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enter image description hereI have been trying to make a short clip of a bullet hitting a wine glass with wine in it, but I keep running into the same problem with the add-on. Every time I have used it the result has left me with at least a partial box being generated as several of the fractured pieces.

I have tried subdividing and/or adding a sub-surf modifier but the result only changes where the large distorted fragments end up. I have been having trouble with this for quite some time and I would greatly appreciate any help.

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  • $\begingroup$ The result depends on the settings. Please at least upload a screenshot here. $\endgroup$ – Leon Cheung Feb 4 '14 at 2:16
  • $\begingroup$ when I had this problem I had to do Normals>Recalculate. Worked fine afterwards. $\endgroup$ – user12926 Mar 3 '15 at 9:15
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This is caused by a failed boolean operation.

The cell fracture uses the boolean modifier internally, if boolean fails because of geometry it can't handle (typically because of a non-manifold mesh), this happens.

Note that for 2.70 the boolean modifier has been upgraded to support ngons and a newer version of carve, so this will likely improve results in some cases, however there are limits to what boolean can operate on since it relies on calculating inside/outside of a mesh which can be problematic.

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This can happen when you have a Non-manifold mesh or intersecting geometry (see this post).

Non-manifold basically means that it cannot exist in real world 3D space. E.g. A 2D plane with no thickness is a non-manifold mesh. See What is non-manifold geometry? for more detail.

Select your mesh in edit mode and press CtrlAltShiftM to select non-manifold geometry. Without looking at your .blend or at least some screenshots of your model, it's hard to say exactly how to fix the problem.

Automatically fixing a non-manifold mesh:

The Remesh modifier always results in a manifold mesh, however it works by creating an entirely new mesh, so all topology, vertex groups, UV coordinates, etc. will be lost. It also often requires a dense mesh in order to match the shape of the input model accurately, so suffice it to say that it is better to fix your mesh manually when possible.

Using boolean modifiers to fix a non-manifold mesh:

If you don't mind messing up your topology a bit (which is probably the case, giving that it's going to be fractured anyway), using boolean modifiers to connect tricky parts of your mesh can save some time.

Here's an example workflow:

  1. Find parts of your mesh which are disconnected/non-manifold with CtrlAltShiftM:

    image description

  2. If there are no minor easily fixable issues (I don't see any in the above example), select everything and press P> Loose parts to separate all the disconnected parts of the mesh into separate objects. If there are some quick fix issues, fix them first and then separate.

  3. Go over each object and fill holes/fix other issues identified with CtrlShiftAltM. Using Numpad / to go into local view can help de-clutter the view and focus on one object.

    enter image description here

  4. Once all your individual objects are fixed and have issues such as intersecting geometry taken care of, you can use boolean modifiers to join the separate objects. You can press E while hovering over the object selection field to select an object by clicking on it in the 3D view.

    enter image description here

    The workflow which worked best for me is:

    1. First boolean join two objects and apply the modifier.

    2. Delete the extra leftover object (the one which was specified in the modifier).

    3. Repeat until all the objects are joined.

    This useful addon might help too.

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  • $\begingroup$ I did not have a picture of the error or the mesh on hand but I can take one some time tomorrow. I do however have this picture that I added with a box highlighting where the error occurs. A friend of mine said that it could be a problem with the shape being convex, would this effect the cell fracture? $\endgroup$ – user2348 Feb 5 '14 at 22:32
  • $\begingroup$ @user2348 Possibly.. I have heard of convex shapes being problematic, but I never have had problems myself. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Feb 12 '14 at 23:01

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