RecurDyn as a Software Platform for Custom, High-Fidelity Simulations of Mechanical Systems

RecurDyn is commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS), open architecture, multibody dynamics software. RecurDyn also interfaces with additional COTS modules and enables the development of custom applications. Using RecurDyn as a software platform for custom simulations of mechanical systems yields the following benefits:

  1. Lower purchase costs because the multibody dynamics software platform is funded by a broad community of users from diverse industries.

  2. Lower development costs because:
    1. Using well-structured and documented COTS multibody dynamics software as a platform provides interfaces to other needed multi-physics capabilities provided by other COTS software. Consequently, more focus can be given to creating missing interfaces, organizing application-specific data storage in the simulation architectural framework, and performing verification and validation tasks.
    2. The required add-on modules can be developed as open source and open architecture software.
    3. Verification and validation work has already been done for the data input, simulation techniques, and post processing capabilities associated to the general purpose multibody dynamics calculations.
  3. Increased robustness because, given the diverse set of industries that are supported by RecurDyn, it already has the architecture and robustness to handle a full range of geometric scales and levels of detail.

A case study will be presented that describes the use of RecurDyn as a platform for an updated version of the NATO Reference Mobility Model (NRMM). NRMM was developed in 1974, was significantly upgraded in 1992, and was again enhanced in 1999. Currently the NRMM software is considered to be theoretically limited, difficult to adapt to contemporary vehicle design technologies, and can’t be implemented within modern vehicle dynamic simulations. The US Army funded research towards developing a custom application, built on RecurDyn, that could demonstrate key NRMM capabilities.

Efficient Architecture for the NG-NRMM

The open architecture of the RecurDyn platform is depicted in the figure. Note that powerful custom application modules can be developed by using a combination of RecurDyn’s ProcessNet application development environment (based on Microsoft Visual Studio), the specific and generic interfaces to other software, and user-definable functions. Existing interfaces to other COTS software such as EDEM (Terramechanics and soil models), Simulink (controls, driver), and PreScan (vehicle path planning) are also important for providing essential NRMM capabilities in the case study.

Custom software applications that are build on RecurDyn can:

  1. Reduce the costs of key simulation capabilities for mechanical systems,
  2. Reduce application development time
  3. Safely include propriatary information for the organization.
  4. Increase the robustness of the application


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