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Old   September 11, 2013, 15:22
Default snappyHexMesh / surfaceFeatureExtract do not snap to edge
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Hi guys,

i think this topic must be boring for you, but i have some problems with snappyHexMesh:



The picture above shows a detail of the geometry which i want to mesh. The geometry is a STL-geometry-file. The same detail after snappyHexMesh detail looks like follows:



I extracted the edges with surfaceFeatureExtract, apparently with no success.

Can you give me any hints in order to improve my mesh?

Thank you very much in advance!
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Old   September 12, 2013, 04:58
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Can you post your snappyHexMeshDict file please?

If I were to take a blindfolded guess I'd say increase the no. feature snapping iterations, move the geometry with respect to the background mesh (e.g. change blockMesh spacing by 1) or increase the edge refinement level.
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Old   September 12, 2013, 08:17
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Hi Artur,

here is the surfaceExtractFeatureDict:

Code:
/*--------------------------------*- C++ -*----------------------------------*\
| =========                 |                                                 |
| \\      /  F ield         | OpenFOAM: The Open Source CFD Toolbox           |
|  \\    /   O peration     | Version:  2.2.0                                 |
|   \\  /    A nd           | Web:      www.OpenFOAM.org                      |
|    \\/     M anipulation  |                                                 |
\*---------------------------------------------------------------------------*/
FoamFile
{
    version     2.0;
    format      ascii;
    class       dictionary;
    object      surfaceFeatureExtractDict;
}
// * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * //

dummy.stl
{
    // How to obtain raw features (extractFromFile || extractFromSurface)
    extractionMethod    extractFromSurface;

    extractFromSurfaceCoeffs
    {
        // Mark edges whose adjacent surface normals are at an angle less
        // than includedAngle as features
        // - 0  : selects no edges
        // - 180: selects all edges
        includedAngle   150;
    }

    // Write options

        // Write features to obj format for postprocessing
        writeObj                yes;
}


// ************************************************************************* //
And here is the snappyHexMeshDict:

Code:
/*--------------------------------*- C++ -*----------------------------------*\
| =========                 |                                                 |
| \\      /  F ield         | OpenFOAM: The Open Source CFD Toolbox           |
|  \\    /   O peration     | Version:  2.1.1                                 |
|   \\  /    A nd           | Web:      www.OpenFOAM.org                      |
|    \\/     M anipulation  |                                                 |
\*---------------------------------------------------------------------------*/
FoamFile
{
    version     2.0;
    format      ascii;
    class       dictionary;
    object      snappyHexMeshDict;
}
// * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * //

// Which of the steps to run
castellatedMesh true;
snap            true;
addLayers       true;


// Geometry. Definition of all surfaces. All surfaces are of class
// searchableSurface.
// Surfaces are used
// - to specify refinement for any mesh cell intersecting it
// - to specify refinement for any mesh cell inside/outside/near
// - to 'snap' the mesh boundary to the surface
geometry
{
    dummy.stl
    {
        type triSurfaceMesh;
        name dummy;
    }
    
    refinement1
    {
        type searchableBox;
        min (-25 -10 -10);
        max (-22 3 10);
    }
    
};



// Settings for the castellatedMesh generation.
castellatedMeshControls
{

    // Refinement parameters
    // ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    // If local number of cells is >= maxLocalCells on any processor
    // switches from from refinement followed by balancing
    // (current method) to (weighted) balancing before refinement.
    maxLocalCells 1000000;

    // Overall cell limit (approximately). Refinement will stop immediately
    // upon reaching this number so a refinement level might not complete.
    // Note that this is the number of cells before removing the part which
    // is not 'visible' from the keepPoint. The final number of cells might
    // actually be a lot less.
    maxGlobalCells 20000000;

    // The surface refinement loop might spend lots of iterations refining just a
    // few cells. This setting will cause refinement to stop if <= minimumRefine
    // are selected for refinement. Note: it will at least do one iteration
    // (unless the number of cells to refine is 0)
    minRefinementCells 20;

    // Allow a certain level of imbalance during refining
    // (since balancing is quite expensive)
    // Expressed as fraction of perfect balance (= overall number of cells /
    // nProcs). 0=balance always.
    maxLoadUnbalance 0.10;


    // Number of buffer layers between different levels.
    // 1 means normal 2:1 refinement restriction, larger means slower
    // refinement.
    nCellsBetweenLevels 1;



    // Explicit feature edge refinement
    // ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    // Specifies a level for any cell intersected by its edges.
    // This is a featureEdgeMesh, read from constant/triSurface for now.
    features
    (
        {
            file "dummy.eMesh";
            level 10;
        }
    );



    // Surface based refinement
    // ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    // Specifies two levels for every surface. The first is the minimum level,
    // every cell intersecting a surface gets refined up to the minimum level.
    // The second level is the maximum level. Cells that 'see' multiple
    // intersections where the intersections make an
    // angle > resolveFeatureAngle get refined up to the maximum level.

    refinementSurfaces
    {
        dummy
        {
            // Surface-wise min and max refinement level
            level (4 4);
        }

    }

    // Resolve sharp angles
    resolveFeatureAngle 30;


    // Region-wise refinement
    // ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    // Specifies refinement level for cells in relation to a surface. One of
    // three modes
    // - distance. 'levels' specifies per distance to the surface the
    //   wanted refinement level. The distances need to be specified in
    //   descending order.
    // - inside. 'levels' is only one entry and only the level is used. All
    //   cells inside the surface get refined up to the level. The surface
    //   needs to be closed for this to be possible.
    // - outside. Same but cells outside.

    refinementRegions
    {    
    refinement1
        {
            mode inside;
            levels ((1E15 2));
        }
    }


    // Mesh selection
    // ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    // After refinement patches get added for all refinementSurfaces and
    // all cells intersecting the surfaces get put into these patches. The
    // section reachable from the locationInMesh is kept.
    // NOTE: This point should never be on a face, always inside a cell, even
    // after refinement.
    locationInMesh (-10 5 0);


    // Whether any faceZones (as specified in the refinementSurfaces)
    // are only on the boundary of corresponding cellZones or also allow
    // free-standing zone faces. Not used if there are no faceZones.
    allowFreeStandingZoneFaces true;
}



// Settings for the snapping.
snapControls
{
    //- Number of patch smoothing iterations before finding correspondence
    //  to surface
    nSmoothPatch 3;

    //- Relative distance for points to be attracted by surface feature point
    //  or edge. True distance is this factor times local
    //  maximum edge length.
    tolerance 4.0;

    //- Number of mesh displacement relaxation iterations.
    nSolveIter 0;

    //- Maximum number of snapping relaxation iterations. Should stop
    //  before upon reaching a correct mesh.
    nRelaxIter 5;

    //- Highly experimental and wip: number of feature edge snapping
    //  iterations. Leave out altogether to disable.
    //  Do not use here since mesh resolution too low and baffles present
    //  nFeatureSnapIter 10;
}



// Settings for the layer addition.
addLayersControls
{
    // Are the thickness parameters below relative to the undistorted
    // size of the refined cell outside layer (true) or absolute sizes (false).
    relativeSizes true;

    // Per final patch (so not geometry!) the layer information
    layers
    {
        dummy_dummy
        {
            nSurfaceLayers 10;
        }
    }

    // Expansion factor for layer mesh
    expansionRatio 1.2;

    //- Wanted thickness of final added cell layer. If multiple layers
    //  is the
    //  thickness of the layer furthest away from the wall.
    //  Relative to undistorted size of cell outside layer.
    //  is the thickness of the layer furthest away from the wall.
    //  See relativeSizes parameter.
    finalLayerThickness 0.5;

    //- Minimum thickness of cell layer. If for any reason layer
    //  cannot be above minThickness do not add layer.
    //  Relative to undistorted size of cell outside layer.
    minThickness 0.01;
    //- If points get not extruded do nGrow layers of connected faces that are
    //  also not grown. This helps convergence of the layer addition process
    //  close to features.
    // Note: changed(corrected) w.r.t 17x! (didn't do anything in 17x)
    nGrow 1;

    // Advanced settings

    //- When not to extrude surface. 0 is flat surface, 90 is when two faces
    //  make straight angle.
    featureAngle 180;

    //- Maximum number of snapping relaxation iterations. Should stop
    //  before upon reaching a correct mesh.
    nRelaxIter 5;

    // Number of smoothing iterations of surface normals
    nSmoothSurfaceNormals 1;

    // Number of smoothing iterations of interior mesh movement direction
    nSmoothNormals 3;

    // Smooth layer thickness over surface patches
    nSmoothThickness 10;

    // Stop layer growth on highly warped cells
    maxFaceThicknessRatio 0.5;

    // Reduce layer growth where ratio thickness to medial
    // distance is large
    maxThicknessToMedialRatio 0.3;

    // Angle used to pick up medial axis points
    // Note: changed(corrected) w.r.t 17x! 90 degrees corresponds to 130 in 17x.
    minMedianAxisAngle 90;


    // Create buffer region for new layer terminations
    nBufferCellsNoExtrude 0;


    // Overall max number of layer addition iterations. The mesher will exit
    // if it reaches this number of iterations; possibly with an illegal
    // mesh.
    nLayerIter 50;
}



// Generic mesh quality settings. At any undoable phase these determine
// where to undo.
meshQualityControls
{
    //- Maximum non-orthogonality allowed. Set to 180 to disable.
    maxNonOrtho 65;

    //- Max skewness allowed. Set to <0 to disable.
    maxBoundarySkewness 20;
    maxInternalSkewness 4;

    //- Max concaveness allowed. Is angle (in degrees) below which concavity
    //  is allowed. 0 is straight face, <0 would be convex face.
    //  Set to 180 to disable.
    maxConcave 80;

    //- Minimum pyramid volume. Is absolute volume of cell pyramid.
    //  Set to a sensible fraction of the smallest cell volume expected.
    //  Set to very negative number (e.g. -1E30) to disable.
    minVol 1e-13;

    //- Minimum quality of the tet formed by the face-centre
    //  and variable base point minimum decomposition triangles and
    //  the cell centre. This has to be a positive number for tracking
    //  to work. Set to very negative number (e.g. -1E30) to
    //  disable.
    //     <0 = inside out tet,
    //      0 = flat tet
    //      1 = regular tet
    minTetQuality 1e-30;

    //- Minimum face area. Set to <0 to disable.
    minArea -1;

    //- Minimum face twist. Set to <-1 to disable. dot product of face normal
    //- and face centre triangles normal
    minTwist 0.02;

    //- minimum normalised cell determinant
    //- 1 = hex, <= 0 = folded or flattened illegal cell
    minDeterminant 0.001;

    //- minFaceWeight (0 -> 0.5)
    minFaceWeight 0.02;

    //- minVolRatio (0 -> 1)
    minVolRatio 0.01;

    //must be >0 for Fluent compatibility
    minTriangleTwist -1;


    // Advanced

    //- Number of error distribution iterations
    nSmoothScale 4;
    //- amount to scale back displacement at error points
    errorReduction 0.75;
}


// Advanced

// Flags for optional output
// 0 : only write final meshes
// 1 : write intermediate meshes
// 2 : write volScalarField with cellLevel for postprocessing
// 4 : write current intersections as .obj files
debug 0;


// Merge tolerance. Is fraction of overall bounding box of initial mesh.
// Note: the write tolerance needs to be higher than this.
mergeTolerance 1e-6;


// ************************************************************************* //
As you can see, the number of snapping iterations is de-activated at the moment. I will test if this command will solve my problems.

The "Explicit feature edge refinement" is set to level 10, do you think this is too low?

As you can see, the dummy-stl has refinement-level 4:

Code:
refinementSurfaces
    {
        dummy
        {
            // Surface-wise min and max refinement level
            level (4 4);
        }
    }
Of course, i can achieve a better mesh by increasing this level, but then the mesh-size explodes.

Thank you for your help!
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Old   September 12, 2013, 08:59
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I've never tried meshing with the noFeatureSnapITer disabled but it seems to me like it might be one of the reasons your mesh is behaving strangely. I usually keep my feature edge refinement level 1 or 2 levels higher than the rest of the object. With level 10 you will probably get loads of cells and the meshing will be slow. Your Courant number might also become tricky I think.

I tend to start my meshing without adding the layers in because:
1) it makes it easier to spot any errors
2) it's much faster
3) if something goes wrong then you can be sure that it isn't the layers' fault
Nowhere does it say that this is the best way but perhaps you will also find it suitable.

Let me know if you have resolved the problem.

All the best,
A
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Old   September 12, 2013, 10:15
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Hi Artur,

my problem is solved, i think it was caused by the de-activated number of snapping iterations. I have to play around in order to get nice layers around the 90-corner, but i am confident that i can handle this.

Thanks a lot!
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Old   September 12, 2013, 11:48
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Good to hear that! For layers close to sharp corners it's best to set the featureAngle to 90 in the layer controls.

Cheers,
A
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