Mechanical Engineer Guide

The Mechanical Engineer Guide provides mechanical engineers with advanced technical information, as well as methods to improve performance and tuning.

Mechanical Engineer Quick Start

The following shows the typical workflow for a mechanical engineer working with Vortex® Studio to import 3D models, create parts and constraints, and work with simulated mechanisms and objects.

A good way to start is to try out Creating a Mechanism tutorial, which takes you step-by-step through the process of building a simple mechanism.

Creating Mechanical Content

This section shows the typical workflow for a mechanical engineer working with Vortex® Studio to import 3D models, create parts and constraints, and work with simulated mechanisms and scenes.


Mechanisms play a very important role in Vortex® content, as they contain the link between the dynamics objects and the rest of the simulation.


An assembly contains the basic objects for dynamic simulation: parts, constraints and graphics. It is built and used by mechanical engineers and contains all that is necessary to implement the mechanical design of a component. It is a object that reacts to mechanical and data inputs. The Assembly can be added to a scene or to a mechanism.


Parts represent rigid bodies in a simulation and can be added to an Assembly.

Collision Geometries

A part on its own does not have volume. Therefore, it cannot collide with other elements in a scene. For this reason, collision geometries must be added to allow rigid body interactions.

Contact Materials

In Vortex®, the contact material defines the behavior when two materials collide.

Collision Rules

By default, everything with collision geometry collides, but you can specify which pairs should not collide with each other by setting collision detection rules.


You can attach assemblies in mechanisms or mechanisms together in the scene by using attachments.


Constraints operate on one or more parts to restrict their relative range of motion.

Remote Debugger User Guide

The Remote Debugger application lets you monitor and visualize a simulation from outside of the simulator's systems so that you can troubleshoot and diagnose problems in your content remotely.

Cable Systems

The Cable Systems extensions allow you to use the Vortex Studio Editor to create a cable system definition in which a series of point definitions you specify and attach to existing parts make up its segment definitions.

Earthwork Systems

Earthwork Systems is a Vortex developer module that is used to simulate earthmoving operations such as digging, trenching, filling, etc.

Vehicle Systems

Vehicle Systems provides an easy way to define a complete and functional vehicle by using the Vortex Studio Editor.

Hydraulics Systems

In Vortex® Studio Editor, you can now simulate various hydraulics components, such as an actuator, a pump, a divider, a combiner and a transmission using the Hydraulics Systems extensions.

Technical Notes for Mechanical Engineers

This section collects more in-depth information about a variety of topics for the advanced user.

Mechanical Engineer Best Practices

This section offers some common techniques to increase the performance of your simulations.

Vortex Theory Guide Document

This document introduces the theory underlying Vortex Software’s multibody dynamics engine.

Verification and Validation Document

The performance and accuracy of Vortex Studio have been carefully tested by carrying out analyses of problems with known analytical solutions. To provide confidence in the accuracy of simulations using Vortex Studio, this document presents a subset of the analyses performed.

Dynamics Utilities

These extensions provide various utilities related to dynamics simulation and can be found under the Dynamics category.

Network Communication Interface

Sometimes, it is necessary to interface with external applications or devices for information or extra computational purposes. In order to allow communication with external applications or devices, you must add User Datagram Protocol (UDP) extensions to your simulation.


Vortex provides several sensors for measuring distances between geometries, detecting overlaps and more.

ROS2 Integration