This tutorial was created using ANSYS 7.0 The purpose of this tutorial is to outline the steps required to do a simple modal analysis of the cantilever beam shown below.


The simple cantilever beam is used in all of the Dynamic Analysis Tutorials. If you haven't created the model in ANSYS, please use the links below. Both the command line codes and the GUI commands are shown in the respective links.


  1. Define Analysis Type
  2. Solution > Analysis Type > New Analysis > Modal
    ANTYPE,2

  3. Set options for analysis type:

  4. Apply Constraints
  5. Solution > Define Loads > Apply > Structural > Displacement > On Keypoints

    Fix Keypoint 1 (ie all DOFs constrained).

  6. Solve the System
  7. Solution > Solve > Current LS
    SOLVE

  1. Verify extracted modes against theoretical predictions

  2. View Mode Shapes

  3. Animate Mode Shapes

This method employs the use of Master Degrees of Freedom. These are degrees of freedom that govern the dynamic characteristics of a structure. For example, the Master Degrees of Freedom for the bending modes of cantilever beam are

For this option, a detailed understanding of the dynamic behavior of a structure is required. However, going this route means a smaller (reduced) stiffness matrix, and thus faster calculations.

The steps for using this option are quite simple.

The following table compares the mode frequencies in Hz predicted by theory and ANSYS (Reduced).

As you can see, the error does not change significantly. However, for more complex structures, larger errors would be expected using the reduced method.


The above example was solved using a mixture of the Graphical User Interface (or GUI) and the command language interface of ANSYS. This problem has also been solved using the ANSYS command language interface that you may want to browse. Open the .HTML version, copy and paste the code into Notepad or a similar text editor and save it to your computer. Now go to 'File > Read input from...' and select the file. A .PDF version is also available for printing.