Taper plates

For retaining structures such as tanks or retaining walls, a varying wall thickness can be generated using this tool.


The tool works by you defining the thickness at the start and finish of the taper and a "taper axis" along which the taper is defined. The taper is then projected normal to the axis onto each plate that you have selected. The thickness of each plate is then set according to its projected distance along the taper axis. Note that after applying a taper, each plate still has a uniform thickness but the thickness varies from one plate to the next.


The lateral position of each plate relative to the taper axis is not important. For example, a plate a long way from the axis will get the same thickness as a plate close to it. Similarly, a plate on one side of the axis will get the same thickness as a plate on the other side.


Plates that are beyond the ends of the taper axis are given the thickness at the closest end of the axis. For example, if you have a tank that is 4m high and the taper axis extends from the base of the tank (with a starting thickness of 300mm) vertically up to the 3m mark (with a finishing thickness of 100mm), the plates in the top 1m of the tank walls would be given the 100mm thickness.


The procedure is as follows.

  1. Select the plates you wish to taper, right-click and then select "Plate Tools" => "Taper Plates" from the popup menu that appears.


    Select "Taper Plates" from the Structure menu, select the plates you wish to taper, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.


  2. Pick two points that represent the axis along which the taper will be defined.

    Remember that when picking points, you can use the mouse or you can simply type in the coordinates of the desired point(s). For more information, see "Positioning points using the keyboard".


  3. In the form that appears (as follows), change the data to suit your requirements and then click the Ok button.

    When applying the thickness to each plate, you can specify whether the new thickness is applied to the front face, back face or both faces. This is achieved by applying an offset to each plate so that you can effectively align the adjusted plates by their front face, back face or centerline.

    If you applying a taper to plates that have already been tapered then you should generally untick the "Keep plate offsets" option so that the offsets are not doubled up.

  4. The thicknesses are then calculated and applied to the selected plates.