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How to Enhance a Surface Mesh by Using Refinement Points

If you are primarily interested in a particular area of a model, you might want to create a finer mesh in that area and a coarser mesh for the rest of the model. The finer-meshed area will ensure accuracy where results are most important to you; the coarser-meshed area will provide a faster analysis time.

To do so, you can enhance a surface mesh in the CAD Solid Model environment by adding refinement points, which specify where you want a finer mesh. Then, the software will create a finer mesh around any defined refinement points.

Refinement points can be defined either automatically or manually.

Defining Refinement Points Automatically

To automatically add refinement points, do the following:

  • If your model does not already have a surface mesh, use the "Mesh:Create Mesh..." command sequence. The "Create Mesh" dialog will appear. Click on the "Mesh" button to create a surface mesh.
      
  • Use the "Mesh:Refinement Points:Automatic..." command sequence. The "Automatic Refinement Points" dialog will appear. As shown in Figure 1, use the slider to define the density of refinement points from "Coarse" to "Fine".
Figure 1: The slider of the "Automatic Refinement Points" dialog is used to define the desired refinement.
  • Click on the "Generate" button and refinement points will automatically be generated in regions of the model with small features. A message will be displayed stating the number of refinement points that were created. Examining the model will reveal the location of the refinement points (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: Refinement points were automatically created at several locations along the fillets of this bracket model.
  • Use the "Create Mesh" dialog to recreate a surface mesh using the defined refinement points. The enhanced mesh will be finer around the refinement points as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: After creating an enhanced mesh, the mesh is finer around the refinement points.

Defining Refinement Points Manually

Refinement points can be added manually at the following locations:

  • at a vertex
      
  • at a specific coordinate (for example, in the center of a hole)

To manually define a refinement point at a vertex, do the following:

  • If your model does not already have a surface mesh, use the "Create Mesh" dialog to create a surface mesh.
      
  • Use the "Selection:Shape:Point" and "Selection:Select:Vertices" command sequences to activate vertex selection mode. Click on a vertex where you want the mesh to be refined. (If you want to select more than one vertex, hold down the "Ctrl" key and click on additional vertices.)
      
  • Right click anywhere in the working area. A pop-up menu will appear with options for the selected vertex.
      
  • Choose the "Create Refinement Point(s)..." option. The "Create Refinement Point" dialog will appear as shown in Figure 4.
      
  • In the "Effective radius" field, specify the radius of influence for refinement. This radius will define a sphere centered at the selected point, and all lines within the sphere will be refined.
      
  • In the "Mesh size" field, specify the local mesh size to be used in the area of refinement. Notice that the average mesh size on the selected part is displayed. To make a finer mesh, specify a smaller value.
      
  • In the "Create Mesh" dialog, click on the "Mesh" button to create a new mesh using the specified refinement point.
Figure 4: The "Create Refinement Point" dialog is used to define a refinement point including the effective radius and the mesh size. After creating a new mesh using this refinement point, the mesh will be finer in a 2-inch radius surrounding the refinement point.

To manually define a refinement point at a specific coordinate, use the "Mesh:Refinement Points:Specify..." command sequence. The "Refinement Point Browser" dialog will appear. As shown in Figure 5, you can click on the "Add" button to add a refinement point and then specify the X, Y and Z coordinates, the radius of refinement and the mesh size.

Note: Unlike the vertex selection method, a previously defined surface mesh is not needed. With the "Refinement Point Browser" dialog, you can add refinement points to an unmeshed model.
Figure 5: In the "Refinement Point Browser" dialog, a refinement point is defined for a specific coordinate.

Use the "Create Mesh" dialog to generate a mesh. The mesh will be finer around the refinement point as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6: When a refinement point is defined at the center of the hole in the bracket model, the mesh is enhanced surrounding it.

Additionally, you can use the "Refinement Point Browser" dialog to remove selected refinement points and clear all refinement points. The "Refinement Point Browser" dialog can be used for refinement points that were defined either automatically or manually.

Working with Defined Refinement Points

You can select a refinement point and then right click to access a pop-up menu of options as follows:

  • Use the "Selection:Modify Filter" command sequence. The "Selection Filter" dialog will appear.
      
  • Deactivate the "Vertices" option (make sure the box to the left is not checkmarked).
      
  • With only the "Refinement points" filtering option active, click on a refinement point. The selected refinement point will be highlighted by a magenta dot.
      
  • Right click anywhere in the working area. A pop-up menu of options will appear, which enables you to modify, cut, copy and delete the selected refinement point (see Figure 7). You can cut or copy the refinement point and paste it elsewhere.

Figure 7: Right clicking in the working area accesses a pop-up menu of options for a selected refinement point.

For more information about enhancing a surface mesh with refinement points, see the ALGOR User's Guide.



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