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This article presents the simulation of the dynamics of the self-writing waveguide phenomenon in photopolymerizable resin systems using the finite element method. The rate equation of the photopolymerization process, mechanical shrinkage in the resin and lightwave propagation through the waveguide are included in the finite element model. An emphasis is placed on the simulation of processes occuring at multiple time scales and the introduction of mechanical shrinkage through an equivalent body force. Simulation results predict the features of self-writing previously observed including nonuniformities in the final polymerized waveguide.