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A complex model decomposition algorithm based on 3D frame fields and features

Chengpeng Zhang (College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing, China)
Zhihua Yu (Water Resources and Hydropower Bureau of Lin'an District, Hangzhou, China)
Jimin Shi (POWERCHINA Huadong Engineering Corporation Limited, Hangzhou, China)
Yu Li (College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing, China)
Wenqiang Xu (College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing, China)
Zheyi Guo (Deloitte Consulting (Shanghai) Corporation Limited, Shanghai, China)
Hongshi Zhang (College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing, China)
Zhongyuan Zhu (College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing, China)
Sheng Qiang (College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing, China)

Engineering Computations

ISSN: 0264-4401

Article publication date: 9 February 2024

Issue publication date: 4 March 2024

68

Abstract

Purpose

Hexahedral meshing is one of the most important steps in performing an accurate simulation using the finite element analysis (FEA). However, the current hexahedral meshing method in the industry is a nonautomatic and inefficient method, i.e. manually decomposing the model into suitable blocks and obtaining the hexahedral mesh from these blocks by mapping or sweeping algorithms. The purpose of this paper is to propose an almost automatic decomposition algorithm based on the 3D frame field and model features to replace the traditional time-consuming and laborious manual decomposition method.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed algorithm is based on the 3D frame field and features, where features are used to construct feature-cutting surfaces and the 3D frame field is used to construct singular-cutting surfaces. The feature-cutting surfaces constructed from concave features first reduce the complexity of the model and decompose it into some coarse blocks. Then, an improved 3D frame field algorithm is performed on these coarse blocks to extract the singular structure and construct singular-cutting surfaces to further decompose the coarse blocks. In most modeling examples, the proposed algorithm uses both types of cutting surfaces to decompose models fully automatically. In a few examples with special requirements for hexahedral meshes, the algorithm requires manual input of some user-defined cutting surfaces and constructs different singular-cutting surfaces to ensure the effectiveness of the decomposition.

Findings

Benefiting from the feature decomposition and the 3D frame field algorithm, the output blocks of the proposed algorithm have no inner singular structure and are suitable for the mapping or sweeping algorithm. The introduction of internal constraints makes 3D frame field generation more robust in this paper, and it can automatically correct some invalid 3–5 singular structures. In a few examples with special requirements, the proposed algorithm successfully generates valid blocks even though the singular structure of the model is modified by user-defined cutting surfaces.

Originality/value

The proposed algorithm takes the advantage of feature decomposition and the 3D frame field to generate suitable blocks for a mapping or sweeping algorithm, which saves a lot of simulation time and requires less experience. The user-defined cutting surfaces enable the creation of special hexahedral meshes, which was difficult with previous algorithms. An improved 3D frame field generation method is proposed to correct some invalid singular structures and improve the robustness of the previous methods.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Since submission of this article, the following author(s) have updated their affiliations: Yu Li is at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Funding: This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 52079049) and Postgraduate Research & Practice Innovation Program of Jiangsu Province, grant number KYCX22_064.

Citation

Zhang, C., Yu, Z., Shi, J., Li, Y., Xu, W., Guo, Z., Zhang, H., Zhu, Z. and Qiang, S. (2024), "A complex model decomposition algorithm based on 3D frame fields and features", Engineering Computations, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 237-258. https://doi.org/10.1108/EC-01-2023-0037

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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