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Using Jupyter Notebooks vs Excel for Engineering Calculations

Using Jupyter Notebooks vs Excel for Engineering Calculations

Using Jupyter Notebooks vs Excel for Engineering Calculations

Hi all,

Over the last two years of trying to find fast and effective ways of generating engineering notes on a computer, I have developed a Python library called handcalcs that I wanted to share. It is free and open-source software.

Doing calculations in Excel can be fast and easy, however, to use a printout from an Excel sheet as engineering calculation notes, time needs to be spent formatting, typing formulas into adjacent cells, and possibly naming your cells so that your formulas are easy to debug. Now the time spent starts adding up.

handcalcs was designed to quickly render calculations on the computer similar to how you would right them by hand: First the formula, the numeric substitution, and then the result. Additionally, it will render out any comments you may like to include about your assumptions.

I have made a video showing a side-by-side comparison of creating a small calculation sheet (buckling resistance of HSS member) in Excel vs. handcalcs-on-Jupyter to show the difference.


Wanted to share it with the engineering community with this post!

RE: Using Jupyter Notebooks vs Excel for Engineering Calculations

I'm using jupyter labs with anaconda navigator. Do you have any tips on how to install your libraries here (I'm quite the newbie with this, so be kind winky smile )


RE: Using Jupyter Notebooks vs Excel for Engineering Calculations

This is great! I'll try it out when I get the chance.

How simple would it be to get conglomerate the data from either CISC's SST excel table or AISC's v15 section properties tables into some sort of look up file? Or even the data from Appendix C in NBCC? This is kind of the big hangup for me getting started with the coding environment as opposed to using some Excel sheets I've tweaked over the years.

RE: Using Jupyter Notebooks vs Excel for Engineering Calculations

awesome stuff here Connor!

you can load the AISC shapes into a dictionary or list and perform the sorting/look up. I have a couple versions of the shapes database in my personal github as GUI enabled programs.

My Personal Open Source Structural Applications:

Open Source Structural GitHub Group:

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