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Creating an Unstructured Block with an Interior Face



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An unstructured block with an interior face

Often for 3-dimensional grids, an unstructured block is needed where points are populated everywhere inside the block except for within an interior face. You can create this kind of block in Pointwise using the Assemble Special command in the Create menu.

To learn how to create an unstructured block that contains an interior face, begin with a geometry like the example shown below of a sphere in a cube. The 6 green domains of the cube make up the exterior face of the volume while the 4 purple domains of the sphere make up the interior face. The goal is to have cells populated inside the cube but outside the sphere.

Note that the Display, Fill of the front and rear domains of the cube has been set to Wireframe for easier viewing of its interior.

  1. Click on Unstructured on the toolbar.
  2. Create, Assemble Special, Block
  3. Select the 6 green domains.

  4. For more complex geometries, selecting the domains by hand in the Display window can be a tedious process. An easier approach is to select one of the domains, then click on Select, All Adjacent. The shortcut for this command can be seen in the Select menu as Ctrl+Shift+A.


  5. Save Face
  6. If the face normals do not point into the volume to be meshed (the region between the cube and the outer walls of the sphere), click on Begin Flip Face Orientation. Then select the face and click on End Flip Face Orientation.
  7. Select the 4 purple domains.
  8. Save Face
  9. If the face normals do not point into the volume to be meshed (the region between the cube and the outer walls of the sphere), click on Begin Flip Face Orientation. Then select the face and click on End Flip Face Orientation.

  10. If the unstructured block you wish to create contains more than one interior face, repeat steps 6-8 for the other faces, always making sure that the face normals are pointed into the volume to be meshed.


  11. OK (Block is saved.)

To complete the creation of the unstructured block, populate the block with tetrahedral cells. For more information on initializing a block, please go to Populating an Unstructured Block with Cells.


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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.