Mechanism designer and simulator like "Linkage"?

There is a great little program called “Linkage” (see screenshot) that pretty much does what is says, and which you can see from the samples in the screenshot.

However, it is 20 years old, and the developer has not done any further work on it…it could use some updating.

I’m wondering if anyone knows of something similar but a bit more developed



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a quick google search shows a ton of different options-


How about using Grasshopper / Kangaroo…?


I’ve done several linkages such as the one in the video attached with Kangaroo. It’s certainly not the most efficient way and assemblies are set up way easier in a program like Solidworks. However, I’m using Kangaroo for many years now so it’s just more natural for me to do it this way.


Thanks for your replies…

Since the original post, I persevered with the original program (which turns out not to be 20 years old at all…my bad!). Its so almost there - its just that because its been developed by one person on their own, it doesn’t work in the same CAD like way as mainstream software, so its little quirks and idiosyncrasies are annoying and get in the way, so what seems to be straight forward suddenly isn’t…

A “quick google search” always turns up tons of options - I was trying to find if anyone was or had used something they could recommend.

Ive already looked at Algodoo - I was put off by its pre-school colors and cartoon like appearance, and seemingly lack of precsion, but its physics engine looks good - I’ll look at it again…

I was very impressed with Solvespace - it initially looks like a DOS program, but its a quite sophisticated constraint driven modeller, that happens to have a 2D linkage solver within it.

That quick video of grasshopper / kangaroo is exactly the kind of thing I’m wanting to do. However, I don’t really want to code my own tool; I see somewhere that the developer of Kangaroo has said he intends to, or may release something that works within rhino on its own, which would be by far the best idea to my mind - this kind of thing shouldn’t need something like grasshopper.

I really think rhino should have a basic (at least 2D) linkage development set of tools - perhaps V8…?

Bongo is apparently adding some tools like this, but I cant test them because although own V1, I never upgraded to V2, and they are currently working on V3.
However, it will take a lot to convince me to ever use bongo again after the disaster that was V1, and in any case its animation is not real world based, in that you can animate things that ignore completely the laws of physics, and could never be constructed in the real world - certainly a place for this, but not helpful
to my current work…


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I agree! This would be great!




This is quite similar to the features I’ve been working on in Bongo. Here’s a quick example of me animating a piston.

Bongo 3 has also integrated a physics engine for the physically based motion you’re looking for.

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I know that this is a very old post, but I have recently come across MotionGen thanks to JBVCreative’s YouTube channel. It seems like the best mechanism simulation software at the moment and offers synthesis capabilities, which are non-existent in anything else out there. Try for free online at

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Something like this could be done by the Sketch constraint (based on Kangaroo).
Mcneel decided to postpone them but in the V9Wip it should be available again at certain point.

It’s important to show off how and why you can use this features.
I’m a fan of having such features on Rhino but I feel a bit alone. Pls support the linkage construction in Rhino.