Physics - Tech engineering software, that is fun?

Just a quick question... I ran across something called Gmod, or Garry's mod software today by accident. This one here...

It looks pretty neat, sort of a mechanical play thing. But, I'm not sure how true to reality the software is, also you apparently need to own a main platform software to use it, like Half Life. I don't have any of the games needed to play around with Gmod.

I started to wonder if there is any other software out there that works as an, across the board experimenter's virtual lab? Sort of a mechanical, electronics virtual plaything? I'd think that engineering tech schools would have software such as this, (CAD comes to mind) but I didn't quite find what I was looking for with a google search... Not exactly sure what the best search term would be for something like this? I've come across virtual electronics software, but maybe I'm asking too much for a multi electro-mechanical environment.

Has anyone ever used software like this, particularly something fun to play around with, without being to dry? Free would be nice as well, but I'm probably pushing the envelope there a bit! LOL.

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kelseymh7 years ago

Hmmmm....hopefully somebody will most a reply about Google's Sketchup Physics. It's only available for Windoze, so I have not had a chance to play with it. I've also seen some stuff on this site from another software package, that could do things like roll boxes or balls and properly knock things down.

Software for electronics simulation (like SPICE or TCAD) tends to be extremely expensive, since it's used by industry and research for actual IC (ASIC) design.

Have you tried a Google search? You'll probably have to experiment with different keywords until you start seeing real hits, then narrow it down that way.

bart245 (author)  kelseymh7 years ago
Thanks Kelseymh!

I will have to check out the software you mentioned... I think I was typing out my reply below just as you posted you message. Thanks.
bart245 (author)  bart2457 years ago
Wow, that Sketchy Physics looks really good... Although I'm in the same boat... I'm on a Mac and also have Linux... I guess I'm outta luck till they build a version to work on one of those.

Here's a few samples of it in action... Looks good!

I know! It looks pretty good to me as well. I'ble user SFHandyman is the one who first mentioned it to me. There's also something called "Phun" out there, but again, I haven't used it directly.

Good luck!

Putting the link here, If you just make up the most logical URL and type it in, as I often do, you end up somewhere you probably shouldn't be.

It's phun to play with, but if you want precision of any sort, Sketchy Physics is likely far more realistic.
By the way, I wonder if that sort of misdirection is why the popular browsers (e.g., Firefox and Safari) switched from doing hostname completion to feeding into a search engine.
Umnm, ewww. Sorry about that, Cam. I guess I assumed the author (and readers) would type the product name into Google. No offense, and certainly no NSFW, was intended.
Nah, I discovered that a year or so ago when someone else asked about it, that was just a warning to others. Although the NSFW site does actually appear on Google, fortunately way down the results...
bart245 (author) 7 years ago
Well, I found a bunch... Answered my own question... Problem is most of the mechanical ones seem a little bit too complex for what I'm looking for... More for serious engineering, not for the weekend armchair engineer. The electronics simulation software is pretty good though.

Anyway, if any one wants to take a look, thought I'd share what I found...

Mechanical Engineering

Electronics simulation