[Bf-committers] Adding support for tetrahedron and hexahedron elements

Jonathan Merritt j.s.merritt at gmail.com
Fri Nov 8 01:31:06 CET 2013

Very interesting. :-)

As George suggests, it should be possible to identify tetrahedral or
hexahedral elements in a post-hoc fashion by looking at whether the faces
bound such an element appropriately.  However, it might be faster to tag
this information at a lower level (i.e. inside the C code) as elements are

Do you have any ideas about supporting isoparametric elements with
non-linear shape functions?  Could there perhaps be a way to use
subdivision surfaces to compute nodal positions?  It seems that other
linear element types, like beams and shells, are already quite
well-supported by the existing mesh structures, but I'm uncertain about how
non-linear elements could be represented / edited conveniently.  Current
open source meshing tools (like Salome-Meca and Gmsh) build their meshes
"top-down" from higher-order surfaces.

For export purposes, it would be very useful to tag groups of nodes, faces
and elements for later application of material properties, boundary
conditions and forces.

Finally, it might be useful to see if there's any interest in using FEA
within Blender itself for simulation purposes.  Having some kind of
volumetric mesh element might be the first step in allowing people to
explore simulation-oriented FEA.  A more formal approach to FEA seems
gradually to be making its way into simulation pipelines.  One example is
Weta's "Digital Tissue" system:

Jonathan Merritt.

PS - Disclaimer: I lecture Finite Element Analysis in Mechanical
Engineering at The University of Melbourne, so I have a vested interest. :-)

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