Last week we got an interesting question that I thought I'd share with you. A customer was wondering if there was a way to have SOLIDWORKS tell him where he needed to hang a beam from so that it would hang at a specified angle when picked up by a crane. We put on our thinking caps for this one. We probably could've used some simulation tools like SOLIDWORKS Simulation or SOLIDWORKS Motion to solve this problem, but ultimately the best solution, in this case, was a good old hand calculation. I had to reach way back into my statics knowledge to solve this. All this problem is a Sum of Moments problem. Summing the moments about the point we want to hang the beam from lets us get an equation where the only unknown we have is the distance we're looking for. The free body diagram and equation looks something like this.
This got me thinking, though, why not do this in SOLIDWORKS? That way it can be used for whatever size beam! All we have to do is create a couple variables and link them to model dimensions and input this big long moments equation and we're done! Check out below how I did this and feel free to utilize this for something similar you may run into!
By: Chris Olson, Simulation Applications Engineer