In this section, we will be talking about the Structural Steel and Beam Calculator together. Both programs work with each other so let's see how they play.
Let's start by opening a new part and going to Tools, Toolbox, and Structural Steel.
Inside the Structural Steel menu we can see choices for the different standards and profile types.
The standards are those of your SOLIDWORKS Toolbox.
The profiles should look familiar as well. Let's choose the Square Tube.
The properties of the specific profile are displayed in the lower half of the menu.
We will choose a 2x2x.025 tube and click the Beam Calculator button.
The calculator will open its own menu. Notice if you start with the Beam Calculator off of the Toolbox menu you will be able to access the Structural Steel by clicking the Beams button.
There are a few load types to choose from, and should cover most applications.
Choose the type of calculation to run. In this case we are choosing the Deflection option.
Next we move to the Input section. (Make sure the proper Moment of inertia is set!! An easy check is to click the Beams button, check your selection of the profile, and click done on the Structural Steel menu.)
Here we will Input the Deflection and Length, Load and Deflection, or the Load and Length and click Solve. The calculator will fill in the value for the variable you don't input.
Here we see the results of entering the Deflection (.25) with the Length (120) and the load to produce .25" of deflection at 120" is 9.767361. We can say the 10lbs. would exceed our limit of .25"
We can also use the Stress calculation to get some answers as well. 10lbs at 120" will go over our above scenario but will it over stress the part?
Here we see the stress value calculated below. If you choose to go back to the Beams menu…
You can now click Create to get the profile started. I know… it's only the profile.
True, it would be nice to have it add the length to the part and extrude right away but I guess this is better than rotten tomatoes. (Meanwhile the clicking of thousands of users typing Enhancement Requests on the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal is heard in the background)
We hope this series gives you an insight to the additional design tools available in the SOLIDWORKS toolbox. Please check back to the CATI Blog as the Dedicated Support Team will continue posting new series of articles every month that go further into the details of many of the SolidWorks tools. All of these articles will be stored in the category of Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support and links to each article with their release date are listed below:
- The Hidden Treasures of SOLIDWORKS Toolbox - Part 1 (Bryan Pawlak 3/31/15)
- The Hidden Treasures of SOLIDWORKS Toolbox - Part 2 (John Van Engen 4/1/15)
- The Hidden Treasures of SOLIDWORKS Toolbox - Part 3 (Blake Cokinis 4/2/15)
- The Hidden Treasures of SOLIDWORKS Toolbox - Part 4 (Neil Bucalo 4/6/15)
John Van Engen
Senior Technical Support Analyst
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.