By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
This is good stuff.
Right at the end of the last year, Maplesoft announced MapleSim, its new multidomain modeling and simulation tool. MapleSim combines numeric solvers with the Maple symbolic mathematics engine in a graphical environment for designing, diagramming, modeling, simulating, and optimizing analog, digital, and mixed analog/digital systems and multibody mechanical systems.
And what does that mean for you? Well, it means that you can diagram, simulate, and model complex systems that mix up all that stuff you must make work together in the real world: continuous and discrete signals, hydraulics, and analog, digital, and multiphase electric circuits. Toss in discrete events, thermodynamics, and multibody rotational and translational mechanics into your notion of multidomain while you’re at it.
MapleSim also means that you have a single, graphical environment to build plant models using physical modeling components and controller prototypes using signal-flow blocks. You can build DSP models and connect them to analog components, or you can incorporate data from external sources, such as lookup tables.
MapleSim lets you build diagrams by dragging and dropping components from a library that look like their physical complements (and, yes, you can define your own components and make libraries of regularly used components). You then enter your parameters, link components, and so forth.
Now, here’s the really cool thing — MapleSim takes your data and, using the Maple symbolic math engine, derives the model’s equations automatically. This saves you a ton of time and reduces manual math errors. As a bonus, you can embed the model into a Maple worksheet, where you can analyze and document it to your heart’s content. Double bonus: Because the components look real, your model resembles the real world rather than the messy sort of thing that makes you stop to decipher later on.
Maplesoft has earned its stripes over the years by developing Maple, the symbolics mathematics engine that is as much of a standard as you’re going to get. The same might just be said about the MapleSim multidomain modeling and simulation tool one of these days. Learn more about MapleSim from today’s Pick of the Week write-up and the links to online demos and video presentations you’ll find there.
Thanks, pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine