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Inspired by Simon Fischer and its “10 secrets to a stunningly fun CFD simulation“, we decided to explore our Simcenter Amesim archives and extract the most exotic, weird, funny, yet useful simulations we ever did! You might ask yourself: “Why did they even spend time on this?” or “How hard was it to get results?”, so did I. But the fact is that system simulation can do much more than cars, planes, or ship’s engineering! Here are ten crazy things you can do with System Simulations.

1. Simulate everything but the kitchen sink

The kitchen appliances didn’t wait for system simulation to flourish, but the latter helped minimize their energy consumption when it became important for consumers. Let’s see some examples by going through a typical day at home.
The first thing I do when I wake up is to get a good cup of coffee. I like it pretty hot and “lungo,” and I need it as quickly as possible! Then, I use to take the yogurt out of my fridge, and it must not be too cold (I know, I’m picky). When I’m done with my breakfast, I usually do some laundry, and I must say that the tumble dryer is a fantastic invention to get things done! Finally, I would prepare lunch. What about a sweetly roasted turkey? The oven temperature and cooking time must be carefully chosen.

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System simulations of home appliances

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System Simulation of oven turkey cooking

2. Exercise every day

It’s not only about eating (getting calories), it is also important to do some exercise (burning calories). The minimum is about walking 30 minutes per day. Maybe start by walking the dog?

I don’t have a dog, but I like football! Watching the games of Olympique Lyonnais, my favorite team is clearly not enough, so I use to go on the (virtual) field and practice my corner kicks.

Finally, the debate is opened to classify this as a sport or not. Still, anyway, bowling can be simulated using a Multi-Body Simulation (MBS), which can be considered a System Simulation.

Here different bodies of balls and pins are connected. We had to take care of the positioning and the sizes of the bodies regarding the bowling standards. We created a Python app called “bowling shot generator.” This generator produces random values for ball positioning, spin, and force.

3. Keep your child soul

It is important to lay back in these difficult times and find some recomforting things to think about, like your childhood Christmas times. Just remember how magical the atmosphere was, how excited you were about finding what Santa Claus brought you during that night… To make this memory more tangible, a Santa Claus simulator has been developed!

Rollercoaster is something I also use to love during my childhood! My body doesn’t like it anymore, but I like remembering the loud music, the flashy lights, and the adrenaline pumping up when the wagon is at the top of the hill! Here is another memory that can be modeled using System Simulation. It brings additional metrics, like how many G’s your body takes, your top speed, and how high you go (and, of course, how safe it is).

4. Be creative

Doing Art with a system simulation tool is not a trivial (nor useful) thing. In this example, the application for cam design (for valvetrain applications) was borrowed by my 6 years old to draw nice flowers and shapes! Do you remember the Spirograph®?

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Spirograph system simulation model

5. Do some gardening

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, take care of it! Getting closer to mother nature is a way to relax and to clear your mind. Brrrrrrrrrrr!

And sometimes, a lawnmower isn’t just enough, and you need to switch to bigger gears! Go to the next heavy-duty rental shop around the corner and get a “forwarder” to get rid of the fallen trees in your backyard. Don’t forget to ensure that the machine hydraulics are properly sized for the duty cycle you want to execute!

6. Take care of your health

We all have suffered in a way or another from the pandemic. We all understood the importance of medical research and development, science, and World health organizations to fight comprehensively and sustainably the crisis! Again, System Simulation can be an asset to shorten research lead times, reduce development costs and make medical products more affordable and reliable. Here is a simulation of the human body used as the boundary condition for an anesthesia injection pump model. The anesthetic drug injected into the body with an electric syringe is regulated based on the heartbeat and the blood pressure. Different patient physiognomy and their drug reaction can be easily assessed, and the reliance on the surgeon to monitor and control the injection rate is decreased.

The model was made with RGB medical devices in the context of the AQUAS project, aiming to improve the safety, security, and performance of connected systems during the whole product life cycle.

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Aquas European project

7. Travel the world (as if there was no pandemic)

One of my favorite hobbies is to travel (therefore I like visiting customers all around the world). So, you can imagine how frustrated I am now! To reduce this frustration and travel virtually, I use System Simulation. It also helps me to understand what happens when I travel. When I take a ship to cross a lake or a sea, what are the forces in action, why do I get sick, how long would the ship take to save me if I fall into the water?

Similarly, when I take a plane, how the fuel moves into the wings when we make a flat turn? You might want to simulate this when you’re an engineer (or just curious) and that the flight is quite long.

8. Get back to basics

Abraham Lincoln

If you give me six hours to chop down a tree, I’ll spend four hours sharpening the axe.

Having to stay home and not do anything else could be an opportunity to “sharpen the saw.” And again, System Simulation, particularly when it is based on bond graph theory, is really useful to understand principles of physics applicable to a given system. Having a better understanding of your system allows you to save some time when analyzing the simulation results or predicting the consequence of a design change. Here few examples of really basics things of our life explained using System Simulation.

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System Simulation of a block and tackle

A block and tackle system is made of two or more pulleys with a rope or cable threaded between them, usually used to lift or pull heavy loads. The block and tackle system is used where a large multiplication of the applied forces is desirable. The mechanical advantage of a tackle dictates how much easier it is to haul or lift the load. If frictional losses are ignored, the mechanical advantage of a block and tackle is equal to the number of parts in the line that either attach to or run through the moving block or the number of supporting roles.

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System simulation of a heater in a bedroom

Even if the heater can maintain the room temperature at nearly 20°C, there is a real problem with the thermal efficiency of the room since about 800 W out of the 1500 W delivered by the heater are lost.

9. Robot rock

Robots are both frightening and fascinating at the same time! The signs of progress made in this area will hopefully benefit society. But if it turns bad, like in the Terminator movie, we can still find a way to terminate robots using System Simulation.

10. Choose a capable tool

Doing crazy, weird, or funny system simulations requires a capable toolset, especially if this is not a full-time job for you! The tool must be truly multi-physic, with a fast solver and visual post-processing. Guess which one?

Learn more about Siemens Simcenter Amesim

Simcenter Amesim is the leading integrated, scalable system simulation platform, allowing system simulation engineers to virtually assess and optimize the performance of mechatronic systems.

Disclaimer: I am the author at PLM ECOSYSTEM, focusing on developing digital-thread platforms with capabilities across CAD, CAM, CAE, PLM, ERP, and IT systems to manage the product data lifecycle and connect various industry networks. My opinions may be biased. Articles and thoughts on PLMES represent solely the author's views and not necessarily those of the company. Reviews and mentions do not imply endorsement or recommendations for purchase.

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