Mesh Updates

COMSOL Multiphysics® version 5.5 includes several updates to meshing and mesh preparation, including surface mesh editing tools, support for PLY and 3MF files, and a new method for generating curved elements. View all of the mesh updates below.

Direct Meshing of Imported Surface Meshes

You can now generate a tetrahedral mesh directly from an imported surface mesh, that is, without creating an intermediate geometry in a separate component, as was necessary in previous versions of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

The COMSOL Multiphysics UI showing an imported surface mesh of the Stanford rabbit in the Graphics window. Direct meshing of an imported surface mesh Direct meshing of an imported surface mesh.

Create Meshes from Filter Datasets

The Import operation for mesh parts has a new option for creating a mesh based on mesh data defined by a Filter dataset. This option is particularly useful for defining the output geometry of a topology optimization study. You can see this new option in the Exporting and Importing a Topology Optimized Hook and Bracket — Topology Optimization models.

The COMSOL Multiphysics UI showing the Model Builder, the Import settings window with the Source set to Filter dataset, and a hook mesh in the Graphics window. Imported mesh from Filter dataset Mesh created from a Filter dataset that defines the result of a topology optimization. The selections from the original component are transferred to the mesh part.

New Operations for Editing and Repairing Meshes

There are new editing tools available for imported surface meshes that allow you to create new faces to fill holes. Additionally, there are new operations for creating mesh vertices, edges, faces, and domains enabling manual editing of meshes at a lower level.

The before picture when using the new tools for importing surface meshes, showing the holes in the mesh A mesh with holes outlined in blue Holes in a surface mesh highlighted in blue.
The after picture when using the new tools for importing surface meshes, showing the holes filled in with a volume mesh. A mesh with holes filled in The resulting, watertight surface mesh.

Import and Export of 3MF and PLY Files

In addition to the STL format, the 3MF and PLY formats, which are used for 3D printing and additive manufacturing, are now supported for import and export of mesh data in 3D. It is now also possible to import and export mesh data using the Sectionwise file format, which is a COMSOL format for defining interpolation functions.

The Model Builder window and settings for the mesh import feature showing that the 3MF and PLY file types are available for import. Mesh import settings Supported formats for import of mesh data in 3D.

Robust Generation of Curved Elements

There is a new method for generating curved elements that avoids bad-quality elements by curving interior domain elements as well. If you deselect this check box, inverted curved elements will instead be avoided by using linear geometry shapes for the corresponding elements.

The COMSOL Multiphysics UI showing the Model Builder, the Component settings window, and two images of a mesh, one without, and one with, curved interior elements. Curved interior elements in COMSOL Multiphysics The Avoid inverted elements by curving interior domain elements check box in the Settings window for the Component feature leads to a boundary layer mesh where the interior elements are curved to avoid badly shaped curved elements along the curved boundary.