This tutorial was created using ANSYS 7.0 The purpose of this tutorial is to explain the steps required to perform Harmonic analysis the cantilever beam shown below.

We will now conduct a harmonic forced response test by applying a cyclic load (harmonic) at the end of the beam. The frequency of the load will be varied from 1 - 100 Hz. The figure below depicts the beam with the application of the load.

ANSYS provides 3 methods for conducting a harmonic analysis. These 3 methods are the Full , Reduced and Modal Superposition methods.

This example demonstrates the Full method because it is simple and easy to use as compared to the other two methods. However, this method makes use of the full stiffness and mass matrices and thus is the slower and costlier option.


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 (Harmonic)
  2. Solution > Analysis Type > New Analysis > Harmonic
    ANTYPE,3

  3. Set options for analysis type:

  4. Apply Constraints
  5. Apply Loads:

  6. Set the frequency range

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

We want to observe the response at x=1 (where the load was applyed) as a function of frequency. We cannot do this with General PostProcessing (POST1), rather we must use TimeHist PostProcessing (POST26). POST26 is used to observe certain variables as a function of either time or frequency.

  1. Open the TimeHist Processing (POST26) Menu

    Select TimeHist Postpro from the ANSYS Main Menu.

  2. Define Variables

    In here we have to define variables that we want to see plotted. By default, Variable 1 is assigned either Time or Frequency. In our case it is assigned Frequency. We want to see the displacement UY at the node at x=1, which is node #2. (To get a list of nodes and their attributes, select Utility Menu > List > nodes).

  3. List Stored Variables

  4. Plot UY vs. frequency

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.