TC3 Preparations

Article Index

This is the first post for my TwinCAT 3.1 tutorial. These posts are intended to supplement my video series on YouTube and provide further information on the topics covered there. This post is about the preparations of the simulation system used throughout the tutorial, mainly answering the questions: what do I need? How do I install it? What do I have to configure or adapt?

And, of course, the post also tells you which steps to take in order to use the system simulation so that we have something to automate in the tutorial.

System Requirements

TwinCAT's system requirements are quite comprehensible. The IDE as such runs on nearly every PC built in the last few years. For the runtime (the part of TwinCAT which executes our control software later on), it is harder to tell, which system is required in order to achieve the desired performance. For our purposes, above explanations should also be true for the runtime since we do not have highest performance needs or complex automation code.

The 3D simulation is based on Unity, a widely spread game engine. It heavily utilizes Unity's physics simulation which is quite demanding in terms of processing power. Therefore, your PC should have a decent graphics card (e.g. a GeForce GTX680, GTX660, Radeon 6970 or better) and a modern processor like Intel's i3, i5 or i7 or an AMD FX. In the end, the simulation is more realistic the faster it can run.