Getting started

This is an experiment that has been bugging me for quite a while.

Every now and then I run into some applied mechanics problem and try to figure out how to solve it. Usually after a few minutes of trying, I also decide to google it and often I find no solution to my question (but usually a lot of helpful hints and good advice).

These are usually quite basic questions I’m considering, like:

  • how can I implement coulomb friction in a 1d mechanics model with consideration of stick and slip states?
  • my multibody model is getting quite complex with lots of reused code. The code would probably look a lot cleaner and simpler if masses and couplings are implemented as objects. How can this be done?

Both example questions are actually quite simple problems which are probably solved many times. Searching for a good solution is fun for me and I usually learn a lot along the way. So this is the idea of this blog: to write about simple problems with multibody dynamics and suggest possible solutions to them – and then see what happens.

I’ll assume several things about possible readers. Most important assumptions are:

  • You are familiar with basic concepts from mathematics, programming, physics and engineering mathematics. For example, I assume you know how to transform a set of ODEs into a state space representation and how to solve them numerically. Most programming examples will be given in GNU Octave code (I’ll aim for complete Matlab compatibility).
  • You like thinking. Please do not expect idiot-proof tutorials but just my own ideas on how to solve certain problems. I expect you to take nothing here for valid or correct but to validate everything on your own.
  • You do not care extremly about fine writing and perfect grammar. I’m no native english speaker and this is a good chance for me to practice writing (which also means that mistakes will happen along the way). If something sounds weird or you spot significant mistaces, please assume they are not intentional and drop me a message or comment.

If you find some of the posts here helpful, have suggestions on related problems, related links or anything else, please feel free to leave a comment. I’m looking forward to what will happen with this blog.


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