A shear center demonstration model using 3D-printing
Locating the shear, or flexural, center of non-symmetric cross-sectional beams is a key element in the teaching of structural mechanics. That is, establishing the point on the plane of the cross-section where an applied load, generating a bending moment about a principal axis, results in uni-directional deflection, and no twisting. For example, in aerospace structures it is particularly important to assess the propensity of an airfoil section profile to resist bending and torsion under the action of aerodynamic forces. Cross-sections made of thin-walls, whether of open or closed form are of special practical importance and form the basis of the material in this paper. The advent of 3D-printing allows the development of tactile demonstration models based on non-trivial geometry and direct observation.
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