MSC Software LogoAdams

Multibody Dynamics Solution

  • Overview
  • Adams 2012
  • Key Features
  • Resources



Adams is the most widely used multi-body dynamics and motion analysis software in the world. Adams helps engineers to study the dynamics of moving parts, how loads and forces are distributed throughout mechanical systems, and to improve and optimise the performance of their products.

Traditional "build and test" design methods are expensive, time consuming, and impossible to do sometimes. CAD-based tools help to evaluate things like interference between parts, and basic kinematic motion, but neglect the true physics-based dynamics of complex mechanical systems. FEA is suited for studying linear vibration and transient dynamics, but inefficient at analysing large rotations and other highly nonlinear motion of full mechanical systems.


Adams multibody dynamics software enables engineers to easily create and test virtual prototypes of mechanical systems in a fraction of the time and cost required for physical build and test. Unlike most CAD embedded tools, Adams incorporates real physics by simultaneously solving equations for kinematics, statics, quasi-statics, and dynamics.


Utilizing multibody dynamics solution technology, Adams runs nonlinear dynamics in a fraction of the time required by FEA solutions. Loads and forces computed by Adams simulations improve the accuracy of FEA by providing better assessment of how they vary throughout a full range of motion and operating environments.


Optional modules available with Adams allow users to integrate mechanical components, pneumatics, hydraulics, electronics, and control systems technologies to build and test virtual prototypes that accurately account for the interactions between these subsystems.

  • Adams 2012 Overview

  • New User Interface & Model Browser

  • ViewFlex: Auto-Flex Body Generation

  • Adams/Car: Tire & Road Enhancements

  • Automotive Vertical Enhancements

Key Features

Business Value

  • Improve Engineering Productivity: Enable efficient communication between various groups of expertise, reduce your dependency on disconnected point solutions, and improve analyst efficiency
  • Accelerate Time-To-Market: Gain faster, better insight into overall system design performance
  • Reduce Manufacturing Costs: Accurately predict and correct the design behavior much earlier in the design cycle. Achieve an optimal design by analysing multiple design variations faster
  • Achieve Lower Warranty Costs: Predict system-level functional performance, and accurately assess lifecycle service (safety, fatigue, durability). Reduce risk by having better information at every state of vehicle design and development.
  • Drive Innovation: Explore several design concepts quickly and efficiently

MSC Adams Package Modules

The following modules enhance the capabilities of Adams by allowing the simulation of systems ranging from simple to sophisticated.


Adams/Solver is the powerful, high-performance analysis engine that forms the core of the product continuously developed and improved for over three decades.


Adams/View is an easy to use graphical interface to Adams/Solver functionality. View enables you to import CAD files and build models. Adams/View also has capability to automate many repetitive tasks saving valuable time. You can also create templates and tools for a customised solution.


Adams/PostProcessor provides you a comprehensive result post-processing environment. Powerful animation, plotting and reporting functionality are all available to effectively investigate and present your simulation results.


Adams/Flex allows the incorporation of component flexibility within your full-system simulations. Adding flexibility provides better insight into the behavior and life of your designs, allowing you to deliver higher quality products faster. Adams/Flex allows the use of existing linear FE models and is tightly integrated with Nastran and Patran.


Adams/Durability extends the capability offered by Adams/Flex to recover stresses on flexible bodies. Results from an Adams solution are combined with modal stresses from FE to more accurately predict the stress in a flexible body. These stresses and strains can then be used to complete a life/damage calculation with fatigue prediction software such as MSC.Fatigue. The widely used DAC and RPC3 file formats are also supported.


Adams/Vibration allows you to study forced vibration of your Adams models using frequency domain analysis. Adams/Vibration results can be used in NVH studies to predict the impact of vibrations on passenger comfort in an automobile, train, plane or other vehicle. You can also include the effects of controls on the system behavior


Adams/Controls helps you to easily integrate the worlds of motion simulation and control system design in true multidisciplinary fashion. With this module, you can incorporate your Adams models within block diagrams in your preferred control system design software. Alternatively, you can directly import actuators and/or controllers from the controls design software into the Adams simulation environment. Currently, Adams/Controls support Easy5 from MSC.Software and Matlab/Simulink from The Math Works, Inc.


Adams/Exchange allows the import or export of common geometry formats into and out of Adams. There is no need to recreate model geometry each time you transfer data between CAE tools. Among the supported formats are Parasolid, STEP, IGES and DWG/DXF. When you import a model from your preferred CAD system, you can use the model's geometric features to quickly position forces and constraints for your motion simulation.

Adams/Tire FTire

Adams/Tire FTire software is an optional module that can be used to add tires to your mechanical model and to simulate manoeuvers such as braking, steering, acceleration, free-rolling, or skidding. It lets you model the forces and torques that act on a tire as it moves over roadways or irregular terrain. You can use Adams/Tire to model tires for either vehicle-handling, ride and comfort, and vehicle durability analyses.


Adams/Insight is a powerful aid for design refinement. It allows you to determine the sensitivity of output objectives to key model parameters by launching simulations for several design variants defined by a variety of design-of-experiments (DOE) methods. These simulation results are used to construct a response surface which Adams/Insight can help you assess and improve. With that response surface, Adams/Insight can publish an interactive html page where non-CAE experts within your organization can quickly and confidently perform what-if studies viewing the relationship between input parameters and important design objectives.


  • Creation or import of component geometry in wireframe or 3D solids
  • Extensive library of joints and constraints to define part connectivity
  • Definition of internal and external forces on the assembly to define your product's operating environment
  • Model refinement with part flexibility,automatic control systems, joint friction and slip, hydraulic and pneumatic actuators,and parametric design relationships
  • Ability to iterate to optimal design through definition of objectives, constraints, and variables
  • Automatic generation of linear models and complex loads for export to structural analyses
  • Comprehensive and easy to use contact capabilities supporting 2D and 3D contact between any combination of modal flexible bodies and rigid body geometry
  • Comprehensive linear and nonlinear results for complex, large-motion designs

High Performance Computing (HPC)

  • 64-bit support on Windows and Linux platforms
  • Parallel processing support for Adams/Tire results
  • Shared Memory Parallel solver

MSC Adams Basic Package Includes:

  • Adams/View
  • Adams/Solver
  • Adams/Postprocessor
  • Adams/Insight
  • Adams/Exchange
  • Adams/Linear
  • Shared Memory Parallel (SMP)

MSC Adams Advanced Package Includes:

  • Adams/Flex
  • Adams/Durability
  • Adams/Vibration
  • Adams/Controls

Optional Modules:

  • MSC Adams/Car Package
  • Adams/Tire FTire