Where to design simple 2D mechanism with links, and actuators?

I’m working on physical modeling of a simple structure. Currently, these are lines, boxes and their combinations.

After these simulations worked, I was looking for a drawing tool for a slightly more complex 2D mechanism.

I started with vector editors and finally finished with these two programs:



SolveSpace is an opensource project. It has rich instruments set for building different kind of mechanisms. The constrains include distance, angle, orientation, parallel and perpendicular constrains. The program allows the realtime interaction with undefined model.

But, it has no actuators and motors. You can use constrains with the steps to activate the model. But it is not intuitive and difficult to play around with params.

Linkage Mechanism Designer and Simulator

Linkage is not opensource but is still free! It is primarily developed to design 2D mechanisms with actuators. The features I like:

  • You can setup the background with the image of the sketch of your mechanism. And then easily draw nodes and links over the image.
  • You may add actuators with manual control sliders for each of them below the scheme. And then arbitrarily use them to play with your model. (not always works as expected though)

I made two examples to study the Linkage better.



bird.linkage2 Bird

A380 Landing gear

A380_Landing_Gear.linkage2 A380 Landing gear