Generate Voxelmesh

Fill an enclose volume with voxels (hexas) of a predefined size.

Available for the OptiStruct user profile on Windows, LINUX, IRIX, HPUX and SUN.

This type of mesh is only useful in topology optimization. It does not give meaningful results in a stress analysis.

To work properly, the volume must be enclosed completely by shell elements (quads and trias) without T-Connections or free edges. The normals of these elements should point inwards. The voxels (hexa elements) are stored in the component called hexas.

  1. On the Opti page of the Utility menu, under Topology, click Voxelmesh.
    A comps collector displays in the panel area.
  2. Select components that contain shell elements enclosing one volume.
    If more than one volume is selected, normals should be adjusted manually.
  3. Click proceed.
    The Voxelmesh dialog is launched.
  4. Check the relevant boxes.
    Option Description
    Perform element check Checks for T-connections and free edges. If some are found, the results are stored in collectors of the corresponding names.
    Adjust normals Automatic adjustment of normals (to inward). This works if the selection is one connected volume only. The volume may contain internal voids.
    Fill undercuts Areas that are hidden in each coordinate direction are filled even if they are not touching the enclosed volume. These elements are stored in the component called hexasfill.
    One component for each number of inner nodes The voxels created are stored in nine components (hexas0, hexas1...) depending on the number of nodes that are inside the volume.
    Note: Zero inner nodes may occur if one edge of the volume intersects the center of a hexa-face.
    Use local coordinates Allows selecting a coordinate system along which to align the mesh. If no selection is made, the global (basic, screen) coordinate system is used.
    Edge size for hexa elements Choose from Cubes or Rectangles. For cubes, enter a single value for the edge size; for rectangles enter x, y, and z edge lengths. Keep in mind that a grid of nodes is created for the box wrapping the volume, so the memory usage may be high for unreasonably small values.
  5. Click Start.
  6. If you checked the Use local coordinates box, you will be prompted to select a coordinate system. Select the system and click proceed.
    The voxelmesh is generated.