I have just read the basic background to Blender and am considering its use to study an engineering problem. In constructing breakwaters different concrete armour shapes are used. Their efficiency depends a lot on the ability to interlock with each other. I am looking to build numerical models that simulate this and need to extract information from the constructed slopes. Here is an example: Breakwater armoured with interlocking concrete units One way of checking how well units interlock is to apply a force normal to the slope to pull a single unit out of the slope. The required force would typically be 2 to 4 times more than the weight of a unit.

My question is: Can Blender model the process of slowly lowering these large concrete units with a crane. As a unit is lowered it touches the rock underlayer and other units, rotates, slides and comes to rest. Forces affecting this process is gravity, friction and unit dynamics (momentum). Can Blender handle this with sufficient control over friction aspects? Can one extract inter-unit friction and contact forces?

Here is a picture of a FEMDEM model specifically written for this problem. Units are coloured based on inter-unit forces. This was a major project so I suspect Blender does not have these capabilities? FEMDEM armour placement example

Thanks in advance Anton

  • $\begingroup$ Blender can, but in a large scale, our computers can't handle it! Plus we don't need to really make anything. we can just fake things. If you know what I mean ;) $\endgroup$ Mar 10, 2016 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


You won't be able to accurately produce the interaction of Stone Tetra Pods with the beach area and water in Blender. I'd advise against using it as a tool for engeneering research. It is best used as a tool for visual representations which don't have to be physically accurate. (However, there have been plenty of other applications.)

However, Blender has the rigid body system which can be used to simulate rigid bodies.

  1. Add a rigid body world.
  2. Add the objects (related) and make them active rigid bodies (with correct friction values e.g.).
  3. Cache the simulation.

In this example the resulting interlocking of the shapes can be seen.

tetra pods (stones)


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