The app recomputes the solution to a beam loading scenario in real time as soon as any changes are made. Results can be immediately obtained from the main application screen without the user having to do any explicit action to recompute the problem.
Remember that in order to compute the solution to a beam loading problem, there is a minimum number of supports needed:
- At least 2 simple supports (if no fixed supports are used)
- At least 1 fixed support (plus any simple or fixed supports)
Results are displayed in several ways by the app:
- Labeled support icons When supports are placed on a beam, their computed reaction values are displayed directly underneath each support.
- Diagrams This is one of the most prominent features of the application. As loads are dragged around, the internal reaction and deflection diagrams underneath the beam update in real time. Xtruct automatically determines and labels interesting diagram values by searching for minima, maxima, and in some cases, zero crossings.
- Diagram ruler As explained above, the app tries its best to identify all the values that you might ever need from a diagram. But in case you need a custom value, you can tap on the diagrams and drag a ruler back-and-forth to display the diagram values for any value.
- **The beam itself! ** As you interact with the beam, you will notice something amazing. The beam itself bends! The astute observer will notice that the curvature of the beam matches the beam deflection diagram. Note that this visualization is a dramatization. The deflection of an actual beam is not as exagerated as the deflection shown by the visualization (if it was this pronounced, the equations used to compute beam values would actually be invalid).
The app produces up to four different diagrams (plots) to represent loading conditions graphically:
- Shear diagram in force units such as N, kg, lb, etc.
- Moment diagram in torque units such as N-m, kg-m, lb-ft, etc.
- Slope diagram in radian units or angle units.
- Deflection diagram in length units such as m, ft, in, etc.
The shear and bending moment diagrams are generated whenever any loads are placed on the beam.
The slope and deflection diagrams are only generated when supports are placed on the beam.
Since not all supports can completely specify the system of equations to be solved, in some cases more than one support needs to be placed for the beam to be solvable as described in the slope and deflection section.
Shear and bending moment diagrams are automatically generated whenever you place any loads on the beam.
When you modify load values, the shear and bending moment diagrams update automatically in real-time, as the animation here shows.
Since not all supports can completely specify the system of equations to be solved, in some cases more than one support needs to be placed for the beam problem to be solvable. For example, some common combinations of supports include the following:
- At least one fixed support
- Two simple supports
- One simple and one fixed support
- A simple support, a fixed hinge, and another simple support
- A fixed support, a floating Gerber hinge, another floating Gerber hinge, and another fixed support
If no supports are present in the beam OR if insufficient support conditions are specified, a warning message is displayed to remind the user to add at least one support to compute these diagrams.