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Simscape simulation of a flexible thin plate

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Marius on 9 Sep 2020
Answered: Vasco Lenzi on 10 Sep 2020
Hi i just want to know, if its possible to simulate a thin plate in simscape wich can be manipulated.
I am working on a modell that allowes me to deform a foil by pushing it with an end effector.
The foil is attached horizontally above a robotic arm. Then the robotic arm moves into the film so that it arches upwards.
is there any possibility to achieve that?

Answers (1)

Vasco Lenzi
Vasco Lenzi on 10 Sep 2020
Hi Marius
For the moment you cannot really model a foil in Multibody. There are workarounds, some more complex than others.
If you know how much resistive force the foil applies to the end effector, maybe based on its position, then you can simply use a model of the "resistive force" and apply the force to the end effector. This will add a realistic behaviour to the movement of the end effector, but you won't see anything graphically. Here a quick screenshot of the block you would need (this model is not working, just to showcase the blocks and the idea graphically).
Be aware that this modeling will help you only with the dynamic control of the end effector, but not with the modeling of the foil itself
If you are looking into modeling the foil behaviour and deformation then you need a proper FEM software. The nearest things in our software is the PDE Toolbox and you can take a look at this example, although is only for elastic deformations:
If you don't know how much resistive force would a certain end effector push cause, you could first analyse with PDE Toolbox (or other FEM software), then use the information to create a force model to be used in the multibody simulation.

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