I've never used any modeling software before and just wanted to know if what I'm envisioning can be even be modeled. I wasn't sure where to post this question, so if this is the wrong place, please let me know. I would be grateful for any advice you may have. What I'd like to do is:
3D modeling of flexible (soft body?) spheres in contact with one another. The spheres are just a surface with no internal points.
There's an initial sphere (say layer 0) whose surface is covered as much as possible by non-overlapping spheres of the same size in layer 1. Because you can't fit an integral number of equal-sized spheres around an inner sphere of the same size, some amount of a few of the layer 1 spheres will be trying to occupy the same location. Because of this, these spheres won't be spheres but will be kind of hemispherical shapes meeting in the middle in a flat interface.
Any of the outer surfaces of the layer 1 spheres and hemispheres that are not already covered by other spheres, will also be covered by non-overlapping spheres (layer 2). Some of the layer 2 spheres will overlap if there's not a surface area that can fit an integral number of them. Ideally, the appearance of the sphere layers (0, 1, 2, etc.) is a sequential process, but I don't think that's critical for the model. In other words, they could all be there initially.
The overlapping hemispherical entities are trying to achieve their natural spherical shape and thus will exert pressure on each other. This is where the flexibility part comes in. As the overlapping hemispheres push against each other, they will change shape and push into neighboring spheres. All the spheres/hemispheres are trying to maintain a spherical shape, so if a sphere is bulged into, it will offer a small resistance to this.
Is it possible to make a 3d simulation of what happens when you start this running to see how the pressure waves and forces move through the spheres?
Thank you to both of you for your help. Both your answers were very informative and
will help guide my work on my hobby!