Dynamic Motion Simulation: Applications in Forensic Engineering


  • Mark Webster NAFE Member


dynamic motion analysis, stability analysis, laser scanning, motion simulation, multi body physics, forensic engineering


A worker was injured when a large sculpture overturned while it was being transferred on a wheeled cart from a delivery truck onto a dock lift. This paper introduces the use of dynamic motion simulation (DMS) soft-ware as a forensic engineering tool for analyzing and simulating motion/contact between multiple interacting physical objects. Important inputs to the software include the mass properties of the objects — in this case, a very irregularly shaped sculpture. For simple shapes, the distribution of mass can easily be approximated by manually discretizing the object into several smaller, simpler shapes. Accurate determination of the mass dis-tribution of an irregular shape (such as a sculpture) can be aided by measurement methods such as the laser scanning process used in this case. The resulting scan data was used to create a 3-D computer model that was processed using conventional mechanical computer-aided design (CAD) and DMS software to determine the mass properties and ultimately to simulate the dynamic motion.




How to Cite

Webster, M. (2020). Dynamic Motion Simulation: Applications in Forensic Engineering. Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, 36(1). Retrieved from http://journal.nafe.org/ojs/index.php/nafe/article/view/140