Simulation-Driven Design and Mesh Generation
SketchUp MeshKit Extension: CAD-Integrated Mesh Generation for Simulation-Driven Design.
In order to be truly effective, modeling and simulation must be seamlessly integrated in to the engineering workflow. This tight integration generally necessitates direct CAD integration and automation of the simulation process. While many commercial and open source mesh and grid generation platforms exist with variable levels of CAD support, the most significant bottleneck in design is still creating analysis suitable geometry and mesh from CAD geometry – a process which routinely consumes up to 80% of an analyst’s time.
Many simulation platforms - both open source and commercial - offer limited (or sometimes no) mesh generation capabilities. And the ones that do, often have severe limitations with respect to the type of elements that can be generated (typically, only tetrahedra), the types of physics that can be modeled, and level of user control supported.
The SketchUp MeshKit Extension is a free plugin to Trimble SketchUp that transforms 3D SketchUp models in to formats supported by popular commercial and open source mesh generation platforms. This marriage of fast, intuitive 3D modeling with SketchUp with rapid and integrated mesh generation and simulation setup allows designers to very quickly understand how their designs will perform - without the need to purchase (obscenely) expensive mesh generation software or write custom scripts or tools.
Gmsh, Tetgen, Netgen, and snappyHexMesh are supported, and allow the user to specify boundary conditions, regions and materials, voids and multi-material/multi-region geometries - all from within the native SketchUp UI. MeshKit is used by thousands (4900+) of researchers, engineers, scientists, architects and designers.