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I’ve spent the last month creating apps for the purpose of designing flexural members, compression members, tension members, and beam-columns in accordance with CSA S16-19.

First, I had to learn Python. I took a 12-hour beginners course which was sufficient for learning the basics to Python, however not specific enough to be able to code the apps and get them to function as desired. Luckily, there are plenty of resources online and through watching YouTube tutorials, I was able to code the apps. Overall, learning python required lots of trial and error but was overall a smooth process due to the available resources.

I also had a very good experience using MecSimCalc as I found it incredibly easy to use and efficient, and it did not take long to adjust to.

Five applications have been created for design calculations in accordance with CSA S16-19. All applications require an input of the Cross Section, Yield Strength, and Unbraced Length of the member. The applications and their capabilities are presented below.

CalculatorDescription
Design of Flexural Members with W-SectionThis application computes the Section Class, Plastic or Yield Flexural Moment, Factored Flexural Moment Resistance, and Factored Shear Resistance of W-Sections under uniformly distributed load. Along with the mentioned inputs, there is also a lateral support option. If the beam is laterally unsupported, the Equivalent Moment Factor and Critical Elastic Flexural Moment are also computed for the purpose of calculating the Factored Moment Resistance.
Design of Compression MembersThis application checks the Width-to-Thickness Ratio, Slenderness, and computes the Factored Compression Resistance for W-Sections and HSS. Along with the general inputs for the CSA apps, there is also the option of support conditions, which is used to determine the Effective Length Factor in the Factored Compression Resistance calculations. If the compression member does not pass the Width-to-Thickness Ratio Check, the app stops there as the predicted resistance cannot actually be reached.
Design of Tension MembersThis application calculates the Factored Tensile Resistance based on gross section yielding and performs a Serviceability Limit State (SLS) vibration check for W-Sections and HSS.
W-Section Beam-Columns under Major Axis BendingThis application performs the four limit state checks for Beam-Columns with W-Sections under major axis bending. Along with the general inputs, the app requires the user to input the Factored Compression Load, Smaller End Factored Moment, Larger End Factored Moment, Frame Type, and Moment Distribution. The four limit states that are checked are: Cross-Sectional Strength, Overall Member Strength, Lateral-Torsional Buckling Strength, and Moment Check.
W-Section Beam-Columns under Biaxial BendingThis application performs the four limit state checks for Beam-Columns with W-Sections under biaxial bending. The inputs and outputs are similar to the app for Beam-Columns under major axis bending.