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Modelling and Simulation of Rigid and Flexible Multibody Systems in Modelica 


Andreas Heckmann
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR)
Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics


Tutorial with hands-on exercises

download Tutorial PDF flyer here.

Quite often the mechanical components are the core elements of a complex technical system. Therefore a modelling language such as Modelica relies on the capability to systematically treat the dynamic behaviour of inteconnected bodies influenced by various physical quantities. In order to answer this purpose the Modelica Multibody Library and the Modelica FlexibleBodies Library provide a range of modeling elements to describe rigid or flexible bodies respectively which may undergo large 3-dimensional translational and rotational displacements.

The tutorial will give an introduction to these capabilities for people who have a back-ground in classical engineering mechanics, but not necessarily in multibody dynamics. In particular the goals of the tutorial are:

  • To present the main modelling components of both libraries from the user’s point of view.
  • To provide initial hands-on experience.
  • To describe the main underlying concepts and their theoretical background.
  • To discuss essential details of the implementation.

As a common platform for exercises, software with both libraries and a test version of the simulation environment Dymola will be provided (MS Windows operating system). Please bring a laptop with CD-reader in order to participate in the exercises.

Lecturer: Andreas Heckmann graduated in Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich in 1999. He joined the German Aerospace Center, DLR, in 2000 and worked on simulation method enhancements with the specialised multibody code Simpack that has initially been deveoped by the DLR’s Vehicle System Dynamics group. In 2005, Andreas Heckmann received his doctor’s degree at the University of Hannover submitting a thesis on multifield problems such asthermoelasticity in multibody dynamics. Dr. Heckmann is the main author of the Modelica FlexibleBodies Library and contributes multifield capabilities to the ITEA 2 EuroSsLib-Project.


Introduction to Object-Oriented Modeling and Simulation with Modelica


Peter Fritzson
Department of Computer and Information Science
Linköping University, Sweden

Peter Bunus
Department of Computer and Information Science
Linköping University, Sweden

Hands-on exercises using OpenModelica—Bring Laptop!

download Tutorial PDF flyer here.


Object-Oriented modeling is a fast-growing area of modeling and simulation that provides a structured, computer-supported way of doing mathematical and equation-based modeling. Modelica is today the most promising modeling and simulation language in that it effectively unifies and generalizes previous object-oriented modeling languages and provides a sound basis for the basic concepts. The Modelica modeling language and technology is being warmly received by the world community in modeling and simulation with major applications in virtual prototyping. It is bringing about a revolution in this area, based on its ease of use, visual design of models with combination of lego-like predefined model building blocks, its ability to define model libraries with reusable components, its support for modeling and simulation of complex applications involving parts from several application domains, and many more useful facilities.

The tutorial presents an object-oriented component-based approach to computer supported mathematical modeling and simulation through the powerful Modelica language and its associated technology. Modelica can be viewed as an almost universal approach to high level computational modeling and simulation, by being able to represent a range of application areas and providing general notation as well as powerful abstractions and efficient implementations.
The tutorial gives an introduction to the Modelica language to people who are familiar with basic programming concepts. It gives a basic introduction to the concepts of modeling and simulation, as well as the basics of object-oriented component-based modeling for the novice, and a an overview of modeling and simulation in a number of application areas. The OpenModelica environment together with the graphical user interface MathModelica Lite will be used for hands-on exercises.

The tutorial has several goals:

  • Being easily accessible for people who do not previously have a background in modeling and simulation.
  • Introducing the concepts of physical modeling, object-oriented modeling and component-based modeling and simulation.
  • Demonstrating modeling examples from several application areas.
  • Providing opportunity for hands-on exercises with the OpenModelica open-source implementation of Modelica and the MathModelica Lite graphic user interface

The tutorial is based on Peter Fritzson’s book:
Principles of Object-Oriented Modeling and Simulation with Modelica 2.1
ISBN: 0-471-47163-1
Paperback, 940 pages

Peter Fritzson is a Professor and Director of the Programming Environment Laboratory (Pelab), at the Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University, Sweden. He is also Director of Research and Development at MathCore Engineering AB. Peter Fritzson is chairman of the Scandinavian Simulation Society, secretary of the European simulation organization, EuroSim; and vice chairman of the Modelica Association, an organization he helped to establish. His main area of interest is software engineering, especially languages, programming and maintenance tools and environments, including modeling and simulation.


Useful Links
The OpenModelica project website:

Peter Fritzson’s book:
Principles of Object-Oriented Modeling and Simulation with Modelica 2.1

Graphic user interface: