ArtiSynth: A Biomechanical Simulation Toolkit

A Dynamic Simulation Platform Targeted at Human Anatomical Function


  • General purpose physics engine combining both rigid and FEM-based deformable bodies, with constraints and collisions
  • Java-based API for model creation
  • Graphical interface for interactive editing and simulation control
  • Biomechanics support: muscles, inverse computation of activations, etc.
  • Existing state-of-the-art models of the upper airway, tongue, jaw and vocal tract

Technology Details

Artisynth image of human skull and neckThe ArtiSynth software package allows users to create and simulate dynamic mechanical models built from combinations of rigid and deformable bodies, joints, constraints, and various force actuators.  It is specialized for creating biomechanical models of human anatomical structures, with the intention to study their function and eventually assist in the design and planning of medical treatment. One current project involves predicting the effects of reconstructive jaw surgery on a patient's ability to chew.

Models are rendered in a graphical interface that facilitates interactive editing and simulation control. Individual component properties (such as force, stiffness, or velocity) can be easily connected to interactive control panels or to streams of input/output data arranged on a graphical Timeline widget, allowing a user to observe behavior variations resulting from different parameters and inputs.

UBC has used ArtiSynth to develop sophisticated structural and dynamic models of the vocal tract, upper airway, tongue and jaw.  These are based on medical data and realistically reproduce anatomical functions such as chewing and tongue motion.  Applications of such models include speech therapy and linguistics, surgical planning and medical conditions of the vocal tract and upper airways.

ArtiSynth may also be useful for an even broader set of application domains, including medical instruction, prosthesis design, general purpose mechanical design, and other applications that require a high degree of user interactivity combined with physical simulation.