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Adding Grid Points to a Connector Based on Surface Curvature

Adding grid points to the connectors on an unstructured domain is generally needed when the underlying database surface is highly curved. Begin with at least one of these connectors that does not adequately follow the curved surface upon which it has been created.

Note that the numbers in the following steps apply to the example database; you will need to find out what dimensions best work for your geometry.

A highly curved NURBS surface A surface mesh that doesn't resolve curvature

With a connector average spacing of 1.0 set in the Defaults tab, the domain above was created automatically by selecting the database surface and clicking on Domains on Database Entities on the toolbar. However, the resulting domain and connectors created by only using the connector spacing default does not follow the surface curvature very well.

Maximum Angle

To see how adding grid points to the connectors can improve how closely the domain and connectors conform to the curved surface, follow these steps that make use of a Maximum Angle setting for the connectors.

A surface mesh that resolves surface curvature
  1. Select the connectors.
  2. Grid, Dimension
  3. In the Set Dimension frame, toggle on Use Current.
  4. Check Curvature to expand the curvature settings.
  5. Check Max. Angle.
  6. 10.0
  7. Check Use Database Curvature.
  8. Dimension

The domain looks much better and you can see the areas in particular that benefited from the Maximum Angle setting.

Maximum Deviation

To see how adding grid points by setting the Maximum Deviation can improve the connectors' curvature, follow these steps.

A surface mesh that resolves surface curvature
  1. Cancel
  2. You are now out of the Grid, Dimension task panel.

  3. Undo
  4. You now have connectors with the original equal spacing dimensions.

  5. Select the connectors.
  6. Grid, Dimension
  7. Notice that the settings from the previous steps have not changed even though you exited from the task panel.

  8. Uncheck Max. Angle.
  9. Check Max. Deviation.
  10. 0.04
  11. Make sure Use Surface Curvature is still checked.
  12. Dimension
  13. Click on Apply if you would like to accept the change, and then click on OK to exit the Grid, Dimension menu.

The domain has still improved from the original domain created with only the connector spacing set. But notice the areas where the domain has changed in a different way by having the Maximum Deviation setting versus before when the Maximum Angle was set.

Whether you use Max. Angle or Max. Deviation to add grid points depends on the database surface. As a suggestion, test the use of both settings at different times to see what works for every unique surface.


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If you have questions about the steps outlined above or on any other meshing topic, please contact us via one of the following methods.

  • Send a question using the Get Help form.
  • Call our support engineers toll free at 800-4PTWISE.
  • Email our support engineers at support@pointwise.com.