Mapdl.eshape(scale='', key='', **kwargs)

Displays elements with shapes determined from the real constants or section definition.


  • scale (Union[str, int]) –

    Scaling factor:

    • 0 - Use simple display of line and area elements. This value is the default.

    • 1 - Use real constants or section definition to form a

      solid shape display of the applicable elements.

    FAC - Multiply certain real constants, such as thickness,

    by FAC (where FAC > 0.01) and use them to form a solid shape display of elements.

  • key (Union[str, int]) –

    Current shell thickness key:

    • 0 - Use current thickness in the displaced solid shape

      display of shell elements (valid for SHELL181, SHELL208, SHELL209, and SHELL281). This value is the default.

    • 1 - Use initial thickness in the displaced solid shape display of shell elements.


The /ESHAPE command allows beams, shells, current sources, and certain special-purpose elements to be displayed as solids with the shape determined from the real constants or section types. Elements are displayed via the EPLOT command. No checks for valid or complete input are made for the display.

Following are details about using this command with various element types:

SOLID65 elements are displayed with internal lines that represent rebar sizes and orientations (requires vector mode [/DEVICE] with a basic type of display [/TYPE,,BASIC]). The rebar with the largest volume ratio in each element plots as a red line, the next largest as green, and the smallest as blue.

COMBIN14, COMBIN39, and MASS21 are displayed with a graphics icon, with the offset determined by the real constants and KEYOPT settings.

BEAM188, BEAM189, PIPE288, PIPE289 and ELBOW290 are displayed as solids with the shape determined via the section-definition commands (SECTYPE and SECDATA). The arbitrary section option (Subtype = ASEC) has no definite shape and appears as a thin rectangle to show orientation. The elements are displayed with internal lines representing the cross- section mesh.

SOLID272 and SOLID273 are displayed as solids with the shape determined via the section-definition commands (SECTYPE and SECDATA). The 2-D master plane is revolved around the prescribed axis of symmetry.

Contour plots are available for these elements in postprocessing for PowerGraphics only (/GRAPHICS,POWER). To view 3-D deformed shapes for the elements, issue OUTRES,MISC or OUTRES,ALL for static or transient analyses. To view 3-D mode shapes for a modal or eigenvalue buckling analysis, expand the modes with element results calculation ON (Elcalc = YES for MXPAND).

SOURC36, CIRCU124, and TRANS126 elements always plot using /ESHAPE when PowerGraphics is activated (/GRAPHICS,POWER).

In most cases, /ESHAPE renders a thickness representation of your shell, plane and layered elements more readily in PowerGraphics (/GRAPHICS,POWER). This type of representation employs PowerGraphics to generate the enhanced representation, and will often provide no enhancement in Full Graphics (/GRAPHICS,FULL). This is especially true for POST1 results displays, where /ESHAPE is not supported for most element types with FULL graphics.

When PowerGraphics is active, /ESHAPE may degrade the image if adjacent elements have overlapping material, such as shell elements which are not co-planar. Additionally, if adjacent elements have different thicknesses, the polygons depicting the connectivity between the “thicker” and “thinner” elements along the shared element edges may not always be displayed.

For POST1 results displays (such as PLNSOL), the following limitations apply:

Rotational displacements for beam elements are used to create a more realistic displacement display. When /ESHAPE is active, displacement plots (via PLNSOL,U,X and PLDISP, for example) may disagree with your PRNSOL listings. This discrepancy will become more noticeable when the SCALE value is not equal to one.

When shell elements are not co-planar, the resulting PLNSOL display with /ESHAPE will actually be a PLESOL display as the non-coincident pseudo-nodes are not averaged. Additionally, /ESHAPE should not be used with coincident elements because the plot may incorrectly average the displacements of the coincident elements.

When nodes are initially coincident and PowerGraphics is active, duplicate polygons are eliminated to conserve display time and disk space. The command may degrade the image if initially coincident nodes have different displacements. The tolerance for determining coincidence is 1E-9 times the model’s bounding box diagonal.

If you want to view solution results (PLNSOL, etc.) on layered elements (such as SHELL181, SOLSH190, SOLID185 Layered Solid, SOLID186 Layered Solid, SHELL208, SHELL209, SHELL281, and ELBOW290), set KEYOPT(8) = 1 for the layer elements so that the data for all layers is stored in the results file.

You can plot the through-thickness temperatures of elements SHELL131 and SHELL132 regardless of the thermal DOFs in use by issuing the PLNSOL,TEMP command (with PowerGraphics and /ESHAPE active).

The /ESHAPE,1 and /ESHAPE,FAC commands are incompatible with the /CYCEXPAND command used in cyclic symmetry analyses.

This command is valid in any processor.

Return type