Is a mechanical simulation in Rhino possible?


I use Rhino 5.0 64-bit for Windows since a few month. Now I have to develop a mechanical construction with gears, levers, rotatable and shiftable parts etc.
Is it possible to make something like a “dynamic Multibody-Simulation” in Rhino? I neet a model where I can move one piece and all connected pieces will react by themselves, so that I can control and optimize the whole mechanical system.

Would be perfect if I could use Rhino als it is. If thats not possible, maybe there´s an Addon or PlugIn or something like that, that I can use.

If anybody can help me solve this problem, it would be very great.

(Sorry for my not perfect English. It´s not my mother-language. I´m German.)



Hi Seiml- not right in Rhino, but the Bongo animation program may help -


Or possibly with Grasshopper and Kangaroo 2.

Right, good point… gotta keep that GH in mind.


Thank you very much.

I found also this video:
but I cant find the “Rhino Assembly Plugin” he uses. (I didn´t build my model in SolidWorks. I built it in Rhino - but I think it should work the same). Does anybody know how i can connect the parts as he does it in the video?


can anybody explain how it works with Grasshopper? Is there a Video-Tutorial or something like that online? I never worked with Grasshopper. Would be great…

For an intro to GH, I suppose this should get you along>
Grasshopper Getting Started By David Rutten

As for the specifics of using GH and Kangeroo to make a mechanical simulation, perhaps @DanielPiker could offer a few pointers…

Thanks for all your quick answers!

Here I found the Download of the Plugin “RhinoWorks” that is used in the video I posted above:

Unfortunately it´s too expencive for me. I hope I´ll find other ways…

The plugin is Rhinoworks. Unfortunately, this plugin was discontinued. The trial version is still available

Grasshopper/Firefly might interest you as well

I would love to get around to trying out some of this stuff but just can’t find the time.


1 Like

Hi Seiml.
Yes, if you don’t mind using Grasshopper, Kangaroo2 can model assemblies of rigid parts. It’s still ongoing development, but I’d be happy to have a go and see if it’s possible to use for your application.
You can use shared points to model different joints - if a pair of bodies share two points, it becomes a revolute joint. If they share only one point it becomes a spherical joint. You can also specify sets of points to remain collinear to model prismatic joints. Gears are not included yet, but could be easily added if needed.
Here’s a video showing the process of creating an assembly in this way:


Hi Daniel!

Thanks for your help. Thats great!

I know this video. I tried to reproduce what is showen in the video but unfortunately the module “Part” from “Joey” is missing in Kangaroo 2.02 (as well as in Kangaroo 0.099 which I also have installed). The whole “Joey”-Window is missing.

Now I don´t know what to use in Grasshopper instead of “Part”…

Daniel - you sayed: “Gears are not included yet, but could be easily added if needed”.
That would be really great! All in all - I have a lot of such projects. Besides gears I also would need something like non-circular discs to control my mechanics. (like here: )

The perfect Programm is still realized by Disney:
But this programm is not for sale. Maybe it is possilbe to realize something similar with Kangaroo. What do you think?


Ah, sorry - I forgot that video was made while Kangaroo 2 was still pre-release. Joey was my internal code-name for what has now become Kangaroo2 (it’s the name for a baby kangaroo).
I also renamed ‘Part’ to ‘RigidBody’. There is an example definition called included in the Kangaroo2 examples with the download.

Interesting that this comes up while I was going to try to use Kangaroo 2 to analyze placement of the rotation point of a cam.

In the attached, a force will move a pin against a cam. Right now I have to first move the pin and then set the rotation of the cam such that there is only one intersection between both. Is it possible to automate this using Kangaroo?
Kangeroo - (28.2 KB)

Hello Daniel!

Thank you very much for your help!

I´m sorry - I still cant retrace how you built the System in the video. There are too many differences in the pre-release-version and Kangaroo 2:

  1. Rigid body now has only the RB connection on its right side. In the pre-release-version there have been two sockets: “out” & “A”
  2. You connect “A” with “GoalObjects”, and later with “Grab”. I have tried to connect “RB” instead of “A” with GoalObjects. I don´t know if that would help, but anyway it wouldnt work because I can´t connect more than one “RB” with “GoalObjects”.
  3. The function “Preview” is missing in Kangaroo2. (Is it “show” now?)

I´m sorry for my maybe bad questions. These are my first steps in Grasshopper. I don´t really understand what I am doing yet. But I hope that will change soon…



Hi Seimi

Not sure of the level of control/sophistication that you are looking for and its not really a plugin but more of a companion product to Rhino have you considered SimLab 3D products with the simulation module?

I believe its based upon the Chrono Engine by Delta Knowledge with early links to Realsoft 3D, both developed by very very small teams in Italy and Finland.
The Chrono Engine has some depth but all reasonable pricing.

I’ve always wanted someone to grab these under utilised programs and integrate Realsoft 3d and Chrono into Rhino???

This is how I set it up. I used the tutorial as an example


An alternative is to use Google SketchUp with the SketchyPhysics plug-in. I’ve had good success with this combination, and there’s an excellent gear-generator plug-in available, too. My total investment for the above is $0, and the learning curve is not steep. It isn’t Rhino, but it is adequate for my needs.

This looks interesting. Upload your CAD model to do all kinds of simulations.

Good evening,

I am a student trying to learn Grasshopper and Kangaroo. I tried to do again the

tutorial show in the video Dinel Piker. The problem is that I can not move the objects as

is it shown in the video. I think I have followed the instructions.
Could you please look at my file to show me the error.


Corentin Werrie (7.8 KB)
assembly_simulation.3dm (1.2 MB)