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SuperBeam in detail

Do you design houses, extensions, loft conversions or other small building works? If you need a quick and effective way to produce calculations for steel and timber beams and columns take a look at SuperBeam.

Key features

Extract from SuperBeam steel beam calculation
Extract from SuperBeam steel beam calculation

The SuperBeam desktop

SuperBeam desktop

SuperBeam desktop

SuperBeam looks much the same as many other Windows programs, with a menu at the top, toolbar under, status line at the bottom and Project Manager to the left. It runs on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8 and 10 (32-bit or 64-bit) systems. You can choose the font(s) used to display and print calculations. A larger font is easier to read; a smaller font shows more information without scrolling - the choice is yours!

New for 2016: SuperBeam, ProSteel - with EuroBeam to follow - now lets you choose from one of 20 colour schemes (themes). These screenshots use the Sapphire theme. You can see them all on our themes preview page.

A SuperBeam project is made up of one or more 'items'. An item can be a steel or timber beam, steel column, timber post or stud or text page. The new [2013] script option lets you generate calculation sheets for members such as pressed steel lintels which are sized using safe load tables. Each item calculation appears in a separate window.

You can edit items by double clicking on the window, clicking on the pen icon on the toolbar, selecting 'Edit' from the menu or by pressing Alt+E - one of these should suit your preferred way of working.

Project options

The Project details dialog lets you enter job-related data in four fields - you can change the default field names. You can choose whether to enter total loads or enter separate dead and live components of loads (the option selected applies to the whole project, not individual items). Most people will probably find that total load entry is simpler; dead/live load entry allows steel beam deflection to be checked against live load deflection only, and automatically calculates the required factor for steel bearing padstones and bearing plates. Top

Beam design

Beam dialog: load entry page

Beam load edit dialog

Beam load edit dialog

In SuperBeam the load, steel, steel bearing, timber and timber bearing data is entered in a multi-page modeless dialog. Click the appropriate tab to select the required page, enter the data, then pressing 'Apply' commits any changes that you make without closing the dialog, and you see the updated calculations in the corresponding window. 'Undo' restores the data to what it was before you started editing or last pressed 'Apply'.

So to work out a typical beam you enter the loads (each beam can now have up to 30 loads), click on 'Apply', click on the Steel tab (see below) and make any changes, then 'Apply' again. The required size on the button immediately under 'Consider' (see below) - you can click on the button to manually choose an alternative section, if you don't want the one that the program has selected. Then click on the 'Bearings' tab (see below) and change the bearing details as necessary. Click once more on 'Apply' then close the dialog and you're done. Top


Beam loading diagram B.M. & S.F. diagram

You can display and print beam loading and bending moment and shear force diagrams Top

Steel beam design and checking

Beam dialog: steel beam design parameters page

Steel beam design parameters

Steel beam design parameters

The options on this page relate to steel beam calculations. Amongst other options you choose the section type and steel grade, the minimum and maximum acceptable section widths and whether SuperBeam is to select the lightest or shallowest suitable section or check the one you have chosen. As elsewhere, you can add your own notes to the standard calculation.

Beam dialog: steel beam bearing page

Steel bearing dialog

Steel bearing dialog

SuperBeam lets you design simple padstone and bearing plate bearings for your steel beams.

Timber beam design and checking

Beam dialog: timber beam design parameters page

Timber beam design parameters

Timber beam design parameters

As with the steel page, this page is where you enter design parameters for timber beams, including the grade of timber and loading duration. If you enter the member width and depth the member will be checked; if you enter a width or depth of '?' the program will calculate the required value.

Steel column design and checking

Steel column edit dialog: load entry page

Stanchion dialog load page

Stanchion dialog load page

Steel column loads are entered on the first page of a tabbed dialog. You can enter axial loads or loads that create moments and also enter additional moments acting on the member. As for beams, SuperBeam checks your choice of section or selects the first suitable lightest or shallowest section depending on your choice (on the second page, not shown here).

Steel column edit dialog: baseplate page

Column baseplate page

Column baseplate page

Column base plates are sized using the equivalent area method. SuperBeam determines the minimum required size from the applied load and concrete strength then rounds this up.


Timber posts and studs

Timber post and stud edit dialog

Timber post edit dialog

Timber post edit dialog

Timber posts and stud design and checking is very similar to steel column design: posts and studs can be axially loaded only or axially loaded and subject to bending to about the either axis. Top

Text pages

SuperBeam text page editor

SuperBeam text page editor

SuperBeam includes a basic text editor that will allow straightforward pages to be created. Extra tags within the text handle tabs, underlining and overlining (for titles) and tab setting. You can also add OLE object pages to your project: these contain data supplied and maintained by another application on your system, for example a page of spec notes produced using Microsoft Word. Top

Page headings

Page edit dialog

Page edit dialog

SuperBeam, ProSteel and EuroBeam use the same page heading editor. It splits the page heading into a grid of eight rows and four columns. The text in each cell can be left or right aligned or centered, and you can use any one of four (user selected) fonts. Lines can be drawn around cells as desired. Optionally text may be centered to the page rather than within a cell. You can create and save multiple page headings which can be switched at will. SuperBeam, ProSteel and EuroBeam share the same headings: any heading created in one of these programs is instantly available to the other. Top


As well as viewing your calculations on screen, SuperBeam gives you the following options:

The demo version only allows viewing of calculations on screen.

Price List

If you are a registered user of:

SuperBeam (single copy)

SuperBeam 1.x (DOS version 1989-93), SuperBeam 2.x (DOS version 1993-8), SuperBeam 3.x (Windows 3 version 1998-2000) or SuperBeam 4 (1998-2016, update cover expired) £60 including 12 months updates from date of purchase*
ProSteel 1-5, ProSteel 7 £100 do.*
None of the above: i.e. first time buyers £200 do. BUY NOW
All prices subject to VAT and subject to change without notice. P&P inc.

* To get this price go to www.superbeam.co.uk/renew.
You will need your Greentram user number and postcode.

For additional copy licences, site licences and update cover pricing see our ordering information page | Top

All our programs run on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7/8/10 systems (32 or 64 bit)


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© 2016 Greentram Software Last updated 23 Oct 2016