SuperBeam

SuperBeam 7.05

Calculates steel, timber beams, and columns
3.5  (19 votes)
7.05 (See all)
Adds steel, steel bearing, timber and timber bearing data in a multi-page modeless dialog. Design simple padstone and bearing plate bearings for your steel beams. Determines the minimum required size from the applied load and concrete strength then rounds this up.

Beams are a very important part of a building's structure since they are used to resist the loads that are applied mainly vertically, but also horizontally, to the building. This program lets you easily make the calculations related to the design of the beams so they can stand the daily use of the building, as well as resist movements from diverse sources such as earthquakes or the daily passing of heavy trucks, taking into account the use of the building, the zone in which it will be built, and so on.

First, you need to create a new project from the File menu, and then, you can add the beams you will be using. You can choose to add a timber, steel or mixed beam, as well as its fire resistance time. Also, you can add any relevant note. A file showing all the data about the beam will result. There, you can find the beam's permissible bending stress, section size, deflection index, and more. You can add as many beams as you need. Using the same process, you can add the columns that will support those beams.

Interestingly, the program also includes a calculator and calendar, which add functionality to the program. It also includes some demos to get familiarized with the program's options.

The main drawback I found is the cost. Since the developer is a company from the UK, the cost is expressed in Pounds Sterling, and when you convert it into US dollars, the already high-cost increases. If you are an independent architect or live in a non-US or UK country, this may be a lot of money. Nevertheless, if you have a construction company, it may be a wise investment.

The shareware version of the program does not allow you to print the results of the process. Also, you only can make calculations for beams with a maximum load of 50 kg/m. If you want to get rid of these limitations, you need to purchase a license.

Victor Hernandez
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • The program automatically performs complex calculations for architects and construction companies
  • It has a nice and colorful interface

Cons

  • The program is very specialized, and you need to have architectural knowledge to use it fully
  • The cost is not very affordable for individual users
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