SOLIDWORKS Beam Calculator

The beam calculator feature inside Solidworks allows designers examine the effects of forces acting on supported beams. To begin the analysis we first have to enable the Solidworks toolbox add-in inside Solidworks add-ins folder.

Enabling this add-in incorporates the beam calculator, Cam design, Bearing calculator and the structural steel design under the toolbox folder.

The designer can now be able to run the beam calculator based off the different beam designs i.e. beams with varied supports and different points of load application.

To start the beam calculator click on toolbox then select beam calculator.

The tab that is first pulled up when you run the beam calculator describes the purpose of the calculator entirely. On the left side of the tab we can see that there is an allocation to specify the type of beam. The beams in the current database are:

1.Fixed at one end, loaded at the other end (cantilever beam)
2.Fixed at one end, uniformly loaded (cantilever beam)
3.Supported at both ends, loaded at the middle (simply supported)
4.Supported at both ends, uniformly loaded
5.Supported at both ends, unsymmetrical loading
6.Supported at both ends, two symmetrical loadings

From the left side you can also define the type of calculation you would want the calculator to run, whether it’s a stress calculation or a deflection calculation.

On the right is where you define your inputs and the units you would like to use. You can then feed in the parameters such as modulus of rigidity, Moment of inertia (second moment of area), length and load.

Say you want to run a deflection analysis on a cantilever beam based on metric units. All you are required to do is input the values for the said parameters and run the solver.

The solver generates the deflection in mm.

The designer can also run a stress calculation based on the parameters of the beam.