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Calculate Beam Stress and Deflection without Simulation!

Tuesday August 27, 2013 at 12:07pm
What is it?
Most users will be aware that the Toolbox included in SOLIDWORKS Professional allows for user to quickly add bolts and connections to assemblies, with automatic sizing and mating applied, however the Toolbox also includes some additional tools to help create custom components, add grooves and even calculate stresses and deflections.
The Beam Calculator calculates deflections and stresses of beams using a variety of pre-set loads types, from single fixture loads to distributed and symmetrical loads, allowing for a quick insight in to whether a chosen beam is fit for purpose.
Where is it?
The Beam Calculator can be accessed through the Toolbox menu dropdown
How do I use it?
Beams can be selected from a list of hundreds of pre-defined shapes using the 'Beams' button, which automatically generates a section modulus or moment of inertia. Length and Load are typed in manually and solved instantly to give a result. 
How accurate is it?
Comparing the results to data gained from Simulation on a single fixed beam, the results for both Deflection and Stress are very close.
Deflection from Beam Calculator - 8.292mm
Deflection from Simulation - 8.418mm (1.49% difference)
Stresses from Beam Calculator - 59749111.0925 Pa
Stresses from Simulation - 59733636.000 Pa (0.2% difference)
So What?
Using the Beam Calculator means that users with SOLIDWORKS Professional can easily test Beams to see if the chosen profile is fit for purpose, without the need for Simulation!

Stephen White
Applications Engineer

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