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Mechanics Explorer is a utility that provides 3-D visualization, model navigation, and troubleshooting tools for SimMechanics™ models. By default, each time you update or simulate a SimMechanics model, Mechanics Explorer displays the updated model. Use Mechanics Explorer frequently throughout the modeling process to uncover errors in rigid body geometry and frames or in multibody assembly.
The Mechanics Explorer window contains three primary panes:
Visualization—Display a 3-D graphic representation of a multibody model.
Model Navigation—Navigate the model by subsystem, block or port.
Model Property—Inspect block properties and port connections in a model.
The visualization pane of Mechanics Explorer displays a 3-D view of a SimMechanics model. The 3-D view is static when you update a model (Ctrl+D), or dynamic when you simulate a model (Ctrl+T). You can choose from seven preset views: front, back, top, back, left, right, and isometric. You can rotate, pan, and zoom a model. See Visualizing and Inspecting a Model.
Identify a subsystem, block, or port with the model navigation pane. When you click the name of a subsystem, block, or port in the model navigation pane, the visualization pane highlights the corresponding entity with a light blue color. Use the model navigation pane to highlight multibody subsystems, rigid body subsystems, and frames in the visualization pane.
Each time you click the name of an entity in the model navigation pane, the model property pane displays the parameters and frames associated with the selected entity. Use the model property pane to review the parameters and frames that belong to a subsystem, block, or port.
Mechanics Explorer provides the Model Report tool to uncover model assembly problems. Model Report identifies the status of each joint and constraint in a model, and flags assembly errors. For joints with state targets, Model Report includes the actual and specified state targets. The report flags joints that have unsatisfied state targets. The following image shows the Model Report window for model sm_four_bar.
Note: Model Report provides the actual state values for the assembled configuration. In models with prescribed motion inputs, this configuration may differ from the simulation time zero, making the actual state values unreliable. As a rule, avoid using Model Report in models with prescribed inputs.
You can record the video of a simulation for future reference or to share. Mechanics Explorer provides a Record button so that you can create the simulation video. All videos have a quality setting of 30 frames per second (fps) and AVI format. You can open a simulation video externally with any video player that supports AVI files. See Record Animation Video.