LVL Beam Load Study for Home

Hello everyone,

I’m working on a project at home to remove a load bearing wall and put in a LVL Beam. I’m wondering if anyone has good information on a plug-in for Rhino I could use to calculate loads based on a 3D model I am creating of the structure of my home.
I have some architectural experience and some experience working with engineers in my current field but am by no means proficient.
Before reaching out to an Engineer I wanted to do my own analysis and have everything they would need to help keep any costs down.

Karamba 3D


Check out these plugin.

Great thanks,
I’ll start there.

Just go with a 3-ply 24" lvl.

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The problem is it’s a house built in 1953 and the ceiling height is shy of 8’. I’m working with a 18’ beam w/ 16’ of that being the span and then the cross span is 24’.
I was looking at doing 3 @ 1-3/4" for a total of 5-1/4" x 14" LVL 2.0E.
There is a 2nd floor above and a roof that’s rafters and not truss. The floor joists are 2x8 w/ 1x12 subfloor on a 45 from the joists.

I’m not 100% sure of this but I think you won’t save any money by doing this because for building regs you need to show the calculations for the beam done by a qualified structural engineer so even if you took a GH load analysis to a structural engineer they are unlikely to then give you a discount on the calculations that they would still have to do.

For every steel used in our house we got the spec sent back from the structural engineer straight away and when we paid the invoice we got the calculations.

It was frustrating because it looked like something I could have worked out myself but it was the calculations that bulding control want to see.

I doubt a structural engineer will just write “See Rhino, GH, Karamba model that the customer has supplied himself” and give you a big discount for saving time!

On the other hand… interesting to work out how to do it and see if the structural engineer comes up with the same answer!

This may be a situation where it’s easier to just have

I see it this way too. Because of liability reasons, the struc. engineer will want do all calculations himself/herself.

That said, this situation sounds like something an engineer could knock out pretty quickly…especially those who work mainly in the residential sector. They calculate LVL sizes all day.

We have an Engineer we work with all the time. We do the drawings and get it setup to feed into their software for calcs, then they do the engineering packet and additional changes as necessary.
They are going to give me a stamped drawing with calculations from their software, I just want to do it from Rhino and a plug-in as a comparison. And to see if I can use it as preliminary work for bidding purpsoses.
I need to do the drawing fully because they won’t charge me to do the work as a favor if I provide a full 3D model with center line markers and everything they need so it’s ready to go.