How to learn to solve structural steel requirements? - Page 2

# Thread: How to learn to solve structural steel requirements?

1. ## Re: How to learn to solve structural steel requirements?

Originally Posted by henry42
My dad was a licensed professional engineer who taught me that engineers didn't have to know crap, only where to find the answer.

And while it would be nice to learn where to find the answer, unless you're a licensed professional engineer you answer is only good for you. Anyone getting hurt by your design would own you.
Unless it is a new structure. Not everything dreamt up by the human mind has been evalutated from a mechanical engineering standpoint. That's why mechanical engineers need to solve complex problems on Solidworks or some other kind of professional FEA software. Also, (with all due respect to your Father) it's BS that a mechanical engineer doesn't have know crap. I had lots of ME major'ing friends when I was in college. Guess what - they were taking Calculus-III and Differential Equations just like I was. They had to apply Linear Algebra to solve problems in conjunction with calculus, just as I was. Sometimes the professional ME has to be the first one to derive the answer so others can then look up what he/she did.

2. ## Re: How to learn to solve structural steel requirements?

You really need to aprentice with your father from when you are about two years old. And then volunteer for any interesting task that your neighbors, family, or friends of the family have for you.

My little guy was laying shingles on the roof with me when he was two years old.

Sincerely,

William McCormick

3. ## Re: How to learn to solve structural steel requirements?

Some of the most educational things in my life related to stress and deflection came from watching tools that I thought were so hard and inflexible, bend like rubber when used as a lever. Or when the tool got stuck between two rocks, and it flexed easily.

Getting my fingers caught under a very light davit arm near the mounting base was very educational about cranes. The increasing force needed to lift a boom, the closer you are to the pivot point of the boom. These are essential things to understanding structural strength.

Sincerely,

William McCormick

4. ## Re: How to learn to solve structural steel requirements?

Originally Posted by Oscar
Unless it is a new structure. Not everything dreamt up by the human mind has been evalutated from a mechanical engineering standpoint. That's why mechanical engineers need to solve complex problems on Solidworks or some other kind of professional FEA software. Also, (with all due respect to your Father) it's BS that a mechanical engineer doesn't have know crap. I had lots of ME major'ing friends when I was in college. Guess what - they were taking Calculus-III and Differential Equations just like I was. They had to apply Linear Algebra to solve problems in conjunction with calculus, just as I was. Sometimes the professional ME has to be the first one to derive the answer so others can then look up what he/she did.
Software is not even close to solving mechanical problems. A human mind is equivalent to a billion computers working for years on a problem if the human has been actively exposed and properly sorting data.

Sincerely,

William McCormick

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## Re: How to learn to solve structural steel requirements?

I realize I'm a little late to this thread but I have some opinions I'll throw out there. I'm a mechanical engineer, and honestly I could show someone how I do one design (like a gantry crane), but a different design would be just that, different. Design only becomes simple when you understand all the failure modes you can know by experience aren't going to come into play. You have to know a lot of things that don't apply to be confident in knowing the few that do.

I took trigonometry and 4 semesters of calculus which I view as absolutely essential, 2 semesters physics which maybe aren't as essential but pretty useful, statics, dynamics, strength of materials, materials and manufacturing methods, mechanical design, and vibrations (which are all critical knowledge before embarking on a mechanical design in my opinion).

That certainly doesn't mean you can't just overbuild without any calculation and every home project requires a PE stamped drawing. You have to consider what the cost of failure is and decide if you're ok with a risk of failure.

Finite element analysis - what some CAD packages do - only tell you what you ask them. The first thing we learned about these systems in school is "garbage in = garbage out." Basically, you have to know the load cases, boundary constraints, etc that apply, and the appropriate assumptions that apply to get anything useful from FEA. And generally, you have to know how to do some hand calculations to make sure what the computer is telling you is reasonable.

In my current job, I get to design things that absolutely have to work the first time. I enjoy it, but when human safety is at stake, I am exceedingly cautious. I don't care if I get accused of over engineering something or it costs a few more dollars for 8x3x3/8 HSS when 1/4 "would probably be fine," or it takes more time to do a 1/4 bevel and then a 3/8 weld on top of that, my name is attached to it and it's my responsibility to know it's going to work (and I use a heck of a lot more than 10% over what is required).

That does not mean a good design can never fail. Anything can be overloaded, used improperly and fail or wear out prematurely. Some duty rests in the user to know the limitations of what they're using.

I don't mean to come off as arrogant or prideful. I do enjoy what I do and take pride in my profession.

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6. ## Re: How to learn to solve structural steel requirements?

Originally Posted by TWeatherford
Iere.

I'm a mechanical engineer,

I took trigonometry and 4 semesters of calculus which I view as absolutely essential, 2 semesters physics which maybe aren't as essential but pretty useful, statics, dynamics, strength of materials, materials and manufacturing methods, mechanical design, and vibrations (which are all critical knowledge before embarking on a mechanical design in my opinion).

Thalk

TWeatherford, you sound educated, i'm curious, during this education, was the trade centers that fell on 911, ever discussed/explained ? also, whats your thoughts/reason how they fell

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## Re: How to learn to solve structural steel requirements?

Ohhh, here we go

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## Re: How to learn to solve structural steel requirements?

Originally Posted by 123weld
TWeatherford, you sound educated, i'm curious, during this education, was the trade centers that fell on 911, ever discussed/explained ? also, whats your thoughts/reason how they fell
No, we never discussed the World Trade Center. I don't have any thoughts that I care to share (although I don't think you want to hear them anyway).

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## Re: How to learn to solve structural steel requirements?

By that reply I might guess you and 123weld think similar

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## Re: How to learn to solve structural steel requirements?

Originally Posted by ronsii
By that reply I might guess you and 123weld think similar
I don't know what he thinks, but I would guess that we do not think similar. My education started long before college both in school, under the hoods of cars and trucks, building things from wood and metal, continued in college, and continues today. I learned a few things just the other day from a machinist and often learn from fab shops that call to ask about drawings I've done.

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## Re: How to learn to solve structural steel requirements?

Originally Posted by TWeatherford
My education started long before college both in school, under the hoods of cars and trucks, building things from wood and metal, continued in college, and continues today.

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I'm guessing that is the case for almost all of us here, I remember watching and learning automotive things at 5 and carpentry tasks at 7. And we are here sharing and learning... sometimes BS, sometimes really good stuff.

12. ## Re: How to learn to solve structural steel requirements?

Originally Posted by OMB
I'm guessing that is the case for almost all of us here, I re.
lol. i think mine started somewhere around the time i learned to crawl/talk/walk
Last edited by 123weld; 05-27-2019 at 11:27 AM.

13. ## Re: How to learn to solve structural steel requirements?

Originally Posted by William McCormick
Software is not even close to solving mechanical problems. A human mind is equivalent to a billion computers working for years on a problem if the human has been actively exposed and properly sorting data.

Sincerely,

William McCormick
right, go tell all the professional engineers out there in the world that make their living at very high levels of engineering that their bosses can shove it up their *#*z@ with their FEA computer models. I'm sure they don't need software at any of the major engineering companies all over the world to assist in making predictions regarding any kind of engineering inquiry.

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