Beam Analysis Tool

Provides complete analysis of deflection and stresses caused by direct forces on simply supported beams.

Beam Analysis Tool

The Beam Analysis Tool provides complete analysis of deflection and stresses caused by direct forces on simply supported beams. Its intuitive interface enables immediate productivity, while more advanced features allow great flexibility in problem definition.


As a plug-in, works with both 32 and 64 bit versions of TurboCAD Pro and Platinum 20 ,21, and 2015. The Beam Analysis Tool facilitates best practices by saving the beam information and all analysis diagrams directly in the drawing file, alongside the beam. This is useful for collaboration, and also saves a great deal of time when plans change and analyses need to be updated. Further collaboration is supported by options to save beam analyses as XML files, or to publish configuration details and all diagrams as HTML files to post on an intranet or extranet.

The Beam Analysis Tool is specifically designed for use by structural, mechanical, and civil engineers; architectural designers; designer/builders; general contractors; municipal planning departments; and students.

Why Choose Beam Analysis Tool?

  • Provides fast, accurate calculations — beams, supports and loads are easy to define and revise, allowing for quick what-if analyses to find the right beam and support combination.
  • Encourages best practices — beam analysis information is saved with the plan drawings, making critical load, support, and beam information available to all who need it. Information may also be shared without sending the complete drawing file by using HTML or XML formats.
  • Simplifies analysis configuration — tabs allow for quick updates to units, loads, sections, supports, or diagram types.
  • Speeds the learning process — Windows-style interface with tabs, selection buttons, drop downs, and easily modified parameters are well organised, with user-friendly graphical feedback.
  • Facilitates change management — beam configuration can be reloaded from within the drawing when revisions are needed, so there is no searching for the previous data and no starting over from scratch.
  • Accelerates ROI — time to productivity is minimal, producing quick return on investment.



Save time and money. Get a fast Return on Investment from immediate productivity gains. With the intuitive, easy-to-learn, easy-to-use, easy-to-revise software, there is no need to start from scratch when a change needs to be made, even weeks into a project.

  • Easy to learn. The plug-in runs in a simple pop-up window, with a clear graphical interface and intuitive drag-and-drop controls.
  • Easy to use. Tabs for each parameter include radial buttons, drop downs, and help you to perform important calculations in any unit system selected.
  • Includes more than 200 standard cross-sections. Standard S, C and W type steel sections can be selected, or easily specify your own.
  • Easily perform "what-if" changes. Simply move supports, change loads or change beam properties to find the right configuration quickly.
  • Easy to revise. Simply change appropriate parameters and view the results. Re-open the analysis within your CAD application when you revise a drawing: no need to redo the analysis from scratch, or risk forgetting to do so, when it’s saved right next to the beam.

Perform better beam analyses. Use standard cross-sections or your own custom-created cross-sections. Analyse with a high degree of precision, and exercise complete control over your analysis configurations.

  • Flexible design for your unique needs. Begin with one of 7 standard cross-section profile shapes and modify its dimensions with up to 9 different parameters. Then further customise by selecting from 7 metals or 8 woods.
  • Determine cross-section properties. Have the Beam Analysis Tool automatically calculate properties, or select your own material and enter inertia and moment parameters to run calculations on a purely custom beam.
  • Windows 32-bit application. Written in C++, this is not an old DOS application or modified spreadsheet.
  • Highly accurate.
  • Supports numerous loads and supports for beams up to 100m. Add as many loads and supports as needed of various types and properties, including moment and tangent loads.

Collaborate effectively; quickly review and revise. Having analysis diagrams available via HTML, XML file, or in the drawing allows anyone who needs to review the beam to do so. As revisions occur, having the associated analysis in the drawing acts as a reminder to revise calculations, which can be launched directly from the analysis information.

  • Beam analysis saved in the drawing. Supports best practices, while providing analysis data to others who may need to review the plans.
  • As the drawing is modified, adjust beam properties. If the beam changes during revisions, simply select the associated analysis for modification.
  • Publish beam details and all analysis via HTML. Use the intranet or extranet to share results with all who need to review them.
  • Save to XML file for archiving or collaboration. Share the beam analysis duties without sharing the complete drawing file. Small enough to be easily shared as an email attachment.
  • Place diagrams directly in the plans. Facilitates reviews by planning departments.
  • Collaborate remotely and share the analysis via HTML or XML. Publish the full analysis on your intranet or extranet via HTML, or send just the beam information to a colleague using only an XML file rather than the whole drawing file.

The Beam Analysis Tool opens in its own window within the CAD application. The default settings use imperial units with a beam that is a W_10x19 Wide Flange Steel Section, 30 feet in length, with a 100 pound point load in the middle. It has a Fixed End support on the left and a Roller support on the right. From there you can change the length of the beam, add supports and loads (including torsion), and see all effects.

The next several pages include details about Beam Analysis Tool.

Supported Platforms
The Beam Analysis Tool is available as a plug-in for TurboCAD Pro v20. The tool requires a licensed copy of the base CAD platform running on a supported operating system. TurboCAD system requirements for your version to determine support for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 versions.

The Beam Analysis Tool requires an additional 14 MB free disk space.

Known limitations:

The version running on TurboCAD Pro 20 can read/write and exchange intelligent beam objects in drawings saved as TCW, and DWG file formats. All versions of the Beam Analysis Tool support the same intelligent beam object XML exchange format and write to the same HTML style pages.

Diagram Output
  • Adding beam weight is optional for analysis and diagrams
  • Support indicator size can be modified in the drawing
  • Load display colours can be individually selected for presentation
  • Easily change the size of diagrams and beam details for presentation in the drawing
  • Full analysis output may be saved to an HTML file
  • Full details may be saved to an XML file for opening in any other instance of the IDX Beam Analysis Tool
  • Eight diagram types are available in the CAD drawing file:

FORCE NORMAL - Showing the vertical “shear” forces on the beam.

FORCE AXIAL - Showing the horizontal forces on the beam.

DEFLECTION - Showing the deflection along the beam.

MOMENT - Showing the rotational moment forces along the beam.

STRESS - Showing the stress forces on the beam.

TORSION MOMENT - Showing the rotational moment forces perpendicular to the beam.

TORSION DEFLECTION - Showing the torsion deflection perpendicular to the axis of the beam.

TORSION STRESS - Showing the torsion stress forces on the beam.

Beam Properties
  • Length
  • Moment of inertia
  • Section modulus
  • Section area
  • Polar moment of inertia
  • Polar section modulus
Material Properties and Types

  • Custom properties for materials of the beam (units are determined by the setup and can be US customary units or SI)
  • Modulus of elasticity
  • Torsion modulus of elasticity
  • Density


  • Multiple material types to choose from
  • Aluminum
  • Aluminum (bronze)
  • Brass
  • Bronze
  • Copper
  • Iron (cast)
  • Steel (carbon)
  • Wood (Ash, Beech, Birch, Cedar, Elm, Fir, Maple, Oak, or Pine)
  • Other (user defined)
Beam Cross Sections

  • 150 standard W-steel section types
  • 31 standard S-steel section types
  • 29 standard C-steel section types
  • Create a cross section from a standard profile
  • Seven basic profiles as starting points
  • Up to 9 dimensional parameters for defining cross sections from standard profiles, including Isosceles Trapezoid (US, Trapezium UK), Hexagon, Ellipse, Hollow Ellipse, Tapered Channel, Tapered I-Beam, and Tapered T-Beam
  • Application calculates section parameters from input values
  • Define a custom cross section based on chosen parameters
  • Moment of inertia
  • Polar moment of inertia
  • Section modulus
  • Polar section modulus
  • Section area
Support Types and Parameters

  • Pin
  • Roller
  • Fixed end left
  • Fixed end right
  • Each support may be defined as free or fixed for torsion
  • Support size on the drawing diagram can be specified
Load Types

  • Point load
  • Linear distributed loads, including trapezoidal distributed loads
  • Moment loads
  • Torsion moment loads
Load Properties

  • Weight
  • Linear distributed loads may be entered by total load value or by left and right load value per linear unit
  • Trapezoidal distributed loads are defined with left and right values per linear unit
  • Clockwise/counterclockwise for torsion and moment loads
  • Load angle
  • Normal or tangent
Universal Units Configuration

  • Mix and match imperial and/or metric as needed
  • Force types include Newton, pound, and kilograms
  • Axial units for length of beam and location of loads and supports include inches, feet, and meters
  • Transverse units for beam cross-section definition in inches, millimeters, and centimeters
  • Angle units include degrees and radians
System Requirements

TurboCAD Pro (32 and 64 bit) or
TurboCAD Pro Platinum (32 and 64 bit)