|Posted by marblaze on February 15, 2012 at 8:05 PM|
If you can design by hand then you can do structural design using any computer software.
The first step in doing so is to define your frame or your structural element, e.g. beam and column. You can do this simply by using 3d coordinate system.
For example, if you have a simple frame with two supporting columns and one beam at say three meter each, then you can start your definition by assigning 0,0,0 coordinate for the base of your first column, then 0,0,3 for the top of first column and end of the beam. Then 3,0,3 for the other end and top of second column and then 3,0,0 for the base of the second column. Such coordinates represent pints in the X, Y and Z directiotions thus they now serve as the joints of the frames.
Members of the frames can easily be added by defining their position relative to the joints. For example the first column will now be from joint 1 (or 0,0,0) to joint 2 (0,3,0) and simply apply the same principle for the rest of the members.
By playing around with the drop-down menu of the software, you would be able to add loads, support and joint types, the kind of materials, and the loadings. Once you hove done it, just look for the caluclate icon or similar then its done. Find the results command and then you will be able to find the result of the calculations.
Click for a free structural design program. (Absolutely free, no catch)