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How to use FreeCAD?

FreeCAD: How to create meshes from a solid?

Update:January 19, 2019
FreeCAD 0.17
  1. Click [File]-[New] in menu bar. Create new document and a solid.

    Solid Creates a solid
  2. Switch workbench to Mesh Design wrokbenchMeshDesign Workbench.

  3. Click [Meshes]-[Create mesh from shape...] in menu bar and following dailog will be displayed. Select a shape that you want to meshed and set parameters on the dialog.

    CreateMesh-Tasks Tessellation dialog

    Mesher that can be used are "Standard", "Mefisto" and "Netgen". Meshes to be created and the parameters of each mesher are as follow.

    • Standard

      ParameterBehavior
      Surface deviationIf this parameter is smaller, meshes becomes finer.
      Angular deviationIf this parameter is smaller, meshes becomes finer.
      Relative surface deviationCreate meshes depending on edge length.
      Apply face colors to meshSet shape color to the mesh.
      Define segments by face colorSet segments to meshes depending on shape colors.
      MeshingStandard1 Surface deviation=0.1
      MeshingStandard2 Surface deviation=0.01
    • Mefisto

      ParameterBehavior
      Maximum Edge lengthMaximum edge length. If this parameter is smaller, meshes becomes finer.
      MeshingMefisto1 Maximum Edge length=10.0
      MeshingMefisto2 Maximum Edge length=5.0
      MeshingMefisto3 Maximum Edge length=2.0
    • Netgen

      ParameterBehavior
      FinenessDegree of mesh fineness. If you want to customize parameters, select "User defined".
      Mesh size gradingIf this parameter is smaller, meshes becomes finer. A value in the range of 0.1-1.
      Element per edgeIf this parameter is larger, meshes becomes finer. A value in the range of 0.1-1.
      Element per curvature radiusIf this parameter is larger, meshes becomes finer. A value in the range of 0.2-10.
      Optimize surfaceWhether optimization of surface shape will be done.
      Second order elementsWhether second order elments will be generated.
      Quad dominantWhether meshes will be arranged like hexahedral.
      MeshingNetgen1 Mesh size grading=0.3
      Element per edge=1.0
      Element per curvature radius=2.0
      MeshingNetgen2 Mesh size grading=0.1
      Element per edge=3.0
      Element per curvature radius=5.0
      MeshingNetgen3 Mesh size grading=0.3
      Element per edge=5.0
      Element per curvature radius=10.0
      MeshingNetgen4 Enable second order elements
      MeshingNetgen5 Enable quad dominant
  4. Set paramters in the dialog and click OK to create mesh.

  5. Select the meshed solid on model tree and type space key to hide it. Then select [View]-[Draw style]-[Wireframe] in menu bar to set 3D view wireframe display mode. Now you can see the generated mesh clearly.

    Meshing2 Wireframe display mode
  6. After confirm that the mesh does not have the problem, export it by [Meshes]-[Export mesh...] in menu bar.

    Meshing3

    Following formats can be used for exporting.

    • Binary STL (*.stl)
    • ASCII STL (*.stl)
    • ASCII STL (*.ast)
    • Binary Mesh (*.bms)
    • Alias Mesh (*.obj)
    • Object File Format (*.off)
    • Inventor V2.1 ascii (*.iv)
    • X3D Extensible 3D (*.x3d)
    • Stanford Polygon (*.ply)
    • VRML V2.0 (*.wrl *.vrml)
    • Compressed VRML V2.0 (*.wrz)
    • Nastran (*.nas *.bdf)
    • Python module file (*.py)

References

How to use FreeCAD?