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

Brecht Van Lommel brechtvanlommel at pandora.be
Fri Nov 8 05:48:46 CET 2013

I'm not so convinced about adding editing support for such a data
structure to Blender now. I can see the point of simulation tools
generating or storing such volumetric elements, but going all the way
to edit mode and BMesh seems like it would add a ton complexity to the
mesh system, for uses cases that Blender is not focused on (CAD).

A Volume primitive in addition to a Mesh does makes sense to be, but
something based on regular grids is more standard for Animation and
VFX. Tetrahedral meshes might be used in some simulations there, but a
manual editing system for them I haven't heard of, they tend to be
automatically generated from a surface mesh. Manually editing and
doing topological operations like BMesh seems too specialized for
Blender to support.


On Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 10:51 PM, Iman Brasseur <iman.brasseur at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> I'm looking into adding support for volumetric elements in Blender. The
> idea is to be able to create and export meshes for finite elements that
> contain tetrahedral and hexahedral elements. To create such meshes one
> could start for example with a single tetrahedron. Then when selecting a
> triangular face, instead of extruding the triangle as a wedge-shaped new
> surface, it would create a new tetrahedral element that shares 3 vertices
> with the original tetrahedron.
> Going through the source code, I thought I should start with bmesh_class.h
> and add (next to the BMVert, BMEdge, BMFace) a new element type BMVol to
> add the new volumetric element there. Does that seem like the right way to
> start? Any quick hints to pieces of code I should look at would be greatly
> appreciated!
> Thanks!
> Iman
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