Form: Frame Assignments - Output Stations
Frame output stations are designated locations along a frame element. They are used as locations to report output forces, perform design, and plot points used for graphic display of force diagrams. When force diagrams are plotted, exact forces are plotted at each output station and then these points are connected by straight lines.
Important note: Output stations occur at user-specified locations and at point load locations along a beam.
Assign output stations to frame elements as follows:
Select the frame object to which the assignment is to be made.
Select the Assign menu > Frame > Output Stations command
Choose one of the following options:
Max Station Spacing option and edit box. ETABS provides an output station at each point load location. Then ETABS provides an equally spaced number of stations between each adjacent pair of point loads where the spacing does not exceed the specified maximum spacing. By default, for beams, output stations are provided at a maximum spacing of 2 feet for English units and 0.5 meter for metric units, and of course, at all point load locations. By default a minimum of three output stations are specified (the two ends and the middle) for columns and braces.
Min Number Stations option and edit box. ETABS equally spaces the specified number of stations within the clear length of the beam. Then a station is added for each point load that does not lie at one of the previously defined output station locations. The minimum allowed number of equally spaced stations is three. This provides a station at each end of the beam and one at the center of the clear length. If there are end offsets specified for the beam, the stations at the end of the beam occur at the face of the end offset, not at the center of the support.
Click the Apply button. Any previously assigned output stations will be replaced by this assignment.
When the Apply button is used, the Frame Assignment - Output Stations form will remain open until it is closed by clicking the Close button. This allows selection of another frame object(s), to which a different assignments can be made.
If only one assignment is being made to only one set of selected objects, the OK button can be used to both apply the assignment and close the form.
Note: ETABS determines the location of output stations in a different order, depending on if a minimum number of stations or a maximum spacing of stations has been specified.
Note: The output station spacing between one set of point loads may be different from that between another set.
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