Tutorial Video - How to Use the Free Beam Calculator


To show how easy it is to use the ClearCalcs free beam calculator we've put together a short video demonstrating how it's possible to analyse a multi support beam in under a minute and get accurate results for shear, bending moment, deflection, and reactions.

The beam calculator is free to use at https://clearcalcs.com/freetools/beam-analysis with no account required, and allows the entry of an arbitrary modulus and stiffness so you can easily analyse the deflection for a wood or steel beam.

Watch the video above for a brief overview of the beam calculator before testing it yourself. Professional engineers will benefit by creating an account with ClearCalcs which provides the ability to save and link beam and column calculations, as well as full access to our beam, column, retaining wall, truss, and connection calculations in a variety of common materials.

Free Beam Calculator Tutorial Video Transcript

Welcome to this quick tutorial for how to use the free online beam calculator available in the free tools section at ClearCalcs.com.

In this tutorial, we'll see how it's possible to analyse a multi span beam and get interactive diagrams for shear, bending moment, and deflection in under a minute.

To get started, we'll specify the geometry of the beam. In this tutorial, I'm going to use metric units, but it's easy to toggle into imperial units if that's your preference, the process is the same.

I'm going to design a four meter long, three support beam with a cantilever on either side, but you can design for any number of supports or loads you like. All ClearCalcs calculations follow the same easy to read format with key inputs on the top left, and a summary of analysis and diagrams on the right.

You can see as I make changes, the calculation automatically updates, and you can easily see your current geometry using the beam diagram in the bottom right. Supports can be placed anywhere along the length of the beam and default to pinned connections, but can be changed to fixed if you prefer.

We can easily add a distributed load at any point along the beam, and set an arbitrary start and end magnitude. We also support simple formulas if you'd like to do a quick in cell load calculation. Point loads and moment loads can also be added. Downward loads, in the direction of gravity, are positive.

As you'll have seen, the calculation has automatically updated as we've gone along. All ClearCalcs calculations automatically solve as you type, meaning you can easily see the effect of different scenarios, and never need to wait around for solving.

At the top right we can see our worst case shear, bending moment, and deflection values, and you can easily hover over any point of the graph to get the value for a specific point.

By default, our calculation uses the Modulus and Stiffness of a steel beam to determine deflection, but you can easily change these values to get accurate deflection for your desired section. If you're ever unsure what a field means, just click the label to get a short help summary.

The online beam calculator is free to use at ClearCalcs.com with no sign up required. Our paid accounts offer the ability to easily save and print, as well as perform a much wider variety of calculations for beams, columns and trusses in materials such as concrete, wood, and steel. Get your free trial at ClearCalcs.com/signup.

Thanks again for watching, and we hope you enjoy using the free beam calculator as much as we enjoyed making it. Check out our YouTube and Vimeo channels for more quick how to use tutorials and engineering webinars.