This tutorial was created using ANSYS 7.0 The purpose of this tutorial is to create and use 'paths' to provide extra detail during post processing. For example, one may want to determine the effects of stress concentrators along a certain path. Rather than plotting the entire contour plot, a plot of the stress along that path can be made.

In this tutorial, a steel plate measuring 100 mm X 200 mm X 10 mm will be used. Three holes are drilled through the vertical centerline of the plate. The plate is constrained in the y-direction at the bottom and a uniform, distributed load is pulling on the top of the plate.


  1. Give the example a Title

  2. Open preprocessor menu

  3. Define Rectangular Ares

  4. Create Circles

  5. Subtract the Circles

  6. Define the Type of Element
  7. Define Real Constants
  8. Define Element Material Properties

  9. Define Mesh Size

  10. Mesh the Area

  1. Define Analysis Type
  2. Apply Constraints
  3. Apply Loads
  4. The model should now look like the figure below.

  5. Solve the System

To see the stress distribution on the plate, you could create a normal contour plot, which would have the distribution over the entire plate. However, if the stress near the holes are of interest, you could create a path through the center of the plate and plot the stress on that path. Both cases will be plotted below on a split screen.

  1. Contour Plot
  2. Create Path
  3. Map the Stress onto the Path
  4. Plot the Path Data
  5. The display should look like the following. Note, there will be dots on the plot showing node locations. Due to resolution restrictions, these dots are not shown here.

    This plot makes it easy to see how the stress is concentrated around the holes.


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.