# How to size a simple mechanical piece ?

## Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi everyone! I'm a new user of this forum! I'm a student in Computer Eng. but i'm even very keen about robotics and mechanical design.
I have a discrete knowledge in calculus and linear algebra and wanted to know how i can size a mechanical piece with math (formulas).
For example : let's take a simple (i think) example, i want to calculate how much can resist a table made of wood that is long 5 meters and has four legs, each leg is uniform and has an area of 6 cm^2.
I know that i've benn too general, but i would like if somebody can explain how i can do this.
It's very interesting even the reverse process, i mean for example if i have to design a system that has to lift 10 kg etc...
It would be wonderful if i could apply this to my projects so that when i create a simple robot i can even size the mechanical parts.

Sorry for my bad English

## Answers and Replies

Related Mechanical Engineering News on Phys.org
Engineering Mechanics for Structures by Louis L. Bucciarelli is a good/quick read for a primer in this area.

Generally speaking, their are many "easy" equations that can be used to approximate what you are looking for. Unfortunately, sound engineering judgement is required to choose the appropriate assumptions that accompany those equations. If the above book is to slow to read as it is not in your primary language, get an introductory book on strength of materials and statics in your native tongue.

Thank you very much!