As part of my research I had a look at the simulation of particles using the Discrete Particle Method (DPM), or as it is referred to more often: Discrete Element Method (DEM). The concept behind this simulation is based on calculating all forces acting on each particle at discrete time steps. I have described two simulations here; a Galton board and a collapsing cube of spherical particles. These simulation were just for fun and do not represent and real physical systems.

Collapsing cube

During one of my internet browsing sessions I came across the simulation of a regular cubic assembly of spherical particles which was allowed to collapse on a slight angular plane. I thought it looked rather awesome and decided to mimic it as best as possible.

Galton board

The Galton board is a device for demonstrating the concept behind the binomial distribution. It consists of a grid of pegs and several receiving compartments at the bottom. Particles are inserted at the top of the grid and are allowed to fall freely due to gravity. At each peg it has a chance of 0.5 of falling left or right of the peg. The number of particles in each receiving compartment will roughly represent the binomial distribution.

For some unknown reason the distribution in the simulation is still a bit off. All walls in the simulation are coded, there is no possibility to import 3D models using the simulation software. This means that for visualisation a 3D model has been drawn and has been visualised together with the data. In this case SolidWorks was used for drawing the model.


Listed below are some of the resources I used for performing and visualising the simulations.


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