Simulating Fractures in Scanned Stone Meshes

Joseph Kennedy
DDes 2025
1 Interior fracturing of stone mesh caused by exterior crack line

Stone has a story, one that is crafted over geological timescales. The exotic terrain of New England bedrock has traveled tens of thousands of miles across the world over hundreds of millions of years. While these visible movement of this phenomenon are outside the immediate perception of our temporal lifespans, we see its trace effects in the landscapes which we inhabit. Our awareness of the environment, as well as our compiled observation and analysis of our surrounds allows us to imagine, understand, model and simulate the the global scale metamorphosis of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic stone. Through this empirical process, we are able to look to the past in order to project in the future, and understand how the next hundred million years of plate tectonics might shape both our natural and built environments.

This project attempts to model and explore the effects of time and weathering on stone, specifically how local forces can transform the geometry and shape of a stone through gradual cracking and fragmentation.

Project video
2 Crack pattern populating mesh surface on textured rock
3 Fracturing breaking through to opposite mesh faces
4 Detail of mesh fragmentation
5 Veining patterns of a crack beginning to form