I'm looking for an application that is:

  • desktop (Windows or Linux) or web
  • able to do mechanical simulation of rotary parts such as gears, rods and belts
  • perfect accuracy is not necessary
  • does not need to produce manufacturable output (e.g. CAD diagrams), only visual feedback
  • is accessible to people inexperienced in mechanical engineering
  • can simulate partially-toothed or "mutilated" gears for intermittent motion such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXg_g0r-Pz0 - even if I need to hand-draw the gear, that's fine (and perhaps even preferred)

This is related to but not a duplicate of Simulate gear movement , because my requirements are a little more narrow. I don't think Yenka is able to do what I want after downloading and trying it - it only supports fixed gear shapes where you're able to change the number of teeth but not insert any gaps, etc.

1 Answer 1


SketchUp can do it with two extensions:

SketchUp is a fairly simple but powerful 3D modelling and drawing application which is free for personal projects.


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