ME 748: Computer Aided Simulation of Machines

Prof P Seshu


This course is a follow up course to KDOM (ME 316 – Kinetics and Dynamics Of Machines). This course is aimed at understanding what goes behind Kinematic and Dynamic modelling software like ADAMS. Just as Finite Element Methods (ME 613 – Finite Element and Boundary Element Methods) course teaches you what goes on inside a FEA Software like ANSYS, CASM will teach you about the basic building blocks of ADAMS.

The course involves understanding the kinematics and dynamics of linkages, joints etc and the iterative numerical approach adopted by softwares to model and solve a complex mechanism. The analysis starts with a basic 4 bar mechanism and your knowledge of KDOM will help you understand these concepts better. You will see a lot of matrices and differential equations in the course.

The course will involve a course project in 2 stages. The students have to pick up a relatively complex real life machine/mechanism which they’ll model as the course progresses. The first stage of the project will be modeling the kinematics on ADAMS/Solidoworks/MATLAB while the second would be to model the dynamics of the same. The dynamic analysis makes use of the kinematic model and hence both the projects have to be done correctly to get credit.

To understand and truly appreciate the course, it would be better to use MATLAB for your project. This will mean you have to put more effort as MATLAB programming is tougher compared to getting results on ADAMS.

The overall difficulty level is 6 on a scale of 10.

Course Content:

  1. Review of KDOM
  2. Kinematic Analysis:

Primitive matrices for different joints

Integrating Matrices for a mechanism

Governing Equations and iterative approach for solving

  1. Dynamic Analysis

Forward Dynamics and Inverse Dynamics

Modeling external and internal forces, springs, dampers etc

Governing Equation and iterative approach for solving

  1. Approximations and Numerical Analysis Methods.
  2. Lagrange Method.

Grading Structure:


Term Project 1

Term Project 2


(you might have a research paper study with endsem weightage reduced if you’re unlucky)


Most of you must know how annoying it can be when you fail to understand what’s going wrong when you model something on ADAMS as a part of KDOM Lab. What you must realize and appreciate is that there is a big difference between a software operator and an engineer. This course will help you realize this difference and help you understand the programming that goes into making a software like ADAMS and this in turn will help you make better models. You’ll learn how to interpret the results well and use better, more efficient settings for your analysis.

A lot of real life applications and projects are discussed during the course of the lectures which makes this course very interesting and a must-take course for CADA students at least.


Class notes are sufficient. There might be some slides for the later half of the course.

The professor recommends Computational Dynamics by Ahmed A. Shabana which will help you if you miss out on some lectures. The notations used in the class are consistent with the book.