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A settlement forces a node to move a specified distance in a specified global or local direction in a particular load case, where the node has been restrained in the relevant direction.

It has no effect on any other load cases. Note that no axis is specified for settlements are the settlement is in the node constraint axis.



The name is only used as a convenient way of identifying a load (optional).

Node list

This specifies a list of nodes to settle using any one of the forms detailed in Lists. The list may be a single item.

In sculpt: The node list is set to the current selection set. The node list cannot be edited in the dialog.

Load case

This is the load case in which the settlement applies. The load cases give a way of grouping load effects together.


The settlement of the loading, in the node constraint axis direction.


The magnitude of the settlement – displacement or rotation.

Settlements and constraints

Settlements are used in conjunction with restraints. A restraint fixes a node so that it is no longer free to move and a settlement determines the displacement imposed on that node for the particular load case. In the load cases where there are no settlements the nodes are treated as simply restrained (i.e. fixed). The restraint must be specified explicitly by the user.

Typically settlements are used to examine differential settlement of the structure. The distortion of the structure can be calculated by applying a series of displacements or settlements (typically in the z direction) at the base of the structure.

Settlements should not be confused with Applied displacements. It is useful to think of settlements as constraints, and applied displacements as loads.

A settlement is applied in the constraint axis directions of the node to which it is applied.