CADRE Analytic

Zipwire icon CADRE Zipwire

Zipwire cable analysis application 

Zipwire was initially developed as a free auxiliary application for users of CADRE Pro but by popular interest has now been made commercially available to others for separate purchase. 

Version 3 has two modules of operation

  • Analysis of taut wire systems (with or without flexible supports)
  • Analysis of suspension cable systems (catenary or parabolic)

Taut wire systems

These are systems where the wire is initially straight and taut (or essentially so) and relatively light weight and elastic. In these systems a single force is applied at a point on the wire and the work performed is absorbed mainly in elastic strain energy in the wire.

Zipwire display

These types of taut-wire systems are difficult or impossible for many structural design software applications to handle with reasonable accuracy since the software is often based on linear (or piecewise linear) finite element analysis principles. These taut-wire systems are highly non-linear and, in fact, depend more on second order effects than on first order effects when starting from the straight position.  The input type can be either a point load or a vertical displacement at a point.  A final balancing check of all force and reaction vectors about the left support is used to calculate a percent error which is usually zero within round-off.

Suspension cable systems

This module is for solving suspension cables of parabolic and catenary types using classic static analysis methods. In these systems, gravity and/or an external distributed load is a primary actor on the suspended cable.

Swinging bridge 

With these systems the applied work may shift the shape of the wire thereby storing energy as potential energy and elastic considerations may not be the primary concern.

Cantenary dialog 

The suspension cable module provides simple classic analysis of catenary and parabolic cables suspended with a constant distributed load along the length of the cable (catenary) or across the span (parabolic).


The taut wire systems arise often in practice and are relatively tedious to solve by hand. Spread sheets can be programmed to handle them but there may still be a need for iteration and trial-and-error approaches to find solutions. In the case of straight taut wire system, even the best finite element programs fail to provide an adequate solution since the wire first responds only with second order effects. Once the wire is deformed well into a V shape, standard finite element solutions work quite well. It is the straight ones, responding to elastic displacement, that are very difficult to solve even though they are very simple structures.

This is the reason for the Taut wire module.

Classic catenary and parabolic cables are also difficult for many finite element applications if they do not model the gravitational field and its potential energy along with the elastic energy of the system. Once constructed into a structure in proper shape, they can be handled quite well by standard applications, but while free hanging, they are difficult to impossible. The classic equations for solving these systems are well known but often require trial-and-error or iteration techniques.

This is the reason for the Suspension cable module.

Compatible platforms

For Windows™ 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista (32 & 64 bit), XP

Get CADRE Zipwire

    Get CADRE Zipwire evaluation version

    Purchase CADRE Zipwire

Note: CADRE Zipwire is provided free for licensed users of CADRE Pro. The application can be retrieved on the same download page as licensed CADRE Pro updates. If you are a current user of CADRE Pro, provide your CADRE Pro serial number and request the current passcodes to the download site.