Arches are one of the most efficient and elegant structural forms. Their efficiency has seen them selected throughout history as the go-to form for spanning large distances. In this tutorial, we’ll explore the different methods for analysing both determinate 3-hinge arches and indeterminate 2-hinge and fixed arches. Through worked examples, we’ll develop the various methods, with particular attention paid to how Virtual Work can help us unlock indeterminate arches. After completing this tutorial, you’ll have a better appreciation for the structural behaviour of arches, and you’ll be confident in analysing arch structures by hand!
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.