Simscape Multibody Link Release Notes


New Features, Bug Fixes

SimMechanics Link renamed to Simscape Multibody Link

The SimMechanics™ Link CAD plug-in is now named Simscape™ Multibody™ Link. The plug-in enables you to export a CAD assembly from a supported CAD application into what is now named Simscape Multibody software.


New Features, Bug Fixes

STEP file support

The SimMechanics Link plug-in now supports STEP files. You can export part geometries in your choice of STL or STEP files. STEP is the new default format of part geometry files.


Bug Fixes


Bug Fixes


No New Features or Changes


No New Features or Changes


No New Features or Changes


New Features

CAD export into SimMechanics second-generation models

SimMechanics Link introduces CAD export for SimMechanics second-generation models. SimMechanics Link generates a SimMechanics Import XML file that contains CAD assembly structure and parameters in SimMechanics second-generation format. You can choose between SimMechanics first- and second-generation formats.

SimMechanics Link supports CAD export in SimMechanics second-generation format from the following CAD platforms:

  • Autodesk Inventor®

  • Creo® (Pro/Engineer®)

  • SolidWorks®


No New Features or Changes


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New Features

Export of Reference Coordinate Systems from Supported CAD Assemblies

You can now export reference coordinate systems that you insert and define in your CAD assemblies into Physical Modeling XML. When you import this XML file into a generated SimMechanics model, these coordinate systems appear on the corresponding Body blocks.

    Note:   Export of reference coordinate system is not supported for all CAD platforms supported by SimMechanics Link software. See the SimMechanics Link Reference.

New Example

Exporting Reference Coordinate Systems from CAD Assemblies

The example User Added Coordinate Systems explains how to export optional reference coordinate systems from a CAD assembly that represents a gear set. The example assembly requires SolidWorks.


New Features

Improved and Expanded Documentation

Installation and Linking Documentation

The documentation for downloading, installing, and linking SimMechanics Link software has been expanded and improved. See Installing and Linking SimMechanics Link Software in the Introducing SimMechanics Link Software chapter.

Application Programming Interface Documentation

The documentation for the SimMechanics Link application programming interface (API) has been expanded and improved. You use the API to create custom links from SimMechanics Link software to external applications. This documentation includes:


New Features

Autodesk Inventor CAD Platform Now Supported

SimMechanics Link now directly supports the Autodesk® Inventor® CAD platform for exporting assemblies into Physical Modeling XML. See the Linking and Using the Autodesk Inventor Add-In reference chapter.

Pro/ENGINEER CAD Translation Now Supported on 64-Bit Windows

Direct SimMechanics Link support for these CAD platforms and operating systems has expanded.

CAD PlatformOperating Systems

Autodesk Inventor

Windows® 32-bit and 64-bit
Pro/ENGINEER®Windows 32-bit and 64-bit
SolidWorksWindows 32-bit and 64-bit

Web Video Example Now Available

A new Web-based video demonstrates how to translate and retranslate CAD assemblies into SimMechanics models, using SimMechanics Link software. See Watching a Demo.

Pro/ENGINEER CAD Translation Case Study

The CAD translation chapter now contains a case study demonstrating assembly export and re-export, along with model import and update. The study uses SimMechanics and SimMechanics Link software, together with Pro/ENGINEER, and models a double pendulum, subsequently modified to a triple pendulum. The study illustrates how you can update an existing generated CAD-based model with successive changes to the original CAD assembly.


New Features, Compatibility Considerations

Introduction to SimMechanics Link Utility

The new SimMechanics Link utility requires only MATLAB®, but is intended for use with SimMechanics software. Separate product documentation and examples are provided for this utility.

The SimMechanics Link utility generates Physical Modeling XML files from external applications such as computer-aided design (CAD) platforms. These Physical Modeling XML files can be used with SimMechanics software to generate SimMechanics models representing mechanical systems.

SimMechanics Link Version Numbers

The SimMechanics Link version numbers are identical, for each MATLAB release, to the parallel SimMechanics version numbers. The versions begin with 3.0.

SimMechanics Link Operating System and CAD Platform Support

The SimMechanics Link utility directly supports these CAD platforms on these operating systems.

CAD PlatformOperating Systems
Pro/ENGINEERWindows 32-bit
SolidWorksWindows 32-bit and 64-bit

Custom Interfaces for Combinations Not Directly Supported

For all other combinations of operating systems and CAD platforms (or other external applications), you must write a custom interface to connect to the SimMechanics Link utility. Such custom interfaces are supported on all operating systems that support MATLAB.

See Custom Linking to CAD and Other External Applications in the SimMechanics Link User's Guide.

Using SimMechanics Link Utility with SimMechanics Software

The SimMechanics command reads Physical Modeling XML files mech_import generated by the SimMechanics Link utility to generate SimMechanics models of machines with externally specified data.

Relationship of SimMechanics Link Utility and CAD-to-SimMechanics Translators

The SimMechanics Link utility replaces the obsolete CAD-to-SimMechanics translators, continuing to support those CAD platforms already supported, Pro/ENGINEER and SolidWorks.

Compatibility Considerations

The SimMechanics Link utility cannot update SimMechanics models that were generated from the old CAD-to-SimMechanics translators. The simplest workaround is to start with the original CAD assembly, export a new Physical Modeling XML file, and import it to generate a new model.

Pro/ENGINEER CAD Translation Case Study

A new CAD translation case study, available from MATLAB Central, demonstrates assembly export and re-export, along with SimMechanics model import and update, using SimMechanics and SimMechanics Link software. The study is based on Pro/ENGINEER and models a double pendulum, subsequently modified to a triple pendulum. The study illustrates how you can update an existing generated CAD-based model with successive changes to the original CAD assembly.

Compatibility Summary

ReleaseFeatures or Changes with Compatibility Considerations
R2008bRelationship of SimMechanics Link Utility and CAD-to-SimMechanics Translators
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