Andrea Zanoni edited this page Jan 19, 2017 · 14 revisions

Welcome to the Blendyn wiki!

Blendyn Logo

Blendyn is a postprocessing tool that helps creating 3D animations from multibody simulation result files.

Blendyn was formely known as mbdyn-blender: what would have been version 1.5.0 of mbdyn-blender was renamed Blendyn.

Blendyn is a Blender add-on, written in Python, that allows to import the output of the free, general purpose multibody solver MBDyn developed at the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology of Politecnico di Milano University. MBDyn does not come with a built-in graphical pre- or post-processor, as it is able to process text-only input files and generates either text or binary (in NetCDF format) output. The purpose of the Blendyn add-on is to exploit the numerous features of the 3D graphics software Blender to post-process MBDyn output data. The add-on is, therefore, strictly a post-processor, but the goal is to make it as useful as possible also during the model definition phase.

Viewed from the perspective of the Blender user, Blendyn is an add-on that provides the ability to animate a 3D model in a totally physics-based way, provided one has a strong motivation in learning how to build an MBDyn model for this purpose :)

Please note that in the current state, the add-on is not complete, especially regarding the visualization of MBDyn elements, i.e. algebraic joint, deformable components, aerodynamic/hydraulic/electrical systems, and so on. Any feedback, help, feature request is welcomed but please be aware that the project is currently maintained by a single developer (yes, that would be me). So...

Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.

                                                       David G. Allen

Blendyn Change Log


Blendyn is born! Would-have-been version 1.5.0 of mbdyn-blender has officialy been renamed Blendyn (version 1.0.0) and given a sleek new logo!

Changes with respect to mbdyn-blender version [1.4.0]


  • Support for Eigenanalysis results visualization
  • Support for revolute hinge, revolute pin, cardano hinge, cardano pin, clamp, spherical hinge, spherical pin, total joint, total pint joint elements
  • Support for basic rigid body visualization (CG)
  • Support for external structural forces and couples visualization
  • Plotting of variables autospectra


  • Re-written animation function with great speed improvements
  • Menu panel organization modified: the addon menu in the View3D toolbar now is under the "MBDyn" tab
  • Cleaned code naming conventions


  • Lots of small bugs!

mbdyn-blender Change Log

NOTE 1: this changelog has been added upon the release of version 1.3 of the addon. Previous changes are untracked.


The Projects has been Renamed Blendyn and given a sleek new logo!

[1.4.0] - 2016-05-09


  • Support for beam2, beam3, shell4 elements
  • Support for NetCDF output
  • Plotting tools
  • Visualization of simulation time
  • Range import for nodes
  • Ability to import all elements of a ceirtain type together
  • Operator to load cross-section profiles for rod and beam elements
  • Wiki page with tutorials
  • Input MBDyn files for tutorials models in tests/ directory


  • Re-written animation function
  • String labels are now searched and loaded from the .log file
  • Menu panels re-styling with some labels changed, etc...
  • Written skeleton .py files for some elements (to be completed in future versions)


  • Various small bugs in element import

[1.3.1] - 2015-12-30


  • Selection of Blender object to be used for automatic import of nodes



  • Bug in the import of orientation when matrix output is selected for nodes;
  • Bug in re-parsing the log file after a model update;
  • Bug in the loading of an empty .mov file;

[1.3.0] - 2015-12-10


  • Automatic import for all MBDyn nodes at once;
  • selection of labels file with basename different from the results' file basename;
  • visualization of MBDyn nodes list in the Scene Properties panel;
  • basic documentation in README (to be extended greatly).


  • Basic MBDyn model structure import has been rewritten and it is now based entirely on the .log file of the simulation output, thus easing the visualization of models that fail during the assembly phase;
  • element list in the Scene Properties panel is now shown as a UI List, with the same layout of the nodes list;
  • the nodes list in the Object Properties panel now shows an "ADD" button to import for nodes that are not yet imported in the scene;
  • the element import has been structured in the code: the addition of an element support to the addon can now be done in an organized way;


  • Bug in setting the correct rotation parametrization for nodes;
  • Various error and warning messages appearance