Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Continuous Beam Analysis and Design Using OpenOffice

As mentioned in the earlier post, OpenOffice is free. My idea is to convert all my Excel spreadsheets with Macro to OpenOffice Calc programs. Remember the OpenOffice Calc is free and engineers are generally poor. If we don't have to pay for Excel, we could save quite a fair bit in our works. Well to cut it short, here it is :

This is the screenshot of the similar Excel program that now is written in OpenOffice. The conversion from Excel to OpenOffice was actually simpler than I thought. At first, there are errors. But after closer look, I realise not all the formulas can be directly converted. It was not really the problem of OpenOffice as my codes actually contain very specific way of reading some information and this cannot be directly translated to OpenOffice. After some checking, the errors were corrected and the OpenOffice program output the same results as the Excel program (as expected).
What is difficult is the macro for excel cannot be directly convert to OpenOffice macro. This is the painful part for me, as there are not many books and resources on writing Macro for OpenOffice and the process is also much more tedious than VBA. After 2 weeks of on and off writing, main part of the Macro was in shape but one crucial problem was bugging me, ie how to unload the menu after popping up. I decided to stop for a week and send the code to a friend who are familiar with OpenOffice to take a look. He is helpful but can't really give the solution. Then suddenly, I come across a website and briefly talk about the similar issue (not exactly but was along that line). I copy the idea and "hola", it solved. Now the macro works exactly like Excel program.
I am waiting for the release of OpenOffice 3.2 for testing the program further.

Splice Joint Design to BS5959-2000

This is the splice joint design screenshot. I have been very busy for the last few months and find very little time to update the blogs and reply to all the queries. I will try to find time to reply to all of you.
Some of you have received my spreadsheets and given very valuable comments for my improvement. Most notably comments are from the Iran and India engineering community that have responded and tested the Excel spreadsheets and given positive feedback. So far there is no error found except some improvement suggested from the users. I am so busy with my current works that simply can't find time to update further. Well, hopefully, this year I will be able to incorporate all the comments and resend to all the reviewers.
If you like my works, please send me a email or just post your comments. I really hope the Canadian Engineering communities can also read this and appreciate the works that I have done.

Simple Cleat Bolt Design BS5950 - 2000

This the screenshot of the simple cleat with bolted design. The design checks are very comprehensive. Not only the bolts are being check, the cleat, block shear, eccentric moment due to reaction etc are being checked. Currrently, the design is based on BS5950 -2000.
This program is thoroughly cross check with BSI design example and found to be accurate.

The similiar program is also written in Canadian Code CAN/CSA-S16.1. But the program is not fully tested for accuracy yet. Till I find a suitable example for cross-checking, I will publish the results and screenshot.