This paper concerns the dynamic simulation of constrained mechanical systems in the context of real-time applications and stable integrators. The goal is to adaptively find a balance between the stability of an over-damped implicit scheme and the energetic consistency of the symplectic, semi-implicit Euler scheme. As a starting point, we investigate in detail the properties of a recently proposed timestepping scheme, which approximates a full nonlinear implicit solution with a single linear system, without compromising stability. This scheme introduces a geometric stiffness term that improves numerical stability up to a certain time-step size, but it does so at the cost of large mechanical dissipation in comparison to the traditional constrained dynamics formulation. Dissipation is sometimes undesirable from a mechanical point of view, especially if the dissipation is not quantified. In this paper, we propose to use an additional control parameter to regulate “how implicit” the Jacobian matrix is, and change the degree to which the geometric stiffness term contributes. For the selection of this parameter, adaptive schemes are proposed based on the monitoring of energy drift. The proposed adaptive method is verified through the simulation of open-chain systems.

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