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Creating Unstructured Connectors and Domains Based on Surface Curvature

When creating unstructured connectors and/or domains on a highly curved surface, the grid point distribution needs to accurately represent the curvature of the surface. Begin with a curved database surface upon which you wish to create connectors or domains.

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.

Example of a highly curved database surface Surface mesh not clustered to curvature
  1. Click on Unstructured on the toolbar.
  2. Defaults
  3. Make sure the Connector frame is checked.
  4. Toggle on Average Δs.
  5. 1.0
  6. In order to see how other default settings can improve the domain, first create the domain with only the connector spacing set.

  7. Select the database surface.
  8. Click on Domains on Database Entities on the toolbar.
  9. Or click on Connectors on Database Entities if only creating connectors.

As can be seen above, the resulting domain and connectors created by only using the connector spacing default do not follow the surface curvature very well.

Surface mesh clustered to curvature using maxiumum angle

Maximum Angle

To see how setting the Maximum Angle can improve how closely the domain and connectors conform to the curved surface, follow these steps.

  1. Undo
  2. Enter 10.0 for Max. Angle.
  3. Check Use Surface Curvature.
  4. Select the database surface.
  5. Click on Domains on Database Entities on the toolbar.

The domain to the right looks much better and you can see the areas in particular that benefited from the Maximum Angular Deviation setting.

Maximum Deviation

To see how setting the Maximum Deviation can improve the appearance of the domain and connectors, follow these steps.

Surface mesh clustered to curvature using maximum deviation
  1. Undo
  2. Enter 0.0 for Max. Angle.
  3. Enter 0.04 for Max. Deviation.
  4. Make sure Use Surface Curvature is still checked.
  5. Select the database surface.
  6. Click on Domains on Database Entities on the toolbar.

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

Whether you use Max. Angle or Max. Deviation to create connectors and domains 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 or set of surfaces.


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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.

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  • Email our support engineers at support@pointwise.com.