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Model body geometries, inertias, colors, and frames

Model a body using Solid and Rigid Transform blocks. The Solid blocks provide the geometries, inertias, and colors of the solid sections of the body. The Rigid Transform blocks specify the spatial relationships—the relative positions and orientations—of those solid sections. A solid section can have a simple shape such as Sphere or Brick, a more sophisticated shape such as General Extrusion and Revolution, or an arbitrarily detailed shape imported from a STEP or STL file.

Simscape Blocks

General Variable Mass Mass element with variable inertial properties
Graphic Marker with graphic properties
Inertia Mass element with fixed inertial properties
Solid Solid element with geometry, inertia, and color
Spline Cubic interpolating plane or space curve
Reference Frame Non-inertial reference frame
Rigid Transform Fixed spatial relationship between frames
World Frame Inertial reference frame


smnew Open Simscape Multibody model template and block library
sm_lib Open the Simscape Multibody block library


Solid Geometries

Modeling Solid Geometries

Overview of the solid shapes available in the Solid block. Preset shapes, compound shapes, and imported shapes.

Custom Solid Cross-Sections

Rules for specifying cross-section coordinate matrices for General Extrusion and Revolution solid shapes.

Model a Solid of Revolution

Use the Revolution shape to model a solid with a constant cross section about an axis.

Model a Solid Extrusion

Use the General Extrusion shape to model a solid with a constant cross section along an axis.

Import a Solid Geometry

Model a simple solid with a CAD-generated shape imported as a STEP file.

Frames, Inertias, and Colors

Modeling with Frames

Definition of frame, role of frames in a model, and frame transforms as spatial relationships between frames.

Add a Frame to a Solid

Interactively create new solid frames using the Solid block frame-creation interface.

Specify the Inertia of a Solid

Simscape™ Multibody™ definitions of moments and products of inertia. Parameterizations and approaches for specifying inertia in simple and compound bodies.

Model a Fixed Custom Inertia

Calculate and manually specify the moments and products of inertia for a simple solid.

Model a Variable Inertia

Use the General Variable Mass block to model the effects of a variable mass on the motion of a harmonic oscillator.

Manipulate the Color of a Solid

Using solid color parameterizations to manipulate solid opacity and shadow, highlight, and self-illumination colors.

Modeling and Visualizing Bodies

Creating Body Subsystems

Workflow steps for modeling body subsystems from individual solid elements.

Simscape Multibody Bodies

Overview of the solid properties common to all bodies. Role of coordinate frames in body subsystems. Software definition of body boundaries.

Model a Compound Body

Combine solid elements with rigid transforms to obtain more elaborate body geometries.

Visualizing Model Components

Solid block and Mechanics Explorer as visualization utilities for solids, bodies, and multibody subsystems.

Featured Examples

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