The present invention is a computer-based method and apparatus for constructing all-hexahedral finite element meshes for finite element analysis. The present invention begins with a three-dimensional geometry and an all-quadrilateral surface mesh, then constructs hexahedral element connectivity from the outer boundary inward, and then resolves invalid connectivity. The result of the present invention is a complete representation of hex mesh connectivity only; actual mesh node locations are determined later. The basic method of the present invention comprises the step of forming hexahedral elements by making crossings of entities referred to as "whisker chords." This step, combined with a seaming operation in space, is shown to be sufficient for meshing simple block problems. Entities that appear when meshing more complex geometries, namely blind chords, merged sheets, and self-intersecting chords, are described. A method for detecting invalid connectivity in space, based on repeated edges, is also described, along with its application to various cases of invalid connectivity introduced and resolved by the method.
This invention was made with United States Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-76DP00789 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.
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