What is a Cantilever Beam?

Cantilever Beams are members that are supported from a single point only; typically with a 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 modelled 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 other types of beams, since they are only supported from one end. This means there is less support for the load to be transferred to. 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 dependant 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 cantilever beam calculator allows you to model and analyse 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 equation page:

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

  • W = Load
  • L = Member Length
  • E = Young's Modulus
  • I = the beam's Moment of Inertia
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Click here to use the Free Beam Calculator

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