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The Material Point Method for Solid and Fluid Simulation


The Material Point Method (MPM) has shown its high potential for physics-based simulation in the area of computer graphics. In this dissertation, we introduce a couple of improvements to the traditional MPM for different applications and demonstrate the advantages of our methods over the previous methods.

First, we present a generalized transfer scheme for the hybrid Eulerian/Lagrangian method: the Polynomial Particle-In-Cell Method (PolyPIC). PolyPIC improves kinetic energy conservation during transfers, which leads to better vorticity resolution in fluid simulations and less numerical damping in elastoplasticity simulations. Our transfers are designed to select particle-wise polynomial approximations to the grid velocity that are optimal in the local mass-weighted L2 norm. Indeed our notion of transfers reproduces the original Particle-In-Cell Method (PIC) and recent Affine Particle-In-Cell Method (APIC). Furthermore, we derive a polynomial basis that is mass orthogonal to facilitate the rapid solution of the optimality condition. Our method applies to both of the collocated and staggered grid.

As the second contribution, we present a novel method for the simulation of thin shells with frictional contact using a combination of MPM and subdivision finite elements. The shell kinematics are assumed to follow a continuum shell model which is decomposed into a Kirchhoff-Love motion that rotates the mid-surface normals followed by shearing and compression/extension of the material along the mid-surface normal. We use this decomposition to design an elastoplastic constitutive model to resolve frictional contact by decoupling resistance to contact and shearing from the bending resistance components of stress. We show that by resolving frictional contact with a continuum approach, our hybrid Lagrangian/Eulerian approach is capable of simulating challenging shell contact scenarios with hundreds of thousands to millions of degrees of freedom. Without the need for collision detection or resolution, our method runs in a few minutes per frame in these high-resolution examples. Furthermore, we show that our technique naturally couples with other traditional MPM methods for simulating granular and related materials.

In the third part, we present a new hybrid Lagrangian Material Point Method for simulating volumetric objects with frictional contact. The resolution of frictional contact in the thin shell simulation cannot be generalized to the case of volumetric materials directly. Also, even though MPM allows for the natural simulation of hyperelastic materials represented with Lagrangian meshes, it usually coarsens the degrees of freedom of the Lagrangian mesh and can lead to artifacts, e.g., numerical cohesion. We demonstrate that our hybrid method can efficiently resolve these issues. We show the efficacy of our technique with examples that involve elastic soft tissues coupled with kinematic skeletons, extreme deformation, and coupling with various elastoplastic materials. Our approach also naturally allows for two-way rigid body coupling.

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