Mechanism and Cam Design Software

The core of all our activities is the software OPTIMUS MOTUS (R), which we completely develop by ourselves.

OPTIMUS MOTUS serves to make machines faster, quieter and its processes more reliable.

OPTIMUS MOTUS is the overall software for the entire lifecycle of your mechanisms across all departments:

  • in design and optimization
  • for design-accompanying simulation
  • for export of manufacturing and servo data
  • for servo commissioning support
  • for analyzing and healing dynamic problems on machines
  • for documentation of motion solutions

Cam Design and Mechanism Software OPTIMUS MOTUS from Nolte NC-Kurventechnik GmbH


With this software ...


We also use our software intensively for service calculations.

OPTIMUS MOTUS is equally kinematics software for mechanical simulations, with kinetic analysis in the field of dynamics, a software for multi-body simulation (MBS software), provides functions to generate cam manufacturing data and acts as a cam editor or motion designer in the field of servo programming.

OPTIMUS MOTUS is very valuable due to the powerful motion design functions for cams and servo drives, which is indispensable for high machine performance.


The advantages at one glance:

  • Powerful, practical, long-term proven functionality
  • Competent developers, competent service
  • Independent of CAD or other application software
  • Floating license or dongle selectable
  • Licenses can be bought or leased
  • Individual adaptions possible, because we develop the software ourselves
  • User interface in German and in English
  • Scalable by the means of modules
  • User support, updates, training directly from the developer


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Cam design software OPTIMUS MOTUS from Nolte NC cam technology


Originally - before 1985 - we developed this software exclusively for calculating cams as a service, and to commission the production of cams with NC punched tapes.

Since about 1990, however, we also offer software licenses for users who have many or complex motion tasks with cams and servo drives and who save almost double the money, at first by designing by themselves, and at second by using the tool OPTIMUS MOTUS optimized for practice.

Some license customers prefer to keep their know-how regarding motions in-house and therefore do not allow them to be calculated externally.

If you use a calculation software yourself, you can respond very quickly to the requirements of customers or technicians on site.

Today almost 1000 licenses of OPTIMUS MOTUS with German and English user interface are installed - worldwide! Since cam design is a very special field in engineering, we are quite proud of that number.

Over the decades, OPTIMUS MOTUS has naturally coped with the practical tasks of cam and mechanism technology. With our service calculations, we ourselves are intensive users of the software, and our own experience and wishes continuously drive further development. There is a lot of practical experience behind the individual software modules and functions. You can feel this practical alignment everywhere in the software. This makes the software extremely valuable for users.

The user interface is subject to the same evolution. The first version of today's graphical user interface was introduced in 2000. Since then, it has been continuously improved to solve typical mechanism and motion tasks quickly and conveniently. For this, we not only show in trainings how OPTIMUS MOTUS works and how best to get results, but we also observe what difficulties newcomers still have with the software and which questions are often asked. So we have constantly optimized the user interface over time.

The practicality and functionality of OPTIMUS MOTUS inspire! For many users, even the initially skeptical, OPTIMUS MOTUS has become an indispensable tool for machine optimization. Many of our very first software customers still enjoy using OPTIMUS MOTUS today.

OPTIMUS MOTUS works independently from CAD software. So the calculations do not bind a CAD license, and when you change the CAD system, your investment in OPTIMUS MOTUS is retained.

OPTIMUS MOTUS has a modular design and is therefore scalable in terms of features and price. Licenses are configured to best fit your application.

All modules and functions are combined in a single software and under a common user interface. The desired functionality is unlocked in the form of license keys, so that the software can be extended very easily afterwards.

OPTIMUS MOTUS runs on all Windows operating systems, from formerly Windows 3.1 to today's Windows 10. Long-term compatibility with Windows is a very important criterion for us for software development.

Licenses of OPTIMUS MOTUS are available with dongle or as floating licenses.

It is also possible to lease OPTIMUS MOTUS for the estimated duration of a project.


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Mechanism Software for Engineers and Machine Developers

The CAD-OPTIMUS MOTUS software is designed for the simulation and dynamic optimization of complex mechanisms with cams, linkages and servo drives.

Software CAD-OPTIMUS MOTUS, screenshot from the optimization of a packaging machine


You simulate assemblies or entire machines with part geometry to check collisions. At the same time, all movements are simultaneously arranged in a convenient graphical editor so that the dynamic loads, over time and across the powertrains, are minimized. The implementation of the VDI Guideline 2143 is self-evident, but beyond that, there are available many more, considerably more powerful methods for motion design.

Goal and typical result is that the achieved machine performance increases considerably, up to what is theoretically feasible.

In this approach, which we call "collision optimization", the ratio between the calculation effort and the achievable machine speed is optimal. Time is a precious asset for engineers, and with collision optimization, you can achieve almost optimal results with little time. The optimization loop, consisting of motion design, collision check and load calculation, is short and very efficient in CAD-OPTIMUS MOTUS. The software calculates very fast, especially in relation to CAD or MBS simulations with complex movement contexts.

Movements are usually specified at the point of action and automatically converted to the drives (servo or cam) by inverse kinematic transformation. For example, an exact synchronous operation of two slides is possible, even if the movement of the cam rollers is distorted by levers and 2D or 3D coupling rods.

The software automatically determines the kinematic structure, and it is not limited to analytically calculable mechanisms. So our approach is superior to the use of dyads.

Our approach makes kinematic modeling both simple and flexible.

Assemblies or machines are transferred in standard formats (usually DXF) from the CAD system to OPTIMUS MOTUS.

A special advantage of CAD-OPTIMUS MOTUS is that you do not necessarily need CAD geometry. Mechanisms can be modeled with just a few clicks as kinematic sketches. You can calculate instantaneously. Especially in the quotation phase or at the beginning of machine design you save much time this way, when you want to know whether a concept can work at all or with the required machine speed, and how the kinematics with pivot positions and levers should be designed best.

It is much more effective to first define and optimize the kinematic structure before constructing the "flesh" around it.


CAD-OPTIMUS MOTUS consists of the following components:


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Software CAD-OPTIMUS MOTUS: Displacement plan for the optimization of a packaging machine assembly






Software for Indexing Cam Calculation and Design

A common application of cams are indexing cams (cam indexing cam gears), mainly the following types:

OPTIMUS MOTUS offers a special cam design software module to consider the special properties of these gear types. It has not only been used by us for decades, but also by various well-known manufacturers of indexing cam gears. This module, too, shows the practical relevance of OPTIMUS MOTUS. It is constantly improved, driven by the growing demands of the industry.

These points make OPTIMUS MOTUS the right tool for you to calculate indexing cam gears:

1.) You save money on tool procurement

When producing cylindric cams and globoidal cams, the NC controls do not generally provide automatic tool radius correction as used when cutting disk cams. Therefore, it is common practice to perform the finishing pass with tool diameter = roller diameter. Thus, for example, a barrel cam groove of width 47mm is often finished with the tool diameter 47mm. As the tools become smaller during grinding and the roller diameters vary in an indexing gear family, many different tools have to be purchased frequently in this approach.

However, OPTIMUS MOTUS also generates NC programs via post processors for tools that deviate from the roller diameter. The groove of width 47mm can also be finished with the tool diameter 20mm, or 19.8mm, or 19.2mm etc. Also for the finishing pass a standard tool can be used, even if it has been sharpened several times.

If cam branches are steep, the cam flank is high in relation to the cam diameter, and the tool diameter is small, unacceptably large profile deviations can occur during production with smaller tools. Since the cam edge is finished in one cut and not in many narrow passes, the tool radius compensation can only be programmed in one direction, although in theory a different direction would have to be used for each cam diameter. There will always remain too much material. OPTIMUS MOTUS determines the amount of profile deviation, so you know what minimum tool diameter you need to provide for finishing a cam.

2.) You save money in production

With OPTIMUS MOTUS the life of rollers and cams can be calculated depending on the surface hardness, so that you can decide whether the cams must be hardened and ground or not, or possibly only nitrided.

3.) High-precision cam edges through numerical optimization

In order to increase the accuracy of producing barrel and globoidal cams with smaller tools, the coordinates of the NC lines for machining with 4 or 5 NC axes can be numerically optimized. Based on the exactly calculated shape of the cam edge, the position of the tool is numerically optimized in every NC program line.


Software OPTIMUS MOTUS: Test simulation for the numerical optimization of the NC data of a spatial cam

Barrel cams are usually programmed with 4 axes (XYZ + rotary table axis). By adding the B-axis on a 5-axis machine tool and numerical optimization of the coordinates, the manufacturing accuracy can be significantly improved.

4.) Easy handling of NC data through integrated tool radius compensation

For older NC controls, it was still necessary to create a separate NC program for each tool diameter used, because the NC control by itself offered no tool radius correction for barrel and globoidal cams. Simply shifting the NC data parallel to the cam stroke axis produces terribly large errors in the slopes.

OPTIMUS MOTUS generates NC lines for modern controls that directly contain the tool radius compensation calculations. The current tool diameter is a parameter in these calculations. So you only need a single NC program for all tool diameters, and the tool radius compensation can be just as easy to use for barrel and globoidal cams directly on the NC control as for planr cams.

5.) Production based on CAD models possible with exact CAD data for extrusions

For modeling cylindrical and globoidal cams in CAD and for the NC programs derived from them with CAM systems, the cam calculation must provide exact data for the cam edges. Simplified extrusions in CAD, for example by extruding a rectangle for the roller cross-section along the roller center path, only approximates the cam edges and are not suitable for the derivation of NC programs. OPTIMUS MOTUS, on the other hand, calculates exact data for the extrusions in CAD related to several cam diameters, i.e. at several heights of the cam flank. These data meet the highest accuracy requirements of cam production.


Software OPTIMUS MOTUS: Display of the exact 3D space cams on the cam edges of a globoid cam


6.) Optimized workflow through custom postprocessors

To optimize your workflow, we also develop NC postprocessors especially for your NC controls. Over the years, about 200 customized postprocessors have been implemented.

7.) Compensation of manufacturing deviations by approaches, free cutting, spreading, tilt

Indexing cam gears are usually kinematically over-defined because several rollers are engaged simultaneously. Theoretically, these gears do not work!

But in practice, as we all know, they work, because the cam edges are cut relative to each other so accurately that the rollers run with little clearance or low clamping through the cam grooves. However, errors in manufacturing or assembly in the range of a few hundredths of a millimeter cause the rollers not to enter the cam track tangentially, rather with a slightl offset, thus producting reasonable shocks. When passing through the minimum radii in parallel cams, one notices the manufacturing deviations due to clicks.
OPTIMUS MOTUS takes this into account and, if desired, generates corresponding profile retractions that let rollers enter the cam tracks smoothly.

With the spreading function, the cam rollers on both sides of the cam can be artificially braced to each other to exclude slack and so fix the output shaft of the indexing gear securely in the dwell phase.

With the tilt function, the tool for the first cut can be tilted so that it does not cut with the front side, but only with the lateral surface. This significantly increases the cutting speed during roughing.

8.) Indexing cam gear dimensioning in the bidding phase

For fast estimations, during a telephone call with a customer or so, OPTIMUS MOTUS offers a function for evaluating an indexing cam gear instantly. You enter the basic data into a dialog box and immediately receive a data sheet with results on lifetime, coverage, transmission angle, etc.

9.) Great variety of motion laws

After all, there are a lot of different motion laws available to specify the stepping movements. We gathered them over 45 years of cam calculation practice with customers from all over the world. You can even use your own motion laws to meet individual requirements of your customers.


Software OPTIMUS MOTUS: low-vibration motion laws for indexing cam gears compared to Neklutin's modified sinusoidal


10.) Also special cam gear are possible

In addition to the "standard" indexing cam gears (parallel gear, barrel and globoidal cam gear, cycloidal gear), individual designs can be calculated:

  • Globoidal cams with cranked rollers, irregular roller pitch or tilted roller star
  • Maltese cross
  • Grooved cam indexing drives
  • General spatial cam gears

Use CAD-OPTIMUS MOTUS to calculate such special gears!

With OPTIMUS MOTUS you are also prepared for exotic spefications of your customers!


Features of the indexing cam gear module

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Cam Design Software for Engineers and Manufacturers

Do you have a CNC production, and do you offer the production of cams as contract manufacturing?

Or do you need production data for cams for which you have old drawings or forms?

Or do you design machines or modules with cams, whose movements are transmitted to the tools without major distortions (for example automatic assembly machines)?

For these cases we offer a powerful cam design and calculation software for planar and cylindrical cams. It may easily be extended for indexing cam calculations.

You enter the basic data of the cam into a dialog box and define the motion sequence with stroke or oscillation angle with a graphical editor. The VDI Guideline 2143 (Cycloidal Motion, Polynomial of 5th degree, Modified Trapezoidal, Modified Sine etc.) of course is fully implemented, but the software also offers many more motion laws and design methods that are much more powerful.

A very common law of motion: the 5th order polynomia


For production you export NC data in various neutral formats (ISO, Heidenhain). Upon request, we will also develop customized NC postprocessors for you. Cams are circularly interpolated, resulting in compact NC programs and smooth cams.

For barrel cams, the tool radius compensation is included in the NC data, so that it can also be finished with standard cutters or regrinded tools.


Export of classic NC data for fixed tool diameters (above) and for tool radius compensation with parameter programming (below)


OPTIMUS MOTUS exports 2D and 3D CAD data in various formats, mainly DXF and Step. In CAD, you can use this to extrude exact cam flanks and derive NC data from them with your CAM system.

Dynamic evaluation of a double cam with oscillating lever output in the OPTIMUS MOTUS software


You evaluate cams with

  • speed
  • acceleration
  • jerk
  • ping
  • transmission angle
  • radius of curvature
  • roller load
  • Hertzian pressure
  • camshaft torque
  • durability

With the lifetime calculation in OPTIMUS MOTUS, you make informed decisions as to whether the cams can remain soft for cost reasons, or whether they need to be nitrided or even hardened and ground.

Cam design with OPTIMUS MOTUS speeds up your machines!


Features of OPTIMUS MOTUS Cam Design Software


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Software for PLC programmers and electronic cams

In many sectors, like in packaging machines, movements are controlled by servo drives. A major advantage of servo drives is their flexibility, the rapid change between product formats. In practice, PLC programmers often develop a movement sequence with interpolation points whose time and distance coordinates are calculated format-specifically. Motions are interpolated with built-in functions, mainly the jerk-free polynomial of 5th degree. Often the movements are designed directly on the machine.

Here hides enormous potential for increases in machine performance!

At higher cycle rates, a motion design is decisive in which hardly any vibrations are excited and the accelerations, inertia forces and drive torques remain small. It is not enough to look at individual axes. Rather, all motions must be optimized in their interaction, especially when there are many dependencies between the movements. For high performance, the distribution of the points over time and across the motion axes is important. At the same time motion laws or mathematical approaches have to be used that avoid vibrations.

Dynamic motion design to increase machine performance is our core business. In this field our software OPTIMUS MOTUS is very strong. In addition to all the motion laws in VDI Guideline 2143 (5th order polynomial and so on), there are general sine combinations, higher polynomials with continuous third or fourth derivative, HS profiles, mHSL technology, numerically optimized polynomials, polynomial splines, polydyne functions, and the inverse HS reaction at your hands.

If you restrict yourself to the motion laws of the VDI Guideline 2143 or even the 5th degree polynomial, you simply give away machine performance.

Movements in OPTIMUS MOTUS can not only be described concretely for one product format but also parametrically for a whole range of formats, all this within a comfortable graphical editor.

In kinematic and kinetostatic models with masses, springs, gravity, friction and process forces, we simulate how the motion design affects the frame forces, the drive torques and also the vibration excitation, and we estimate the achievable machine speed early while designing the movements on the computer. The simulation provides us with an overview of the load distribution over time and across the axes so that we can optimize the motions specifically for high dynamics.

Directly at the machine, this targeted type of dynamic optimization would not be possible.

Finally, the motion description is exported as source code in various dialects of Structured Text, (CoDeSys, Allen Bradley RS Logix, Elau / Schneider, Siemens / Simotion, SEW and so on). This is just a "Save as" operation.
Movements for specific product formats are finally calculated directly by the PLC.

OPTIMUS MOTUS is thus a graphical editor for modeling, optimizing and testing complex motion sequences and for finally exporting them as function blocks for the PLC world.

This allows PLC motion programs to be developed and modified much faster than with manual program development.

The movement quality familiar from cam technology so also comes into play with servo drives. Debugging is eliminated because the source code is generated automatically.


Motion design with a graphical editor in the software OPTIMUS MOTUS



And with OPTIMUS MOTUS you save time in a different way:

Often movements are designed and optimized by the design and finally passed on in the form of descriptions to the PLC programmers. They implement the movements again with their own software tools.

With OPTIMUS MOTUS, however, the engineers design, simulate and optimize the movements and then pass them on to the PLC programmers as a data set. The programmers call up the data record, refine the motion design if necessary and then export the ST source code.

OPTIMUS MOTUS can be used across departments and avoids duplicate developments.

In a classic approach, movements can also be exported in about 50 different formats for many different drive manufacturers and controllers, as table or coefficient files. And most of them can also be imported!

So OPTIMUS MOTUS also acts as a cam data translator between different controllers.



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Software for commissioning servo drives

Once a machine has been designed, constructed, optimized and built, it will be sent to the customers and set up there. At the construction site, the requirements that were relevant during development and optimization can change again slightly. For example, the original product to be processed shows different properties than the test products that were provided for development. Maybe the machine behaves at high temperatures and high humidity simply different than at home.

On the spot sometimes movements or the parametric movement descriptions can be spontaneously changed.

With the Motion Designer of OPTIMUS MOTUS, the right toolbox is available for such adjustments:

  • You take records from home, engineering, or PLC programming to customize them and then output modified ST source code.
  • You change movements and immediately generate new data in the format of your choice.
  • You read in data of controller type A and output it for controller type B if the controller is changed during a conversion.
  • You read actual data from a control and reconstruct the original displacement plan.
  • The changed records can be neatly archived at home, so that you can benefit from your adjustments when delivering the next machine.

The best part is that with OPTIMUS MOTUS you have a tool for all control types, instead of having separate Cam Editors for each controller, and a very powerful one at that. OPTIMUS MOTUS runs independently of all controllers.

Software licenses for the service technicians are usually reduced to the displacement plan editor and thus very fairly priced.

They are licensed with dongles and are therefore mobile.

Maintenance for OPTIMUS MOTUS even includes such licenses for up to 10 days per year!


Features of OPTIMUS MOTUS Motion Designer


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Software for the mechanism theory

All modules of OPTIMUS MOTUS are available for universities on very favorable terms, if the purpose is explicitly limited to research and teaching.

Please ask for a quotation!


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Special software

Because we develop OPTIMUS MOTUS 100% ourselves, we can also adapt the software to your requirements as needed.

This usually means that we use OPTIMUS MOTUS in its entirety or certain parts of it as a calculation kernel and implement a user interface that is tailored to your specific task.

Several times, customers of us had an old, specially developed cam software in use, the care was too complex and should therefore be replaced. This is important, for example, when changing the operating system, like from VMS to UNIX or from UNIX or Linux to Windows. If there is a running mechanism software to buy, porting the old software to the new operating system is not economical.

In such cases, we have recreated the user interface of the original software in OPTIMUS MOTUS. The software offers the same menus and dialog boxes as the original software, but calculates with the standard OPTIMUS MOTUS calculation kernel and internally with regular OPTIMUS MOTUS data sets. The cost of such a porting is relatively small in relation, and you fall back on the long-proven technology with the OPTIMUS MOTUS calculation core.

Other examples where we developed special mechanism software:

  • Special software for low-vibration motion design for feeders in press automation
  • 3D simulation of a press with customized user interface
  • Import interfaces for mechanisms from recent kinematic software
  • Special software for the automatic calculation of jerk-free servo motions for the grinding of part contours
  • Special software for the simulation of parts transport in forming machines
  • Graphical special software for automatic motion optimization for chocolate dosing units
  • Special software for low-vibration motion design for pick & place delta kinematics
  • Development of several OEM versions of our displacement plan editor for drive manufacturers
  • Customized special software for calculating bending machine cams (Bihler, MRP, Finzer)

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At your wish we consider your individual adjustment needs in terms of OPTIMUS MOTUS.

Are functions of general interest, we take them as suggestions for our regular software development.

If the functions are very specific to your requirements, we offer customization programming. Such functions can be protected by passwords so that other users do not have access to them.


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There are a number of click-by-click tutorials available that allow users to become familiar with OPTIMUS MOTUS. On the other hand, training to learn how to use OPTIMUS MOTUS is faster and more effective.

Regularly we recommend 2 days of training to get started with the graphical user interface CAD-OPTIMUS MOTUS.

For the simpler cam and indexing cam calculations or for servo programming usually one day initial training is sufficient.

We carry out individual software trainings for you and with direct reference to your mechanical engineering applications.


Teacher for the software OPTIMUS MOTUS: the developer of the software, Rainer Nolte

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Of course, we also offer hotline and update service for our software.

The hotline addresses your questions about installing and using the software, as well as general questions about the design of cams, servo drives, and motions.

Updates with new functions, improvements of existing functions or adaptations to new operating systems are usually available for download once a year. However, if we have developed special functions that we know are of particular interest to you, you will receive a corresponding update out of turn.

Maintenance customers have another advantage:

For each year and license, you will receive an additional, time-bound license for your software configuration for up to 10 days of use.

This is useful for a machine commissioning, for which you want to use OPTIMUS MOTUS, or if several projects are to be processed simultaneously and there is a short-term license bottleneck.

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Prices ...

... are low, of course!

First, we should discuss what you want to use the software for (cams, indexing, servos, simulation, etc.). When we know which modules you need, we can give you an individual quotation.

OPTIMUS MOTUS is adaptable to your application in terms of features and price due to its modular structure.

You can use OPTIMUS MOTUS with dongle or as floating license.

OPTIMUS MOTUS licenses can be purchased or rented for a specific duration.

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Test installation

If you are interested in using OPTIMUS MOTUS, please ask for a test license!

Contact us!

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Download winfilm

Download the program winfilm to play animations created by OPTIMUS MOTUS.

It runs under Windows XP, 7, 8 and 10.

winfilm is provided by us on an “as is” basis and free of charge, so that you can view animations from the software OPTIMUS MOTUS with it.

We do not admit any rights of use beyond this.

We do not guarantee any properties and assume no liability at all.



Program winfilm to display animations from OPTIMUS MOTUS


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Nolte NC-Kurventechnik GmbH: Kurvengetriebe, Schrittgetriebe, Servoantriebe berechnen mit der Mechanismensoftware OPTIMUS MOTUS (R)