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.
Welcome to this quick start guide on how to use the 3D truss analysis toolbox. In this tutorial, we’ll work through the solution of a sample 3D space frame (pin-jointed) structure. We’ll determine reaction forces, axial forces and nodal displacements. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll be comfortable using the toolbox to analyse your own structures. In the video accompanying this tutorial, we’ll also use the Blender modelling template file provided to model and analyse a structure from scratch. Like the 2D toolbox, students in particular, should find it helpful as a quick and easy tool for generating structural response data.
Learning how to use mathematics and mechanics to analyse structural behaviour is among the most challenging topics student engineers struggle with. Yet, for an engineer, particularly one involved in the analysis and design of structures, a firm grounding in fundamental structural behaviour is essential. In this post, I want to provide a complete structural analysis guide – a roadmap for learning structural analysis from the beginning; what to study, in what order and why.
This is a quick start guide for our free online truss calculator. Follow this short text tutorial or watch the Getting Started video to quickly orientate yourself with this handy free tool. We’ll walk through the process of analysing a simple truss structure. By the end, you’ll be comfortable using the truss calculator to quickly analyse your own truss structures. Students, in particular, should find it helpful as a quick and easy tool to test manual solutions against.
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.
In this tutorial we examine the Direct Stiffness Method and work our way through a detailed truss analysis. By the end of this complete introduction, you should understand the basic ideas behind why the method works, how to implement it for truss analysis and you should understand the power and scalability of the technique. Once understood, the direct stiffness method opens the door to structural analysis of large scale complex structures.
In part two of this tutorial series we’ll consider how to analyse the lateral stability of a multi-storey structure with an asymmetrical arrangement of stabilising elements. Asymmetrically propped structures undergo twisting or rotation about the centre of stiffness in addition to direct lateral translation. We will consider how to determine the additional forces induced by this twisting. Finally we’ll compare our hand analysis results to a simple finite element analysis model.