Can it be treated as a beam?
If I am not mistaken, beam elements are 1 dimensional. Your object is not. You might be able to model it as a series of tiny beams but I'd seriously doubt the results. BTW, this problem doesn't look too hard for a hand calculation, are you doing it as a test?
It is a question form the test and I didn't answer it correctly.
That's why I asked.
Weldments are the best candidates for beam analysis, since SW recognizes them and makes the conversion to beams so easy. A helix can't be created as a weldment.
Helical shapes can still be converted to beams, but SW seems to have trouble a fair amount of the time. It seems to have trouble detecting where the end of the beam is and where to put the joints.
I made a crude approximation by connecting a bunch of short segments together. Compare the two studies in the attached file. The beam study resultant displacement is less than 10% off from the static study. Both studies run quickly, but certainly the beams are far faster.
The extra modeling work means this probably wouldn't ever be a method you'd want to use.
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