Stochastic structural analysis for context-aware design and fabrication

Timothy Langlois, Ariel Shamir, Daniel Dror, Wojciech Matusik, David I.W. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we propose failure probabilities as a semantically and mechanically meaningful measure of object fragility. We present a stochastic finite element method which exploits fast rigid body simulation and reduced-space approaches to compute spatially varying failure probabilities. We use an explicit rigid body simulation to emulate the real-world loading conditions an object might experience, including persistent and transient frictional contact, while allowing us to combine several such scenarios together. Thus, our estimates better reflect real-world failure modes than previous methods. We validate our results using a series of real-world tests. Finally, we show how to embed failure probabilities into a stress constrained topology optimization which we use to design objects such as weight bearing brackets and robust 3D printable objects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number226
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Computational design
  • FEM
  • Structural analysis


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