Trebuchet Simulator V3.1 - product description
System requirements:
Processor: Pentium 3 or better.
OS: Windows 95/98, ME, 200, XP, Vista or Windows 7.
Please note: the program does not run on 16-bit versions of Windows.
Trebuchet Simulator V3.1 is a simulation software to perform the analysis of motion and internal forces in the mechanism of a trebuchet.
This ancient machine is one of the most efficient mechanisms for transforming potential energy of a counterweight into kinematic energy of a projectile. If you don't know what a trebuchet is - a lot of information on the subject can be found by visiting sites listed below (and many others on the Net):
Program description:
-works in Metric and Imperial unit systems
-allows for modeling of various size machines by specifying key parameters (weights and dimensions)
-allows for modeling of several different configurations of the machine
-takes into account friction forces

-takes into account aerodynamics of the projectile
-takes into account inertia and aerodynamic forces developed during launch
-allows for various geometry of the main arm of the trebuchet
-calculates the range of the projectile
-calculates the internal forces developed during launch
-has optimization module which allow the user to optimize the machine for maximum range
-displays the results as animated picture of the machine
-displays forces and moments in detailed diagrams
-provides summary of results
-PDF Manuals for using the simulator and for optimization module
Program features:
There is a number of trebuchet simulators available - but Trebuchet Simulator V3.1 is the only one which makes a serious attempt to fully represent the physical complexity of the machine. Typically, the motion of dynamic systems is analyzed by using the Lagrange method, which produces equations of motion by differentiating the expressions for energy of the system. While the Lagrange method is very powerful and widely used for a multitude of applications - it has its limitations. The most important one is the fact that it is limited to systems in which the energy dissipation is not present. Very frequently this is acceptable - for instance for the purpose of analysis of natural vibrations.

In this case, however, friction loads and aerodynamic forces cause significant energy loses (not to mention the fact that equations of motion are not uniform - they change as the "configuration" of the machine changes during various stages of the launch).

Trebuchet Simulator V3.1 takes all this into account by direct integration of equations of motion, which are modified during the simulation process - as the need arises. Friction and aerodynamic forces are calculated and accounted for in the energy balance.

As a result - Trebuchet Simulator V3.1 is the most accurate piece of software for simulating motion of a trebuchet. If the proper and accurate data is provided - the accuracy of range calculation is within couple of percent of the measured distance.

One may ask - yes, but what is the purpose ?

Haven't we said that it is just for fun ? But - you would be surprised how many people build trebuchets. Many schools in the USA hold competitions, and build trebuchets as part of science projects.
There is even a World Championship competition held annually - with the best machines throwing 8lb pumpkins over 1000 meters.
The counterweights used weight thousands of pounds, the forces developed during the launch are enormous - and it may easily become dangerous.

All this requires serious engineering - and Trebuchet Simulator V3.1 gives people the ability to fully simulate their machine BEFORE they build it, get appreciation of the magnitude of forces - and generally get some help in the area of analysing the problem.

This simulator was used by World Champion Chris Gerow to simulate his machine which achieved range of close to 1 km.
It also was used for design of enormous car-throwing trebuchet buit for Discovery channel.

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EngiCalc Pty Ltd
Australian Company A.C.N. 139 702 579
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A little bit of fun? There is some serious science and engineering at the core of this simulator...
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