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Install the Simscape Multibody Link Plugin

Simscape™ Multibody™ Link is a plugin that you can install on CAD applications to export assembly models to Simscape Multibody. Specifically, the plugin exports a CAD assembly model as an XML file and body geometry files that you can convert into Simscape Multibody models using the smimport function. The plugin supports:

  • SolidWorks®

  • Autodesk Inventor®

  • PTC®Creo™

Software Requirements

Make sure your software meets the requirements:

CAD SoftwareRelease SupportedMATLAB ReleaseSimscape Multibody Release
SolidWorks2001Plus and higherR2008b and higher3.0 and higher
PTCCreo1.0 to 6.0R2008b and higher3.0 and higher
Autodesk Inventor2009 to 2021R2009b and higher3.0 and higher


Autodesk Inventor 2022 is not supported.

Your MATLAB® and CAD installations must have the same system architecture, such as Windows 64-bit.

Step 1: Get the Installation Files

  1. Go to the Simscape Multibody Link download page.

  2. Follow the prompts on the download page.

  3. Select and save the ZIP and MATLAB files that match your MATLAB version and system architecture, such as release R2020b and Win64 (PC) Platform. Do not extract the ZIP file.

Step 2: Run the Installation Function

  1. Run MATLAB as administrator. For more information, see How to Make a Shortcut to Run MATLAB as Administrator.

  2. Add the folder in which you saved the installation files to the MATLAB path. For example, you can use the addpath (MATLAB) function.

  3. At the MATLAB command prompt, enter install_addon('zipname'), where zipname is the name of the ZIP file, such as

Step 3: Register MATLAB as an Automation Server

Each time you export a CAD assembly model, the Simscape Multibody Link plugin attempts to connect to MATLAB. To enable the connection, you must register MATLAB as an automation server. You can do this in two ways:

  • Open a MATLAB session in administrator mode. At the MATLAB command prompt, enter regmatlabserver.

  • Open a Windows® command prompt window running in administrator mode. At the command prompt, enter matlab -regserver.

Step 4: Enable the Simscape Multibody Link Plugin in a CAD Application

Before you can export a CAD assembly, you must enable the Simscape Multibody Link plugin on your CAD application. To do this, see:

Importing CAD Files from Applications Not Supported by Simscape Multibody Link

  • To import an Onshape® CAD assembly model into the Simscape Multibody, you can use the smexportonshape and smimport functions.

  • If you use a CAD application other than Onshape, SolidWorks, PTC Creo, and Autodesk Inventor, you can create a custom model export application based on the Simscape Multibody XML schema. This approach requires some knowledge of XML. See the schema web page for more information.

  • You can also create a Simscape Multibody model from a URDF file or Robotics System Toolbox™ model. See the smimport for more information.

See Also


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