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I want to simulate powder, are particles the best job for this and if so what settings could I use to achieve this in Blender?

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    $\begingroup$ What about using particles? $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Dec 2 '13 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 I don't know, all I need is that it needs to look as realistic as fine powder. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Turbo Dec 2 '13 at 20:45
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    $\begingroup$ This sounds a lot like a tutorial request, which is outside the scope of this site. If you have a specific question about something you've tried, or if you'd like to know something specific about how to improve something you've already done, we'd be more than happy to help. Please adjust your question accordingly. $\endgroup$ – Matt Dec 2 '13 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ That's a great question! "What is a good approach to making powder? Should I use.... or....?" The quality of this site is based not only on quality answers, but also on quality questions. It's also important to demonstrate that you've done your own homework by watching/reading tutorials, experimenting with the program, and trying things out. Help us help you. $\endgroup$ – Matt Dec 2 '13 at 21:12
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    $\begingroup$ @Matt Thank you for your caring response. I will have a look at some tutorials and will change the questions so that it is like “how do you do this” not “please do this for me” $\endgroup$ – Turbo Dec 2 '13 at 21:38
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Particles:

You could use Newtonian or Fluid type Particles to simulate the powder, with the gears and funnel as Collision objects.

For example:

  1. Add a plane (ShiftA> Mesh > Plane) and add a particle system to it.

  2. Set the Lifetime to a number greater than the scene End frame

  3. Set the Physics to Fluid in Particles > Physics

  4. Add an Icosphere (ShiftA> Mesh > Icosphere). You may want to set the Subdivisions to 1 in the Redo panel or the F6 menu for situations with many small particles.

  5. Set the particle Dupli Object to the icosphere in Particles > Render > Dupli Object

  6. Set the size in Physics as desired, I used .001

  7. Enable Simple in Particles > Children and set the Radius and Uniform Roughness as desired.

    • The Radius defines how far child particles are allowed from the real particle
    • Uniform roughness gives some randomness to the locations of child particles
  8. Set the Cache Step in Particles > Cache to 1, this will record the location of each particle every frame. The default of 10 often gives strange results.

  9. For object you want to collide with the powder:

    1. Add a Collision physics modifier in Properties > Physics

    2. Increase the Particle Damping factor. By default particles will bounce very high, this setting controls how much velocity the particle loses on collision with this object.

  10. Bake

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