Is it possible to pull this clip (blue) into the tube and see how the legs move? Ultimately to test different size tubes to see the difference in the leg movement. So I guess could also test it by just having the clip inside the tube and making the tube smaller. Without Simulate (actually I wonder if Simulate could do it, but I don't have it).
It can be approximated with a lot of effort by using small deflection equations and using an iterative approach to correct the lengths of the resulting curves.
One can manipulate the angles of the bends and it will sort of look right, but it would be better if PTC would add a curvature controlled element. The unstrained segments would be curvature 0. The center section is under near constant moment, so it would be a single curvature. An advanced element would have variable curvature, say at each end or at intermediate locations, which could match the behavior of uniform section property elements under simply supported bending.
An FEA based solution could do this using contact and large deformation analysis.
Thanks for the input. I don't plan on doing this manually. I am still curious if Simulate can do this. At this point I am curious if any software can do this. Seems simple but maybe not.
I'm a fan of experiment
Post the shape under consideration and I'll see if I can create a real life video of the action.
My little 3D printer is great at making ribbons.