Simscape Multibody lets you define parts using parameterized 3D shapes. You can also create custom parts by defining 2D profiles in MATLAB and extruding them along a line or revolving them about an axis. You can use STEP and STL files to define parts. Using a 3D interface, you can place and orient part frames that enable connections via joints or serve as references for measurements.
Simscape Multibody provides joints and constraints covering standard and custom kinematic relationships. For example, you can create a four-bar mechanism using revolute joints or define a barrel cam mechanism with a point-curve constraint. Gear constraints, such as rack-and-pinion and bevel gears, are also included. You can add friction and backlash. You can use a flexible method to define the initial positions and velocities of your joints.
Simscape Multibody enables you to define forces on parts and joints. You can apply stiffness and damping forces or torques to joints based on their movement or via a signal input. You can apply forces and torques to parts at any reference frame. Uniform gravity, fixed or specified by a signal input, can be applied to the entire mechanism. You can also define a gravitational field centered at a point, which is useful for planetary or satellite motion.
You can define fully parameterized parts and mechanisms that can be reused in other designs. For example, you can create a single actuated leg of a Stewart platform, and then copy and paste it to model all six legs. You can give access to key component parameters via a dialog box, and provide a link to documentation integrated in the MATLAB Documentation browser. Being able to reuse models increases your teams’ efficiency.
You can import entire CAD assemblies, including parts, mates, and joints, into a Simscape Multibody model. This enables you to simulate your mechanical design together with electric, hydraulic, pneumatic, and control systems.
You can export assemblies from CAD software to an XML file and corresponding geometry files, and import the data into Simscape Multibody to automatically create the model. Installing a plug-in enables export from PTC Creo (Pro/ENGINEER), SOLIDWORKS, and Autodesk Inventor. Assemblies in Onshape® can be extracted using a MATLAB command. For other CAD software, you can explore MathWorks® partner program, or use this example CAD script and MATLAB code to enable export.
Simscape Multibody models can be created automatically from an XML file exported from CAD software. The XML file has a specific structure containing key information about parts, mates, joints, and geometry files. Importing the XML file creates bodies using the geometry files and converts CAD mate definitions to joints. The Simscape Multibody XML schema is published, enabling you to import models from other modeling software.
Simscape Multibody helps you understand the behavior of your mechanism by providing a 3D animation of the simulation results. You can calculate forces the actuators must produce and forces the parts must withstand.
Simscape Multibody automatically creates a 3D visualization of your model and generates an animation of the simulation results. You can replay and explore the animation and save the animation to a file. The 3D view lets you explore the model and navigate to the schematic view to verify model structure and explore plotted results. You can view the animation from multiple static or moving viewpoints simultaneously.
Simscape Multibody enables you to choose actuators by calculating the force or torque required to achieve a specified motion. You can refine the requirements for parts in your design by determining the forces and torques the parts in your design will experience. Analyzing these quantities in closed-loop simulation with the electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, and other systems help you create an optimized design.
Simulink capabilities enable you to solve challenging control design problems using Simscape Multibody models. Advanced linearization and automatic control tuning techniques help you apply complex control strategies and rapidly find controller gains that achieve robustness and response time goals. Profiling and advisor tools identify bottlenecks in your simulation and help you improve your model.
Simscape Multibody provides specialized solver technology for simulating multibody mechanical systems. You can perform different types of analyses, including forward dynamics, inverse dynamics, and kinematics.
You can rely on Simscape Multibody to automatically formulate the equations for your entire mechanical system. The equations are solved together with the rest of your model, which may include electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, and control systems. After parsing your schematic, Simscape™ uses symbolic manipulation and index reduction to identify the mathematical formulation that most efficiently represents your entire system.
Simscape Multibody uses specialized simulation technology to enable your simulations to run in real time. You can configure both explicit and implicit solvers to limit the amount of computation per time step while maintaining the accuracy you require. You can use different solvers on different portions of the same model to minimize execution time. These capabilities let you use your model for HIL testing, training simulators, and other situations where simulation execution must be synchronized with a real-time system.
Capabilities in MATLAB enable you to efficiently solve challenging problems with your Simscape Multibody simulations. Any simulation task can be automated using MATLAB code. Optimization algorithms help you quickly identify an optimal set of parameters or components for your design. You can accelerate optimizations and parameter sweeps by running your simulations in parallel on multiple cores or a computing cluster.
Simscape is the platform for all Simscape add-on products. In addition to the Foundation libraries, it provides much of the core technology for modeling and simulating physical systems in all domains.
Simscape components represent physical elements, such as pumps, motors, and op-amps. Lines in your model that connect these components correspond to physical connections in the real system that transmit power. This approach lets you describe the physical structure of a system rather than the underlying mathematics. Electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, and other physical connections are represented in your multidomain schematic by lines whose color indicates their physical domain. You can see right away which systems are in your model and how they are connected to one another.
Simscape Multibody is based on Simscape, which provides much of the core technology and capabilities necessary for modeling and simulating physical systems in all domains. Simscape enables you to:
The Simscape family of products consists of six products that cover a range of applications. You can combine any set of the Simscape add-on products with the Simscape platform to model multidomain physical systems. The add-on products include more advanced blocks and analysis methods.
Simscape Multibody models enable you to test embedded control algorithms and controller hardware without using hardware prototypes. In addition to software-in-the-loop (SIL) and processor-in-the-loop (PIL) tests, converting your Simscape Multibody models to C code lets you run hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) tests. This enables you to test embedded controllers without endangering equipment and personnel, and increases your confidence that the system will behave as specified when you connect the controller to the real system.
Many engineering tasks, such as optimizations and parameter sweeps, require running many sets of simulations. Converting your Simscape Multibody model to C code enables the efficient execution of these tasks. You can accelerate individual simulations, and run batches of simulations in parallel over multiple processors or distributed across a computing cluster.
Simscape helps you make efficient use of your purchased software when sharing models that use Simscape Multibody. It also provides methods of sharing models while protecting your intellectual property.
Using Simscape Editing Mode, Simscape users can perform many tasks on models that use Simscape add-on products even if they have not purchased the add-on products. Those tasks include viewing, simulating, and changing parameter values in the model. As a result, your team can leverage advanced components and capabilities from the entire Simscape product family without requiring that each engineer purchase a license for each Simscape add-on product.
|Working with Simscape Models|
(Purchases Simscape and Simscape Multibody)
|Log data and plot results|
|Change numerical parameters|
|Generate code with Simulink Coder|
|View Simscape Multibody animations|
|Access PowerGUI functions and settings|
|Change block parameterization options|
|Make or break physical connections|
You can share Simscape Multibody models with other users while protecting your intellectual property. You can protect custom components defined using the Simscape language as well as subsystems containing Simscape Multibody blocks. Sharing these models lets other users run simulations, vary parameters, and convert them to C code, but prevents them from seeing the original implementation.
MATLAB, Simulink, and Simscape are used at many leading universities. Educators can use modeling and simulation with 3D visualization to engage students with realistic examples and make classroom theory come alive. Using simulation, students can prototype in a virtual environment, which encourages them to try out new designs and to explore the entire parameter space. Simulation enables them to optimize their designs in research projects and student competitions. Because these products are also used widely across industries such as automotive, aerospace, and robotics, graduating students who have experience with MATLAB, Simulink, and Simscape are in demand by employers.
Learn more about engaging students with modeling and simulation.