Based on an original interpolation method we develop a beam finite element formulation on the Lie group SE(3) which relies on a mathematically rigorous framework and provides compact notations. We work out the beam kinematics in the SE(3) context, the beam deformation measure and obtain the expression of the internal forces using the virtual work principle. The proposed formulation exhibits important features from both the theoretical and numerical points of view. The approach leads to a natural coupling of position and rotation variables and thus differs from classical Timoshenko/Cosserat formulations. We highlight several important properties such as a constant deformation measure over the element, an invariant tangent stiffness matrix under of rigid motions or the absence of shear locking.

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