Finite Element Mesh Generation With Computed Tomography Scan Data | IDETC-CIE

This report presents a new finite element meshing approach, put forth by Q-Mesh, to producing 3-D mesh models for solid objects whose geometries can be captured with an industrial computed tomography (CT) scanner.

The Q-Mesh system utilizes a series of deformable grid templates and component solid regions to create a 3-D global mesh that can be divided into subregions of connected meshes located within the component solids. It provides an interactive graphics interface through which the user can design and visualize 3-D, multiregion meshes consisting of well-formed wedge and hexahedron elements.

The unique solid-modeling algorithm implemented in Q-Mesh allows the system to generate, automatically, matching finite element meshes across any number of solid regions. This unique feature makes Q-Mesh an ideal mesh generator for finite element solvers geared to the simulation of general multiregion problems. Furthermore, the use of a multiregion mesh model as the source for analysis models representing variations of a single-region mesh, as unions of selected subregions, has proven more time efficient and cost effective than the single-region alternative where each variational model has to be regenerated from scratch.

This report focuses on the utility of a CT scanner as a geometry input processor to Q-Mesh. The generation of finite element models for a solid object represented in the form of sliced CT scan data involves two phases: (1) converting the sliced CT scan data into a series of stacked solids; and (2) utilizing Q-Mesh’s interactive design tools to build mesh models based on the reconstructed solids. A number of examples are given to demonstrate the general procedure and unique capabilities of the new meshing approach.

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