This is the main documentation for Bow Simulator and how to use it. It gives an overview of the program features, explains all input parameters and simulation results and also contains some background information.
The Technical Documentation is still a work in progress and intended for developers and interested users. It contains the theoretical and technical details behind the software, including the considerations that led to the mathematical bow model, the derivation of the equations of motion and the numerical solution methods.
Simulations can be used to evaluate specific bow designs, but they don't really tell you how to design a good bow. If you want to learn about bow design you could have a look at the following sources:
The Traditional Bowyer's Bible, Volume 1, Chapter 3: Bow Design and Performance by Tim Baker. All the common design elements and their performance implications are explained in a very practical and understandable way.
SuperTiller is an Excel spreadsheet made by Alan Case for simulating the statics of user-defined bows.
Woodbear's Selfbow Design Sheet [zip] by David Dewey is an Excel spreadsheet that calculates the necessary dimensions for a bow according to a user-defined stress distribution.
BowCAD by Joachim Gröger and Chris Goetz was a commercial attempt at bow design software. They started an Indiegogo campaign and at one point offered different kinds of licenses on their website. Unfortunately it seems to be gone now.
DrawCurve Calculator by Chris Snyder is a utility program for visualizing a bow's draw curve and calculating the stored energy.
x-Ballistics is a browser based application that can simulate the exterior ballistics/trajectory of arrows.