Built-in vs. CAD-based Meshing Capabilities

Built-in Capabilities

CAD-based Capabilities (based on Rhinoceros 3D CAD software)

-Pros-

-Pros-

  • No additional cost
  • Very precise control on zones edge length and zone size gradation in the whole model
  • Can result in 100 % nicely shaped regular hexahedral elements (required for some problems)
  • Mesh can be parametrized (>>if the geometry needs to be modified, the user does not have to start the meshing process from the beginning)
  • he FLAC3D building block facility offers structured meshing and basic unstructured meshing capabilities.
  • The FLAC3D extrusion tool (v 5.0 and up) is an interactive mesher that is easy to use to build linearly extruded geometries (e.g., tunnels)
  • The FLAC3D extrusion tool and FLAC3D building block tools are interactive
  • 3DEC built-in blocking capabilities allow for easy creation of extruded polygons and tunnels of any shape
  • Tetrahedral meshing of convex blocks is done automatically in 3DEC
  • 3D geometries can be created in 3DEC by specifying coordinates defining each face
  • 3DEC can automatically convert tetrahedral zones into blocks for bonded-block modeling
  • Build very complex 3D geometries in a few hours
  • Flexibility and convenience of a fully interactive 3D-CAD system (Rhino) to build and modify the model’s geometry
  • Parameterized mesh creation possible (Rhino VB or Python scripting knowledge required)
  • Rhino CAD-system is intuitive and very easy to use

Griddle

  • Unstructured tetrahedral and hexahedral-dominant* meshing capabilities
  • All-hexahedral, structured meshing capability
  • Griddle auto-meshing only requires surfaces of model as input (almost any volume shape is allowed)
  • Excellent control over element sizes
  • A must, if you are dealing with complex geometries

-Cons-

-Cons-

  • Usually more time consuming
  • Requires experience to build complex meshes
  • Usually requires subdividing the volumes to mesh into primitive shapes (can be very difficult for complex 3D geometries, sometimes leading to poor quality zones)
  • The Building Block facility has limited CAD-system capabilities
  • Cost associated with the purchase of an additional tool

Note: *A hex-dominant mesh is a mesh composed mostly of hexahedral elements but also wedge, pyramid, and tetrahedral elements where necessary to conform to the geometry.

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