I understand how this mechanism works, I see how it can extend and collapse without any stress on the links.
Are these links resting on a surface to keep them all flat? You have to construct that body also.
In ANSYS you can analyze applying a tension force on a fully extended set of links. Since the force going through all the links is the same (if you neglect friction on the support surface) all the links in the middle will respond the same way. Therefore I recommend you study just a three link chain, and pay attention to the response of the center link. The first link will have a fixed support, the second (middle) link will be fully extended, and so will the third link. The third link will have a tension force applied.
Frictional Contact will be defined on the faces where the first and second link touch, and where the second and third link touch. Frictional contact will also be defined between each link and another body that is the surface on which they lie.
While you could make a 3D model, I recommend starting with a 2D model. A 2D model will run much faster and is easier to get it to solve. To make a 2D model, create surfaces (not solids) that represent the side view of the links, but those surfaces must be in the X-Y plane.
It's important that the position of the links be fully extended because ANSYS Static Structural must start with contacting faces touching.
Export those end faces as a Parasolid and you can import that Parasolid into DesignModeler or open it in SpaceClaim.
The other thing you could do is apply a compression force on a fully collapsed set of links (or a 3 link chain). But there may be a load that causes the chain to buckle up off the surface.
If you want to see the links slide along the surface as they go from fully collapsed to fully extended, that is not done with Static Structural. That is a Rigid Dynamics type of model. Are you more interested in applying tension to a fully extended set of links, or do you want to see the expansion and contraction of the links?