algorithmic modeling for Rhino


I was wondering if it's possible to post tension a cable in Karamba.

At the moment I'm modeling a cable-stayed bridge and I would like to tension the cables so that the decks deformation equals (about) zero. 

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Have you tried with the "Pretension" in the "Loads" Component? Youo basically have to input an elongation rate and apply it to your structural elements.



Hi Rafael,

Thanks for your reply! After I posted this I tried this indeed. It worked for straight forward models like this: 

In this case, I gave the cables a strain of dL[mm]/L[m]. So subtracting original cable length from the deformed cable length, multiplying by 1000 (m to mm) and deviding this by the original length (in m). This gave me a deformation of approximately zero.

Note: I gave the pylon in the top example an infinite stiffness.

However, when I try this in a more complicated model, as mentioned before, I get this:

Here, again, I took the original cable length from the input for the assembly, subtracted it from the deformed cable lengths (derived from the deformed model), multiplied by 1000 (to get to mm from m) and devided it by the original length (in m).

Again, for the sake of the test, the pylon is infinitely stiff, so the deformation in the pylon doesn't influence the cable strain.

It seems to be overcompensating somehow.

Kind regards,


Hi Merijn,

did you consider the fact, that the cables add to the stiffnes of the system? If you prestress one of the cables it influences the state of all others.

In case your system is symmetric with respect to the longitudinal axis in terms of loading, geometry and boundary conditions you should get a symmetric deformation pattern.



Ah, of course! Didn't take that into account.




Hi Merijn,

I am wondering how you actually modelled the cable elements to begin with? 



Hi David,

It's a while ago, but I modelled the cables as beams and then modified the elements to have no bending stiffness and not to take buckling into account (which I guess isn't really nescessary).

Side note for those interested, I "cheated" my way past extensive calculations for cable-tensioning by optimising the elongation in each cable with Galapagos towards a minimal deformation.





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