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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the differences between CarSim, TruckSim and, BikeSim?

A. CarSim contains math models to simulate passenger vehicles and light trucks (i.e. pickup trucks and small utility vehicles). These math models contain equations for two-axle lead units as well as a single trailer with one or two axles. Dual tires in CarSim are not currently supported.

TruckSim contains math models to simulate a range of vehicles from light trucks to commercial vehicles. Lead units can have up to five axles, one or two trailers are supported with up to four axles each, dual tires can be added to all axles, and all axles on the lead unit can be actively steered and driven. Additionally, TruckSim supports tandem and tridem axle load sharing as well as dollies to join multiple trailing units. There is also a TruckSim license module that allows you access to math models capable of representing torsional frame flexibility and suspended cab mounts.

BikeSim is a simulation tool specifically designed to simulate the dynamic behavior of motorcycles and scooters.

Q. What are the vehicle configurations available in CarSim and TruckSim?

A. The basic CarSim license supports four DLLs (dynamically linked libraries), each with equations for a specific combination of suspension types. These four DLLs cover four-wheeled vehicles with pneumatic tires in the following combinations:

  • Independent front, Independent rear
  • Independent front, Solid-axle rear
  • Independent front, Twist-axle rear
  • Solid-axle front, Solid-axle rear

This information is also provided in the description of the CarSim Options on this web site, available from the Products>CarSim menu and also the sidebar when viewing any of the CarSim pages.

TuckSim 8.1 includes 19 configurations, provided in the TruckSim Options, available from the Products>TruckSim menu and also the sidebar when viewing any of the TruckSim pages.

Q. What are the computer requirements to run CarSim, TruckSim, or BikeSim?

A. See the information sheet: System and Software Compatibility (PDF). This link is also visible in the sidebar for BikeSim, CarSim, or TruckSim product pages.

In the cases of real-time systems, there are many possible combinations. The information sheet covers the basics, but it's a good idea to contact us for information regarding your specific setup.

Q. Does your software support 64-bit Matlab/Simulink?

A. Yes. CarSim, TruckSim, and BikeSim math models can run with either 32-bit or 64-bit Matlab/Simulink. At this time, the CarSim DS and TruckSim DS Simulink models running with the Logitech G25/G27 wheel/pedals/shifter only support 32-bit Matlab/Simulink.

Q. How do you validate your math models?

A. The company was founded in 1996 based on three decades of research in vehicle dynamics performed at the University of Michigan Transportation Institute (UMTRI). Since we work with a number of OEMs and suppliers we receive feedback from them as to the validity of our models and what needs improvement. We then make changes as necessary to update our software. You can read more about this on our history page.

Q. What are the available vehicle shapes in CarSim, TruckSim, and BikeSim?

A. You can see the available vehicle shapes in these PDF files: CarSim Vehicle Shapes, BikeSim Vehicle Shapes, and TruckSim Vehicle Shapes.

Q. How do I obtain a custom animation shape for my specific vehicle?

A. For years, the animation program in CarSim, TruckSim, and BikeSim worked with standard OBJ and STL files that are available from many commercial sources. The new VS Visualizer (first introduced as a beta program with CarSim 8.1) also works with OSG and many more file types. Most CAD programs can export these files. In addition, there are inexpensive/free editors available to create these files.

We have page on this web site with tips to help get started creating your own animation shapes.

If you are not looking to create these shapes yourself, we have a professional 3D artist on staff who can create high quality animation shapes of vehicles and scenery built specifically to work with Mechanical Simulation products.

Q. How long does it take to learn how to use your product?

A. BikeSim, CarSim, TruckSim, and SuspensionSim each come with a Quick Start Guide. This step-by-step tutorial takes about two hours to work through and gives you practice running simulations, making changes to a vehicle by creating new examples, and comparing the simulation results. CarSim and TruckSim also come with a shorter demo tutorial that takes less than 40 minutes: here is a 4-part video of the CarSim Demo Tutorial. Total time: 36 minutes.

However, as with any engineering tool, it takes time and practice to become comfortable with the interface and making simulations. We have a range of customers making basic simulations as covered in the Quick Start Guide, to very advanced simulations that involve extending the software with electronic controllers and HIL systems.

Q. How do I go about obtaining a trial copy of CarSim, TruckSim, or BikeSim?

A. Please go to the contact page via the navigation menu Contact Us>Global Offices to find your local Sales Agent, who will arrange the trial.

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© 2005-2017 Mechanical Simulation Corporation, All Rights Reserved. CarSim, SuspensionSim, TruckSim, BikeSim, VehSim,
and VehicleSim are registered trademarks of Mechanical Simulation Corporation in the USA and other countries.