Simple Truss Solver
Simple Truss Solver is a lightweight scientific application that you can use to draw and solve both simple and complex trusses.
It displays a user-friendly interface that allows you to easily draw the members, add restraints and apply concentrated forces. To make the drawing process a bit easier, the application enables you to toggle a grid display. This way, you can draw precise trusses.
To create a truss all you need to do is select the appropriate tool and simply start drawing. You get to draw individual members and the nodes are automatically added at each end. In order to connect two sections all you have to do is start drawing the next one from one node that belongs to the previous one.
You can also draw a new element that is independent of the structure and connect it by simply dragging a node over one that is part of the truss. But you do need to be careful while dragging because the node tends to snap to the closest one. If that should happen and it connects to a different node than the one you want, you can always use the undo option.
While you draw the truss with all its elements, the application creates a matrix of equations that automatically performs calculations and displays the results. This is a nice feature to have but for this to work, you need to draw the truss perfectly. If you draw an element the wrong way and notice it at the end of the process, you can’t delete that node. You can just move it to a different place and stretch or compress the connected elements while doing so.
The application also displays the number of trusses, nodes, external links and forces as well as the degree of static independence. All of these come in handy but not being able to change any of the element properties greatly limits the usability of the application.
In closing, Simple Truss Solver is a nice little tool to have if you’re an engineering student but its use is highly limited.