Voxel Meshing

Voxel meshing fills an enclosed volume with voxels (hexas) of a predefined size.

This type of mesh is primarily used for topology optimization. It does not give meaningful results in a stress analysis.

For successful voxel creation, the volume must be enclosed either as a geometry or shell elements (quads and trias) without T-connections or free edges. The voxels (hexa elements) are stored in the DesignSpace component. The Design Space entity is also created, which stores voxel size and the composition of the designspace – for example, which parts or subsystems were included or excluded and whether symmetry was used.

Create Voxel Mesh

  1. From the menu bar, click Mesh > Create > Voxel Mesh.
  2. Select the components that contain shell elements enclosing one volume.
    Note: If more than one volume is selected, normals should be adjusted manually.
    1. In the panel area, use the comps selector to select components.
    2. Click proceed.
    The Voxelmesh dialog opens.
  3. Define options.
    • To check for T-connections and free edges, select the Perform element check checkbox.

      If found, the results are stored in collectors of the corresponding names.

    • To automatically adjust normals (to inward), select the Adjust normals checkbox.

      This works if the selection is one connected volume only. The volume may contain internal voids.

    • To fill areas that are hidden in each coordinate direction, even if they are not touching the enclosed volume, select the Fill undercuts checkbox.

      These elements are stored in the component, hexasfill.

    • To create are store the voxel meshes in nine components (hexas0, hexas1...) depending on the number of nodes that are inside the volume, select the One component for each number of inner nodes checkbox.
      Note: Zero inner nodes may occur if one edge of the volume intersects the center of a hexa-face.
    • To select a coordinate system along which to align the mesh, select the Use local coordinates checkbox.

      If no selection is made, the global (basic, screen) coordinate system is used.

  4. Set the edge size for hexa elements.
    Note: A grid of nodes is created for the box wrapping the volume, therefore the memory usage may be high for unreasonably small values.
    • Choose Cubes to enter a single value for the edge size.
    • Choose Rectangles to enter x, y, and z edge lengths.
  5. Click Start.
  6. If you selected the Use local coordinates checkbox, you will be prompted to select a coordinate system. Select the system and then click proceed.