Automatic Decomposition of Complex thin Walled CAD Models for Hexahedral Dominant Meshing

Liang Sun, Christopher M. Tierney, Cecil G. Armstrong, Trevor T. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


This paper describes an automatic method for identifying thin-sheet regions (regions with large lateral dimensions relative to the thickness) for complex thin walled components, with a view to using this information to guide the hex meshing process. This fully automated method has been implemented in a commercial CAD system (Siemens NX) and is based on the interrogation and manipulation of face pairs, which are sets of opposing faces bounding thin-sheet regions. Careful consideration is given to the mapping, merging and intersection of face pairs to generate topologies suitable for sweep meshing thin-sheet regions, and for treating the junctions between adjacent thin-sheet regions. The quality of the resulting hexahedral mesh is considered when making decisions on the generation and positioning of the cutting surfaces required to isolate thin-sheet regions. The resulting decomposition delivers a substantial step towards automatic hexahedral meshing for complex thin-walled geometries. It is proposed that hexahedral meshes be applied to the identified thin-sheet regions by quad meshing one of the faces bounding the thin-sheet region and sweeping it through the thickness to create hexahedral elements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-237
Number of pages13
JournalProcedia Engineering
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 23 Nov 2016
Event25th International Meshing Roundtable, IMR 2016 - Crystal City, United States
Duration: 27 Sept 201630 Sept 2016


  • automatic volume decomposition
  • geometric reasoning
  • hexahedral dominant meshing
  • sweeping
  • Thin-sheet identification


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