SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD, Tech Tips

Resolving Mesh Failures in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

By Suman Sudhakaran on October 8, 2021

Meshing is a crucial step in simulation. When working with assemblies or complex parts, “mesh terminated" or “failure to create mesh” for certain features, or components, may appear. The first step in debugging these errors is looking at your geometry. Based on your analysis objectives, you can suppress certain features that do not contribute to the results and are there for cosmetic reasons only. In this article, I will demonstrate how to suppress cosmetic features and suppress fillets and chamfers if they are not relevant to your analysis. Let’s take look.

imported-part-with-feature-1Starting with an imported model, we can run the diagnostic tool before setting up a static study. As I try to mesh this part using the default mesh size, we can see that the “failure to mesh part” error appears. I will go to “Mesh Failure Diagnostics” and attempt to apply mesh control, but since it’s an imported part, I want to first run a Geometry Check. We can use the Check tool under Evaluate that checks the model for geometry errors such as invalid faces, open faces, the minimum radius of curvature and maximum edge gap. We can also run a more stringent test with Geometry Analysis to identify any sliver faces, short edges, small faces, knife edges or knife vertices. When I run the Geometry Analysis on this imported part, I can see that SOLIDWORKS has detected a sliver face and two knife edges.

imported-part-mesh-1What we can do is try to fix the fault by using the Delete Face command. Next, I will select the faces that I want to delete and patch. From here, I will try to go back and create the mesh, and we can now see that we have a successful mesh. I like to use the curvature-based mesh because it automatically resizes the element size based on the geometry.

phone-simplification-select-1In another example, if we take an up-close look at the logo, we can see that we have Cut-Extrude features that are very small compared to the rest of the model. Meshing will be a challenge even if we apply mesh control. What I want to do in this case is to identify small features and suppress them right before meshing. If I right-click on the mesh, I have an option to “Simplify Model for Meshing”. Here we can specify a simplification factor in the Simplify panel by selecting the features that we need to suppress. We can do this by feature-based or volume-based, and we can certainly deselect the features that we need to keep. From here, we can also add a derived configuration before suppressing the features. Now we have a simple model that can be meshed easily.

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