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Comput Methods Appl Mech Eng. 2010 Jan 1;199(5-8):405-415.

An Automatic 3D Mesh Generation Method for Domains with Multiple Materials.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University.


This paper describes an automatic and efficient approach to construct unstructured tetrahedral and hexahedral meshes for a composite domain made up of heterogeneous materials. The boundaries of these material regions form non-manifold surfaces. In earlier papers, we developed an octree-based isocontouring method to construct unstructured 3D meshes for a single-material (homogeneous) domain with manifold boundary. In this paper, we introduce the notion of a material change edge and use it to identify the interface between two or several different materials. A novel method to calculate the minimizer point for a cell shared by more than two materials is provided, which forms a non-manifold node on the boundary. We then mesh all the material regions simultaneously and automatically while conforming to their boundaries directly from volumetric data. Both material change edges and interior edges are analyzed to construct tetrahedral meshes, and interior grid points are analyzed for proper hexahedral mesh construction. Finally, edge-contraction and smoothing methods are used to improve the quality of tetrahedral meshes, and a combination of pillowing, geometric flow and optimization techniques is used for hexahedral mesh quality improvement. The shrink set of pillowing schemes is defined automatically as the boundary of each material region. Several application results of our multi-material mesh generation method are also provided.

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