We have reached an impressive milestone. Our BCB add-on has evolved into a serious simulation tool: One of the software validation cases in our Inachus research has been the collapsed Pyne Gould Corporation building in Christchurch. The building was destroyed in a devastating earthquake, on 22 February 2011. The Blender add-on was able to simulate the debris pattern fairly accurately as it can be seen from the video and the still images at the end of it.
Only the simulation of concrete structures is possible at the moment. Much remains to be done, such as the simulation of deformable building elements like steel structures. The bases is laid with the introduction of spring constraints. But the working of springs in Blender needs yet thorough investigation.
This video is a first test to see if our simulation results can be used in an interactive walk through environment. The collapsed blender model is exported into the unreal game engine. Here a character can walk around, climb the debris or search inside for cavity spaces. This technology would be perfectly suitable for the education of rescue personnel. It is for example possible to apply physical behavior to debris fragments so that trainees can move pieces and experience the subsequent collapse.
The latest Bullet Constraints Builder version v.1.8 allows plastic deformation of building parts. We have added generic springs as a new constraint type.
First we thought we would attend the Blender conference only as audience, but then got invited at short notice to present our research on our simulation tool to the community . The conference was streamed live over the internet, twitter messages were cast on the theater walls in minute cycles. We admit this was all quite exciting for us. The feedback and the interest after the talk was very encouraging. Now our talk is stored on youtube.
This video shows the simulation of the high rise building after improvements of the script
This model was import as an IFC file into Blender using the ifcopenshell add-on.
The complete model with 1276 elements, was imported into Blender 2.73 successfully. Each element was represented as an individual mesh object. The elements had all triangulated faces which could be in most cases fixed to quad faces for better handling.
By attributing a physically active state and automatic calculation of the concrete masses. The model could then be used in a rough physical simulation. No constraints where applied. The process from importing to the final simulation took ca 5 minutes. The elevator shaft however needed to be taken off because of overlapping geometries.
The simulation does not have any scientific significance, however it is important to point at this procedure, because it illustrates that an external model can indeed directly be used for simulations in Blender.