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The Five Best Small Features in Pointwise Version 18

When you think of Pointwise Version 18, the first things that come to mind are the big, powerful features like unstructured quadrilateral surface meshing, unstructured hexahedral layer extrusion in the anisotropic tetrahedral extrusion (T-Rex) technique, and tetrahedral mesh clustering sources. But there are many small and powerful new features in this latest release that you will probably find yourself using frequently because they make mesh generation just that much easier.

Rapidly Create Shapes

Have you ever wanted to very quickly create a hemisphere or a box or some other simple shape? That is what the new Draw Shapes command in the Create menu does. Typically used to define the shape of a tetrahedral mesh clustering region for a Source, a Shape can also be used as a database entity such as your flowfield's outer boundary.

Polygons, boxes, cylinders, and spheres are available as the shape primitives and they can be simply created by clicking a few control point locations and then dragging handles (the green arrows) for the relevant size controls as shown in Figure 1. There are options for creating full, half, and quarter shapes, and leaving the top, bottom, and sides open or closed.

Creating a database solid model that is an open-ended cone with a spherical cap is much easier in Pointwise V18 with Draw Shapes

Figure 1: Creating a database solid model that is an open-ended cone with a spherical cap is much easier in Pointwise V18 with Draw Shapes. +

Select Entities from the Messages Window

When you enable Info messages, each command writes to the Messages window a summary of the entities it worked on or created. In Pointwise Version 18, those entity references are now links (as evidenced by the blue color and underscore in Figure 2) so that you can easily select those grid or database entities for further work.

Entities referenced by messages can be selected by clicking the text link.

Figure 2: Entities referenced by messages can be selected by clicking the text link.

More Mesh Insight

Three updates to the metric functions available in the Examine command give you further insight into the status and quality of your mesh.

Rather than color mesh cells by the value of a computed metric function, you can now color them by the cell's type: hexahedron, tetrahedron, prism, or pyramid. A typical use of this is to see how well T-Rex has resolved the boundary layer region as illustrated in Figure 3.

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Figure 3: This cut through a hybrid mesh for the Aachen Turbine has been colored by cell type (red=tetrahedra, yellow=pyramids, green=prisms, and blue=hexahedra). +

The Database Associativity metric function now includes a computation of the percentage of surface points that are constrained and unconstrained to the geometry model. In addition to tabulating a simple on/off tally, you can now also visualize associativity for each individual database entity referenced by the mesh as shown in Figure 4.

Enhanced Database Associativity metric function

Figure 4: Whether or not your surface mesh points are on the geometry model and which surfaces on the model they adhere to can be easily visualized and tabulated with the enhanced Database Associativity metric function.

Because the ability of T-Rex to extrude well-formed hexahedral layers off a quad-dominant surface mesh is highly dependent on how well the surface mesh resolves the geometry model’s curvature, computing and visualizing quadrilateral cell warp is now a supported metric function (Figure 5).

In this image showing a blade from the Aachen Turbine, quadrilateral cell warp ranges from blue (0 degree) to red (5 degrees)

Figure 5: The degree of surface cell warpage can now be assessed prior to extruding layers off the surface. In this image showing a blade from the Aachen Turbine, quadrilateral cell warp ranges from blue (0 degree) to red (5 degrees). +

Maintain Your Cell Count Budget

Verifying that your mesh fits within your cell count budget has been made much easier through enhancements to the Cell Count command in the Grid menu. Every mesh cell, from connectors to domains and blocks, is tallied. The command also gives you the ability to select specific entities for comparison to the overall grid as show in Figure 6 where one selected domain is compared to the entire grid.

Cell Count command

Figure 6: The Cell Count command now computes cell type totals for your selected entities versus the entire grid. In the example above, only one domain has been selected.

Working with Mesh Topology

With the extension of Pointwise's mesh topology to support surface and volume grids with a mix of cell types (for example, a domain containing both quadrilaterals and triangles), your ability to manipulate the mesh's topology has also been extended. Structured and unstructured grid entities can now be joined into a mixed cell entity (Figure 7) and unstructured blocks can be joined.

Mesh entity joining has been extended so that structured and unstructured meshes can be joined

Figure 7: Mesh entity joining has been extended so that structured and unstructured meshes can be joined. For example, the orange domain in the front consists of an unstructured and structured domain that were joined.

Try Pointwise V18 for Yourself

Come for the big features like T-Rex for boundary-layer resolved hybrid meshes with unstructured hexahedra and stay for all the productivity tools that make meshing just a bit easier. With a no-cost, no-obligation free trial license you can see for yourself how Pointwise can help with your CFD mesh generation. Request yours today.