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AlbertoVe December 27, 2011 13:22

Generate an unstructered mesh with tecplot (360 2011 R2)
Dear all,
I recently started to use tecplot with the plan of plotting the results of a two-dimensional finite volume code i wrote. I would like to ask you if it is possible to generate unstructured triangular meshes with tecplot, or if there is any mesh generator that can be used as add-on. I would like to use tecplot for everything from preprocessing (create polylines and create the mesh) to post processing. I just took a look to the 500 pages user manual but I did not find anything about the mesh generation.

lbrieda December 28, 2011 09:25

Yeah, there is an add-on for Tecplot called MeshGen. I have only used it to generate structured meshes, but according to the documentation (, it can also make triangular ones. I would suggest you get in touch with Tecplot about getting it. If I am not mistaken it is not free.

AlbertoVe December 29, 2011 14:08

Thanks for your answer. As you said its not free and it looks like it has been discontinued, i did not find any other trace apart from your link. And it is only 2D, even if for the moment 2D would be fine for me as I said above. ill e-mail tecplot. Anyway so strange an expensive and powerful program as Tecplot does not create 2d and 3D meshes. What is the best program (either free or commercial) for pre and post processing CFD stuff? I mean a program that both creates meshes and loads results? I am mainly interested on 2D unstructured ones for now, but maybe in the future ill need also the 3D.
thank you very much

lbrieda December 29, 2011 14:29

That's a bummer to hear that it is discontinued! It was a pretty useful add-on... But, on the other hand, I don't particularly blame Tecplot for not continuing with it. I personally am not a huge fan of completely integrated solutions. Although they do many things, they usually do not do any of them particularly well. I am currently doing my CAD and meshing in Siemens NX (formerly known as Unigraphics). In the past I have also used Solidworks for CAD and Hypermesh for meshing. There is also Gridgen/Pointwise from Pointwise,, although I don't have any experience with it.

For post processing, you can try Paraview or VisIt. I am also currently developing a free Java/VTK visualization application, which builds on my previously developed capVTE. I am hoping to release the first beta version in the next month or two. In case you are interested in making your own visualization tool with Java and VTK, you can see to get started.

AlbertoVe December 29, 2011 15:29

Thanks. I just called tecplot to be sure and they told me they do not have any mesh generator add-on. Do you think that Paraview or VisIt are better than tecplot, is that why you are suggesting them to me?
As for the mesh generator, it looks like pointwise could be a good option. Does it make also 2D unstructured (triangular) meshes?it is not explicitely stated on the pointwise website.

cnsidero December 29, 2011 15:35


Originally Posted by AlbertoVe (Post 337310)
As for the mesh generator, it looks like pointwise could be a good option. Does it make also 2D unstructured (triangular) meshes?it is not explicitely stated on the pointwise website.

Pointwise can make unstructured, structured and hybrid meshes in both 2D and 3D.

Regards, Chris

lbrieda December 29, 2011 15:44

No, but they are free. Paraview is very capable - it is built by the people behind VTK. But I am not a huge fan of its user interface. VTK operates on the concept of a visualization pipeline. On end, you have the source data. On the other end is the visual representation. In the pipeline you apply various filters to get the output you want. Paraview is in essence a visual pipeline builder. I much more prefer the simplicity of Tecplot's load file, show cutting planes, etc...

How are you defining your 2D meshes? If you just have the boundary spline with control points and don't particularly care about mesh control (outside of setting the number of control points), it shouldn't be too difficult to write a simple program to mesh the internal surface.

AlbertoVe December 29, 2011 16:24

Yes I mean exactly that, external polyline plus a few internal ones (inside the latter the mesh is not built, it is built only outside of them). i do not really want to write a code, I also like to have a Gui where i can modify the mesh by moving nodes and deleting triangles as I prefer. Do you think pointwise can do this simple things?

lbrieda January 6, 2012 09:35

Alberto, good news. This is from a Tecplot customer service rep:

We do not sell Mesh Generator any more ... but then we do not need to, because it is included with Tecplot. It is not activated though. To activate it, find the folder where you installed Tecplot and open the file called Tecplot.add which you will find there (it is a text file - any text editor - Word, Wordpad, Notepad will do).

Scroll down a little ways until you see this:

# Other add-ons provided by Tecplot Inc. #

And then a few lines below that you will find this line:

# $!LoadAddon "meshgen" # Mesh Generator

Remove the '#' from the beginning of that line and then Save and Close the file. The next time you run Tecplot you will see the Mesh Generator addon in the Tools menu.

We do not support the Mesh Generator, but we include its User Manual with Tecplot. It is in the Doc/Meshgen folder which is one level below the folder where you have installed Tecplot.

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