SolidWorks Simulation Quick Tip - Incremental Meshing

By Hawk Ridge Systems Engineering Team

Introduced in 2013 for SolidWorks Premium, Simulation Professional, and Simulation Premium, Incremental Meshing is available for both solid and shell bodies and gives you more flexibility in refining meshes of individual bodies or parts inside a large assembly.  It also allows you to quickly mesh parts that have failed to mesh in a multi-body part or assembly, while keeping the existing mesh for the other components intact.  This can help cut down mesh troubleshooting time significantly by reducing the effort required to troubleshoot mesh failures, as well as cut down on the actual time required to mesh since only the selected failed bodies or parts are meshed.

For parts or bodies that have no mesh, right-click the selected bodies and select Create Mesh.  This will take you to the Mesh Control PropertyManager, where you can apply a smaller element size to the pre-selected bodies.  Once you set the element size, you can click “Create Mesh” inside the PropertyManager to mesh just the selected bodies.  If you click “Okay” instead of “Create Mesh” in the Mesh Control PropertyManager, it will just apply mesh control to the selected body without actually creating a mesh. 

SolidWorks Simulation - Incremental Meshing

For bodies that have already been meshed, right-click the selected bodies and select” Remesh.”  The new mesh control settings will override the existing mesh.  Bodies that have a mesh applied are shown with a green mesh icon, while bodies that failed to mesh are flagged with a red mesh icon in the Simulation study tree. 

SolidWorks Simulation - Incremental Meshing 

As noted above, only the bodies selected in the Mesh Control PropertyManager will be meshed.  When creating a mesh for failed parts, only the selected failed bodies will be meshed, excluding the rest of the assembly. Few important things to note about Incremental Meshing:

  • The selected bodies will be meshed with a Curvature based mesh, and will use a curvature based mesh even if the selected body was initially meshed with a Standard mesh
  • Incremental Meshing is not available for Beam elements or during 2D Simplification
  • The incrementally meshed body will have an incompatible mesh with adjacent components

For example, when applying Incremental Meshing to a part in an assembly with a Compatible Global Bonded Contact, it will create Bonded Incompatible contact sets between the faces of the assembly and the incrementally meshed part. Users will see the pop up dialog below during Incremental Meshing when clicking “Create Mesh” from the Mesh Control PropertyManager. 

SolidWorks Simulation - Incremental Meshing 

Now, since the incrementally meshed parts will have an incompatible mesh between other components, it may take a little longer to run the analysis compared to a study that use bonded compatible mesh exclusively.  However, we've spent significantly less time troubleshooting mesh failures in the meshing phase of our study, so a few extra minutes to solve is an acceptable compromise.  We will now at least be able to view some results and get a better idea of where we could use further mesh refinement without spending too much time on our initial mesh of the multi-body part or assembly.

Be sure to check out the Incremental Meshing capability if you’re using SolidWorks Simulation 2013 or later.  If you would like to learn more about meshing head over to our Simulation Videos and check out our Art of Meshing webinar. You can also check out our YouTube channel for more helpful tips and tricks for SolidWorks, Simulation, and more.

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