Getting Started with Femap

Femap User Interface

Before we begin our analysis, let's get familiar with Femap’s user interface.

We’ll look at the main components of the user interface, including the maps command interface, graphics windows, and tabbed and dockable panes. Let's begin by looking at the layout of the Femap application.

The titlebar displays the current Femap model file and view.


The menu bar provides access to Femap modeling and editing operations.


The status bar in the lower left corner displays the number of nodes and elements in the active model or displays a description of a command when it is selected from a menu or toolbar.


The status bar in the lower right corner displays the active property, load set, constraint set, group, and output set. Clicking on any one of these five objects activates a menu that allows you to activate, create, and manage these objects.


In the graphics pane you can dynamically zoom, pan, and rotate your Femap model.


Model pre and post processing commands are accessible through the menu, toolbars, shortcut keys, and through several of the panes such as the model info, entity editor, meshing toolbox, and postprocessing toolbox.

The menu is organized by tasks such as geometry and meshing.

Toolbars simplify access to these commands and are fully customizable. Activating and customizing toolbars is easily accomplished by right clicking in an area next to the menu bar or dock toolbars and selecting a toolbar to open or close from the menu or by selecting customize.


In addition, Femap has multiple panes that can be docked, floated, or tabbed. Panes can be activated or deactivated via the panes toolbar or via the tools menu.

The model info pane contains an organized list of entities in the active Femap model file. Right clicking on an entity provides quick access to common creation and entity operations for that type entity.

The entity editor page displays detailed information about an entity selected in the model info pane and allows editing of attributes of that entity.

The entity info pane displays entity attributes including analysis results.

The meshing toolbox pane provides access to creation, editing, and verification of meshes.


The Postprocessing Toolbox allows you to activate and control deformed contour and freebody results displays.


The charting pane displays XY data plots. The data table pane is used to display the information and listing of results in a format similar to a spreadsheet.

There are an additional two panes available: The Program File pane for capturing sets of Femap commands as a file for replay, and the API pane for the development of custom applications using the OLE Comm interface to Femap.

In the next section we will import our geometry and begin preparing our model for analysis. You can download the model using the following prompt: