I spend a fair amount of time exploring the MathWorks product suite trying to learn new things. Exploring the File Exchange, I came upon this example of a nonlinear spring. Having not had much opportunity to use our Physical Modeling Tools this example caught my eye because it uses something us civil/structural engineers are familiar with: springs!
The example includes a README file to get started, a PDF file, and a link to a video. Not going to lie, I didn't watch the video. But I didn't have to! The model documents how things work and the README gave me all of the instructions necessary to get this off the ground.
Here is the model and the scope showing a linear spring compared to the nonlinear spring:
This is the design of the nonlinear spring in the Simscape Language.
Out of curiosity, I wanted to see what would happen for a much stiffer spring (that's what structural engineers use!), so I changed the value of spring_rate to 50 and reran the model:
And that's the best part about simulation: I didn't have to go buy or test a bigger spring to see what would happen.
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