In this post, guest author Vittorio Lora talks us through how he developed the idea for and ultimately built Beamsolver.com. A structural engineer by training, Vittorio has pivoted in his career to focus more on software development. But he couldn’t shake the desire to build the analytical beam calculator that he would have found so helpful as a student. Parameterised structural analysis problems are notoriously difficult to solve algorithmically. Unlike numerical problems, solution techniques based on linear algebra just don’t scale well. Vittorio explains how it was actually the simple techniques we all learn first that ultimately unlocked the problem.
In this tutorial we’re going to focus on trusses, also known as pin-jointed structures. We’ll briefly discuss their key features and methods of analysis. We’re going to start at the very beginning by briefly considering what exactly a truss is – but we’ll very quickly move on to truss analysis and demonstrate the joint resolution method and method of sections with some worked examples.
Structural analysis is the process of using mathematical and mechanical principles to determine the magnitude of internal forces in a structure. One of the main roles of a civil or structural engineer is carrying out structural analysis as the first step to designing a safe structure. In this tutorial we’ll demonstrate exactly how this process works for a real world structure.
A truss is a structure that consists of a collection of elements connected at pin joints or nodes. In theory, the pin joints provide no rotational resistance and behave as hinges. In practice this is not always the case.
In this tutorial, we’ll discuss common forms of truss, their features, approximate methods of analysis and the key assumptions that relate to our analysis.