#5. How to draw a free body diagram?

What is a free body diagram?

A free-body diagram (FBD) is a diagram used to show the relative magnitudes and directions of all the forces acting on the body.

FBDs are frequently used in physics to understand and consequently solve problems revolving around Mechanics.

Free body diagram

The diagram shown above is a free body diagram.

Things to consider when Drawing a Free Body Diagram

  • Draw The Outline shape: It is very important to isolate the subject from its surroundings. Furthermore remove all supporting drawings surrounding the object.
  • Show ALL FORCES: Make sure you dont miss any force on the object, a simple yet effective trick to avoid errors is to trace around the object for forces.
  • Identify Each Object: Label all the know forces with their respectiv magnitudes and Directions. For any know in the diagram label it with a letter of unknowns.


Initially, the idea of FBD might not please you, but never doubt it’s importance in solving much more complex equations as we move forward in the course.

For better understanding of this topic u may visit my previous lecture.

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