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Static and Dynamic Structural Analysis and Design

Island Computer Systems Ltd are an Authorised Bentley Channel Partner - able to provide the full range of Bentley infrastructure products including MicroStation and PowerDraft as well as the marine MAXSURF products:      Modeler
and Multiframe


Multiframe helps structural experts check the structure of their vessel to comply with class requirements and optimise it for strength and weight. It can be used for deck grillage, frame, superstructure and mast strength calculations.

When designing a steel or aluminium vessel, there are a range of structural analysis approaches which can be used to assess the ship’s structural capacity and compliance with class requirements. Multiframe is a general purpose beam and plate element based system which allows you to very quickly model and analyse ship structures and carry out static or dynamic analyses of their structural behaviour. It is an ideal compliment to the more time consuming full finite element analysis and less accurate spreadsheet calculations.

Multiframe can load in a geometry file from Structure or any other structural modelling system, and then provides a wide range of tools to apply structural properties like restraints, materials and section shapes. Facilities are included to create a family of load cases and then perform a static or dynamic analysis. Static results can be reviewed in terms of displays of actions, stresses and deflections. Dynamic results include natural frequencies and mode shapes or more detailed time history results for time varying loads.

Multiframe’s Automation interface with Excel means that you can optimise structural behaviour using your own custom calculations, as well as the built-in searching, sorting and checking functions. Automation is particularly useful both for post-processing of analysis data as well as pre-processing including generation of hydrostatic or wave loads.

Multiframe has a particularly strong set of 3D tools for easily managing the complex geometry which results from a detailed structural analysis model. Rendering and animation can be combined with the clipping, searching and sorting functions. This makes it easy to narrow your focus to critical areas.

Multiframe also includes Shape Editor, a section properties calculator as well a comprehensive library of common structural shapes.

Multiframe Features

• Import Maxsurf or Workshop geometry

• Fast, intuitive, interactive interface

• Static and dynamic analysis methods

• Integrated and customisable section shapes library

• Automation link to Excel for optimisation and class checking

 • OpenGL rendering and animation of static and dynamic results

• Beam and plate elements

• Colour stress and deflection displays

• User definable stress checks


Fast and accurate structural analysis is the foundation of all computer aided structural design. Multiframe helps you get the results you need by providing powerful, yet easy to use analysis and design capabilities. Multiframe's analysis and design tools give you an exceptionally powerful and flexible means of creating, analyzing and examining results for your structures.

Multiframe Automation using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is a feature unique among structural analysis programs. Using Automation, you can prepare calculations and drawings in Excel, Word, or AutoCAD, and dynamically access any and all of the design data you need directly from the Multiframe model. In Word, you can prepare a design template document and have it filled out automatically by data from Multiframe. In AutoCAD, you can automatically generate a drawing from a Multiframe model, or alternatively, generate a Multiframe model dynamically, directly from an AutoCAD drawing.

Multiframe is available in two versions to provide solutions matched to the varied tasks that you perform

Multiframe - 3D structural analysis and design.

Multiframe Advanced - 3D structural dynamic analysis and design.

Modeling features common in all versions

Loading features common in all versions

Additional loading features in Multiframe Advanced

Analysis features common in all versions

Additional analysis features in Multiframe Advanced

Design features common in all versions

Additional design features in Multiframe Advanced

Result features common in all versions

Import/Export features common in all versions


Onehunga Primary School Entranceway

University of Auckland (Auckland, New Zealand)

Melanie Pau, Yusef Patel, Stefan Panovski

The goals of this project were to develop the design and construction skills of University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning students, while advancing the school’s environmental and sustainability objectives by using architecture to influence how children think about healthy and sustainable eating. An underlying premise of the project is that to obtain true sustainability in the way we source food, we must re-learn the art of growing some of our own food. This is why the structure incorporates edible plants and information displays so that children, waiting parents, and passersby can learn how to grow and harvest food. At the same time, the Onehunga Primary School Entranceway gives the school a more impressive street presence and helps ensure student safety by more clearly defining the school’s pedestrian entrance. Built totally with donated materials and unskilled labor, a key project challenge was buildability. Donated sheets of 17 millimeter exterior-grade structural plywood were used and a prefabricated modular structural system was designed. Since the standard ply sheet size was a limitation, Multiframe was used to determine the location of joints in the longer laminated plywood members. The project was built by architecture students, so the detailing of the structural system needed to be simple enough for those without building experience to assemble. The solution was to create a modular system of ‘notched’ timber members that slot into each other, so anyone could help with the assembly. Multiframe was used to analyze the structure, assessing the dead load, wind load, live load, and point live load to determine the minimum dimensions needed for the notched members.


Multiframe introduction

This movie shows how you can use Multiframe's graphical tools to draw the geometry of your frame. It also shows how tools like duplicate and extrude can be used to automate the creation of common, repetitive geometry.

Multiframe geometry

This movie shows how you can use Multiframe's graphical tools to draw the geometry of your frame. It also shows how tools like duplicate and extrude can be used to automate the creation of common, repetitive geometry

Multiframe properties

Explains how to set section types, materials, restraints and other properties for a frame

Multiframe Simple Beam

Introductory video showing how to analyse a simple beam in Multiframe.

Multiframe - Creating Curved Geometry

Multiframe contains a range of commands for creating curved structures, this video shows how to create arcs and domes using cylindrical coordinates.

Multiframe loads

Demonstrates the various functions for applying loads to a Multiframe structure.

There are nine Multiframe loads videos on youtube. These are for:

Multiframe Joint Loads

This video shows how to apply joint loads in Multiframe

Multiframe Member loads

Multiframe allows you to apply member loads in local and global coordinates and to apply multiple loads simultaneously.

Multiframe Thermal Loads

Multiframe Panel Loads



Multiframe Patch Loads

Loads can be applied to plate patches in a similar way to panels. In addition, point and edge loads can be applied.

Multiframe Load Case Management

Multiframe allows you to create static, combined, combination and envelope load cases.

Multiframe Wind Loads

Multiframe Hydrostatic Loads

Multiframe Sea Motion Loads

A sea motion load case can be used to calculate acceleration induced loads on a structure attached to a vessel deck and subject to vessel motions and accelerations.

Multiframe Sections and Materials

This video shows how to define sections and material properties

Multiframe Member Offsets

Member offsets can be used to align sections between different sized members, between members and plates and for beams between large columns

Multiframe Restraints

How to set the restraints on your frame to provide supports via pinned, rigid or spring supports in local or global coordinates

Multiframe Releases and End Springs

Use releases and end springs to change the stiffness of the connections between members

Multiframe Automation - Stairs

This video shows how to use Multiframe Automation to generate a series of stairs.

 Multiframe Joint Loads

    uploaded 2 years ago

    Thumbnail 2:39

    Multiframe Thermal Loads

    uploaded 2 years ago

    Thumbnail 3:22

Multiframe Results

This video shows some of the graphical displays available to visualise the results of your Multiframe analysis.

Multiframe and Ship Analysis paper - available to view or for download

Click here to see Multiframe animation!

Click here to see Multiframe animation!