In addition to importing a CAD solid model and meshing, there are numerous methods of creating meshes by hand. Some examples include the following:
- Create construction objects that form the edges of a region, and then use structured meshing to create a mesh in each region. By meshing multiple regions, the complete model can be constructed.
- If the mesh is composed of planar geometry (plates or 2D elements, or if the surface of the solid is flat), then create a sketch of each plane. As long as the sketch encloses a complete region, the regions can be meshed with the 2D mesher.
- For solid models, the interior mesh can be created automatically if the surface mesh that encloses the region is created. Select the part, right-click, and choose CAD Mesh OptionsCreate Solid Mesh. (See the page Meshing Overview: Meshing CAD Solid Models, Model Mesh Settings: Solid for details on the solid mesh generation. Although this situation is not a CAD solid model, the solid mesh generation is the same.)
- Meshes can be created in some situations by extruding a mesh. A plate element model can be created by drawing the edge of the plate, dividing the line into multiple segments, and extruding the segments to create an area. A solid mesh can be created by starting with a mesh of the face and extruding the area mesh to create a volume mesh. (See the page Meshing Overview: Creating and Editing Geometry in the FEA Editor: Tools: Move, Rotate, Scale, or Copy for details.)
- For simple line geometry, such as beam and truss models, the elements can be drawn directly as lines. For other meshes, small regions can be created, or distorted areas repaired, by drawing lines. (See the page Meshing Overview: Creating and Editing Geometry in the FEA Editor: Adding Geometry for details.)
This section will concentrate on the first two methods. See the following pages.
2D Mesh Generation
Keep in mind that the technique used to create the mesh is not as important as the final result. As long as the mesh is representative of the part and gives accurate results, how it was created does not matter. For example, three different engineers might create a plate element mesh of a pipe in three different fashions:
- Engineer A draws two construction circles that represent the ends of the pipe. After dividing the circles into two arcs, the Mesh Structured Mesh Between 2 Objects command is used to create the mesh between the arcs, thereby creating a mesh of the surface of the pipe.
- Engineer B draws one construction circle that represents the end of the pipe. After dividing the circle into two arcs, the Mesh Structured Mesh Divide 1 Object command is used to divide the arcs into mesh lines of the perimeter. These mesh lines are then extruded (Draw Pattern Move or Copy) along the length to create a mesh of the surface of the pipe.
- Engineer C draws one line that represents the length of the pipe. The line is divided into mesh lines, and these mesh lines are revolved (Draw Pattern Rotate or Copy) around the centerline to create a mesh of the surface of the pipe.