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Cantilever Beam

Cantilever Beam Definition: What is a Cantilever Beam?

Cantilever beams are members that are supported from a single point only; typically with fixed support. In order to ensure the structure is static, the support must be fixed; meaning it is able to support forces and moments in all directions. A cantilever beam is usually modeled like so:

A good example of a cantilever beam is a balcony. A balcony is supported on one end only, the rest of the beam extends over open space; there is nothing supporting it on the other side.

Cantilever Beam Deflection

Cantilevers deflect more than most types of beams since they are only supported from one end. This means there is less support for the load to be transferred. Cantilever beam deflection can be calculated in a few different ways, including using simplified cantilever beam equations or cantilever beam calculators and software (more information on both is below).

Cantilever Beam Stress

Cantilever Stress is calculated from the bending force and is dependent on the beam’s cross-section. For instance, if a member is quite small, there is not much cross-sectional area for the force to spread across, so the stress will be quite high. Cantilever beam stress can be calculated from either our tutorial on how to calculate beam stress or using SkyCiv Beam Software – which will show the stresses of your beam.

Cantilever Beam Calculator

Got a complex cantilever beam? SkyCiv’s Free Beam Calculator allows you to model and analyze complex beams to calculate cantilever beam deflection plus more.

The software is extremely easy to use and requires no installation or download. Add your member length, then apply a number of different point loads, distributed loads, and moments to your cantilever beam to get your reaction forces, bending moment diagram, shear force diagram, and deflection results.

Cantilever Beam Equations (Deflection)

Taken from our beam deflection formula and equation page:

Sample Cantilever Beam equations can be calculated from the following formula, where:

  • W = Load
  • L = Member Length
  • E = Young’s Modulus
  • I = the beam’s Moment of Inertia
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cantilever beam deflection example dstributed load cantilever beam deflection equation distributed load
cantilever beam deflection example of free body diagram point load cantilever beam deflection equation distributed load

SkyCiv Beam Software

SkyCiv Beam Analysis Software allows users to analyze beam structures easily and accurately. You can get a simplified analysis of your beam member, including reactions, shear force, bending moment, deflection, stresses, and indeterminate beams in a matter of seconds.

If you want to give it a try first, Free Online Beam Calculator is a great way to start, or simply sign up for free today!

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