Simscape Multibody

Model and simulate multibody mechanical systems

Simscape Multibody™ (formerly SimMechanics™) provides a multibody simulation environment for 3D mechanical systems, such as robots, vehicle suspensions, construction equipment, and aircraft landing gear. You can model multibody systems using blocks representing bodies, joints, constraints, force elements, and sensors. Simscape Multibody formulates and solves the equations of motion for the complete mechanical system. You can import complete CAD assemblies, including all masses, inertias, joints, constraints, and 3D geometry, into your model. An automatically generated 3D animation lets you visualize the system dynamics.

Simscape Multibody helps you develop control systems and test system-level performance. You can parameterize your models using MATLAB® variables and expressions, and design control systems for your multibody system in Simulink®. You can integrate hydraulic, electrical, pneumatic, and other physical systems into your model using components from the Simscape™ family of products. To deploy your models to other simulation environments, including hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems, Simscape Multibody supports C-code generation.

Get Started:

Custom 3D Mechanism Simulation

Create multibody models of any 3D mechanism.

Rigid and Flexible 3D Parts

Define rigid and flexible parts using parameterized 3D geometry or CAD data. Create 2D profiles in MATLAB and extrude them along a line or revolve them about an axis. Specify material properties or import them from finite element software.

Joints and Constraints

Connect parts with joints to define degrees of freedom. Include rack and pinion gears, bevel gears, and pulleys connected by cables in your design. Model roller coasters, linear conveyors, and similar systems with custom kinematic behaviors.

Contact Forces

Model collisions and friction forces between 3D parts. Add custom aerodynamic and hydrodynamic forces. Include gravitational forces for space systems.

Contact forces between the robot’s feet and the floor include collision and friction forces.

Integrate Electronic, Hydraulic, and Pneumatic Systems

Model your entire multidomain system in a single environment with the Simscape family of products.

Include Actuation Systems

Connect electronic, hydraulic, pneumatic, and other systems directly to your 3D mechanical model. Evaluate actuator technology for your application and determine the size and power required to meet performance requirements.

Design Control Algorithms

Use advanced linearization and automatic control tuning techniques to implement complex control strategies. Rapidly find controller gains that achieve robustness and response time goals. Test software implementations to evaluate system performance.

Control system for an aileron tracking a commanded angle.

Bring Design Teams Together

Enable software programmers and hardware designers to collaborate early in the design process with an executable specification of the entire system. Use simulation to explore the entire design space.

Control logic coordinating a robot arm and two conveyor belts to transport and reorient packages.

Create Fully Parameterized Models with MATLAB

Rapidly explore your design space and refine requirements to shorten your development cycles.

Rapidly Explore Design Spaces

Automatically vary design parameters such as length, radius, mass, and voltage. Rapidly run tests in parallel to identify viable portions of the design space and to focus your development efforts.

Optimization algorithms adjust linkage lengths until the tip follows desired trajectory.

Refine Requirements

Use abstract models with basic parameters to test designs early in the development process. Calculate unknown quantities to create a detailed specification. Use dynamic simulation to complete mechanical designs in fewer iterations.

An abstract design is tuned before detailed design is performed in CAD.

Increase Model Reuse

Develop a library of models that expose key parameters to model users. Reuse generic actuator models across many product-specific designs simply by varying parameters. Increase enterprise efficiency with a core set of simulation models that spans multiple product lines.

A generic hydraulic actuator parameterized to model three specific actuators.

Import from CAD Software

Automatically convert CAD designs to create a digital twin of your system.

Import Assemblies with Joints

Entire CAD assemblies, including all parts with mass, inertia, and color, along with mate and joint connections, are automatically converted into a Simscape model. Updates to existing CAD parts can be merged into the Simscape model..

Options for reusing CAD parts and assemblies in Simscape.

Read Native CAD Data

Define parts by directly referencing files from CATIA®, Creo™, Inventor®, NX™, Solid Edge®, SolidWorks®, and Parasolid®.  Parts can also be specified by referencing file formats for 3D modeling, such as STEP®, STL, SAT, or JT.

Reference CAD files directly for individual parts to be used in a Simscape model.

Edit in 3D

Define and adjust frames on parts using a 3D interface. Graphically select vertices, edges, surfaces, or volumes to define the location and orientation of frames that can be used for sensing, joint connections, and force application.

Add connection points to parts using the 3D interface in Simscape Multibody.

Fault Tolerance

Minimize losses, equipment downtime, and costs by validating designs under fault conditions.

Create Robust Designs

Specify failure criteria for components, including time, load, or temperature-based conditions. Model degraded component behavior, such as worn gear teeth or increased bearing friction. Automatically configure models to efficiently validate designs under fault conditions.

A connection between two parts breaks as the force exceeds the upper limit for the joint.

Perform Predictive Maintenance

Generate data to train predictive maintenance algorithms. Validate algorithms using virtual testing under common and rare scenarios. Reduce downtime and equipment costs by ensuring maintenance is performed at just the right intervals.

A triplex reciprocating pump model with leak, blocking, and bearing faults used to develop a multiclass classifier that detects various fault combinations.

Minimize Losses

Calculate the power dissipated by mechanical components. Verify components are operating within their safe operating area. Simulate specific events and sets of test scenarios, and then post-process results in MATLAB.

Worm gear with tooth friction and bearing power losses.

Animate Mechanisms and Analyze Results

Analyze the behavior of your mechanisms using 3D animations of simulation results.

Animate Simulation Results

Analyze your system using an automatically generated 3D visualization of your model and animation of the simulation results. View the animation from multiple angles simultaneously and export a video file.

Explore Mechanisms in 3D

Explore your mechanism in a 3D interface and navigate to the schematic view to verify model structure and examine plotted results. Define static or moving viewpoints to view simulation results from a custom reference frame.

Explore mechanism behavior, assembly definition, and simulation results.

Calculate Required Loads

Perform different types of analyses, including forward dynamics, inverse dynamics, forward kinematics, and inverse kinematics. Calculate the required force or torque to produce a required movement, even if the actuation and motion degrees of freedom do not match.

Model Deployment

Use models throughout the entire development process, including testing of embedded controllers.

Test without Hardware Prototypes

Convert your Simscape Multibody model to C code to test embedded control algorithms using hardware-in-the-loop tests on dSPACE®, Speedgoat, OPAL-RT, and other real-time systems. Perform virtual commissioning by configuring tests using a digital twin of your production system.

Accelerate Optimization with Parallel Simulations

Convert your Simscape Multibody model to C code to accelerate simulations. Run tests in parallel by deploying simulations to multiple cores on a single machine, multiple machines in a computing cluster, or a cloud.

Optimizing a robot path for minimal power consumption using parallel computing.

Collaborate with Other Teams

Tune and simulate models that include advanced components and capabilities from the entire Simscape product family without purchasing a license for each Simscape add-on product. Share protected models with external teams to avoid exposing IP.

Simscape Multibody models can be shared with others who have not purchased Simscape Multibody.

MATLAB and Simulink

Optimize designs faster by automating tasks performed on the complete system model.

Automate Any Task with MATLAB

Use MATLAB to automate any task, including model assembly, parameterization, testing, data acquisition, and post-processing. Create apps for common tasks to increase the efficiency of your entire engineering organization.

Pendulum model in Simscape Multibody constructed using MATLAB commands.

Optimize System Designs

Use Simulink to integrate control algorithms, hardware design, and signal processing in a single environment. Apply optimization algorithms to find the best overall design for your system.

Shorten Development Cycles

Reduce the number of design iterations using verification and validation tools to ensure requirements are complete and consistent. Ensure system-level requirements are met by continuously verifying them throughout your development cycle.

Model of block and tackle using a cable constraint in Simscape Multibody.

Additional Simscape Multibody Resources