Real-time Fragmentation of Solid Material
using the Finite Element Method


This thesis is within the field of simulated surgery and motivated by the current demand for an educational tool teaching the common procedure of wisdom tooth extraction. Attention is focused on how to simulate the fragmentation that will separate the crown of the tooth from its roots. We present a general method for crack prediction and propagation in volumetric solids based upon real-time structural analysis. The analysis is conducted using the finite element method and the Total Lagrangian Explicit Dynamics solving technique with a parallel approach. The stress and strain analysis are based on the theoretical laws of physics and the crack prediction is based on the theory of maximum principal stress from fracture mechanics. The failure surface as predicted by the crack tracking algorithm looks very promising. The location and curvature of the failure surface corresponds to the stress analysis and the intuition of how an object would actually fracture. Benchmarking the simulation model reveals great potential towards real-time interaction and visual feedback.