Bending a beam like having a force at some point



Is there a way to bend a construction beam , grouped or not, having a small calculated radius?

I can draw a curved beam, what looks like having a force, having the top side a length longer then the middle length and the lower side shorter, but that is way to much work.
Is there a way or plugin that can do that?


How about showing us an example of what you are trying to achieve?


It sounds like some sort of illustration of deflection. Perhaps animation.


If you are just trying to model an approximate example of beam behavior under load the extension FredoScale does bending and twisting. If you are looking for accurate stress analysis or bending moment calcs of a given object or material I am not aware of any plugins for SU that do true FEA, I wish there were.

Measure load-bearing capacity in SU

Or even simplified static loading analysis based Euler-Bernouli theory.


Anything would be useful, right? I remember years ago seeing an extension that claimed to offer simple color spectrum depiction of SA within Sketchup, can’t remember the name but it turned out a goose chase. For now I export to folks with fancier systems than mine for that work, but it would be great to do initial testing on my own prototypes first. I guess there are some free SA software that perhaps I could find a compatible file export for (step?), but I’ve not put any effort into figuring it out yet.


If you know the equations and can calculate the moment of inertia for the beam cross-section, you can model the deflection by creating a curve and then using the Follow Me tool with the curve. Due to the way the Follow Me tool works, it produces the equivalent of making the outer curve longer than the inner curve.

For example, a thirty inch cantilever bar of 1" x 1" 6061-T6 aluminum with a 100 pound load on the free end. Using the U-V PolyGen plugin, you can plot the deflection curve for this beam and then use it to drive the Follow Me tool for the 1" x 1" profile:



Or something like this, which @endlessfix mentioned.

Mind you you’ll get pretty much the same result with follow me.


you might wanna check Inspire 2018 from SolidThinking:

besides Topology optimalisation, it can offer quick insight in how parts interact, apply forces etc.
They also have a (free) webbased version to test:

Though not common in architecture, the need for optimization and simulation driven designs in this field becomes more and more.


FEA analysis, Real life loading on models

Wow, thank you very much for the many suggestions.
I will look into this, even things I was not even hoping for.
The idea was searching for something like uv_polygen.
Thank you.

Doesn’t mean that new idea’s/suggestions aren’t welcome. :wink:


I too am trying to measure load on beams and was referred here for my similar posting on the forum.
Here are the column beams in my proposed building, all but one of them 4’X6’

F Column Full Assembly.skp (839.9 KB)
See also attached .skp file.
How can I measure the deflection and strength of such a massive structure - 1000’ H X 2000’ W (1999’H X 1998’ W without the outer walls)?
Also keeping in mind the columns taper and don’t all make it to the top.
I need to know if the proposed beam arrangement is sufficient in size, placement and spacing.


That certainly calls for Finite Element Analysis software. All I’ve used along those lines is a Mac Classic app called FrameMAC. I still have a working Titanium PowerBook that can run it, but it could die any day (knock on wood). Best solution would be getting an engineer involved, and a pretty creative one at that.


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