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Automated Hexahedral Mesh Generation by Virtual Decomposition

White, David R., Lai Mingwu, Steven E. Benzley, and Gregory D. Sjaardema

Proceedings, 4th International Meshing Roundtable, Sandia National Laboratories, pp.165-176, October 1995



Mapping and sweeping mesh generating algorithms are some of the most common methods used for creation of hexahedral meshes. These algorithms quickly generate high quality elements; however they typically require manual decomposition of the geometry into regular primitive pieces. Two CUBIT meshing facilitators, volume submapping and n-surface sweeping, have been designed to greatly reduce the need for manual decomposition and the propogation of these cuts throughout the model, while generating high quality hexahedral elements. This paper will focus on the implementation and capabilities of volume sub-mapping while briefly discussing n-surface sweeping.

Volume submapping uses pseudo or virtual geometry to decompose complex volumes into "mappable sub-volumes". Mappable regions are generally limited to volumes that can be paramaterized into logical hexahedrals. To decompose volumes into mappable sub-volumes, the mesh connectivity of the surfaces bounding the solid is used to paramaterize the surface in a logical integer "i-j-k" space. This paramaterization provides the information for decomposition of the volume by the creation of virtual surfaces inside the volume. The virtual surfaces separate the volume into mappable sub-volumes. Because the virtual surfaces have no underlying geometry, the resulting hexahedral mesh can be smoothed to eliminate the sharpness of the decomposition surfaces or to increase the conformity of the mesh to the original geometry. This process reduces the need for manual geometry decomposition of a large class of realistic solid models with the benefits of reduced time and complexity of the meshing process.

Current work in the n-surface sweeping development involves improving the CUBIT sweep tool to allow multiple source surfaces to be projected to a single target surface. The n-surface sweeping is based on existing CUBIT features.

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