My youngest brother is training to be an engineer and my aunt already is. That is why I thought TinkerCell might be a good program for them to check out. My brother has not quite figured out what area of engineering he wants to go into, but he still had the CAD experience that was necessary to check out this download. (I don't see my aunt much, but I am sure she would get a kick out of this too).
The newest in engineering fields, synthetic biology, is difficult to explain without pictorial design models. TinkerCell helps create the visual aids needed to explain it as well as plans and projects to produce it. When my brother opened up this download on his computer and used it within the CAD program parameters, it looked pretty cool. It made the complexities of synthetic biological experiments look like child's play.
The program's name play here refers to the tinkering of synthetic cells and calculating the outcomes of that tinkering, which is really neat to see in action. (I initially thought it had something to do with the fairy of a similar name, which was pretty funny when I found out what the download was all about). TinkerCell also stores all of the data from the theories and experiments you run, so you can easily reference them when conducting new tests and running a series of new engineering calculations. Overall a very nice freebie, but you should have CAD on your computer and CAD experience before attempting to play with it.
Windows XP / Vista / 7