ExcelFEM_3D (for Excel 2007 & Excel 2010)



Static structural analysis of 3D linear elastic frames and trusses. Computes the static deflections, reactions, internal element forces using direct stiffness methods. Simply follow the 12 step process.

An older version of this document works with Excel 2003 but is not being further developed

1) Define Units
2) Define Materials
3) Define Member Sections
4) Define Node Supports
5) Define Node Positions
6) Define Nodal Loads
7) Define Members
8) Define Member Loads
9) Examine Member Forces
10) Examine Support Reactions
11) Examine Displacements
12) Plot Member Loads

Nodal Points
Nodal Loads
Point Load
Moment Load
Distributed Load
Member Forces
Support Reactions
in this version; loading control(load combinations) moment, -shear, -axial, -torsion diagrams added. interface has been changed. was passed to xlsb. note: no longer maintained, xls version.

Calculation Reference
Finite Element Analysis
Frame Analysis

Calculation Preview

28 Jul 2011
Last Modified
07 Sep 2011
File Size:
1,545.11 Kb
File Version:
File Author:
Turan Babacan

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Comments: 34
roofguy 3 years ago
This is a great spreadsheet. One thing that would greatly increase it's convenience of use is a load factor for all loads. It would allow all loads to be input, then inactivated (factor zero) or combined as needed.
JakeMorin 9 years ago
So, I downloaded and ran this with a continuous beam type problem.
Member 2 kept showing up incorrect, and I went hunting for an error. The equation in cell C6 of Sheet "MNT1" was missing it's reference.
I'm using Excel 2013 (which could be the issue?). Or maybe something happened on upload (I've downloaded multiple times). At any rate, check cell C6 of "MNT1."
The result of this wasn't that the sheet wouldn't work, it was that no load was being applied to member 2. I discovered this by investigating the shear and moment diagrams.
SunnyJnr 10 years ago
Great Spreadsheet! Has there been anymore updates since Sept 2011?
hades3 10 years ago
BABACAN 10 years ago
I am doing my best to clear my table before heading off for my Summer break so I don't have any time to look at this further. However I think you are basically up and running now you have seen how the correct section needs to be set in the member definition section.
BABACAN 10 years ago
Thank you very much John. I can see that it seems to correlate well with the square section.
As the last effort, can I get you to do the same comparison with the IPE 100 section. (Or did we already decide, there must be some special way you have to input the section into the ExcelFEM3d before the results are consistent with Staad/ Ansys?)
Thank you very much again John. You have been alot of help to me with this thread.
BABACAN 10 years ago
I have just run the square section model in ANSYS as a sanity check.
Section is solid square 5inch by 5 inch
E = 2.90E+07, Poisson Ratio = 0.3
Portal frame constructed from 3 members
Bottom members fixed
500lbs applied in horizontal direction in upper corner:
I obtained a good correlation between FEM3D and ANSYS results. I believe that you did not define the square section and assign it to the members correctly. Please see a summary of my findings below:
I hope this helps.
BABACAN 10 years ago
*Bump* Help anyone?
BABACAN 10 years ago
Attached here is the "not pretty" report for the square section model. Thank you all again. Filename Portal_Frame_Square_Not_Pretty_.pdf, size 23576
BABACAN 10 years ago
John and Turan,
I just went to look at the .doc files that were posted on this thread. I agree the .doc file does say "0" for density on the staad.pro output report.
However, I just went and reviewed my model and the model has been assigned as steel and has the correct density.
Apparently, staad.pro has a bug in the report creation.
As such, I have attached another report for the IPE model.
This report is not as "pretty" in formatting (it is also generated by staad with no modifications made) but it does show that I have the correct "density" in my model.
Thank you both for not forgetting about me.
I think the subject spreadsheet is an amazing use of excel and I would love to be able to verify it so that I can continue with its use. Filename NotAsPrettyReport_But_Correct___IPE_Sections.pdf, size 23414
BABACAN 10 years ago
Hi wtstreetglow, sorry for not getting back promptly I have been very busy recently. Taken a quick look at the two models and a thought crossed my mind. In your staad model density is zero but it is assigned a value in FEM3D. Maybe this is behind Turan's comment. I'm tied up all day tomorrow but I'll try to take a closer look on Friday.
BABACAN 10 years ago
*Bump* For more responses as the previous response did not lead to a solution... Thanks all. I still need help with my post.
BABACAN 10 years ago
Attached you will find the Portal Frame completed with the FEM 3D program. (3 beams, all of which are IPE 100s)
The frame in this attachment is the reason the thread was started.
This FEM3D.xlsb when compared to the Staad.Pro analysis is a great deal different with respect to the reaction forces (force and moment).
The Staad.Pro Results (for the Portal Frame made of IPE 100s) can be found on the second page of this thread. (For comparison)
BABACAN 10 years ago
Would you happen to know what Mr. Babacan is trying to explain to me?
All looks well when I go into all of .xlsb files posted within this thread. (There are 3 total). 1.) IPE 100 Portal Frame Model in 3D.xlsb, 2.)Square Section Portal Frame Model in 3D.xlsb, 3.) Square Section Portal Frame Model in 2D.xlsb. The density looks fine in each of them because I have selected a "library" material in each of the 3 files.
BABACAN 10 years ago
Turan, where do I have the material density set as zero?
In both the 3D version and 2D version I have selected "Steel" for the section called "RECT" which has been assigned to all beams in the Portal frames that are using a square section.
In the first 3D model posted in this thread, I used a "library" section that you created within your program. The "IPE 100" library section is automatically assigned with a material of "STEEL" which has a prescribed density within your FEM programs.
Please explain, or show me with a screenshot attached to your reply in this forum.
Thank you Turan!!!!! :-)
BABACAN 10 years ago
material density is not zero!
BABACAN 10 years ago
Attached you will find Turan's ExcelFEM 2D spreadsheet used to solve the same problem (Square Section). I got somewhat "crazy" results using the 2D spreadsheet. Again, this may be error upon the users part (me)...
BABACAN 10 years ago
Attached, the staad.pro results can be found (Square section). Filename Structure1_Square.doc, size 49770
BABACAN 10 years ago
Attached is the ExcelFEM with square (5"x5") members. The next post will have the attachment of my Staad.Pro analysis. The results of each are very much consistent now. (Only with a square member, however)
I agree, I think you "are on to something". It has to be an error in the usage (input) of the spreadsheet when using sections where there cross section differs in each respective axis. The note you spoke of has to be telling me something, I just don't quite understand it...
Turan is a very very smart man,and I doubt he is the one with the error. :-)
Hope we find a solution, this is an awesome use of excel, especially if we can get it work sufficiently.
Attached you will find the square section Excel FEM3D.
In the next post you will find the staad report with the same cross section properties applied to the beam elements.
BABACAN 10 years ago
I will try the suggestion with square steel elements. I cant remember but i believe i have already tried to rotate the IPE 100s in Turan's spreadsheet to see if my results would match the staad analysis (I believe that also didn't work). I'm not 100% sure on that though so i will run 2 examples. One with square shapes within staad and within Turan's spreadsheet. The second will be the rotation of the IPE 100s within Turan's spreadsheet to check against my initial staad run results. I will attach my results in the following post. Thank you again!!!
BABACAN 10 years ago
I have taken a quick look at the problem and I believe the problem is due to the orientation of the beam elements (the orientation of the major and minor axis of the beam element). As a sanity check could you run the problem again using a rectangular section (section 1). Initially use the same B and H dimensions to make it square and check that the Staad and FEM 3D results are the same.
Then play with dimensions B and H to make an obvious difference in major and minor bending axis and this should help you understand what is happening.
One part in the instructions jumped out at me which read
I'll also try to get in touch with Turan and see if there is an easier way to check beam orientations.
Bear with us.
BABACAN 10 years ago
Attached is my approach to the same "portal frame" with Turan's spreadsheet. The reaction forces at both reactions seem to be off by quite a bit. (especially the moments).
BABACAN 10 years ago
Thank you so much for your response John. I have attached my Staad.Pro output report. In the next post I will attach my approach to the same frame with Turan's 3DFEM spreadsheet. Filename StaadOutputReport.doc, size 51345
BABACAN 10 years ago
Hi wtstreetglow - I don't have staad but I do have a copy of ANSYS. If you send me a sketch of your problem I'll compare the ANSYS and 3D FEM results. I have done this previously and achieved a very close correlation.
BABACAN 10 years ago
I have completed a calculation within a software program entitled "Bentley Staad.Pro v8i" and am trying to compare the force output to the force output of the 3D FEM spreadsheet. My model is a simple 3 beam (all are IPE 100s) "portal frame", however the results from "Staad v8i" are very different from the results of the FEM3D spreadsheet. I have pdf versions of my staad analysis (It is very short) and the .xlsb file used to run the same FEM analysis within Turan's spreadsheet. As stated earlier, the results differ a great deal on such a simple structure. I would like to know if John Doyle or Turan could spend 10 minutes of their time helping troubleshoot why the results are so different. I can send my small files if an e-mail address is provided.
kapour 11 years ago
Most impressive!
Thanks for sharing.
cstrain 11 years ago
Please take a look at the Area calculation for Type 9 Sections. It appears to me that the ID part of that formula should have 2xthickness.
JohnDoyle[Admin] 12 years ago
Bravo Turan! Are there no ends to your talents?
BABACAN 12 years ago
BABACAN 12 years ago
How do you think should be ExcelFEM_3D? Please write.
BABACAN 12 years ago
Added profile option available.
BABACAN 12 years ago
19-07-2011 "bar name error" corrected.(thanks Andrejs Semjonovs)
21-07-2011 "red/blue error" corrected.(thanks Santos Vega)
BABACAN 12 years ago
Adapted to include a new tree-view menu.
17-07-2011 "support reactions error" corrected.
JohnDoyle[Admin] 12 years ago
First of all the member load diagram is extremely useful and I see that you have self-weight included too. Without doubt this is the best beam FE software I have ever used and to think it is all done in Excel without VBA is amazing. The design and layout of the sheet itself shows all the signs of an Excel Genius. Well done Turan.