss structure. We will also highlight some of the major features and benefits of GRASP.
How to Download and Install GRASP
GRASP is a free software that you can download from the following link: [^1^]. The file size is about 4 MB, and it is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10/11. You can also download GRASP from another link: [^4^].
To install GRASP, you just need to unzip the downloaded file and run the setup.exe file. Follow the instructions on the screen and choose a destination folder for the installation. After the installation is complete, you can launch GRASP from the Start menu or from the desktop shortcut.
How to Model a Truss Structure in GRASP
GRASP has a simple and intuitive interface that allows you to model your structure using mouse clicks and keyboard inputs. You can also use the Structure Wizard to generate multistory structural models automatically. Here are the steps to model a truss structure in GRASP:
- Open GRASP and click on File > New to create a new file.
- Click on Edit > Units to set the units for your model. You can choose from SI, US or metric units, or use mixed units.
- Click on Edit > Cross-Sections to define the cross-sections for your members. You can choose from eight predefined types of cross-sections, such as rectangular, circular, I-shaped, etc. You can also set the values of material properties, such as Young’s modulus, density, etc.
- Click on Draw > Nodes to draw the nodes of your structure. You can specify the coordinates of each node by typing them in the dialog box or by clicking on the screen. You can also use the snap function to align your nodes with existing nodes or grid lines.
- Click on Draw > Members to draw the members of your structure. You can select the nodes that define each member by clicking on them or by typing their numbers in the dialog box. You can also assign a cross-section type and a color to each member.
- Click on Draw > Supports to apply boundary conditions to your structure. You can choose from various restraint conditions, such as fixed, pinned, roller, spring, etc. You can also specify the stiffness of each spring support.
- Click on Draw > Releases to apply member releases at the ends of your members. You can release any degree of freedom (DOF) at any end of any member by checking or unchecking the corresponding boxes in the dialog box.
- Click on Load > Load Cases to define the load cases for your analysis. You can preset up to 10 load cases and assign load factors to each load case.
- Click on Load > Node Loads to apply loads on nodes in each load case. You can specify the magnitude and direction of each load by typing them in the dialog box or by clicking on the screen.
- Click on Load > Member Loads to apply loads on members in each load case. You can choose from various types of member loads, such as uniform, triangular, trapezoidal, point, moment, etc. You can also specify the location and direction of each load by typing them in the dialog box or by clicking on the screen.
After you finish modeling your structure, you can save your file by clicking on File > Save or File > Save As.