Basic LOgical Bulk Shapes (BLOBs) for Finite Element Hexahedral Mesh Generation to Support Virtual Prototyping

[+] Author and Article Information
S.-S. Liu, R. Gadh

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 120(4), 728-735 (Nov 01, 1998) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2830213 History: Received June 01, 1996; Revised June 01, 1997; Online January 23, 2008


Manufacturability analysis of product design reduces the downstream problems of manufacturing. Such design approaches are referred to as Virtual Prototyping when performed on the computer. In the present research, Virtual Prototyping is facilitated by the use of an automated method of determining the finite element meshes needed to perform finite element analyses. Finite element analysis requires a finite element mesh of the product model as input. This mesh (an approximation of an object’s geometry and topology, composed in terms of a given individual unit, e.g., a tetrahedron, or a hexahedron), can be generated using a variety of methods. The research presented here offers an approach for automatic mesh generation that addresses some of the limitations in the mesh-generation technologies currently available. This article presents an approach for automatically generating hexahedral meshes from solid models. The mesh generating method presented in this paper involves four major steps. First, objects called Basic LOgical Bulk shapes (BLOBs) are determined from the solid model of a given part. Second, these BLOBs are used to decompose the solid model into its various sub-volumes. Third, a multiple-block structure (MBS), which is a group of hexahedral objects, is constructed to approximate the solid model. Finally, transfinite mapping is employed to project the faces of the MBS onto the surfaces of a model to generate the finite element meshes.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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