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Old   May 25, 2011, 11:15
Question Recommendation for mesh generation software
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Tibi Chelcea
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I'm looking for a new mesh generation software and I'm asking for some recommendations. Let me describe what we do and what we need.

Our current simulation setup is entirely batch driven; the interface is on the web. Based on user inputs and our own library of components, we create a 3D model of an electronic board and its components, then mesh it with Gmsh, solve the CFD problem in Elmersolver, and then do some postprocessing with Paraview. Our servers run Windows. The meshes used in solving these problems have up to 100K tets -- we're not looking for extreme accuracy but for something reasonably accurate and fast.

Lately we've started to create the 3D model of the system in OpenCascade and export it in STEP/BREP; we're also moving to more complex models. However, Gmsh is not working too well with these new STEP/BREP models and we're looking to replace it in the flow.

Can anyone recommend some free/commercial software that would work as a replacement for Gmsh? Basically, we have three requirements:
- the mesher should be entirely batch driven/scriptable (in our current setup, we just tell Gmsh to create finer mesh around some regions of interest -- e.g. power consuming components -- and then letting it apply it automatic meshing algorithms)
- the mesher should be able to input STEP or IGES or BREP formats (we'd prefer STEP/BREP, but it's not a dealbreaker)
- bonus points for being able to interface with Elmersolver, but we can write some converters

I've looked at Salome, but its Windows port is still beta and not entirely stable. Netgen and Tetgen are already incorporated in Gmsh, so they might not do the trick. I've spent some time on floTHERM's web page, but it's not clear whether it is scriptable or not.

Thanks,
Tibi

PS. Hope this is the right forum for this question.
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Old   May 28, 2011, 14:26
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John Chawner
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Hello Tibi:

I work at Pointwise so you should treat this recommendation accordingly. But I think Pointwise will do what you need. It's scriptable and can be run in batch. It reads IGES (and we'll be releasing STEP import later this year). It doesn't have a native Elmersolver interface, but it does have a plugin SDK that you can use to customize your own Elmersolver interface. And it runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac. For more info see www.pointwise.com/pw.

Best of luck with your search.
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Old   June 1, 2011, 09:21
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Hi John,

thanks for the recommendation. I was looking at Pointwise (Gridgen actually, but learned that Pointwise is the next generation of that) and I really liked the scripting capabilities. It's good to hear about it coming with an SDK so we can write our own exporter to Gmsh format (which is way simpler than Elmer's own).

Tibi

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Originally Posted by jchawner View Post
Hello Tibi:

I work at Pointwise so you should treat this recommendation accordingly. But I think Pointwise will do what you need. It's scriptable and can be run in batch. It reads IGES (and we'll be releasing STEP import later this year). It doesn't have a native Elmersolver interface, but it does have a plugin SDK that you can use to customize your own Elmersolver interface. And it runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac. For more info see www.pointwise.com/pw.

Best of luck with your search.
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Old   June 4, 2011, 06:48
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Vangelis Skaperdas
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Hello Tibi,

You could also have a look at ANSA.
I work at BETA CAE Systems S.A. which develops the code.
ANSA can read and write IGES, STEP and other neutral or native CAD files
and it also provides full meshing automation through the batch mesh tool.
No direct support for Elmersolver, but has numerous I/O format for
all major FEA and CFD codes.
I understand for example that Elmer can read Abaqus *.inp files
which can be written out by ANSA.

You can find information at
http://www.beta-cae.gr/

Best regards,

Vangelis

Last edited by vangelis; June 9, 2011 at 05:18.
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Old   June 4, 2011, 13:46
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hi. i second the Pointwise suggestion. extremely scriptable and provide reasonably high quality tetrahedral meshes without too much manual tweaking.

I'm not sure how to interface it with other programs, so i can't comment on that.

probably your best guess would be to grab the demo licences of a few softwares and let the assistance help you to set up a simplified case. in this way you can get a feel of the workflow and the easyness of implementing the scripting capabilities in an automated fashion.
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Old   June 8, 2011, 16:08
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Elena Cortin
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For sure Pointwise is the leader ! ! ! !

We test it in InterFEA and we found out that it is top for CFD mesh.

Of course there are other solutions as well, but if you need a leader then Pointwise is your way to go
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Old   June 9, 2011, 10:49
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Sijal Ahmed Memon (turboenginner@gmail.com)
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Grid pro is extra ordinary. You will forget about any other software
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Old   June 9, 2011, 10:56
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Following is the list according to simplicity, robustness and quality of mesh

1. Grid Pro (easy to use, robust and very high quality mesh, blocking topology helps to mesh similar geometries with minutes )

2. ICEM CFD ( Hard to learn, Robust, high quality mesh, blocking topology helps to mesh similar geometries with minutes)

3. GridGen (simple to use : in fact very easy to use, robust, good quality mesh, manual work for mesh creation or have to write the scripts which may not work when geometry is not too similar)


It is also to be noted gridpro produces orthogonal mesh every time even without telling you. On the other hand ICEM CFD and Gridgen's eliptic solver is not good and may crash if meshing is complex. Just log on to grid pro website and ask them for evaluation version
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Old   June 9, 2011, 11:24
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Grid pro is also a very good solution, i will say that Far has right on that.

So as you unterstant Pointwise and Gridpro are ok for you
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