O'Reilly logo

Statics For Dummies by James H. Allen, III, PE, PhD

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 13. Anatomy of a Free-Body Diagram

Ask photographers and artists about the pictures they've created, and you inherently hear about the emotions and feelings that they were trying to capture as they portrayed the physical object of their work. Pictures in statics provide a different purpose — something a bit more unemotional and unbiased; after all, statics is a science. However, the facts do show that a picture can serve as a very handy and even necessary tool; these pictures are what allow you to create those (objectively) super-awesome equations of equilibrium. Without a properly detailed picture (known as a free-body diagram), the game is over before you even get off the bench.

In this chapter, I describe the four types of forces that must be included on a free-body diagram and discuss the proper technique for displaying them.

Free-Body Diagrams in a Nutshell

The picture that you draw in statics is known as the free-body diagram (or F.B.D. for short) and represents the physical condition of the rigid object you want to analyze, including dimension data and the forces acting on the system. Free-body diagrams can be complex pictures of multiple objects and"systems, or diagrams of a smaller subcomponent of a larger piece within a system. Each representation must still obey all ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required