My work in cloth modeling grew out of my interest in particle-based modeling. In particle-based modeling non-rigid materials are modeled with numerous small-scale primitives (particles) that represent the material's microstructure. By capturing the material's low-level structures and computationally aggregating the interactions of these structures, it is possible to model the mechanical behavior of complex flexible materials. In applying these ideas to cloth, I developed a cloth particle model that represented the tensile, bending, and shearing behavior occurring at a thread crossing in a woven fabric. The separate energies produced by each of these modes of deformation may be measured with standard textile industry equipment. The equations describing the thread-level interactions of my model were derived from these empirical measurements. Placing the cloth particles in a rectilinear grid, having them pulled by gravity as they interact with arbitrary CSG models, allowed me to simulate the draping behavior of a variety of woven materials. My work demonstrated that it is possible to measure a real material, derive model equations from the measurements, and confidently simulate the draping behavior of actual woven materials. (See Breen, House & Wozny (SIGGRAPH and TRJ) 1994, and Breen 1993).
My experience in this field provided the motivation and knowledge needed for my book, Cloth Modeling and Animation, co-edited with Donald House. (See House & Breen, 2000).
The previous work focused on simulating how a piece of cloth would freely drape over an object. I was also involved in another cloth modeling project (with Masaki Aono of IBM's Tokyo Research Lab) that investigated the modeling methods needed to deform a woven cloth model into a specific 3-D shape. This capability is an important part of a CAD sytem for 3-D broadcloth composite parts. Broadcloth composites are widely used in the aerospace industry. (See Aono, Breen & Wozny 1992, 1994, 1996 & 2001).
Currently I am working with the Shima Seiki Lab and the Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Group here at Drexel to develop modeling, simulation and design technologies for the manufacturing of advanced knitted materials and structures. (See Liu et al. 2017).