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U.Golling November 16, 2010 07:19

Problems meshing a pipe
Dear Foamers,
I want to mesh a pipe-system with snappyHexMesh. The best way to do it seems to be: 3 stl-Files one for the pipe, one for the inlet and one for outlet. Right?
But i don't get it right. Can you tell me, how the geometries behind this stl-Files have to look like? Can i define just areas for Inlet and Outlet and the wall of the pipe (my CAD-programm (Inventor Prof.2011) says: no, a geometry has to be a volume-body to export it as *.stl)?

I am still a beginner in OpenFoam and so thankfull for every help and hint you can give, concerning simulating internal flow problems.


preichl November 23, 2010 01:12

Hi Ulrich,

Specifying 3 stl files is how I have looked at similar problems in the past. I normally export my geometries from SolidWorks and I am able to export stl files for both the entire 3D geometry and for selected surfaces.
In SolidWorks I can select a surface from the 3D part and then select save as an STL file and it will ask if I want to save just the surface or everything. Selecting just the surface is what I choose to get an stl file for each boundary.
I am not familiar with Inventor Prof 2011, but have you tried doing something similar?
The basic format of an STL files is discussed at

I hope this helps somewhat.



U.Golling November 30, 2010 06:24

Hello Paul,

thank you for your help. As far as i know, until now, Inventor cannot export just a surface in a stl-File. But it is not a problem anymore, for me.
In the end my biggest mistake in this case was something other: Open Foam is in meter and my inventor-stl-file was in mm. A slight mistake. :)
Thanks and

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