A free-body diagram is a sketch of an object of interest with all the surrounding objects stripped away and all of the forces acting on the body shown. The drawing of a free-body diagram is an important step in the solving of mechanics problems since it helps to visualize all the forces acting on a single object. The net external force acting on the object must be obtained in order to apply Newton’s Second Law to the motion of the object.
A free-body diagram or isolated-body diagram is useful in problems involving equilibrium of forces.
Free-body diagrams are useful for setting up standard mechanics problems.