In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to calculate beam deflection from first principles using the differential equation of the deflection curve. We’ll cover several calculation techniques, including one called Macauley’s Method which greatly speeds up the calculation process. We’ll work our way through a couple of numerical examples before discussing how we can use the principle of superposition and tabulated formulae to speed up the process even further.
In this project, we’ll build a beam deflection calculator that can generate beam deflections by directly integrating the bending moment diagram. The technique we’ll use for calculating deflection in this project is not limited to statically determinate structures, although you will need a complete bending moment diagram to integrate. This project builds on our previous Shear Force and Bending Moment Calculator project. So at the end of this project, the final result will be a complete beam analysis code that calculates beam reactions, shear forces, bending moments and deflections.