Finite element solvers are a basic component of simulation applications; they are common in computer graphics, engineering, and medical simulations. Although adaptive solvers can be of great value in reducing the often high computational cost of simulations they are not employed broadly. Indeed, building adaptive solvers can be a daunting task especially for 3D ﬁnite elements. In this paper we are introducing a new approach to produce conforming, hierarchical, adaptive reﬁnement methods (CHARMS). The basic principle of our approach is to reﬁne basis functions, not elements. This removes a number of implementation headaches associated with other approaches and is a general technique independent of domain dimension (here 2D and 3D), element type (e.g., triangle, quad, tetrahedron, hexahedron), and basis function order (piecewise linear, higher order B-splines, Loop subdivision, etc.). The(un-)reﬁnement algorithms are simple and req! uire little in terms of data structure support. We demonstrate the versatility of our new approach through 2D and 3D examples, including medical applications and thin-shell animations.
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