Scene3D®: MEMS Simulation Result Animation

Mechanical motion is hard to decipher in the standard EDA waveform viewers. Results, such as voltage and current changes over time or frequency on individual wires, can be displayed graphically in 2-D “X-Y plots”. Two-dimensional X-Y plots are generally sufficient for understanding purely electrical circuits. MEMS simulations, however, involve spatial displacements and/or rotations of mechanical structures. MEMS+-generated schematic symbols can expose mechanical “wires” and output that are associated with mechanical degrees of freedom, such as spatial displacements, rotations, forces, or torques. Similar to simulations of electrical circuits, these non-electrical quantities from MEMS simulations can be displayed in X-Y plots. However, with X-Y plots, the designer is limited to seeing the motion of a single degree of freedom at a time, such as the motion of a one rigid plate along the X-axis as a function of time. These X-Y plots are insufficient considering that the complete interpretation of just a single rigid body requires six X-Y plots (three for the translational and three for the rotation degrees of freedom).

MEMS+ Scene3D forms an important bridge in the communication of simulation results to the MEMS specialist. Scene3D allows the import of MATLAB Simulink or Cadence Virtuoso simulation results into the MEMS+ 3D environment. By turning simulation data into 3D animations, Scene3D gives the MEMS designer detailed feedback of what exactly happens to the MEMS device when subject to electrical or mechanical stimulus. The Scene3D result animations are created by executing the 3D generator associated with each component of the MEMS+ component library.


(left) Transient simulation result waveform of the movement of one DLP Micro Mirror in Cadence Virtuoso Spectre.


Description of Scene3D
Simulation results from MATLAB Simulink or Cadence Virtuoso can be visualized in 3-D by simply selecting a result file in the MEMS+ user interface. Users are able to visualize DC, DC sweep, AC, Modal Analysis, and transient simulation results with Scene3D.

Features in Scene3D

  • Visualize and animate simulation results in 3-D
  • Scale simulation displacement results for better viewing
  • Display harmonic response and mode shapes
  • Record animations
  • Plot results with the built-in 2D graph tool

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