Design Engineering

MapleSim Insight simplifies machine controller testing

By DE Staff   

CAD/CAM/CAE Machine Building

Software tool enables testing of machine control strategies via simulation, 3D visualizations.

Waterloo-based Maplesoft announced the release of MapleSim Insight, software that helps machine builders debug machine control strategies via simulation and 3D visualization. With the software tool, adjustments and fine-tuning of the design can happen virtually, reducing the number of physical prototypes required.

According to MapleSoft, many current automation tools provide limited options for machine-level, simulation-based controller testing, and often require moving development to an entirely new platform. In contrast, the company says MapleSim Insight provides a real-time connection to most common automation platforms and shows machine designers exactly how their control strategies will impact the machine.

“Digital models are invaluable for the design and testing of a system, acting as a virtual test bench for the machine’s control software,” said Chad Schmitke, Senior Director, Product Development, Maplesoft. “But hooking the model into your preferred controller platform can be very difficult, and often one of the critical pieces for debugging – the visualization of the mechanism itself – is lost. Now, with MapleSim Insight, visualizing and interrogating your model is as simple as running an FMU in your preferred automation environment. You get the robust back-end code to emulate the physics, coupled with the plotting and visualization necessary to interpret what is happening.”

According to the company, MapleSim Insight works with any automation tool that supports compiled Function Mock-up Units (FMUs), such as Rockwell Studio 5000 or MathWorks Simulink. The machine model is first developed in Maplesoft’s system-level modeling tool, MapleSim, and then exported as an FMU, an open standard format for sharing models.


MapleSim Insight connects to the automation tool and displays visual results in real-time to show how the model behaves as the controller is running. MapleSim Insight provides both 3D visualizations and 2D plots to get precise answers for testing and debugging.


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