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’re going to revisit the topic of deflection calculation and introduce Macauley’s Method. We’ll again rely on integrating the differential equation of the deflection curve, except this time we’ll speed the whole process up considerably by using Macauley’s method. This technique is also sometimes known as the Singularity Function method. We’ll work our way through some examples that will leave you well placed to apply Macauley’s Method on your own. We’ll also write a couple of helper Python scripts along the way to make our lives a little easier.
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.