Spacar 2015/2017 for Dynamics of Machines

Dynamics of machines: SPACAR introduction lecture

Getting started

During the lectures on “Dynamics of machines” the use of the SPACAR software will be addressed. In order to benefit from this introduction you should have installed this software before you can use it. The software is split in two parts: A GUI and a Matlab toolbox. The toolbox is needed in any case. The GUI offers a user friendly interface to create models.

This is the installation procedure for the Matlab toolbox:

  • At this moment the 2017 release is still in preparation. This version will support MacOS versions of Matlab as well.
  • Hence the most recent toolbox is the 2015 release, which requires a 32-bit or 64-bit Microsoft Windows installation of Matlab!
    It has been tested with releases R2013a and newer. The MacOS version is available upon request.
  • Create a folder, e.g.
    C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2014b\toolbox\spacar
    or some other folder.
    Note: If this folder already exists, you should check that you are using a recent version of the software.
  • Download the software and install it by unpacking the zip archive in the spacar folder you created before.
    Note the link at the bottom of the general download page to some Microsoft libraries that must be installed on your computer.
  • Start Matlab
  • Check with Matlab’s path command whether the spacar folder is already in your path. If not, then you can modify the path for the current Matlab session with:
    >> addpath ‘my-spacar-folder’
    Or alternative you can change the path permanently with the menu File -> Set Path.
  • Create a folder for the examples. Usually such a folder is not in the Matlab folder tree but somewhere in your documents folder.
  • Download the examples and unpack the files in your examples folder.
  • Change Matlab’s working folder to the examples folder. Now you can study the example files.
  • The manual can be read online or downloaded. Note that the 2011 edition of the manual is well suited for the 2015 version of the software, although a description of the 64-bit support is missing in the manual.
    In addition a “tutorial prototype modelling” is available online and can offer help, especially in the case you plan to use the GUI to create the models.

To install the GUI:

  • Download the software.
  • Unpack the ZIP file to some folder and run Spacar20.exe.
    It has a time-limited license that is usable for the duration of the current course year.

Being started

  • You can read the sheets here or with 4 sheets op a page. Note that these slides are from last year and may be updated.
  • Next there are exercise 1 and exercise 2, which are just meant to offer some challenges to get used to the software. There is no need to make these exercises (completely) unless it helps you for this purpose.