I've had SystemModeler for a while, but struggled to get on with it. I guess the issue that I've had with it is that there are very few learning resources and tutorials around to help cut your teeth. Mathematica has been around for years, so there are endless resources that are suited to the individuals preferred method of learning, from PDF's, Stack Exchange, and even Lynda.com now has a video based learning method for the basics. Given that even simple models have dozens of flags that can be plotted and graphed and that certain flanges aren't enabled by standard, I've waited until I've had a few minutes spare to start tinkering.
Today I've been fiddling about with a mass and two springs with dampers, what I've been trying to do (and failed) is to make both supports displace over a given time period to push a displacement through the system to see what effect spring stiffness and damping have on the system, eventually this will be scaled up to a chain of springs of about 40-50 elements and used to model a structural system but this is my validation model.
I've not worked out how to give the supports a nudge (something that we do when modelling in ANSYS) so I've cheated a bit by essentially shortening the left hand spring to give a similar effect and then watched to see how the system has damped down. Parameter settings below for the spring/damper system.
By specifying the spring length as 1m, then setting the nominal value for it as 0.5m to start with it gives the system a nudge to start it bouncing. I'm sure there's another more elegant way of achieving this but I'll have to figure it out over the next few days.
I'll keep tinkering over the coming days, to try and refine the process. Hopefully I can find some more learning materials or a decent community... something comparable to the Mathematica StackExchange community would be ideal.
If anyone's come across a decent text or resource I'd love to hear about it.