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Curvature-Based Meshing

Tips and Tricks Central Innovation 28 March 2018

Curvature-Based Meshing

The accuracy of the obtained results from SOLIDWORKS Simulation is directly related to the mesh that is used. The role of the mesh is to subdivide the 3D CAD model to smaller domains called “elements”. Then the governing equations are getting solved over each element. If you try to refine the mesh, these elements are getting smaller; hence the computed solution will converge to the true solution. The process of the mesh refinement is a crucial step in validating the results from the software.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation gives us this opportunity to control the mesh over the high stress areas only which is a huge time saver. More often this high stress area is located at corner and fillet area which is highly recommended to have mesh controls there to make sure they are fine enough to capture the stress distribution.

Do I need to apply mesh control to all high stress areas one by one?

The answer is NO. There is a more time saving method to control the mesh over high stress areas: Using curvature-based mesh.

You can find this by right clicking on the Mesh in the Simulation PropertyManager, Select Create Mesh, tick on Mesh Parameters, and select Curvature-based mesh:

Mesh Parameters

You can see some numbers automatically filled there by the software, but what are these numbers?

Maximum and Minimum Element Size

The Max and Min Element Size are used for the boundaries with lowest and highest curvatures. It tells the software how much freedom it has to fluctuates the element sizes to adequately mesh the geometry.

Min Number of Elements in a Circle

This field pushes any circular feature to have a minimum of the specified number of elements around it. The circular feature might be hole, arcs or fillets. This field can be leveraged for a better mesh control over the high stress areas.

Element Size Growth Ratio

This field specifies the global element size growth ratio over the regions of high curvatures in all directions.

In your study ensure there is enough of an interval between your max and min element size. This helps the software to meet the requirement of the min number of elements in a circle. Moreover, the Element Size Growth Ratio field can be set as large as possible. In case the elements aren’t allowed to get small enough to achieve that, the best is to determine the size of small features in your model is to use Geometry Analysis.

You can find Geometry Analysis, in Tools>Geometry Analysis. This function automatically detects all geometry features classified by type.

Geometric Analysis

You can set the desired values, and Click on Calculate. The result page will show you the size of the small features you were looking for.

Parisa Amiri
Technical Support Engineer
Central Innovation Melbourne, Australia


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