Multidomain Machine Design – MapleSim – Modeling and Simulation

Multidomain Machine Design

Product development becomes faster for machine builders when using MapleSim, with support for interactions across multiple domains and offering built-in analysis tools to explore designs and solve performance problems.

Accelerate product development through virtual prototyping

You can capture and simulate all the physical elements of your systems in a single modeling environment. MapleSim includes over 900 built-in components from many different domains to support rapid prototyping for exploring control strategies.

Machine builders use virtual prototyping during product development for huge benefits to the project.

  • Reduce costs when making design changes to the virtual model, by applying before committing the design direction and ahead of manufacturing an actual prototype.
  • Speed up the testing of product variations, performance and reliability. Iterations and parameters can be changed in minutes instead of weeks.
  • Use the testing results from the virtual environment to make production decisions or corrections at an earlier phase of the project.

MapleSim makes it simple to build a system-based model that responds to simulated conditions that mimic the real world and shows the interactions across many engineering domains.

  • Rapidly develop multibody simulations of your mechanism, either from a “back-of-a-napkin” sketch or by importing the mechanism assembly from your CAD tool.
  • Determine and test the required joint motions to give the desired end-effector motion.
  • Right-size the actuator components (hydraulic/pneumatic cylinders, motors, gears, bearings etc.) based on the dynamic loads due to complex inertial loads, friction and driven motion.
  • Integrate actuator models with the mechanism for virtual testing of the complete machine.
drag and drop
Using the drag-and-drop component libraries you can connect physical blocks, signal-based blocks and add probes and visuals.
Click here to see the range of different domains covered in MapleSim.
The block library can also be extended by creating and sharing custom components, through specialized add-on products, and by importing models from third-party tools.

Explore and test your model using built-in analysis tools

Explore and test your model using built-in analysis tools

Simulations built with MapleSim can:

  • Give quick answers to the “what if” questions that come up during the design process
  • Help eliminate issues before you arrive at your first prototype.

Actuate the model with a variety of MapleSim’s standard components including hydraulic actuators, electric motors and pre-defined motion profiles, and simulate changes in cycle times and operating conditions.

Analyze the mechanism’s response as part of optimizing performance, component sizing, eliminating vibrations, and understanding design interactions.

Go deeper into your product design using MapleSim’s built-in apps for common analytical methods such as vibration analysis, sensitivity analysis, and optimization (using Monte Carlo simulation or parameter sweeps). Access to the full programming environment lets you build your own custom analysis.

Click here to see more of the interactive analysis templates included.

Identify and fix issues earlier in the product development cycle, when they are much easier and less expensive to correct.

Extend the use of your virtual prototype using MapleSim Insight allowing non-experts to explore, visualize, and test new scenarios

Solving tough machine performance problems

MapleSim helps solve tough design problems that can keep products from performing at their best.

  • Remove vibrations by improving your control code, without hardware upgrades.
  • Identify and avoid failure conditions for motors, gears and product interfaces.
  • Diagnose root-cause performance issues through detailed simulation results
  • Track armature movements and end-effector positions through the operation cycle to prevent collisions and minimize unwanted vibrations

Use the built-in analysis tools to track down design flaws arising from unexpected interactions between different domains, and even prevent these problems from occurring in the first place.

Minimize trial-and-error and reduce time spent in testing. MapleSim provides a series of add-on connectors to common automation software to enable virtual testing and validation of PLC code generation

Fast-track your problem solving:  Maplesoft offers full-service solutions for diagnosing, fixing, and optimizing machine performance from Maplesoft Engineering Solutions. Our experts work with you to understand your project, and then build an initial digital model for you.

  • Expert consultation on your issues to find the best solutions using simulation techniques
  • Development of your virtual prototype with 3-D visualization based on your CAD models
  • Simulation and analysis of your digital model to find root-cause performance issues
  • Solution strategies that rely on advanced motion control and other simulation-based techniques
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Industry Examples:

FLSmidth: developing revolutionary mining equipment

In the mining industry, mined ore gets transported by super-heavy duty trucks from the extraction site to a processing plant where it is crushed into smaller sizes. To avoid trucks travelling long distances, FLSmidth wanted to develop a Dual Truck Mobile Sizer (DTMS) that could receive materials from 2 trucks at once and be relocated when needed.

The size and scale of the equipment made it impractical and costly to try out different prototype configurations on-site.

Multidomain system-level studies of the DTMS in MapleSim provided early insight into its overall dynamic behaviour, leading to the implementation of significant improvements in the structure and dynamic response.

The DTMS is a very large and complex machine,” says Willem Fourie, Global Product Line Manager - Mobile Sizer Stations, FLSmidth. “The ability to model all aspects of its operation during the design phase using MapleSim gave us confidence that the product we would ultimately build would function correctly the first time. We cannot even begin to put a value on what this means to us.”
FLSmidth: developing revolutionary mining equipment
FLSmidth worked with Maplesoft’s Engineering Solutions team to create a high-fidelity multi-domain model of the machine, and identify any potential problems with the system design in advance of production. Learn More
Web Handling Equipment
Web Handling Equipment: Spring-loaded roller dancer to regulate tension when unwinding paper

Web tension is managed by the torque applied to the center of the roll by a brake, clutch, or drive. Tension controllers can regulate this torque, to make any necessary correction or adjustments throughout the process, allowing for continuous production. The use of a spring-loaded dancer allows the controller to adjust the tension based on the changes in the roll radius as it unwinds.

The MapleSim Web Handling Library provides components to generate an accurate model for the unwinding zone.

Simulations are completed in minutes, not days, and allow engineers to quickly test multiple designs for brake response, web speed, and more.

In paper handling lines, the web tension must be kept within a certain threshold. The required brake torque is calculated by a controller based on the rotation angle of the dancer arm.

In this way control engineers can generate high-fidelity simulation data of the web tension applied across various tension zones, reducing the time and cost needed for developing physical prototypes.



Services and Solutions


Expand your modeling capabilities into specialist fields with the MapleSim add-on libraries


Maplesoft Engineering Solutions can provide you with expertise and technology to meet your project requirements quickly. Professional services include product design validation and optimization; code development for in-the-loop simulations; analysis & design calculation tools; and customized training.


Turnkey solutions from Maplesoft Engineering Solutions offer a low-effort way to test out virtual commissioning for your own projects by fast-tracking delivery of an initial model – no previous modeling expertise is required.