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How to Visualize Beams

For analysis purposes, a beam is modeled as a line element; however, for presentation purposes, you might want to display the beam more realistically to show the three-dimensional (3-D) cross section (e.g., an I-beam, C-section, etc.). You can create realistic beam visualizations in the Superview IV Results environment of FEMPRO.

To specify 3-D beam visualization, simply define the cross-section dimensions explicitly or choose a cross section from the AISC library as follows:

  • In the FEA Editor environment, access the "Element Definition" screen for a beam element part (for example, by right-clicking on the part name in the tree view and choosing "Modify Element Definition..."). You can define the beam cross-sectional dimensions in the "Sectional Properties" fields of the "Cross Section" tab.
  • Alternatively, to choose properties from a cross-section library, click on the "Cross-Section Libraries..." button. In the "Cross-Section Libraries" dialog, you can specify "aisc2001" in the "Section database" pull-down menu and apply cross-sectional properties from this library (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Apply cross-sectional properties from the AISC library.

After the cross-section dimensions are defined, you can display the 3-D beam geometry in the Superview IV Results environment. Right click on the beam element part in the tree view to access a pop-up menu of options and choose "3-D Visualization" (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: In the Superview IV Results environment, choose to display the 3-D beam geometry.

You can now examine the 3-D beam geometry (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Displaying realistic 3-D beam cross sections can improve presentations.

Thus, the ability to display 3-D beam geometry helps you to create presentations that are more realistic, vivid and intuitive.

For more information about visualizing beams, see the ALGOR V15 features web page or the ALGOR User's Guide.



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