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White Papers

The following white papers each illustrate a practical and sophisticated application of RecurDyn. Click on the "Learn more..." links below to download each white paper.
View White Paper on Active Control of Solar Array Dynamics During Spacecraft Maneuvers

Active Control of Solar Array Dynamics During Spacecraft Maneuvers

Recent NASA mission plans require spacecraft to undergo potentially significant maneuvers (or dynamic loading events) with large solar arrays deployed. Therefore there is an increased need to understand and possibly control the nonlinear dynamics in the spacecraft system during such maneuvers. The development of a nonlinear controller is described. The utility of using a nonlinear controller to reduce forces and motion in a solar array wing during a loading event is demonstrated. The result is dramatic reductions in system forces and motion during a 10 second loading event. A motion curve derived from the simulation with the closed loop controller is used to obtain similar benefits with a simpler motion control approach.

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View White Paper on Simulating the Deployment of a Flexible Roll-Up Solar Array Using Multi-Body Dynamics Software

Simulation of the Deployment of a Flexible Roll-Up Solar Array Using Multi-Body Dynamics Software

Future missions to the outer planets will require significant power that may be provided by large, 300 kW class, flexible roll-up solar arrays. To support the development of these arrays there is high value in simulating the nonlinear dynamics of stowing, deploying, and performance of large deployable solar array structures, especially with the profound limitations of physical testing. Physical testing of prototypes on earth with gravity can be difficult or impossible. Multi-body dynamics software is an ideal platform for developing simulations modeling deployment of flexible, spacecraft structures. This paper presents a dynamic simulation of the deployment of a roll-up solar array using multi-body dynamics modeling software. Additionally, the paper presents the development of a set of software tools that automate tedious tasks associated with developing models of these structures. The tools will aid in the development of future simulation of structures using roll-up boom technology.

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View White Paper on Simulating Computer-Controlled Multibody Dynamic Systems

Simulating Computer-Controlled Multibody Dynamic Systems

Today’s increasingly sophisticated products often consist of a mechanical system controlled by a microprocessor-based control system. But creating virtual prototypes of these products using traditional simulation approaches is difficult for various reasons. Typically, a mechanical engineer can develop a good mechanical model using Multibody Dynamics (MBD) simulation software, but including an over-simplified control scheme in the model yields useless results. Meanwhile, a controls engineer can design a controller using control systems modeling software, but without a realistic model of the plant (the mechanical system), the controller design will be poor.

Recently, however, new technology has been created which allows simulation of both complex nonlinear mechanical systems and their controllers together. With this new technology, the control system designers can efficiently test pre-developed control algorithms at an early design stage with highly nonlinear dynamic models. And mechanical engineers can quickly simulate their models using the developed control systems before costly prototypes are built. To simplify the workflow, both types of engineers can make changes to separate parts of the same model.

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Technical Papers


A wide variety of technical papers is available within the 18 industry and research areas below. Each technical paper describes a real-life and sophisticated application of RecurDyn, with the authors being RecurDyn users in industry and educational institutions throughout the world.

Select an industry or research area shown below or from the dropdown menu to access a listing of papers in that field.

Machinery (General)
Machinery with Belts/Chains/Cables
Flexible Bodies in Multibody Dynamics
Contact Modeling
Multibody Dynamics
in Biomechanics
Multibody Dynamics
in Manufacturing
Multibody Dynamics Modeling Methods
Media Transport /
Web Handling
Nonlinear Dynamic System Theory
Off-Road Material Handling
RecurDyn in
Robotics (Industrial)
Robotics (Research)
Tracked Vehicles (Construction)
Tracked Vehicles (General)
Tracked Vehicles (Robots)


View previously recorded webinars and obtain related files by clicking on the links below each listing. You will need the login and password information sent to you by MotionPort.
V9R1 Mesher Enhancements and G-Manager Practice

V9R1 Mesher Enhancements and G-Manager Practice

Zach Smith, January 10, 2018

The mesher has improved significantly in RecurDyn V9R1. In this webinar, I will discuss the improvements to mesher speed, quality, and customizability.

I will work through an example which will demonstrate how each of the new features affects mesh quality. This example will also give some practice using G-Manager. G-Manager was introduced in RecurDyn V8R5 and allows users to quickly switch between rigid, FFlex, and RFlex bodies.

Presentation Video | Presentation Slides

Efficient Post Processing - Plotting, using plot templates, Excel export and the new multi-animation

Efficient Post Processing - Plotting, using plot templates, Excel export and the new multi-animation

Nelson Woo, January 9, 2018

Leverage your RecurDyn simulations by obtaining the results you need, understanding them, and displaying them in the most effective way.

In this webinar, I will cover a wide range of post-processing methods in RecurDyn, including animation, scopes, and plotting. We will have an in-depth look at some of the fundamentals and also go over some of the new features of RecurDyn V9R1.

Presentation Video | Presentation Slides

Multi Physics RecurDyn Style Interoperability / EDEM Tutorial Review

Multi Physics RecurDyn Style Interoperability / EDEM Tutorial Review

Brant Ross, January 8, 2018

RecurDyn features some internal multi-physics, such as multibody dynamics coupled with finite element analysis as enabled by the RecurDyn FFlex module. Another example is multibody dynamics coupled with control system simulation as enabled by the RecurDyn CoLink module. In the past we haven’t talked much about the interfaces that enable multi-physics by co-simulating with external software, but there are many and ever increasing options.

Attend this webinar to learn about the general controls interface, the hydraulics interface (also supporting AMESIM), the updated FMI interface and the new general particles interface (GPI). You will also learn about the new interface to the EDEM discrete element software that is enabled by the GPI and the tutorial that shows how EDEM is used with RecurDyn.

Presentation Video | Presentation Slides

RecurDyn V9R1 new features

Enhancements and New Capabilities of RecurDyn V9R1

Brant Ross, Nov. 30, 2017

What is new for RecurDyn V9R1? Join Brant as he reviews the newest version of RecurDyn, with all of its new enhancements and new capabilities.

Presentation Video | Presentation Slides


Elasto-Hydro-Dynamic (EHD) Bearing Simulation

Zach Smith, Nov. 16, 2017

The enhanced RecurDyn/Elasto-Hydrodynamic (EHD) module increases the accuracy of simulating lubricated bearings, by taking into account the elastic deformation of the lubricated surfaces and its effects on the film shape and thickness. Effects of surface asperity (roughness) on the lubrication film are also taken into account.

A typical application of RecurDyn/EHD is in engines where the effect of lubrication between pistons / cylinders and/or crank / connecting rods is crucial. In this webinar, we will work through an example model of an engine, so that users can learn how to use RecurDyn/EHD and how it can be applied to their own systems.

Presentation Video | Presentation Slides


New Time Signal Generator Module Training

Nelson Woo, Nov. 15, 2017

The new RecurDyn/Time Signal Generator (TSG) capability allows analysts to use physical test output data to predict the proper input forces and displacements to be applied to a multibody dynamic (MBD) model. This approach is typically used for vehicle testing, where the physical vehicle is tested over terrain but in the MBD model the vehicle is mounted on shaker plates.

Here, RecurDyn/TSG takes vehicle testing data such as accelerometer data, and predicts the drive signals for the shaker plates in the MBD model. In this application the main advantage of this approach is that it removes the requirement for terrain, driver,and tire modeling, which can be difficult to characterize correctly.

In the webinar, we will introduce the general concept of the RecurDyn/TSG approach, and will go through an example model to show how it is used. Training materials will be provided so the user can go through the procedure themselves at their own convenience.

Presentation Video | Presentation Slides

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