We present a simulation study of an important rigid-body contact problem. The system in question is composed of a rigid plate and a single rigid body (or particle). The plate follows a prescribed periodic motion of small amplitude and high frequency, such that the net force applied to the part appears to be from a time-independent, position-dependent velocity field in the plane of the plate. Theoretical results obtained by Vose were found to be in good agreement with simulation results obtained with the Stewart–Trinkle time-stepping method. In addition, simulations were found to agree with the qualitative experimental results of Vose After such verification of the simulation method, additional numerical studies were done that would have been impossible to carry out analytically. Specifically, we were able to demonstrate the convergence of the method with decreasing step size (as predicted theoretically by Stewart). Further analytical and numerical studies will be carried out in the future to develop and select robust simulation methods that best satisfy the speed and accuracy requirements of different applications. With the accuracy of our time-stepper verified for this system, we were able to study the inverse problem of designing new plate motions to generate a desired part motion. This is done through an optimization framework, where a simulation of the part interacting with the plate (including the full dynamics of the system) is performed, and based on the results of the simulation the motion of the plate is modified. The learned (by simulation) plate motion was experimentally run on the device, and without any tuning (of the simulation parameters or device parameters) our learned plate motion produced the desired part motion.